Welcome everyone to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
As a preventative, integrative physician, my goal is to do everything I can to help patients stay healthy and live a long healthspan. Healthspan is the length of time that a person is healthy, feeling great, and functioning well. I am a 68 year old man, which makes this very appealing!
I enjoy studying longevity and learning what biomarkers of aging (i.e., blood pressure, body temperature, body mass index, protein within bone, etc.) can be reversed, regenerated, or revived, so that patients can regain the vitality they had when they were younger. Can you live a healthier, longer life by taking supplements? My answer is yes!
In my opinion, no supplement will outperform exercise, great nutrition, good sleep, and hormone optimization, but it’s hard to get everything we need in what we eat. If we are targeting longevity, fighting the aging process, we are going to need supplements.
Getting down to the cellular level, it’s all about cellular energy (mitochondria), cellular senescence, and autophagy (the clearing out of the older, poor functioning cellular debris, and making room for new growth). Yes, there are supplements that help these processes!
Let’s dive in…
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
When talking about longevity vitamins, you start with Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Note: I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent here, because I want to clear up a few things about Niacin.
There are many forms of Niacin, each with a different purpose.
- Nicotinamide Riboside
It can be kind of confusing. Niacin is Vitamin B3. It’s also called Nicotinic Acid. Niacin is a nutrient that’s important for regulating metabolism, neurons, and system function. It’s also an antioxidant.
Our bodies can’t make Niacin (if they do, it’s very little), therefore we need to get it by eating plant based products, such as:
- Green vegetables
I’ve used Niacin to lower cholesterol, especially if I don’t want to use a Statin. Niacin will lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise your HDL. Of course, there is a lot more to that when you get into the particle size, ApoB, Lpa, etc.
Note: If you buy Niacin over the counter (OTC), it may cause extreme flushing. Some people make a trip to the ER, afraid they are having an allergic reaction to it. They’re not, Niacin just causes uncomfortable flushing in most people. My point is that your doctor needs to guide you through the dosing.
- To start out, I get 100mg tablets instead of 500mg
- I advance it by 100 mg every four nights.
- I usually have people take it with an aspirin at night (helping you get through a mild bit of flushing as you build up).
Off the tangent and back to the longevity aspects of alternative forms of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).
Alternative Forms of Vitamin B3
Nicotinamide and Niacinamide are the same thing. For this article, I will use the word Niacinamide. You get this form of B3 from meat and poultry. It doesn’t cause flushing and it will NOT lower cholesterol. That’s not what we’re using it for here.
You have another form called NMN, Nicotinamide Nucleotide. It’s somewhat produced in our bodies, but the most biosynthetic forms you can supplement with. It’s small enough to be absorbed in your system. It’s gotten a lot of press lately for a couple of reasons. One is because Harvard Longevity professor, Dr. David Sinclair, talks a lot about it and takes it himself. Two, Dr. Sinclair’s research has shown that it increases muscle in older men, and increases insulin sensitivity in older women (along with many other benefits). Note: For some reason it has been taken off the shelves of Amazon and it’s hard to get! It kind of reminds me of when they banned NAC. I prefer another form of it anyway.
All of the forms of B3 have benefits, but what you’re really aiming for is increasing the amount of NAD+ in our bodies. This is for ultimate repair and longevity. Studies show that NAD+ can protect cells from stress, repair DNA, and even help your sleep cycle (think circadian rhythm). It can also help you lose weight.
As we age, the amount of NAD+ really goes down. By the time you’re 70 years old, 70% of it is gone. We need NAD+ to age well (i.e., cellular repair). NAD+ is a big deal! It’s required for sirtuins (proteins that are involved in genetic cellular repair to do their thing). They help us stay healthier longer and stay thinner.
You can’t just take an NAD pill (although some people claim you can). The molecule is just too big to enter the cell. There’s research currently going on about this. There are new products being developed, but for right now, you need a precursor. Something to stimulate and break down into NAD+, i.e., NMN, Niacinamide, or Nicotinamide Riboside.
Nicotinamide Riboside is my preference. It adds a beneficial ribose sugar to it, which makes it last longer and not get downgraded as much. I like the Niacinamide powder because it’s cheaper, but you have to dose it three times a day. Note: The powder gets eaten up in your stomach pretty quickly. I prefer a longer form of Nicotinamide Riboside.
