$411.62 to be precise.
Sounds like a fairly substantial amount of cash. But then you think - how much would you spend on a night out? ~$50-$100? What about if you needed medication that your insurance doesn't cover? Well, then you're probably looking at a $1000 bill. When you consider that, $400 doesn't seem that heavy, does it? Oh, I forgot to mention that $400 is for a 3 month supply, too!
"Still," you'd think. "Why would one spend that amount of cash on supplements?" Well, first of all, I would like to put the blame on Sandra Kaufmann and her book "The Kaufmann Protocol: Why We Age and How to Stop It". Her book took me on a journey to a complete rabbit hole of supplementation for slowing down aging and feeling 110% on a daily basis. I gave the topic of proper supplementation due diligence beforehand, but The Kaufmann Protocol opened my eyes to plenty of other compounds that I haven't researched or wasn't too keen on.
I went through every supplement in her book and after running a quick analysis on it, I put together a little protocol for myself. Based on her rating system (explained below), I picked the supplements that scored highest on supporting the mitochondrial function - I truly believe that our performance is directly linked with how healthy our mitochondria are. Additionally, I included all the supplements that scored 10 or higher on an overall scale. I also Included a little 'bang for your buck' cost analysis (criteria explained in the picture) that helps you determine what to go for, if you don't necessarily want to spend 400 bucks on your anti-aging stack. Here's what it looks like:
Sandra Kaufmann rated the supplements based on 7 tenets of aging :
1. INFORMATION SYSTEMS (DNA)
2. ENERGY SYSTEMS (MITOCHONDRIA)
3. CELLULAR PATHWAYS
4. QUALITY CONTROL
5. IMMUNE SYSTEMS (SECURITY)
6. INDIVIDUAL CELL REQUIREMENTS
7. WASTE MANAGEMENT
It would be a waste of time for me to rephrase the perfectly worded explanations of each one, so, if interested, you can check them out here.
Let's run through a couple of these supplements:
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) - has been shown to reverse liver cell damage and nerve damage, improve the immune system and work as a free radical scavenger, therefore optimizing the mitochondria. "Mitochondrial optimization" got me.
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) - one of the most popular supplements now in the anti-aging community. NR is converted into NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) that is crucial part of electron transport chain that produces energy. NAD levels decrease as we age and supplementing with it meets the rising demand of NAD and energy production. The only problem I have with NR is that it steals methyl groups on a molar basis, therefore causing problems for people with undermethylation. Pairing it with a methyl donor (such as TMG) is pretty easy and would address any potential issues.
Pterostilbene - that was a new one for me. I've heard of resveratrol (the magic compound that is present in wine), but pterostilbene seems to be more potent and significantly more bioavailable (more easily absorbed). Pterostilbene decreases inflammation, oxidative damage and has been shown to improve blood glucose levels and cognitive function. In order to get the amount of pterostilbene that is in one capsule, you'd have to eat about 5000 cups of blueberries.
Carnosine - not only may it reverse AGE (advanced glycation end product) formation, but was also "shown to delay the onset of fatigue in the neuromuscular system and raise the aerobic threshold." I'm sold.
Metformin - the only pharmaceutical that I am using, probably the most researched pharmaceutical in the world, prescribed to people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. Metformin is popular for its off-label use for anti-aging effects. Blood glucose regulation seems to be one of the key indicators of longevity. Additionally, metformin suppresses mTOR (aging) pathway and was shown to positively impact cardiovascular system.
Curcumin - one of the active molecules of turmeric. However, curcumin is only about 5% of the turmeric. It is known to activate AMPK signaling that plays a key role in regulating cellular energy balance. Curcumin demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties and "In a comparative study of knee osteoarthritis, 1,500 mg/day of curcumin was equivalent to 1,200 mg of ibuprofen in terms of pain control. Of note, there were less gastrointestinal side effects with the curcumin."
Quercetin - acts as a powerful antioxidant and optimizes mitochondrial health. “Quercetin seems to be one of the most powerful flavonoids for protecting the body against reactive oxygen species.”
EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate if you dare) - active molecule found in green tea that has neuroprotective properties, acts as a free radical scavenger and stimulates antioxidants produced by our body. If green tea isn't your thing or you can't drink 5-10 cups a day, it's a great addition to your supplement stack.
So, yes, I walk around with a pill box now and I'm quite happy with it. I will monitor any improvements and keep chasing the quest for stopping aging. If you'd like to purchase any of these supplements, I have a full 3-month supply listed here.