Nicotinamide Riboside (Niagen)
Nicotinamide Riboside is a recently discovered form of vitamin B3 that can increase levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) levels in humans.
NAD+ is a key co-enzyme that the mitochondria in every cell of our bodies depend on to fuel all basic functions.
Research in mice has shown promise that increased NAD+ levels can “turn back the clock” and make muscles, organs and tissues in older mice resemble that of much younger animals (3).
Research in humans has shown that supplementation with NR does raise NAD+ levels, which helps to ameliorate some age related disease and illness. Clinical studies on the effectiveness in improving metabolic health are ongoing, with 2 soon to be published (4, 5) and 10 or more in process.
Chronic Inflammation increases as we age and is at least partly responsible for falling NAD+ levels. Dr David Sinclair, arguably the most prominent researcher in NAD+ aging research recently published research that shows the enzyme CD38 rises, increasing inflammation and consuming NAD+. He concluded:
These findings suggest that the efficacy of NAD+ precursors may be enhanced by co-supplementation with CD38 inhibitors
Many of the anti-inflammatories on this list can help combat chronic inflammation and work synergistically with NR to improve cellular health.
There are hundreds of natural products that have been used for thousands of years to cure illness and disease.
When we examine the most effective, western medicine invariably finds they fight inflammation.
Getting more of these supplements into your diet will greatly lower systemic inflammation and make it easier for your body to fight age related disease and illness.
NOT EASILY OBTAINED FROM FOOD SOURCES
Vitamin B&C Multi
CAN BE OBTAINED IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITY FROM FOODS
Curcumin is the bioactive in Turmeric, which is a perennial plant native to Southern Asia.
Supplementation may provide a notable increase to antioxidant enzyme profile and a notable decrease to inflammation and pain, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:
- Improvement In Oxidative Stress And Antioxidant Parameters In Beta-thalassemia/Hb E Patients Treated With Curcuminoids
- Curcumin Protects DNA Damage In A Chronically Arsenic-exposed Population Of West Bengal
- A Pilot Study Of The Antioxidant Effect Of Curcumin In Tropical Pancreatitis
- Diverse Effects Of A Low Dose Supplement Of Lipidated Curcumin In Healthy Middle Aged People
- High-dose Curcuminoids Are Efficacious In The Reduction In Symptoms And Signs Of Oral Lichen Planus
- Efficacy And Safety Of Meriva®, A Curcumin-phosphatidylcholine Complex, During Extended Administration In Osteoarthritis Patients
- Curcumin Maintenance Therapy For Ulcerative Colitis: Randomized, Multicenter, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial
- Oral Supplementation Of Turmeric Decreases Proteinuria, Hematuria, And Systolic Blood Pressure In Patients Suffering From Relapsing Or Refractory Lupus Nephritis: A Randomized And Placebo-controlled Study
- Oral Supplementation Of Turmeric Attenuates Proteinuria, Transforming Growth Factor-β And Interleukin-8 Levels In Patients With Overt Type 2 Diabetic Nephropathy: A Randomized, Double-blind And Placebo-controlled Study
- Efficacy Of Turmeric (curcumin) In Pain And Postoperative Fatigue After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Double-blind, Randomized Placebo-controlled Study
- Product-evaluation Registry Of Meriva®, A Curcumin-phosphatidylcholine Complex, For The Complementary Management Of Osteoarthritis
- Comparative Evaluation Of The Pain-relieving Properties Of A Lecithinized Formulation Of Curcumin (Meriva(®)), Nimesulide, And Acetaminophen
Supplementation with Curcumin may also provide a subtle increase to HDL-C, and functionality in the elderly or injured; a subtle decrease to blood pressure, general oxidation, lipid peroxidation, and triglycerides; and subtle support for long-term joint function.
Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage and boosting the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (27, 28, 29, 30, 31). This is important, because oxidative damage is believed to be one of the key mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases.
Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point where it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (32). Given that long-term, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease, it is not suprising to see that curcumin is linked to a variety of health benefits.
One randomized controlled trial found that people with metabolic syndrome who took curcumin had significantly reduced levels of the inflammation markers CRP and MDA, compared to those who received a placebo (19).
In another study, when 80 people with solid cancerous tumors were given 150 mg of curcumin, most of their inflammatory markers decreased much more than those in the control group. Their quality of life score also increased significantly (20).
Recommended dosage: 100–500 mg daily, when taken with piperine. Doses up to 10 grams per day have been studied and are considered safe, but they may cause digestive side effects (22).
Some clinical studies:
Potential side effects: None if taken at the recommended dosage.
Not recommended for: Pregnant women.
Bottom Line: Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory supplement that reduces inflammation in a wide range of diseases.
Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital to good health.
Two especially beneficial types of omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
DHA, in particular, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce cytokine levels and promote gut health. It may also decrease the inflammation and muscle damage that occur after exercise (29, 30, 31, 32).
In one study, levels of the inflammation marker IL-6 were 32% lower in people who took 2 grams of DHA, compared to a control group (31).
Recommended dosage: 1–1.5 grams of omega-3s from EPA and DHA per day. Look for fish oil supplements with undetectable mercury content.
Potential side effects: Fish oil may thin the blood at higher doses, which can increase bleeding.
Not recommended for: People taking blood thinners or aspirin, unless authorized by their doctor.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids decrease the body’s production of a long list of pro-inflammatory biochemicals, including the same ones targeted by most NSAIDs — cyclooxygenase (COX 1 and 2). It also helps to reduce levels of inflammatory interleukins, specifically interleukin-1, a marker of chronic inflammation. In studies, people who ate fatty fish were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, and people with rheumatoid arthritis who took fish oil were able to reduce their dosage of anti-inflammatory drugs. They also reported less pain and stiffness.
Fish oil has a synergistic effect with aspirin. It inhibits synthesis of thromboxane A2 and the highly inflammatory leukotriene B4. Fish oil is reported to help asthma, cystitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, prostatitis and dermatitis.
Bottom Line: Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can improve inflammation in several diseases and conditions.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 ) is a molecule found in the mitochondria of humans and other organisms. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to lipid peroxidation, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:
- Oxidative Stress Correlates With Headache Symptoms In Fibromyalgia: Coenzyme Q₁₀ Effect On Clinical Improvement
- Coenzyme Q10 Improves Seminal Oxidative Defense But Does Not Affect On Semen Parameters In Idiopathic Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia: A Randomized Double-blind, Placebo Controlled Trial
- Reversal Of Mitochondrial Dysfunction By Coenzyme Q10 Supplement Improves Endothelial Function In Patients With Ischaemic Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Effects Of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation On Liver Mitochondrial Function And Aerobic Capacity In Adolescent Athletes
Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 may also provide a subtle increase to blood flow, endothelial function, and exercise capacity; and a subtle decrease to blood pressure, exercise-induced oxidation, and general oxidation.
Still today, one of the most common and thoroughly researched uses of CoQ10 is helping protect the heart and blood vessels from the damaging effects of oxidative stress (also called free radical damage).
The name may not sound very natural, but CoQ10 is in fact an essential nutrient that works like an antioxidant in the body. In its active form, it’s called ubiquinone or ubiquinol.
It’s synthesized within the body naturally and used for important functions, such as supplying cells with energy, transporting electrons and regulating blood pressure levels. (1) The reason it’s not considered to be a “vitamin” is because all animals, including humans, can make small amounts of coenzymes on their own even without the help of food.
Because it turns off reactions of the immune system that drive up inflammation and swelling, boswellia is a potential natural treatment for cancer and capable of helping to fight pain in addition to inflammation.† Boswellia serrata extract is so powerful that today it’s considered comparable to NSAID pain relievers (the leading type of chemical anti-inflammatory medications).
