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The best vitamins for anti-aging are vitamin E, D, and K: They impact the quality of your skin. Robert Nicholas/ Getty Images
- Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, E, and K, impact the skin's health most directly and help to maintain a youthful appearance.
- Beyond cosmetic effects, aging is associated with health conditions such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, and dementia.
- Curcumin, resveratrol, and CoQ10 are popular anti-aging antioxidants that may stimulate the immune system and help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that leads to many chronic, age-related conditions.
- Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.
Getting older is a fact of life. As you age, you might see more wrinkles or your hair turning gray.
While there's no way to turn back time, Trista Best, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, says that some vitamins may slow premature aging.
Some vitamins have anti-aging properties - the ability to delay the biology of the aging process.
Scott Antoine, DO, physician and owner of The Center for Fully Functional Health®, says that vitamins can help slow the aging process through their ability to overcome toxins that accumulate in the body over time.
"Oxidation is a process in your body where you build up reactive oxygen metabolites over many years, and they are damaging to your body. Also, as you age, your immune system becomes less active. Fortunately, vitamins and minerals work with the immune system and have antioxidative properties to lower the risk of age-related disease," Antoine tells Insider.
Here's a list of vitamins that have anti-aging properties.
Gallery: What Taking Vitamin C Every Day Does to Your Body (ETNT Health)
While there are many vitamins on the market, Best tells Insider that the most effective ones are those that work to counteract the damage caused by oxidative stress. A majority of vitamins can be obtained through your diet or a supplement.
- Curcumin: This substance is found in the turmeric plant and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties at the cellular level, which may promote skin health and protect against cancer. Whether administered orally, topically or as a powder, the Cleveland Clinic recommends taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day for the general population. Best says risks associated with curcumin range from headaches and digestive issues, as well as interactions with medications that treat heartburn and GERD, to interference with the body's ability to stop bleeding.
- CoQ10: Coenzyme 10 is an antioxidant that promotes the production of collagen. According to a 2018 review, its anti-aging effect improves how cells transform energy, known as bioenergetics. However, Best says that CoQ10's effectiveness in treating signs of aging is likely skewed by other products used in a skincare routine. "I do support adding it to an already existing skincare routine," she says, "just not making it the foundation of your regimen and not going out of your way to make sure it is present."
- Collagen: This is a protein in the body that improves skin elasticity and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Best says women may start losing collagen in their twenties, some as early as 18 years old. "Collagen doesn't exactly result in age reversal, but it can stop additional loss. The best collagen for anti-aging is a combination of the three types. Type 1 and Type 3 are the most effective at anti-aging and are ideally taken as a powder," says Best.
- Resveratrol: This antioxidant is found in red wine and is popular for its anti-aging effects, which are most effective in supplement form, says Antoine. Based on a popular theory of aging where the ends of human chromosomes, called telomeres, are linked to DNA damage, Antoine says that resveratrol's anti-aging properties are likely due to its ability to lengthen chromosomes. In addition, Antoine says resveratrol can also protect the body against aging by activating a gene called SIRT1. Though not severe, gastrointestinal side-effects have been linked to resveratrol.
- Vitamin C: A 2017 review reports that vitamin C helps boost the immune system by making more immune cells. In the skin, it protects against oxidative stress. With that in mind, another 2017 review finds consistent evidence that vitamin C is protective against premature aging. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, but vitamin C can also be used as a lightener to address "liver spots" and darkening around the eyes, which are also signs of aging. Vitamin C can be found in food or taken in supplement form. The daily recommended amount for an adult is 65 to 90 milligrams. However, excessive amounts can cause side-effects, including but not limited to vomiting, heartburn, and diarrhea.
- Vitamin E: The function of vitamin E, according to Antoine, is that it protects against collagen crosslinking, and stops the oxidation of lipids linked to both aging and the skin. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin -similar to vitamin D and K - that's useful in treating wrinkles, dark spots, and skin elasticity, says Best. However, she says these vitamins E and other fat-soluble vitamins need to be closely monitored by a doctor, considering they can reach toxic levels in the body.
- Selenium: This is a trace mineral that prevents vitamin E deficiency. Antoine says selenium helps by reducing DNA damage. Selenium can be found in food, especially Brazil nuts, or as a supplement with a recommended daily dose of 100-200 mcg. That said, long-term use of selenium supplements may be linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer - but there is conflicting evidence that suggests selenium may lower your cancer risk. More research is needed.
Aging doesn't just produce cosmetic effects. The World Health Organization reports that aging is also associated with severe health conditions such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, and dementia. For this reason, Antoine recommends increasing vitamin D and vitamin E levels, which can affect immune function.
"Chronic, low-level inflammation causes oxidative stress in the body that leads to many chronic conditions common to Western nations. Antioxidants stimulate the immune system and are responsible for reducing inflammation," says Best. Curcumin, resveratrol, and CoQ10 are popular anti-aging antioxidants.
While there are many vitamins essential for a healthy body, Best recommends fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, E, and K, which impact the skin's health most directly for maintaining a youthful appearance.