Vitamins And Supplements: What Do The Ingredients In Common Anti-Aging Supplements Do?

A brief article mentioning some of the more common ingredients found in anti-aging supplements and the reasons for their inclusion.

People search for the fountain of youth every day. There are many advertisements in print and on television. Remember though, there is not a magic pill and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are vitamins and minerals though that do have an impact on the body and can help reduce the effects of aging. They are common to most anti-aging supplements.

Antioxidant is a word that is frequently used in anti-aging claims. Antioxidants are vitamins, enzymes and minerals that neutralize free radicals in the body before they cause damage or repairs damage afterwards. A free radical is partly a byproduct of a cells' normal metabolism. Other free radicals come from stress, environmental pollution, ultraviolet rays and cigarette smoking. Free radicals are believed to add to the aging process.

Since supplements fall under the Food and Drug Administration's Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, these claims are largely unproven. Use care and talk with your doctor about concerns you may have.

Beta-carotene is important because it is converted by the body to vitamin A. Vitamin A works to build the immune system to fight infections.

Vitamin C contributes to lower rates of cancer and heart disease. It is found mostly in the skin. The skin is the largest organ and suffers the most from environmental damage so the protection from vitamin C is important.

Vitamin E may protect against cancers, cataracts and slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease. It is the most important antioxidant because it protects cell membranes by inactivating free radicals. Vitamin E has also been shown to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

Selenium might help in preventing cancer. It comes from whole grain cereals, seafood and eggs. Some studies have shown it preserves tissue elasticity that comes from oxidation and helps against skin cancer.

Coenzyme Q-10, which is produced by the body, shows promising results in the treatment of congestive heart failure.

Vitamin D aids in regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which makes for stronger bones.

B-6, B-12 and folic acid work together to lower blood levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease if there are high levels present. The B-complex vitamins are excellent for dealing with stress.

DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone, which was banned in 1985, made a comeback under the DSHEA rules. It is converted by the body into estrogen and testosterone. These sex hormones decrease as you age. It helps to slow aging, increase the muscle and bone strength as well as improve other areas. There are some side effects such as raising blood pressure and worsening liver problems.

Melatonin is produced in the brain and helps regulate sleep. It is also an antioxidant. Claims for it include reversing aging and fighting cancer. Too much can interrupt your body's normal sleep cycles.

Human growth hormone or HGH is present in the body mainly during adolescence. These levels drop off as aging occurs. Receiving injections of HGH may burn fat, build muscle and increase energy. Be aware of side effects though.

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