Best 10 Supplements Exploding in Popularity for 2024

While we do not recommend relying on supplements for your daily nutrition, depending on your state of health, there may be instances where you need one or more supplements to address a nutritional deficiency or ailment.

Some nutritional deficiencies are so widespread, thanks to soil depletion and reliance on processed foods, that just about everyone can benefit from supplementation. In this article, we will review 10 of the most popular nutritional supplements that may be helpful for many.

1. Vitamin D

Ideally, you would get most of your vitamin D from sensible sun exposure. Depending on where you live, this may not be possible however, so oral supplementation may be necessary for at least part of the year.

The ideal dose for most adults of normal weight is 6,000 IUs a day; 7,000 IUs if you’re overweight; and 8,000 IUs a day if you’re obese. At those dosages, most people can reach a minimum blood level of 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L),  which is the lower cutoff for sufficiency. Other research suggests you may need as much as 9,122 IUs per day to reach 40 ng/mL.

Make sure it’s vitamin D3, and not vitamin D2 – the vitamin D3 variant works better.

Most definitely, the conventional claim that you only need a few hundred IUs per day — which is still touted by medical professionals in media — is completely inaccurate and is based on a statistical error that for some reason has never been officially corrected.

Your best bet is to get your vitamin D level tested twice a year. Based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 to 200 nmol/L).

Vitamin D ensures that your blood levels of calcium are high enough to meet your body’s demands. However, vitamin D does not fully control where the calcium in your body ends up. That’s where vitamin K steps in. Vitamin K2 supplements have been proven to be more effective than vitamin K1. That's why most of the top vitamin D supplement brands do combine their vitamin D3 with K2.

Taking oral vitamin D together with vitamin K2 and magnesium is also recommended, as you need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not also taking magnesium and vitamin K2. In other words, if you take all three in combination, you need far less oral vitamin D in order to achieve a healthy vitamin D level.

Make sure to take 500 mg to 1000 mg of magnesium and 150 mcg of vitamin K2, (not K1) which are important cofactors for optimizing vitamin D function. And, remember the only way you know what your vitamin D level is, is to test it. Most people are shocked how low their level is when they finally get around to testing it.

Can Vitamin D extend lifespan? 

Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with less risk of heart disease, auto-immune diseases, improved brain health and a better functioning immune system.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a reduced life expectancy (SourceSource). Optimizing your vitamin D level is one strategy that can boost your health in myriad ways. A deficiency in vitamin D has been implicated in such problems as multiple sclerosis (R) and Parkinson’s disease (R), for instance. The link between Parkinson’s and vitamin D is so strong that one study found people with high vitamin D levels had a 65% lower risk of Parkinson’s compared to those with low vitamin D levels (R).

In addition, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best affordable strategies to slash your cancer risk.

The DO-HEALTH trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01745263), were published in Frontiers in Aging 2022. The first randomized-controlled trial (DO-HEALTH) trial to investigate the combination of three complementary treatments for the prevention of cancer and suggest that the combination of daily vitamin D3, supplemental marine omega-3s, and a simple home exercise program may be effective in the prevention of invasive cancer among generally healthy and active adults aged 70 and older.

Findings from this 3 year Randomized Controlled Trial with more than 2,000 participants observed a 61% reduction in the risk of invasive cancer among patients who completed a home exercise program and took vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids daily.

Previous research found that a vitamin D level of 47 ng/ml was associated with a 50% lower risk of breast cancer (R). Further, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reported that raising your vitamin D level to at least 40 ng/ml can slash your risk of all invasive cancers by 67% (R).

2. Omega-3

Omega-3 fats are essential for healthy cell membrane function, and higher omega-3 levels have been consistently linked to better health and longer life spans. The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA protect health and promotes longevity by:

  • Thinning your blood, which discourages inappropriate clotting that can lead to a stroke or heart attack
  • Lowering serum triglyceride levels
  • Helping to lower blood pressure, in part by improving the health of the lining of your blood vessels so that they can relax better
  • Anti-inflammatory effects — For example, provided you have enough EPA and DHA in your membranes, when an inflammatory insult occurs, metabolites of the EPA and DHA — resolvins and protectins — will be synthesized. As their names imply, these metabolites help protect against and resolve inflammation. If you do not have sufficient omega-3, the inflammatory response persists longer and can become chronic
  • Helping the mitochondrial membrane process energy — Improving the fluidity and flexibility of the mitochondrial membrane allows enzymes and the other proteins embedded in the membrane to operate more smoothly
  • Adding structural stability to mitochondrial membranes — When loaded with omega-3, the membrane allows these agents to move freely, allowing everything to work as it should

While most use fish oil to increase their omega-3 level, this isn’t the best choice, as most are synthetic ethyl esters, which are very different from the triglyceride and phospholipid forms of omega-3 found in sea food.

