In Part 1 of this Supplements article I explained strategies for maintaining healthy digestive function as we age by taking supplemental stomach acid (Betaine HCl), Digestive enzymes and Probiotics. When we are young to middle aged, we can take these as need arises, but the older we get, the more it needs to be a daily pattern; HCl and enzymes with meals and probiotics taken at night on an empty stomach. The point being that as we age supplementation needs change, generally increasing as we need to make up for functions of our bodies that are throttling back with time. So be attuned to declining processes, particularly repair processes, which start showing up with age and add appropriate supplements as necessary to keep the body fit enough to live as you wish.

The next step is to supplement those nutrients that are, in this age of industrial farming and food ‘production’, less and less available; missing or far lower in content than the same food raised two centuries ago would have embodied. The key factors are, first, minerals – the soils used for industrial farming grow more devoid of minerals with every crop. Second, because of soil quality changes, important plant chemicals are lower in today’s crops, engineered to be larger, to hold up better in shipping, and picked before truly ripe, they are far less nutritious as those of yesteryear. Third, meats, poultry and seafood are raised on artificial feed that is not even close to their natural diet and therefore they are lacking many nutrients compared to 200 year ago.

Some examples are the inferior omega-3 fat content of industry-raised animals, including chickens that never see a bug on real dirt, eggs they lay with pale yellow yolks, salmon eating a soy-protein feed when they should be eating little fish, and beef raised on grain rather than grass. Many of our major health issues start from a diet with a badly balanced ratio of omega-6 versus omega-3 fats; a ratio that should be about 1:1, but today is closer to 20:1. Why? Omega-3 fats go rancid very quickly and start to smell like rotting fish. There is almost no shelf life for these fats. They are needed for life, but the food industry can’t live with them and do business as usual, so they strip them out to gain shelf-life. These elements that used to be abundant in everyone’s groceries are now greatly reduced, and insuring complete nutrition is tougher today.

My solution starts with a multi-vitamin-mineral-food extract product that crams all the missing and marginalized food elements into one formula. My choice is Life Extension Mix from Life Extension Foundation. I’ve used it for decades, and any time some new nutrient is found to benefit health, they add it to the formula. I’ve evaluated most of the products in the market, and nothing even comes close to this supplement – it’s my baseline supplement upon which I depend for complete nutrition. It requires taking 3 horse-sized tablets per meal, but I rarely eat a meal without them. Check out the product info at:

Omega-3 fats are the next critical supplement; our bodies depend on them for cell wall and membrane function and for suppression of inflammation. In youth, the body can typically manufacture all the required omega-3 fats needed if it gets ample amounts of the essential fatty acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). The best source for ALA is flax oil, but it must be in a black bottle, cold pressed under nitrogen atmosphere, and refrigerated after pressing. I like Barlean’s Flax Oil, but only buy it if it is displayed in a refrigerated case I take it by spoon in the morning or mix a tablespoon with my Greek yogurt, berries and chopped nut breakfast.

As we age, the conversion of ALA to other needed fats is slowed, so it is best to supplement with fish oil or a product that supplies those fats as well as ALA. The known important fats are DHA, EPA and GLA. The product I favor is made by Wellness Recourses and is called Leptinal - click here for product details and function. Leptinal, has therapeutic (fixes stuff) levels of all three fatty acids, plus pomegranate extract, plus citrus flavones and tocotrienols (a powerful form of vitamin E) for vascular health. These fats make our blood vessels flexible (helps blood pressure), help us burn body fat for fuel and make our brains work right – we can’t live without adequate amounts in our diet. If you are trying to reverse metabolic syndrome or diabetes then this is the supplement for you.

Now, there are some supplements that are proven to slow the aging clock, and do it by mimicking caloric restriction. In animal studies (including primates) caloric restriction can add about 30% to youthful lifespan, but you have to nearly starve to do it. But studies have shown that resveratrol, quercetin and vitamin D also turn on these genes. So if we can add up to 30% to our healthy years by taking daily doses of these three items, it seems wise to do so. The dose for resveratrol used in studies to get these results is about 250 mg/day (I use LEF’s Optimized Resveratrol 250 mg). The dose for Quercetin is about 1500 mg/day (I get mine from Wellness Resources). You want to use these in addition to not overeating, not so you can get away with overeating

Vitamin D3 is now available everywhere and recommendations keep going up as benefits are discovered at higher levels. I currently take 15000 IU/day of the Ubiquinol form because it is winter (insufficient sun to make it in our skin in California). I have my blood tested (25-OH vitamin D test) to determine the results of my dose, and I am at 77 ng/ml of blood, with optimum now thought to be 70-90 ng/ml. It took me a year of supplementation at that dose to get me to my current levels Vitamin D is vital to proper immune function – it makes the immune system smart about what it does battle with, and so it prevents much of the unnecessary inflammation that develops with age. This is perhaps the most bang-for-your-buck you can get with any single supplement – everyone should be using this and measuring their blood levels to get to optimal values. Life will vastly improve with it. Nutritional science has been stunned by the sweeping benefits of optimal vitamin D levels – it allows virtually every system of the body to work correctly, and deficiencies cause the same systems to go haywire. We were designed to live in the sun so we make lots of vitamin D, and hiding from it is very unhealthy. But now you can buy it in a bottle – isn’t technology grand?.

Good Living, - Frank

Author's Bio: 

Frank Wilhelmi of chronicles strategies for staying healthy and fit into advanced age. He is an electronic engineer by trade, but his passion is teaching others to lead healthy, vibrant, pain-free, activity-filled lives.