The whole point of the B3 derivatives for healthy aging is to increase NAD+. Whether you do it from NMR, NR, or just Niacinamide, it’s going to help you age. Your levels of NAD+ rapidly decline as you age.
There are some natural ways you can slightly increase NAD+. Infrared sauna comes to mind, intermittent fasting, and of course exercise. As I said earlier, nothing replaces exercise for longevity and health.
Astragalus and Apigenin
There’s a couple of other supplements for longevity that I really like.
Apigenin is a really unique longevity supplement. I take it. Dr. Andrew Huberman talks about it on his podcast all the time. It’s in his “Sleep Stack”. He loves it for improved sleep and mood.
Apigenin is a flavonoid, a plant chemical that protects the plant from (a) organisms that try to eat it, and (b) radiation from the sun. Apigenin is a particularly potent flavonoid. It’s a potent antioxidant. It’s an anti-inflammatory. It’s chemo preventative. It increases your testosterone. It’s very neuroprotective. It decreases cancer rates, and it INCREASES YOUR NAD+.
Chamomile tea has Apigenin in it. Parsley also. It’s very beneficial. It’s one of my favorite supplements. Without getting too deep, the Apigenin increases antioxidant enzymes like SOD, and increases expression of NRF2 (transcription factor that regulates a wide variety of antioxidant genes).
Astragalus is an extremely potent, immunity building supplement that comes from a plant. It offers a lot of health benefits! It’s an adaptogen, meaning it helps you deal with stress.
Here are a few things it does:
- Lowers stress
- Helps normalize blood sugars
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Fights cancer and improves the side effects and the effects of chemotherapy
- Strengthens your immune system
- Protects your kidneys and brain
I got introduced to Astragalus at an A4M meeting. The gold standard for anti aging supplements is something called TA65. TA65 is the main ingredient in astragalus, but unfortunately it’s very expensive. I rarely recommend it to my patients because of the cost.
Astragalus has been shown to lengthen telomeres (the caps of your DNA). How long it takes the telomeres to degenerate is the ultimate marker for how long you’re going to live. When you think about astragalus, you’re thinking about a really potent longevity supplement.
There are some others as well. I’m sure you’ll hear about Resveratrol, which is very good. Fisetin is another one. Metformin is a good one (although slightly controversial). Note: Most of the professors that give our lectures on longevity take Metformin. The ultimate prescription drug for longevity is Rapamycin. You can check out the podcast episode I did on Rapamycin here.
The Doctor Rogers’ Longevity Formula
As you know, I like to formulate my own vitamins (Doctor Rogers’). Each supplement contains a combination of vitamins (all in one capsule for cost savings), so you don’t have to take so many pills. I use a company out of Portland, Oregon called Freedom To Formulate.
Here are a few of the Doctor Rogers’ Formulas (each formula contains a combination of vitamins):
- Immune Complex (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Folate, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Quercetin, NAC, Vitamin K2)
- Stress Relief (Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, Satiereal)
- Energy Complex (PQQ, CoQ10)
- Super Vitamin (Vitamin A, C, D, E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Calcium, Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Potassium, Vitamin K2, Boron, Lycopene, Horsetail 7% Silica)
- Healthy Happy Hair (Vitamin A, Biotin, Zinc, Copper, Inositol, Horsetail 7% Silica, SawPalmetto Fruit Extract, AnaGain Nu)
Next in the lineup is a new vitamin, purposed for longevity, called Doctor Rogers’ Ultimate Aging Formula. The Ultimate Aging Formula is a combination of the three vitamins talked about in this Note: Nicotinamide Riboside, Astragalus, and Apigenin.
This three-in-one vitamin has the right doses of Nicotinamide Riboside, Astragalus, and Apigenin to help your body optimize its healthspan. This is NOT a replacement for the essential, preventative, healthcare practices that I preach everyday: EXERCISE, NUTRITION, SLEEP, STRESS REDUCTION, and HORMONE OPTIMIZATION.
Vitamins are a part of healthy nutrition. As you do your own research, consider these new supplements to increase your healthspan!
Stay educated. Stay healthy.
Till next week.