Ideally, you’d want to get most of your omega-3 from cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, for example. If you opt for a supplement, krill oil, which delivers omega-3 primarily in the phospholipid form, makes it a superior choice to fish oil.

As for dosing, research has shown that an omega-3 index greater than 8% is associated with the lowest risk of death from heart disease while an index below 4% places you at the highest risk of heart disease-related mortality.

Many governments recommend eating omega-3 containing fatty fish, two times per week. But that is often not enough. Ideally, people would need to eat fatty fish four times per week, while also supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, at least 1,000 mg of pure omega-3 (DHA and EPA) per day.

We recommend taking a maximum of 1 gram of omega-3 per day. Higher amounts could be risky, because EPA and DHA are both polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and, like linoleic acid (LA), are susceptible to oxidation and the production of dangerous aldehyde metabolites.

Make sure you buy high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements, meaning that the omega-3 fatty acids are pure and have not oxidized much (having low “TOTOX” value).

TOTOX value stands for total oxidation value. The omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil are highly sensitive to oxidation. This means that they are rapidly affected by contact with oxygen. Oxidised fatty acids are not beneficial to our health. For this reason, a good fish oil supplement has a low TOTOX value. The maximum TOTOX value is set at 26 by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA omega-3.

According to a review (Nutrients, September 2022), data from scientific literature 'overwhelmingly' supports beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the length of telomeres, reported to be a marker of biological age.

The Framingham study group is one of the longest-running longitudinal health data sets in existence. Since 1971, the residents of this small Massachusetts town have given us everything from heart health data to their knee annual MRI images. That’s where the data for this new Omega-3 research originates.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Oct 2021), used data from a long-term study group, the Framingham Offspring Cohort, which has been monitoring residents of this Massachusetts town, in the United States, since 1971.

The research looked at 2,200 people who were monitored for 11 years for their blood fatty acid levels. The researchers found that omega-3 levels in red blood cells are very good mortality risk predictors. That means that higher levels of Omega-3 in the blood from regularly eating oily fish, increased life expectancy by almost five years.

This research comes a few months after a meta-analysis of 17 prospective cohort studies was published in Nature Communications. The analysis linked higher circulating omega-3 fatty acid levels to longevity. In a pooled analysis of the studies, participants in the highest fifth of combined blood DHA and EPA were 15 to 18 percent less likely to die from any cause over the follow-up period (median follow-up time is 16 years in these studies). Higher blood omega-3s were also associated with a reduced risk for death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Published in 2022, the Cognitive impAiRmEnt Study (CARES Trial 2), was designed to examine the potential synergistic effects of a combination of omega-3 fatty acids (namely DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), xanthophyll carotenoids (specifically lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin) and vitamin E (d-α-tocopherol) on the cognitive performance of cognitively healthy older adults. 

In conclusion, the CARES research has shown improvements in working memory following 24-month supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, xanthophyll carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and vitamin E in cognitively healthy older adults. This study provides Class II evidence that 24-month supplementation with 430 mg DHA, 90 mg EPA, 10 mg lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin, 10 mg meso-zeaxanthin and 15 mg vitamin E (d-α-tocopherol) is effective in improving cognitive performance, namely working memory, in cognitively healthy older adults.

These results support a biologically plausible rationale whereby these nutrients work synergistically, and in a dose-dependent manner, to improve cognitive performance. These findings illustrate the importance of nutritional enrichment in improving cognition and enabling older adults to continue to function independently, and highlight how a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and xanthophyll carotenoids may prove beneficial in reducing cognitive decline and/or delaying Alzheimer's disease onset in later life. (Power 2022).

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the seven essential minerals we cannot live without. Magnesium is also a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation (NIH).

An essential dietary mineral, it is a required mineral co-factor in over 300 enzymes in the body. Since over 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient, this would be a good mineral to start consuming.

