Avoid Father Time’s Punch With These Potent Supplements

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Key Points

  • Science has no way yet to stop or reverse human aging (researchers across the world are working on it, though).

  • Aging affects every bodily system and function, including the digestive system.

  • Keeping the digestive system healthy is critical for aging women in order to maintain overall health and wellness.

  • If you're an aging woman concerned about digestive health, consider the nutrients and supplements discussed here.

  • Scientists back each of these nutrients and supplements for their potential to keep the digestive system of aging women healthy.

From head to toe, no part of your body escapes the aging process. That includes your digestive system. As you grow older, the way your body absorbs and processes nutrients changes. As a result, you need to adjust your diet and supplement intake to keep your digestive system healthy. And make no mistake: Maintaining a normal digestive system is critical for overall health and longevity in aging women. This comprehensive article provides an overview of the most recommended nutrients and supplements to support digestive health throughout the aging process.

Digestive Enzymes

Morgan Denhard, MS, RD, LDN of Johns Hopkins Medicine explains: "Digestive enzymes are proteins that your body makes to break down food and aid digestion. Digestion is the process of using the nutrients found in food to give your body energy, help it grow, and perform vital functions."

Understanding the different types of digestive enzymes is essential for understanding how best to use supplementation to help maintain your digestive health. There are three primary types of enzymes:

  • Protease: This type of enzyme breaks down proteins.

  • Amylase: This digestive enzyme breaks down carbohydrates.

  • Lipase: Lipase metabolizes fats.

Enzyme production typically decreases with age, resulting in compromised digestion.

Benefits of Digestive Enzymes for Digestion and Absorption

Supplementing with digestive enzymes optimizes your body's breakdown of food into smaller, absorbable components. This improves digestion and enhances the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat, alleviating discomfort caused by gas, bloating, and indigestion. In addition, some studies suggest digestive enzymes can improve symptoms of food intolerances.

Recommended Dosage and Sources

Always follow the recommended daily dosage when taking digestive enzyme supplements. This optimizes efficacy. Generally, it's best to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed. Before starting any new supplement or regimen, always consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage for your needs. Digestive enzyme supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, chewable tablets, and powders.


Fiber is a crucial component of your diet. It comes in two primary forms:

  • Soluble: Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance. This gel slows digestion, which serves to regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Insoluble: Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It passes as-is through your digestive tract as-is, adding bulk to your stool and helping prevent constipation.

Benefits of Fiber for Digestion and Gut Health

Fiber is essential for promoting bowel regularity, preventing constipation, and maintaining overall gut health. Fiber also lowers cholesterol levels, aids in weight management, and reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, a high-fiber diet promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which play a critical role in digestion and immunity.

Recommended Daily Intake and Food Sources

Aging women should consume at least 21-25 grams of fiber per day. Excellent food sources include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Incorporate a variety of these foods into your diet to meet your daily fiber needs and support digestive health.


Glutamine is an amino acid with a crucial role in intestinal health: It supports the structure and function of the gut lining. Your intestinal cells utilize glutamine as their primary fuel source, allowing them to repair and regenerate, which is essential for maintaining a healthy gut barrier.

Benefits of Glutamine Supplementation for Aging Women

As you age, your body's ability to synthesize glutamine decreases, potentially compromising intestinal health. Supplementing with glutamine promotes a healthy gut lining and reduces inflammation associated with various digestive disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease and leaky gut syndrome. Furthermore, glutamine might also boost your immune system and aid in muscle recovery.

Recommended Dosage and Sources

Daily glutamine dosing varies depending on individual needs. A dosage of 5-10 grams per day is safe for improving intestinal health. Glutamine is available in powder and capsule form. Rich dietary sources of glutamine include poultry, fish, beef, dairy products, and certain plant-based foods such as beans and lentils.


Magnesium is an essential mineral with a critical role in various digestive processes, including nutrient absorption, nerve and muscle function, and fluid balance. It also acts as a natural laxative, aiding bowel movement by relaxing the muscles in your intestinal tract and attracting water to your stool, making it easier to pass.