However, unlike over-the-counter or prescription medications that come along with all sorts of side effects, boswellia extract has been used safely and without complications for thousands of years. The chemical structure of boswellic acids closely resemble those of steroids — however their actions are different and do much more than mask symptoms. (1)
You’ve probably already heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
Many of its benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, especially a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Bottom Line: Green tea’s high EGCG content reduces inflammation and protects cells from damage that can lead to disease.
It is well established that vitamin D is the single most important substance in your body for something called immune system tolerance, which means “how hot can your frying pan get before there are major overheating problems?”
One new study evaluated the vitamin D status and pain levels in 2,070 adults over age 65. Of these adults, 53 percent had moderate to severe pain, and all were linked to poor vitamin D status, a relationship that held true when other variables were taken into account.
Another new study documents, for the first time, precise mechanisms by which vitamin D lowers inflammation. The researchers show a new receptor for vitamin D on DNA.
In fact, correcting your vitamin D deficiency may cut your risk of dying from any cause by 50 percent, according to one analysis.
This places vitamin D on par with DHA as potent regulators of inflammation at the most fundamental levels of human health.
MCT is short for Medium Chain Triglycerides. MCT oils have been linked to lower cholesterol levels in both animal and human studies.
For example, calves consuming MCT-rich milk had lower cholesterol than calves fed LCT-rich milk (26).
A study in 40 women found that consuming coconut oil along with a low-calorie diet reduced LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol, compared to women consuming soybean oil (29).
Improvements in cholesterol and antioxidant levels may lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.
MCTs may also help lower blood sugar levels. In one study, diets rich in MCTs increased insulin sensitivity in adults with type 2 diabetes (32).
Another study in 40 overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes found that supplementing with MCTs improved diabetes risk factors. It reduced body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance (33).
MCTs produce ketones, which act as an alternative energy source for the brain and can therefore improve brain function.
Recently there has been more interest in the use of MCTs to treat or prevent brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (34).
One major study found that MCTs improved learning, memory and brain processing in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. However, this was only effective in people containing a particular gene, the APOE4 gene (35).
There are several ways that MCTs may help with weight loss, including:
- Lower Energy Density: MCTs provide around 10% fewer calories than LCTs, or 8.4 calories per gram for MCTs versus 9.2 calories per gram for LCTs (10).
- Increase Fullness: One study found that compared to LCTs, MCTs resulted in greater increases in peptide YY and leptin, two hormones that help reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness (11).
- Fat Storage: Given that MCTs are absorbed and used more rapidly than LCTs, they are less likely to be stored as body fat (10).
- Burn Calories: Studies in animals and humans show that MCTs (mainly C8 and C10) may increase the body’s ability to burn fat and calories (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18).
- Greater Fat Loss: One study found that an MCT-rich diet caused greater fat burning and fat loss than a diet higher in LCTs. However, these effects may disappear after 2–3 weeks once the body has adapted (18).
- Low-carb Diets: Very low-carb or ketogenic diets are a effective ways to lose weight. Given that MCTs produce ketones, adding them to your diet can increase the number of carbs you can eat while staying in ketosis.
Read more about MCT oils.
The anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin seem to come from its ability to dampen the production and activity of pro-inflammatory biochemicals such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins. They also block the release of histamine, the biochemical that causes allergy symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes. In addition to being of help during allergy season, quercetin seems to help symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and chronic, nonbacterial prostatitis.
Research shows that anti-inflammatory foods containing quercetin can help manage a number of inflammatory health problems, including heart disease and blood vessel problems, allergies, infections, chronic fatigue, and symptoms related to autoimmune disorders like arthritis.
Quercetin helps slow the aging progress because it lessens the effects of oxidative stress on the body. (4) Oxidative stress takes place in all of us but is increased by things like a poor diet, high levels of stress, a lack of sleep and exposure to chemical toxins.