Magnesium is also a component necessary for the activation of vitamin D, and without sufficient amounts of it, your body cannot properly utilize the vitamin D you’re taking. 

According to one scientific review that included studies dating as far back as 1937, low magnesium may actually be the greatest predictor of heart disease. Research published in 2017 shows even subclinical magnesium deficiency can compromise cardiovascular health. Our favorite form of magnesium is L-threonate, as it appears to make its way into your brain the best.

4. Berberine

Berberine — a yellow-colored alkaloid compound found in several different plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape and tree turmeric — has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antidiarrheal, antineoplastic, antidiabetic and immune-enhancing properties.

Berberine is also effective against a wide range of bacteria, protozoa and fungi, and is commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including traveler’s diarrhea and that from food poisoning. Having similar mechanisms of action as the drug metformin, berberine can also be used as an oral hypoglycemic for Type 2 diabetics.

Other ailments berberine has been shown to protect against and/or treat include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Digestive issues
  • Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

According to many studies, berberine is well-tolerated. However, it can interfere with some medications, including oral chemotherapy, high blood pressure medications, blood thinners, cholesterol medications, immunosuppressive drugs, and pharmaceutical diabetes treatments.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid berberine. Other side effects can include constipation, diarrhea, low blood sugar, nausea and vomiting.

5. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is known as “the energy vitamin.” Your body requires it for a variety of functions, including energy production, blood formation, DNA synthesis and myelin formation.

It also plays an important role in neurological function, and deficiency can culminate in a range of mental health symptoms, from irritability and depression to dementia and even psychosis. For more details, see “Vitamin B12 to Help Combat Mental Illness.”

Low B12 also increases inflammation and oxidative stress by raising homocysteine. High homocysteine, in turn, is associated with cardiovascular disease and decreased immune response. Vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and B12 break down homocysteine.

A 2023 research  suggests B12 may also be a key player in cellular regeneration, speeding up tissue repair. More specifically, the study found that vitamin B12 is a limiting factor for tissue repair. In other words, to optimize tissue regeneration, you need sufficient amounts of B12 in your system.

The two ways you become deficient are through a lack of vitamin B12 in your diet, or through your inability to absorb it from the food you eat. Vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, which is one of the reasons we advise against a no-animal-food, vegan diet.

B12-rich foods include beef and beef liver (grass-fed beef is highly preferable to the grain-fed variety), lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, organic pastured poultry and eggs.

Warning signs of B12 deficiency include brain fog, memory lapses, mood swings, apathy, fatigue, muscle weakness and tingling in the extremities. Unfortunately, B12 deficiency may not present itself for several years, so by the time you notice symptoms, you may be quite deficient.

When it comes to supplementation, your best alternatives include injectable B12 and sublingual drops or spray. Most oral supplements tend to be ineffective, as vitamin B12 is poorly absorbed.

You also want to make sure you’re taking methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin (which is the most commonly found B12). When taken sublingually (either by tablet or spray), it goes straight into your bloodstream.

If you take it as an oral supplement, you have to rely on a glycoprotein produced in your stomach called intrinsic factor, which binds to the B12 and shuttles it into the intestine to the end of the small intestine where it’s absorbed. As you get older, you lose the ability to produce intrinsic factor, making you more likely to suffer from B12 deficiency.

6. Other B Vitamins

The other B vitamins are also important, and if you eat a lot of processed food, you’re virtually guaranteed to be deficient in several of them. Case in point: in mid-October 2023, Moms Across America (MAA) tested 10 fast food brands for B vitamins, and none of them contained either B9 or B12. Levels of B3 (niacin) were also abysmal.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of niacin is 14 mg per day for women and 16 mg for men. To meet that RDA, a woman would need to consume 333 servings of Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches (at a serving size of 210 grams) and a man would need to eat 380 servings.

Chipotle’s carnitas bowl with everything, which had the highest amount of B3, still requires you to eat eight servings if you’re a woman and nine servings if you’re a man, to meet your RDA of niacin. Personally, we believe a B complex is a good option for most people, as you really need all the B vitamins, not just one or two.

7. Niacinamide

We also recommend taking 50 mg of niacinamide (aka nicotinamide, a form of niacin or vitamin B3) two to three times a day, as it plays a vital role in producing energy in your mitochondria.

