As many anti-aging supplements as there are, it seems like there are just as many debates about whether or not they actually work. Our bodies are incredibly complicated, and as the saying goes, if it's not one thing, it's another. Just like a car or a computer, our bodies are made up of many small pieces, and all of those pieces have to work correctly for the unit to function as a whole. If one thing goes wrong, it can affect everything else. Just because you fix that one thing, though, that doesn't guarantee that something else won't go wrong tomorrow. For instance, you could fix your car's brakes on Monday and get a flat tire on Tuesday.
In other words, it's pretty much impossible to stop aging completely. There are just too many biological processes that keep our bodies running. However, the science behind most anti-aging supplements is rooted in logic. For instance, mitochondria do keep our cells running, and they can't do that without coenzyme Q10, which decreases significantly with age. Therefore, it would make sense that maintaining healthy CoQ10 levels would help us stay healthier longer. However, the truth is that there is not a lot of hard, scientific evidence to back these claims [source: Mayo Clinic: CoQ10].
The story is the same for almost every anti-aging supplement on the market. Aside from aspirin, which is proven to reduce the risk of a heart attack for a lot of people, there's no conclusive evidence to support the claims of anti-aging properties in any supplement out there. And even aspirin therapy doesn't work well for everyone. For example, studies have shown a difference in the way men and women react to it, so you should definitely consult a doctor before getting started [source: Duenwald]. In the case of DHEA, a two-year Mayo Clinic study found that taking the hormone had no beneficial effects whatsoever [source: MayoClinic: DHEA].
But you still probably know someone who swears a supplement has made him look and feel younger. Unfortunately, it's most likely that person's experiencing a placebo effect. And while there may be no conclusive evidence that the supplements will reverse aging, some are capable of producing side effects. Read on to learn more.