As reported in The Best Years in Life Anti-Aging
"The Closest Thing to The Fountain of Youth Yet Discovered"
Researchers Discover Natural Protein that Prevents and Reverses Alzheimer’s Disease
You are quite right, a great many people have indeed been helped by supplements. On the other hand, as Grz correctly points out, far too many people chase supplements without considering the co-factors and balance they should be looking for. For many that means taking a mishmash that is too much of this and too little of that and in many cases taking things that are not needed and perhaps even detrimental. And for still others it unfortunately means trying to make up for poor dietary habits with supplements.
In an ideal world, we would simply eat a very healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle and let our bodies take what is needed as they were designed to do. We most decidedly do not live in that ideal world and it is next to impossible for most of us to get all the vital nutrition we need from diet alone - the soils are simply too depleted and microrganisms too impaired or else not given enough time to convert minerals to bioavailable forms that can be taken up by our crops, and the food on our grocers shelves has had too much nutrition processed out.
Magnesium is a good example. It is estimated that over 90% of us are deficient in magnesium, and when you look at dietary sources it becomes apparent that it would take a lot of effort and planning to get all the magnesium we need on a daily basis. While the body has the ability to make up for deficiencies, if it has to do so for prolonged periods those adjustments and deficiencies will likely lead to problems. That leaves supplementation. But, as Grz points out, simply supplementing with magnesium will not be fruitful unless you make sure that you are also getting a two to one ratio of calcium to magnesium, via diet or additional supplementation. Without that correct ratio, neither one will do us much good, and while a great many people take measures to get extra calcium via diet and supplements, few pay attention to magnesium. Iodine is another example, and so are the oft-overlooked but vital trace minerals.
Nature is always the best choice, and then items derived from nature to help make up the difference are the next best. Living with deficiencies is the worst choice of all. The best plan in my mind is to eat and live as healthily as possible and to supplement as minimally and wisely as possible.
Though Byron Richards is an advocate of the role supplements can play in achieving and maintaining health, he is also a distinguished nutritional expert and those who follow his articles know that he does not recommend blindly chasing supplements. I personally did not come away from the article with the message to run out and supplement for BDNF as much as I did how valuable blueberries and other sources could be combined with some exercise.
Of course, maybe I gathered that opinion because I already "chase" grapeseed extract and curcumin on a daily basis, the same as I do minerals and iodine and other items that I would be missing from diet alone and the same as I often do anti-virals and immune boosters to ward against disease and illness and toxins because it's no Garden of Eden out there any more and hasn't been for a very long time.