Without it, your mitochondria simply cannot make energy efficiently. Niacinamide is also a precursor to NAD+, which is also tightly correlated with total ATP production. NAD+ also acts as fuel for longevity proteins called sirtuins.

Your NAD levels dramatically decline with age. It’s also used up by DNA repair enzymes and enzymes involved in inflammation and immunity, such that chronic inflammation, or acute illness in old age, can rapidly result in depletion. For more details, see “The Crucial Role of NAD+ in Optimal Health.”

8. Collagen, Glycine, NAC and Taurine

Collagen is the most common and abundant of your body’s proteins. One of its primary purposes is to provide structural scaffolding for your various tissues to allow them to stretch while still maintaining tissue integrity.

As a compound of essential amino acids, there’s only one way to get collagen. Your body can’t produce it, so you must obtain it through your diet. Historically, traditional diets provided ample collagen in the form of broth made from boiled chicken feet or beef bones. These are by far your best alternatives.

If you decide to use a collagen supplement, make sure your collagen supplement is certified “100% Organic” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to minimize the risk of contaminants associated with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Moreover, collagen supplements can be either unhydrolyzed (undenatured) or hydrolyzed (denatured). The processing that most collagen supplements undergo to become hydrolyzed can also result in questionable byproducts that are best avoided.

Our recommendation is to use a less denatured (unhydrolyzed) organic collagen supplement, as it has a more balanced amino acid profile. That said, we still believe the natural approach is best. Making homemade bone broth using bones and connective tissue from grass fed, organically raised animals isn’t very complicated and will produce the best results. 

Another alternative is to take glycine, as nearly one-third of the amino acids in collagen is glycine.

Glycine helps reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, as it inhibits the consumption of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). NADPH is used as a reductive reservoir of electrons to recharge antioxidants once they become oxidized.

Glycine also has cell-protective, and anti-stress effects, and has been shown to extend lifespan in animal studies and mitigate chronic disease and disability, thereby increasing healthspan. You need at least 12 grams of glycine daily for optimal collagen turnover, plus another 3 grams per day to form glutathione. So, a therapeutic dose of glycine would be around 15 grams, unless you’re also getting collagen from food or a supplement.

Both Glycine and Taurine levels decline as we age.

Glycine 

Glycine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in our body. When we age, glycine levels decline.

Low glycine levels also have been associated with various aging-related diseases like cardiovascular disease and with type 2 diabetes.

Glycine extends lifespan in different species (R,R,R,R).

Glycine has many functions in the body. It improves the epigenome (the machinery that determines which genes are switched on or off, a process that goes increasingly awry when we get older). Glycine especially improves the epigenome of mitochondria, the power plants of our cells (R).

Glycine also functions as a chaperone. Chaperones are small molecules that gently stick to and protect the proteins. That is important, because one of the reasons why we age is due to proteins accumulating everywhere inside and outside our cells, eventually hampering the proper functioning of our cells.

Glycine also reduces inflammation (R) and has many other beneficial effects, especially for the cardiovascular system. People with higher glycine levels in the blood had less risk of a heart attack (R), and glycine can protect the blood vessels (R).

In addition to supporting brain function, supplemental glycine may be useful for the "prevention and control of atherosclerosis, heart failure, angiogenesis associated with cancer or retinal disorders and a range of inflammation-driven syndromes, including metabolic syndrome."(McCarty 2019)

People with higher glycine levels in the blood had less risk of a heart attack (Ding 2016), and glycine can protect the blood vessels (DiNicolantonio 2014).

Glycine can also help counteract adverse effects of Glyphosate. When glyphosate enters your system, it can take the place of the glycine molecule. While similar, (the "gly" in glyphosate stands for glycine) it's not identical and does not work the same way as glycine. Hence, this replacement causes all sorts of trouble.

Note: Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup and other common weed killer formulations.

By taking a glycine supplement, you can counteract this chain of events by making sure there's enough glycine present to fill up those glycine slots. As noted by Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., (a senior research scientist at MIT for over five decades), "If there's lots of glycine, you're going to be much less likely to pick up glyphosate." 

To gain all of glycine's healing potential, doses of 10, 15, or 20 grams a day may be necessary. Land suggests you need at least 12 grams of glycine daily for optimal collagen turnover, plus another 3 grams per day to form glutathione and other compounds (YouTube):

"Your body only makes 3 grams of glycine per day, and if you only consume around 2 to 3 grams of glycine from foods then it means that almost all of us are in a 10-gram glycine deficit every day," he says.

