Supplements

Some supplements we take to support healthy aging and longevity.

First, though, lifestyle factors are key to healthy aging -- including diet, exercise, and habits like good sleep, not smoking or drinking in excess, and staying on top health issues (like high blood pressure or high cholesterol). Regarding diet, calorie restriction is the most well-support practice for increasing lifespan, and plant-based diets have many benefits. Larry and I are vegan for health reasons, and a plant-based diet provides some of the longevity benefits of calorie restriction. We also practice calorie restriction through fasting; I do time-restricted intermittent fasting (16 hour fasting) several times a week; Larry has fasted 1-2 days a month for decades. We also exercise at least an hour daily (Larry bikes/runs; we do daily walks, I do strength & cardio classes). Finally, we prioritize sleep with strict bed & wake times; no eating 3+ hours before bed; total darkness and quiet; fresh air from an open window (even when it's freezing :) and magnesium supplement every evening (and sometimes melatonin; see below). And of course we don't smoke, and rarely drink (and never in excess).

In addition, we take some supplements. How do we decide what to take? First, we only consider supplements that are supported by peer-reviewed research and are, importantly, SAFE. I also exchange ideas and findings with medical/research friends (hi Wanda & Judi) and my brother Jeff Schank, a psychobiologist who studies the evolution of behavior (such as cooperation and play), and also has been reviewing longevity research and testing protocols for countering aging - including exercise, fasting, and supplements. Note that while I've included a few research links below, these are just samples; search evidence-based sources like pubmed and nutritionfacts for more information.

Supplements

Most of the following I get from Trader Joes (TJs), Costco, or Amazon (e.g., Bulk Supplements is a good brand for powdered supplements).

In our morning homemade yogurt, we take:

Flaxmeal - 1 T for omega 3's and much more

Resveratrol - 1/4 heaping tsp powder (400+ mg) for longevity and more 

Quercetin -1/4 heaping tsp powder (400+ mg) to help with resveratrol absorption, and has many other benefits including inducing autophagy and aptosis (cellular senescence).

Coronavirus Update: quercetin is one of many things being tested for protection against COVID-19 (and it's #5 in the supercomputer computation to identify chemicals that could slow the virus) so now we take 500-1000mg every morning, and everyone in our families have started taking this (and zinc in our multivitamin). See MedCram for frequent video updates on ongoing studies.

The fat in the yogurt should help with absorption, too. We had been additionally taking NMN, but stopped for now; supplementing with NAD precursors seems promising, but it's super expensive and I want to see more research in humans and more safety tests/assurances. 

We take additional supplements in pill form, but less often -- maybe 3 or 4 days a week on average, whenever we remember or feel like it. (Research suggests that pulsing is actually better, so your body doesn't habituate.)

Larry and I both take the following, periodically (search for these on pubmed and you'll see why)

Vitamin D3  2000 IU 

Turmeric 500 mg

Bioperine 10 mg - extract of black pepper that improves absorption of turmeric and other supplements

Vitamin B-12 - methylated (esp. if taking NMN) - something all vegans need (as it only come from animal sources)

Vitamin K-2 100 mcg, to help with calcium absorption and more

I also take:

CoQ10 100 mg 

Astragalus 500 mg - for anti-aging benefits 

Multivitamin - chew 3 Smarty Pants for omega 3, iodine, extra K2, and more.

I'd rather eat/chew than swallow pills, so I may get more things in bulk powders in the future... and of course what I take may change, too.

Sleep - every evening

Magnesium - 200 mg a couple of hours before bed. TJ's has a good combo of 3 different forms of magnesium. Research suggests it helps sleep (and all my medical research friends take this in the evening); it has many other health benefits, and may also reduce R-loops that contribute to unstable genome and aging.

Melatonin - 1.5 mg before going to bed. I get TJs chewable and cut the pills in half. Research shows that besides helping folks fall asleep, it's an antioxidant and increases expression of SIRT genes - and we generate less melatonin as we age.

Colds/Flu - as needed

If we're feeling under the weather, we pop the following:

Oil of oregano 150 mg, a couple at start of any signs of cold/flu symptoms

Elderberry - a couple of chews is 100 mg; want closer to 500 mg a day

Vitamin C - because duh :)

Zinc lozenges 23 mg - suck 1 or 2 a day

Quercetin 500-1000 mg - but I get that in my yogurt in the morning so don't take extra.

Larry's Supplement Adjustments

Larry takes mostly what I take, with a few adjustments.

First, he does the same morning yogurt regime (I mix it for him!) and evening magnesium (but not melatonin). Like me, he takes other vitamins periodically and randomly, perhaps half of the day in a week (recall that pulsing is probably good :) In particular, he adds:

Women's Formula Multivitamin from Trader Joe's - it's the best one we've found, without copper (we all get more copper than we need from our pipes, and copper is implicated in Alzheimer's)

Glucosamine - Chondroitin - for his knees; he's been taking it for more than a decade and thinks he has less pain as a result

Vegan omega 3 - especially for DHA, 250 mg (Gregor recommends 250 mg/day; read more) - though we're both getting a LOT of omega 3 (as ALA) in our morning yogurt with flaxseed (and I get some in my multi chews)





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