2 anti-aging nutrients that double as disease fighters too

Want to know what really keeps you youthful, healthy and living your best life?

It’s nothing complicated. No prescriptions, creams or expensive procedures. It’s getting the right nutrients.

In fact, if you want to avoid the pitfalls of aging and disease for as long as possible, you need to focus on two nutrients:

Probiotics and antioxidants.

You hear about these healthy nutrients all the time because they are potent disease fighters. But they’re also your best weapons against aging. Why?

Well, by keeping your gut health in order and fending off free radicals, science shows this potent pair may have the unique power to protect you from aging and disease while adding some serious years to your life.

The anti-aging power of probiotics and antioxidants

Scientists at McGill University found that the combination of probiotics and an antioxidant supplement called Triphala protected fruit flies from disease and aging while increasing their lifespan by 60 percent.

The fruit flies that took this probiotic-antioxidant combo had fewer signs of aging, including less insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress. They also lived 26 days longer than fruit flies who didn’t take these two nutrients.

Now, 26 days may not sound like a lot to you. But considering fruit flies only live an average of 40 to 50 days, 26 days is a pretty big deal.

Researchers went into this study knowing that probiotics encourage a healthy microbiome, which decreases the risk of chronic disease. They also knew that antioxidants are proven to fight oxidative stress, inflammation and aging. But even they didn’t realize how powerful the two would be in combination.

“At the onset of this study, we were hopeful that combining Triphala with probiotics would be at least a little better than their individual components in terms of physiological benefit, but we did not imagine how successful this formulation would be,” said Susan Westfall, lead author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, USA.

I know what you’re thinking… who cares about fruit flies? What about humans?

Well, even though fruit flies seem like a vastly different species than us, their biochemical pathways match ours by about 70 percent. So, they respond to nutrients in very similar ways.

Getting antioxidants the ancient way

Popping a probiotic pill or eating more fermented foods seems simple enough. But what about antioxidants? Should you take a supplement? Eat antioxidant-rich foods? Or both?

Well, in this study, researchers gave fruit files a supplement called Triphala. It’s a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulation that contains fruits from the Indian plants amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki.

It’s packed with flavonoids and polyphenols, plus gallic acid, ellagic acid and chebulinic acid. That’s a lot of antioxidant power. All those antioxidants may be why it’s used to treat everything from asthma to obesity to inflammation to cancer.

Triphala supplements are easy to find and not very expensive. Plus, Triphala’s been used by people for over 1,000 years. It’s one of the longest-used herbal remedies around, and it’s pretty safe. Some people have minor gastrointestinal reactions, but overall, it’s well-tolerated. So, give it a try if you’d like.

One more thing… another recent study found that antioxidants can help probiotics survive digestion and boost their beneficial effect. So, there’s more than one reason to pair Triphala (or another source of antioxidants) with your daily probiotics.

Editor’s note: One of the biggest dangers to your aging brain is a drug that 38 million Americans take every single day. It robs the brain of an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health. And it steals memories. Are you taking it? Click here to find out!

Sources:

  1. The secret to longevity is in the microbiome and the gut — MedicalXpress. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  2. Westfall, et al. “Longevity extension in Drosophila through gut-brain communication.” — Scientific Reports, 2018.
  3. Triphala — Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  4. What Is Triphala? — Healthline. Retrieved June 2, 2018.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.