Why NAD+ Supplementation?
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, commonly known as NAD+, is a molecule that is found in every living cell and is a master regulator of human metabolism. It's a molecule essential for multiple biological processes and is also used by the genes governing the aging process named SIRTUINS. Without NAD+, cells cannot survive. As we age, the levels of NAD+ are reducing, something that affects mitochondrial function, energy production and as a result, a plethora of vital cellular functions.
NAD+ boosters are one of the most promising anti-ageing breakthroughs from scientific research so far.
The Scientific Background
NAD was discovered over a hundred years ago by scientists studying fermentation. Recently it has been hailed as a super-centenarian molecule. This is because its role in the biological process of ageing is being recognized. NAD levels have been shown to decline during chronological ageing and this decline is both a consequence of the ageing process and also a contributor to the development of age-related cellular dysfunction.
NAD+ plays a vital role in cellular health, metabolic and neuro-protection plus circadian rhythms which can all contribute to greater longevity. This is the reasons why so many people are keen to boost their NAD+ levels.
A decrease in NAD+ can a lead to a number of harmful outcomes including:
· Increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer
· Cell suffocation (Hypoxia)
· Accelerated cardiovascular disease
· Decreased metabolism
· Impaired brain function
What is Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)?
As our cells can’t absorb NAD+ directly we need to use a “precursor”, which is a molecule that converts into NAD+. One of the precursors for NAD+ is beta nicotinamide mononucleotide or NMN. NMN is a Vitamin B3 (niacin) derivative. Put simply, NMN increases NAD+, activates the longevity genes SIRTUINS and suppresses ageing.
NMN has gained a lot of attention recently,especially after the release of longevity scientist, David Sinclair’s book Lifespan. In his book, the scientist discusses his research examining NMN, particularly in mice.
Can I get NMN from food?
NMN can be found naturally in foods such as broccoli, cabbage, avocados and tomatoes. However, as the concentrations are less than 1 mg per kg of food you would need to consume about 1kg of broccoli to get about 1mg of NMN! Therefore, you need a supplement to get an optimum level of NMN.
12 months study in mice
INCREASED HEALTHSPAN IN MICE
In a study with mice, NMN was added to their drinking water. According to the authors "We found that a 12 month-long NMN administration:
1) is well-tolerated without any obvious deleterious effects
2) suppresses age-associated body weight gain
3) enhances food intake, oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and physical activity
4) improves insulin sensitivity and plasma lipid profile, independent of its effect on body weight
5) improves eye function, bone density, and myeloid-lymphoid composition.
NMN administration was also able to prevent age-associated gene expression changes in a tissue-dependent manner and enhance mitochondrial respiratory capability in skeletal muscle."
The biology of aging
Why NAD+ Boosters?
As we age, the levels of NAD, which have been been correlated to mitochondrial function, are significantly decreasing (Image reference: CD38 Dictates Age-Related NAD Decline and Mitochondrial Dysfunction through an SIRT3-Dependent Mechanism). This translates to inevitable health and energy decline. The reason behind this is the consumption of NAD+ by multiple NADases, aka enzymes that use NAD+ to function and perform biological reactions. Certain enzymes such as PARPs and CD38, have increased activity as we age, due to their reaction to inflammation, DNA damage etc. They are competing for NAD+ with SIRTUINS, which are the genes that are suggested to correlate with healthy aging.
This latest research is the reason behind the NAD+ boosting supplements becoming more and more popular among longevity enthusiasts and wellness specialists. It is worth noting that Nicotinamide Mononucleotide is a direct precursor to NAD+, meaning that it enters the cell and is converted to NAD+ in one step. Other NAD+ boosters require more steps in order to be converted to NAD+. For example, Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) needs to be converted to NMN first before it can boost your NAD+ levels.
1) The Role of NAD+ in Anti-Aging Therapies: https://biomedgrid.com/fulltext/volume6/the-role-of-nad-in-anti-aging-therapies.001080.php
2) Q&A: How Harvard's David Sinclair is Fighting Aging—and How You Can, Too: https://blog.insidetracker.com/david-sinclair-fighting-aging-lifespan
3) It takes two to tango: NAD+ and sirtuins in aging/longevity control: https://www.nature.com/articles/npjamd201617
4) Long-term administration of nicotinamide mononucleotide mitigates age-associated physiological decline in mice: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5668137/
5) CD38 Dictates Age-Related NAD Decline and Mitochondrial Dysfunction through an SIRT3-Dependent Mechanism: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413116302248