Unfortunately, we can't just take a pill and immediately regain our youth. But there are quite a few supplements out there that claim to slow the aging process down. When it comes to aging, cell components called mitochondria play a key role. They produce nearly all of the energy our cells need to do their jobs. Over time they get damaged, and when they do, we get older.
Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as CoQ10, is a popular anti-aging supplement. Mitochondria can't function without it, but as we get older, we don't produce as much of it as we need. Taking the enzyme as a supplement helps to maintain healthy levels of CoQ10 in our bodies and supposedly keeps us healthier longer. Similarly, the amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine helps mitochondria produce more energy, and can be taken in supplement form [source: Mayo Clinic: CoQ10, MayoClinic: Acetyl-L].
Another important factor in living longer is keeping your heart healthy. Surprisingly, aspirin -- in regular, low doses -- can help you do that. Not only can it reduce the risk of a heart attack or a stroke by keeping blood from clotting, but it can also save your life in the midst of a heart attack if you take it when you start experiencing symptoms [source: Duenwald]. Fish oil is another supplement that helps the heart. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help prevent heart disease and keep blood flowing much the same way as aspirin does.
The next, somewhat controversial, anti-aging supplement has been in the news quite a bit lately due to the debate surrounding its use by professional athletes. Human growth hormone, commonly referred to as HGH, is said to reduce body fat, build muscle, protect cells and improve skin tone and quality. It was originally used to treat growth hormone deficiencies before people began to recognize its potential anti-aging properties. Unfortunately, there are serious side effects associated with HGH, which we'll explore later on in this article [source: Kuczynski].
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is another popular aging supplement. It's a hormone that your body uses to produce some other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. DHEA decreases with age and has been found in high levels among people who live longer than average [source: MayoClinic: DHEA].
Read on to find out how effective these anti-aging supplements are.