Supplements won't stop the aging process, but they can help you avoid some of the biggest problems associated with aging.

Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

Calcium
1,000-1,200 mg/day

Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth. If intake is too low, our bodies will take it from our bones.

Too much calcium can interfere with the uptake of other nutrients, such as magnesium and zinc.

Chondroitin
400 mg 3x/day

This is an important antiosteoarthritis projoint supplement that belongs to a family of complex sugars called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).

Chondroitin for supplements is commonly derived from bovine and shark cartilage.

Coenzyme Q10
(Co-Q10)
50-200 mg/day

This vitaminlike substance may help treat obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Best food sources for Co-Q10 include organ meats, spinach, sardines and tuna.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
1-2 g/day

Researchers suggest that CLA has many possible benefits related to atherosclerosis, body composition (improving lean body mass and decreasing body fat), cancer and glucose control (Type II diabetes).

CLA is found in beef, eggs, milk fat, poultry and yogurt.

Glucosamine
500 mg 3x/day

A critical amino monosaccharide that may fend off—or help you cope with—osteoarthritis, it can be used alone or in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate.

Unless you like to chew the shells of lobsters, crabs and other crustaceans, you probably need to supplement.

Lutein
250 mcg­20 mg/day

Green leafy veggies are good sources of this vision-boosting relative of beta-carotene that protects against age-related macular degeneration.

Other factors aside, egg yolks are also great sources of this carotenoid. Each yolk has 290 mcg of lutein.

Vitamin C
200­2,000 mg/day
(to bowel tolerance)

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant necessary for healthy bones and tissues. Our bodies cannot synthesize vitamin C; therefore, we must get it from foods or supplements.

Best food sources include brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus fruits and juices, kale, peppers (sweet green, sweet red, hot red, and green chilies), spinach and strawberries.

Vitamin E
400­800 IU/day

Vitamin E heals the skin and helps slow degenerative aging processes. Because vitamin E acts as a natural anticoagulant, avoid it if you are taking prescription anticoagulants, such as warfarin.

Some experts suggest suspending supplementation one month before a surgical procedure and resuming supplementation upon recovery. Best food sources are unrefined vegetable oils (wheat germ, safflower, sunflower, canola and olive oils).

Sources: The National Academics Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board, www.iom.edu; PDR for Nutritional Supplements (Medical Economics Co., 2001).