What Is NAD+
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential cofactor in all living cells that is involved in fundamental biological processes and is an essential component of energy production (mitochondrial function).
The Functions of NAD+:
- DNA repair
- Cell repair
- Turning genes on and off
- Maintaining neurotransmitter levels
- Communicating with cells
- Producing ATP in cells
NAD+ Levels Decline with Age
Scientists know that NAD+ is one of the most important molecules in the body and that we lose it with age, resulting in a variety of health issues. Unfortunately NAD+ levels steadily decline during aging and by middle age, NAD+ has fallen to half of youthful levels and down to 1%-10% at the age of 80. The decline of NAD+ results in the change in sirtuins and PARP activity which impacts our brain function in particular as that is where most NAD+ receptors are located. The decline in NAD+ causes memory issues, mood issues and also anxiety in many patients.
Why is NAD+ Important to Combat Aging?
Dr. David Sinclair and his colleagues at Harvard discovered recently that NAD+ levels decline as we age which also has an effect on other processes that rely on NAD+. A class of genes, known as sirtuins, play a large role in how the body ages by regulating inflammation and DNA protection. Sirtuins depend on NAD+ to start and stop protective pathways that are linked to age-related diseases. In other words, sirtuins are able to “turn on” and “turn off” certain genes like a light switch.
Inflammation causes damage to our DNA and other structures in our cells, which can lead to cell death. When we eat inflammatory foods, breathe in pollutants or are exposed to other toxic chemicals, our cells are at risk. With bountiful amounts of NAD+, your cells are able to activate genes to prevent and correct DNA damage. Superhero genes, such as sirtuins, allow your cells to live long and healthy lives, leading to a better quality of life for you.
Benefits of NAD+ Therapy For Aging
Administering a high dose of NAD+, through NAD+ therapy, can optimise your NAD+ levels, which revs up the cell’s engines (called the mitochondrion) translating into more energy and a range of potential benefits.
1. Contribute to longer telomeres
The possibility of extending telomere length with NAD+ holds out hope for slowing the aging process and improving longevity.
2. Promotes DNA Repair
Improving DNA repair with NAD+ may slow cellular aging, reduce the persistence of cancer-causing mutations, and play an important role in preventing inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis.
3. Induces Energy-Intensive Enzymes
Improving the energy-extraction process in all cells with NAD+ increases their capacity to do the work they are specialized for. It also protects mitochondria from early death, a benefit that is associated with reduced cellular aging and lowered risks for cardiovascular and brain disease.
4. Promotes Chromosome Stability
NAD+ supplementation is a promising cutting edge strategy to improve chromosome stability, a treatment that may slow down cellular aging (senescence) and lower the risk of cancer.
5. NAD is a Neurotransmitter
Ample NAD+ nutrition is essential for sustaining brain health, cognitive function, and preventing neurodegenerative decline.
6. Activates Sirtuins
Sirtuin activation has shown great promise in fighting cardiovascular disease and preserving aging brain function, but these longevity-promoters cannot function without sufficient NAD+.
7. Supports Energy Production
Supporting efficient energy production and adequate ATP levels requires consistent and abundant NAD+. This is critical because waning energy supplies contribute to the aging process.
Safety of NAD+ Therapy
Numerous clinical trials have been published on NAD+ Therapy and it is typically very well-tolerated. Side effects are typically mild, such as flushing, and would be monitored by the medical professional administering the therapy.
1. Role of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide and Related Precursors as Therapeutic Targets for Age-Related Degenerative Diseases: Rationale, Biochemistry, Pharmacokinetics, and Outcomes
2. Blander G, Guarente L (2004). “The Sir2 family of protein deacetylases”; Annu. Rev. Biochem. 73: 417–35.
3. Bürkle A (2005). “Poly(ADP-ribose). The most elaborate metabolite of NAD+.” FEBS J. 272(18): 4576–89.
4. Dietrich C, Charles B, Claire LK. “Safety and Metabolism of Long-term Administration of NIAGEN (Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride) in a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial of Healthy Overweight Adults.” Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 5;9(1):9772. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46120-z.