Ginger root is commonly ground into powder and added to sweet and savory dishes.
It’s also commonly used to treat indigestion and nausea, including morning sickness.
Another study found that women with breast cancer who took ginger supplements had lower CRP and IL-6 levels, especially when combined with exercise (40).
Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine. Studies have consistently shown that 1 gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea. This includes nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy and sea sickness (54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59).
Ginger’s strong anti-inflammatory properties seem to be why it can help with pain management (60). One study in subjects at risk for colon cancer found that 2 grams of ginger extract per day decreased markers for colon inflammation in the same way as aspirin (61).
Other research found that a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil decreased pain and stiffness experienced by those with osteoarthritis. It had a similar effectiveness as treatment with aspirin or ibuprofen (62).
Bottom Line: 1 gram of ginger appears to be an effective treatment for many types of nausea. It is also anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce pain.
Recommended dosage: 1 gram daily, but up to 2 grams is considered safe (43).
Potential side effects: None at the recommended dosage. However, higher dosages may thin the blood, which can increase bleeding.
Not recommended for: People who take aspirin or other blood thinners, unless authorized by a doctor.
Bottom Line: Ginger supplements have been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as muscle pain and soreness after exercise.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to lipid peroxidation and triglycerides, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:
- Preventive Effects Of Spirulina Platensis On Skeletal Muscle Damage Under Exercise-induced Oxidative Stress
- Ergogenic And Antioxidant Effects Of Spirulina Supplementation In Humans
- A Randomized Study To Establish The Effects Of Spirulina In Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients
- A Randomized Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study To Establish The Effects Of Spirulina In Elderly Koreans
- Effects Of Dietary Spirulina On Vascular Reactivity
- Antihyperlipemic And Antihypertensive Effects Of Spirulina Maxima In An Open Sample Of Mexican Population: A Preliminary Report
- Effect Of Spirulina Maxima On Postprandial Lipemia In Young Runners: A Preliminary Report
- Hepatoprotective Effects Of Spirulina Maxima In Patients With Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Case Series
- Role Of Spirulina In The Control Of Glycemia And Lipidemia In Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
- The Hypolipidemic Effects Of Spirulina (Arthrospira Platensis) Supplementation In A Cretan Population: A Prospective Study
Supplementation with Spirulina may also provide a strong decrease to allergies, nasal congestion, and liver fat; a notable increase to power output; a notable decrease to blood pressure and general oxidation; a subtle increase to HDL-C and muscular endurance; and a subtle decrease to LDL-C and total cholesterol(57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65).
Although most research to date has investigated spirulina’s effects on animals, studies in elderly men and women have shown that it may improve inflammatory markers, anemia and immune function (64, 65).
When people with diabetes were given 8 grams of spirulina per day for 12 weeks, their levels of the inflammation marker MDA decreased (66).
Additionally, their levels of adiponectin increased. This is a hormone involved in regulating blood sugar and fat metabolism.
Potential side effects: Aside from allergy, none at the recommended dosage.
Not recommended for: People with immune system disorders or allergies to spirulina or algae.
Bottom Line: Spirulina provides antioxidant protection that can reduce inflammation and may improve symptoms of certain diseases
The tomato is a nutritional powerhouse.
One study found that drinking tomato juice significantly decreased inflammatory markers in overweight women. However, these markers did not decrease in obese women (70).
In a review of studies analyzing different forms of lycopene, researchers found that tomatoes and tomato products reduced inflammation more than lycopene supplements (71).
Lastly, it’s interesting to note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb (72).
That’s because lycopene is a carotenoid, which are fat-soluble nutrients. They are absorbed better when there is some fat in the meal.
Bottom Line: Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, which can reduce inflammation and protect against cancer.
Some evidence suggests that resveratrol is a more potent anti-inflammatory agent than NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or indomethacin.