"… I think most people would benefit for at least 5 to 10 grams of glycine a day, which is, uh kind of a moderate amount … if you are eating a lot of muscle meat … or you're just interested in getting more of the benefits of glycine then you can take even up to 20 grams a day."

Doses of 3 to 5 grams have been shown to improve sleep (R). One study estimated that most people are about 10 grams short of what their bodies need for all metabolic uses on a daily basis, and in a study of people with metabolic syndrome, 15 grams of glycine a day for three months reduced oxidative stress and improved systolic blood pressure.

NAC

Marios Kyriazis, M.D., a gerontologist nominated for the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine and main contributor at For the Ageless, told Healthnews,

"NAC, the acetylated form of the amino acid cysteine, protects our brain by stimulating the activity of glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant that protects our mitochondria from free radical damage. NAC is also effective against viruses and it is used both for the prevention and treatment of some viral infections, including brain infections."

He added, "Conventional doctors use NAC to counteract the consequences of paracetamol overdose because it protects the liver from damage."

Kyriazis suggests the conventional dose is around 1000 mg to 1500 mg per day and says some doctors recommend taking NAC with vitamin C to prevent it from being destroyed in the body prematurely.

"500mg of NAC every morning is an effective dose for adults looking to use it daily as a longevity supplement," he explained. "It has an excellent safety profile and can be taken with any other supplements, including glutathione."

Glycine and NAC (GlyNAC)
 
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine also looked into supplementation with a combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), two glutathione precursors known as GlyNAC when taken together.

A pilot trial in older humans (Kumar 2021) with GlyNAC supplementation for 24 weeks corrected glutathione deficiency and improved multiple measures of health, including:
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Oxidative stress
  • Inflammation
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Insulin resistance
  • Genomic damage
  • Cognition
  • Strength
  • Gait speed
  • Exercise capacity
  • Body fat levels
  • Waist circumference
Further, GlyNAC supplementation improved four of nine hallmarks of aging associated with most age-related disorders — mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, insulin resistance and genomic damage (Kumar 2021). Glycine, the team noted, is an important methyl-group donor. "Methyl groups are abundant in DNA and are important components of multiple cellular reactions. Glycine is also important for normal brain function."


Taurine

This semi-essential amino acid is our latest addition and update to our list of 'Best 10 Anti Aging Supplements 2023'. When we age, taurine levels decline as well.

According to research published in the June 2023 issue of the journal Science, the semi-essential amino acid taurine appears to play an important role in longevity and healthy aging.

This isn’t just another ordinary experiment and a report, but a series of experiments at various levels of detail showing that taurine may be the real deal and promote anti-aging.

Animals given supplemental taurine didn’t just live longer, they were also healthier overall. In mice, taurine improved:
  • Strength, coordination and endurance
  • Bone mass and bone quality
  • Glucose homeostasis and glucose tolerance
  • Age-related inflammation
  • Immune function
  • Gut health
  • Memory
  • Function of all organs
  • Mitochondrial function and health
Interestingly, according to the authors, taurine “cured” osteoporosis. It’s not often you see the word “cure” being used in medical literature. Taurine also “suppressed ovariectomy-induced body-weight gain in a rodent model of menopause,” and reduced anxiety and depression-like behavior in the mice.

Treated mice also had less body fat (approximately 10% less at 1,000 milligrams of taurine per day) and higher energy levels. According to the authors, “Fat-pad weight divided by body weight percentage was dose-dependently reduced in taurine-treated mice.” Taurine supplementation also improved several markers of aging, including:
  • Senescence
  • Intercellular communication
  • Telomere length
  • Epigenetic changes
  • Genomic stability
  • Mitochondrial function
  • Stem cell populations
  • Nutrient sensing
Read More: Taurine May Be Key for Anti Aging and Healthier Lifespan

9. Turmeric (Curcumin)

Curcumin — the main active compound in turmeric — has been shown to possess powerful anti-aging properties, which are attributed to its potent antioxidant potential.

One 2020 research review in PharmaNutrition concluded that curcumin does have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and a 2019 research review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences concluded that curcumin appears to both reduce inflammation and suppress cancer cells.

Interestingly, curcumin also appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer (Arslan 2022), which is really odd since cancer consists of a wide variety of different molecular pathologies.