Magnesium Deficiency

A deficiency in magnesium can negatively impact your digestive health, leading to constipation, abdominal cramping, and diminished nutrient absorption. Additionally, inadequate magnesium levels may increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Recommended Daily Intake and Food Sources

Aim to consume the recommended daily intake of magnesium. For aging women, this is 320 milligrams daily. Some of the best food sources of magnesium include legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and dairy products. Magnesium supplements, such as magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide, are also available for those unable to meet their daily needs through diet alone.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats with a vital role in reducing inflammation in your body, including in the digestive tract. These anti-inflammatory properties can help alleviate symptoms associated with several gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastritis.

Benefits of Omega-3 for Overall Gut Health

Beyond their anti-inflammatory effects, omega-3 fatty acids contribute to your overall gut health by improving intestinal permeability, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and regulating your immune system. Gut bacteria play a vital role in maintaining optimal digestion and nutrient absorption as you age.

Recommended Dosage and Sources

The recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids for aging women is 1.1 grams per day. Some of the best food sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as fish oil supplements. For plant-based options, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements are excellent choices to meet your daily omega-3 needs.


Though often confused, prebiotics and probiotics serve distinctly different functions in supporting digestive health. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that act as food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, whereas probiotics are live microorganisms that directly contribute to a healthy balance of gut flora. Both play significant roles in maintaining digestive health as you age.

Benefits of Prebiotics for Gut Health and Digestion

Prebiotics are essential for fostering the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn aids digestion, strengthens your immune system, and enhances nutrient absorption. Consuming prebiotics alleviates symptoms of various digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Prebiotics may even reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Recommended Food Sources and Supplements

Incorporate prebiotic-rich foods such as asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, and whole grains into your diet. Prebiotic supplements, including those containing ingredients like inulin and fructooligosaccharides, provide extra support for gut health for those who need it.


Probiotics are live microorganisms that contribute to a healthy balance of gut flora. This balance is vital for supporting your immune system and maintaining digestion as you age. Imbalanced gut flora disrupts digestive processes and can lead to various gastrointestinal issues, increasing susceptibility to chronic diseases.

Benefits of Probiotics for Digestion and Overall Health

Regular probiotic consumption improves digestion, nutrient absorption, and bowel regularity while reducing bloating and gas. Probiotics also support immune function, alleviate symptoms of various digestive disorders, and even improve mental health by facilitating the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters.

Recommended Probiotic Strains and Sources

The most effective probiotic strains for digestive health include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. These foods deliver an optimal balance of live, beneficial bacteria into your system to support gut health. For maximum benefit from probiotic supplementation, look for supplements containing a diverse range of strains.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D contributes to the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. Vitamin D is also involved in regulating inflammation, maintaining the integrity of your gut lining, and supporting your immune system as you age.

Vitamin D Deficiency

A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to impaired nutrient absorption, digestive disorders, and an increased risk of chronic diseases like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. Ensuring optimal vitamin D levels is crucial for maintaining your digestive health and overall well-being.

Recommended Daily Intake and Sources

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for aging women is 600-800 IU per day. However, consider that individual needs can vary depending on factors such as sunlight exposure and existing blood levels. Natural dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified products such as milk and orange juice. Supplementation with vitamin D3 is a popular option for those unable to meet their needs through diet and sunlight exposure.

Scientists Have an Anti-Aging 'Eureka' Moment

In April 2023, aging-associated disease scientists Cedric Debes et al. reported a discovery that brings humanity closer to pinpointing what causes aging in the human body and how to reverse it.

The researchers discovered that the body's gene transcription process — the process through which cells make whole or partial copies of themselves — speeds up as the body ages. More importantly, the process also becomes more prone to errors.

The researchers also discovered processes that might be able to stop and even reverse this increase in errors. It's the first time anti-aging research has considered and studied how growing older alters and changes cellular transcription.

These results could lead to drugs and treatments that prevent certain diseases that happen later in life because of transcription errors.

Adding Quality of Life Through Healthy Digestion

Prioritizing your digestive health as you age is critical, and so is meeting your nutritional needs. However, you need a healthy digestive system to ensure maximum absorption of the nutrients you consume. Incorporating the supplements discussed in this article helps you maintain a healthy digestive system. Remember to consult a healthcare professional for personalized nutrition plans and to ensure your body receives the support it needs throughout the aging process. If you take care of your digestive system, it will take care of you as you age, adding vitality and quality of life to daily living.

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