Injections of resveratrol into the joints of animals decreases inflammation. It also reduces cartilage destruction. Like ginger and fish oil, resveratrol inhibits a number of inflammation-producing biochemicals. Such chemicals include COX-1 and COX-2.
It also seems to have a regulating effect on certain immune cells. It may reduce T cell proliferation. T cells are involved in some autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
However, another trial showed no improvement in inflammatory markers among overweight people taking resveratrol (54).
The resveratrol in red wine may also have health benefits, but the amount in red wine is not as high as many people believe (55).
Red wine contains less than 13 mg of resveratrol per liter (34 oz), but most studies investigating the health benefits of resveratrol used 150 mg or more per day.
To get an equivalent amount of resveratrol, you’d need to drink at least 11 liters (3 gallons) of wine every day, which definitely isn’t recommended.
Recommended dosage: 150–500 mg per day (56).
Potential side effects: None at the recommended dosage, but digestive issues may occur with large amounts (5 grams per day).
Not recommended for: People who take blood thinning medications, unless approved by their doctor.
Bottom Line: Resveratrol may reduce several inflammatory markers and provide other health benefits.
Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods. It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties (1). Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (2, 3, 4). But where cinnamon really shines is in its effects on blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity (5, 6, 7, 8). Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugars by 10-29% in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount (9, 10, 11). The effective dose is typically 0.5-2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day, or 1-6 grams.
You can read more about the impressive health benefits of cinnamon here.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has numerous health benefits, and is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels.
Ginkgo biloba, which is also known as maidenhair, is an ancient plant extract that has been used in China medicinally to heal various health ailments for thousands of years. In fact, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that ginkgo biloba is the oldest tree species on earth, and today it is one of the top-selling herbal treatments worldwide.
Ginkgo’s been widely studied for its effective anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, platelet-forming and circulation-boosting effects. According to current research, ginkgo biloba benefits include improved cognitive function, positive mood, increased energy, improved memory and reduced symptoms related to multiple chronic diseases — for instance, it’s been used as an asthma natural remedy, ADHD natural remedy and dementia treatment. In fact, it’s believed to be so effective that it’s even a prescription herb in Germany!
16. Magnesium & Potassium
Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral found in food like nuts, cereals, and vegetables. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to blood pressure (only in cases of high blood pressure), according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:
- Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. In 2012, this meta-analysis found that Magnesium “appears to achieve a small but clinically significant reduction in [blood pressure]”.
- Oral Magnesium Supplementation Reduces Insulin Resistance In Non-diabetic Subjects – A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Randomized Trial. In 2011, this study found that Magnesium “improves insulin sensitivity even in normomagnesemic, overweight, non-diabetic subjects “, but “blood pressure and lipid profile did not show significant changes”.
- Oral Magnesium Supplementation Reduces Ambulatory Blood Pressure In Patients With Mild Hypertension. In 2009, this study found that Magnesium “is associated with small but consistent ambulatory [blood pressure] reduction in patients with mild hypertension”.
- Effects Of Oral Magnesium Supplementation On Insulin Sensitivity And Blood Pressure In Normo-magnesemic Nondiabetic Overweight Korean Adults. In 2009, this study found that Magnesium “does not reduce [blood pressure] and enhance insulin sensitivity in normo-magnesemic nondiabetic overweight people … however, it appears that magnesium supplementation may lower [blood pressure] in healthy adults with higher [blood pressure]”.
- The Effect Of Lowering Blood Pressure By Magnesium Supplementation In Diabetic Hypertensive Adults With Low Serum Magnesium Levels: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial. In 2009, this study found that Magnesium “significantly reduces [systolic blood pressure] and [diastolic blood pressure] in diabetic hypertensive adults with hypomagnesaemia”.
Supplementation with Magnesium may also provide a subtle increase to insulin sensitivity, aerobic exercise, and muscle oxygenation; and a subtle decrease to blood glucose, and insulin.
17. Vitamins B & C