Curcumin is one of the nutrients with the most evidence-based literature supporting its use against cancer. There are more than 7,000 search results on curcumin and cancer on PubMed and more than 50 clinical trials with curcumin, most of which are still ongoing. The spice turmeric can be extremely helpful when it comes to fighting cancer. 

Studies show that the curcumin in turmeric may kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth. This preclinical research has taken curcumin from the lab to the clinic. 

The benefits of curcumin may include: 
  • blocking cancer cells from multiplying
  • killing colon, breast, prostate, and melanoma cancer cells
  • slowing tumor growth
review paper published in 2022, analysed 21 human studies. Sixteen out of 21 clinical trials were associated with the effectiveness of curcumin or turmeric on various types of cancer, and the other five clinical trials were related to the evaluation of the efficacy of curcumin or turmeric in relieving the side effects of cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The emerging data from the clinical trials confirm that curcumin has the potential for cancer prevention and intervention. 

Both curcuminoids and related turmeric products have been sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe.

Why Whole Turmeric Is Ineffective

Unfortunately, while there's some curcumin in whole turmeric, there's not enough in the regular spice to achieve clinically relevant results. The turmeric root itself contains only about 3% curcumin concentration. Another major limitation of curcumin as a therapeutic agent is that it is poorly absorbed. When taken in its raw form, you're only absorbing about 1% of the available curcumin.

Because it's not easily absorbed through your gastrointestinal tract, it's more effective to use a high-quality bioavailable curcumin extract, according to a 2013 study. A typical anticancer dose is just under 1 teaspoon of curcumin extract three or four times daily.

However, in the case of colon cancer, this poor absorption into the bloodstream may be an advantage. As there is poor absorption, higher levels of curcumin stay in the intestinal tract for longer periods of time, having an effect on gastrointestinal cancers. 

In one study, participants took a 1,080 milligram (mg) dose per day of curcumin for 10 to 30 days between their initial biopsy and surgical removal. The patients taking the supplement experienced a reduction in blood levels of inflammatory agent, improvement in their body weight and an increased number of dying tumor cells.

In a 2016 study, a team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and at Pondicherry University, India, discovered the bioactive ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, can both prevent and cure bowel cancers. The team found the compound triggered cancer cell death by increasing a level of protein labeled GADD45a. Lead author Rajasekaran Baskaran, Ph.D., who has more than 20 years of experience in cancer research, commented:

"Studies on the effect of curcumin on cancer and normal cells will be useful for the ongoing preclinical and clinical investigations on this potential chemo-preventive agent."

New Curcumin Forms

Convenience and efficiency has driven many of the changes in the forms of curcumin in later years. Because it's a fat-loving or lipophilic molecule, many newer preparations now include some sort of oil or fat, which improves its absorbability and bioavailability. Such preparations typically have seven to eight times higher absorption than the raw, unprocessed 95% concentration of dry powder. There are also newer sustained release preparations.

Turmeric and black pepper each have health benefits, due to the compounds curcumin and piperine. As piperine enhances curcumin absorption in the body by up to 2,000%, combining the spices magnifies their effects. (Healthline)

10. Creatine

Creatine is commonly used by athletes to improve performance, as it's immediately used by your body to convert ADP to ATP and supply energy muscles need for contraction.

Creatine also helps provide energy to your brain and may improve cognitive performance. It also appears to have protective effects in cases of mild traumatic brain injury. Of the roughly 20 different formulations of creatine on the market, creatine monohydrate is the one that has been studied most frequently and therefore has the strongest evidence of health benefits.

Creatine appears to work by increasing proteins that create muscle fibers and raising insulin-like growth factor, a hormone that increases muscle mass. Data also suggest that creatine may help lower blood sugar levels.

It is important to choose creatine from a reputable manufacturer. Clinical trials that have lasted up to five years have reported no adverse effects in healthy individuals. However, it is important to stay within the recommended dose.

Some people find that creatine makes them feel bloated. Some people are sensitive to using creatine and feel bloated if they don't drink enough water with the supplement. However, most of the time it goes away in just a few hours. Factors that affect bloating include how much water you drink, the intensity of your workout and your diet.

Keep in mind that it's not guaranteed that you will build muscle from using creatine. Consider creating specific goals for using the supplement so you are not disappointed. If you're a vegan or a vegetarian, you might consider using creatine to help protect brain health.

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