What supplements to take is subjective, but I have created a list which is aimed at longevity and health. We want to focus on remaining disease free and extending the time frame in which our physical body is young. Basically, living longer doesn't matter if you can't enjoy that long life because of disease or drastically reduced physical ability. While I recognize that the fountain of youth doesn't exist in pill form, it is possible to supplement in such a way as to extend our aging curve, effectively remaining physically young for a longer period of our lives.
With that in mind, it is imperative to take a hard look at your own family history and custom tailor a supplement regime which addresses those predispositions. Does your family have a history of heart disease, diabetes, grandparents who suffered from Alzheimer's or dementia? Then look for compounds which help to ward off those problems. A little research goes a long way.
This list of vitamins and supplements is what I have found to combat my personal family dispositions, and which fight the most common ailments. I will explain the benefit of each item on the list as well as make a recommended intake for longevity. But keep in mind, I am not a doctor. It's always a good idea to have a conversation with a health professional before undertaking any nutritional or workout program. This is just what I have found to work for me with no side effects.
The most common argument I have heard is that nutritional supplementation is a waste of money because the body excretes (pees out) any over supply. This is true, but rarely will an individual be "topped off" on vitamins and minerals. Look at the average American Diet: it's rare that we are getting a full spectrum of nutrients. Even in the most healthy and varied diets, its hard to consume many of the micro nutrients which are often the most beneficial to overall health. Add to that mix environmental pollutants like second hand cigarette smoke exposure and carbon monoxide from car exhausts, exposure to toxic contaminants in our water supply, processed foods and even the girl in the office who is always catching a cold, and it's easy to see that the body may be thirsting for additional nutrients quite often in the course of a day.
So the goal with a longevity program is to be "topped off" so that when the body does need it, the nutrient is available. Look at it as a proactive versus reactionary approach. When you first sense a cold coming on, your first thought may be to run out and get some vitamin C. By the time you have sensed the cold coming, you will be doing nothing but fighting it away. Reacting to the foreign presence in your body. If you had been proactive by having adequate levels of vitamin C and other nutrients while supporting the immune system, the cold or flu may never have been able to take hold in your system.
Now that we understand why to supplement our diet with vitamins, and where to find the best deals, lets take a look at what should be in your daily stack to create your ultimate longevity mix.
The starting point of any longevity system is a good multivitamin. These come in many forms, prices, and efficacy's. The most common form of multi vitamin is pill form. As you get more ingredients the pills get larger or require more pills per day to get a full dose. Many people complain of having trouble swallowing large pills so one way to make it easier is to break them into smaller pieces, or even consider investing in a mortar and pestle to grind pills into a powder. Other forms of multi include powders and chewables. I find that these particular forms rarely contain much more than a cheap pill, and usually come at a much higher cost. If you absolutely must have a non pill form supplement then by all means buy one of these, but you will have to make a conscientious effort to make up whatever may be lacking in them some other way.
Common brands of multi vitamins like Centrum are better than nothing, but have small dosages of a small amount of nutrients. One company I love and have ordered with for years is Beyond a Century. Strictly a mail order company, they sell a huge range of products in very economical powder form. The downside is having to buy very large quantities of a specific item and then finding a way to measure out dosages. If you are looking for the ultimate cost savings this is the way to go.
Some companies specialize in making formulations that focus on a specific problem. The one which gets the majority of my business is Vitacost. I have been ordering with the company for 6-7 years now and have never had an issue whatsoever. They also offer a return policy if you try something new and don't find that it works for you. The prices are usually at least a little lower than what you can find anywhere else, and the selection of powerhouse multivitamins can't be beat. They also have a large selection of natural products, I actually order my tooth powder from them.
Go out and get your multivitamin to begin your longevity program. As this series progresses, you will learn about other supplements to include in your daily stack. If you find a quality one be sure to tell us about it. If you find something and are unsure if it's a good starting point, feel free to email us and we will give you our opinion.
Be sure to comment below on what vitamins and supplements you take and how they have enhanced your health. If you can think of something you feel should be on the list be sure to tell us.