The Author of this article is Mr. Darshit Patel, Chief Scientific Officer, Decode Age
Have you found yourself wondering about “How to feel younger?” “How to increase the performance of my workouts?” or “how to keep my body away from diseases?” There is a single answer to all of this. The NAD+, one of the most talked about biomolecules, has been vigorously researched due to its increasing popularity in international markets amongst the preventive care community, supplement enthusiasts, and even health experts. Also being aggressively researched is the role of NMN in increasing NAD+ levels, which is now coming across as one of the most path-breaking revelations in the science of healthy ageing, and it has often been quoted as ‘the golden molecule’, ‘a miracle enzyme’, or now ‘The wonder biomolecule’. It is the youngest member of the healthy ageing candidate supplements, and it is promising the dual role of making you ‘feel and look’ younger – like the true elixir of life!
But before we understand more about the significance of NMN, let us understand NAD+ and its significance in the human health and overall ageing process.
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is referred to as NAD+. NAD+ is one of the most prevalent and important chemicals in all living things, from simple single-celled creatures like bacteria to complex multicellular ones like humans.
In essence, we would be headed towards death very quickly without NAD+. The chemical is essential for the mitochondria, which act as cells’ power plants. In addition to aiding in the conversion of food into energy, NAD+ is essential for preserving DNA integrity and ensuring appropriate cell activity, both of which help shield our bodies against ageing and disease. Our cells would be unable to produce any energy necessary for survival and function without adequate NAD+ levels. NAD+ also governs our circadian rhythm, which manages our body’s cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
NAD+ is produced intracellular from trp or dietary vitamin B3, with the latter’s contribution, known as the kynurenine route, and varied substantially between species and organs.
NAD+ is mainly produced by a mechanism that transforms NAD+ precursors. It is made from amino acids either through a de novo pathway or by salvage processes that turn preformed components like nicotinamide back into NAD+. The two pathways include the De novo production and through Salvage pathways
NAD+ participates in two main sets of reactions: it aids in the conversion of foods into energy as a crucial component of metabolism and works as a support molecule for proteins that control other cellular processes. These procedures are quite significant.
What happens with age?
NAD+ levels decrease with ageing, raising significant questions about metabolic function and age-related illnesses. Essentially, NAD+ depletion can be attributed to the following:
- As we age, DNA damage builds up and becomes more severe. This damage activates various proteins, including the PARPs family of enzymes. PARPs are capable of carrying out DNA repair tasks by consuming NAD+, leading to depletion.
- Ageing-related NAD+ depletion through PARP activation is a factor in a number of illnesses. Many experts think that PARPs play the largest role in all of these NAD+-dependent processes.
- Our immune system’s enzymes also deplete NAD+. The amount of NAD+ that is used by the enzyme increases with immune system activity.
- A category of NAD+ using enzymes, named “sirtuins” employ NAD+ to control metabolism, maintain stable chromosomes, and repair damaged DNA. They are associated with good ageing and lifespan. Sirtuins use more NAD+ with ageing as chromosomal instability and DNA damage increase.
How can you restore it?
NAD+ can be naturally restored by living a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious food and moderate exercise. Adding NAD+ precursor molecules as supplements, can also help in remarkably increasing the NAD+ levels naturally.
Supplements like NMN and NR are also increasingly showing promising results in aiding the biosynthesis of NAD+. These precursors use the same “salvage route” for NAD+ production, making them not only safe for human consumption but also most effective in NAD+ synthesis through external supplementation.
Researchers have undertaken human tests that show NMN can increase NAD+ levels as we have the gene for the NMN transporter. The body may use NMN if the NMN transporter has a comparable expression in humans.
While the ageing of the world’s population may allow some people to spend more time with their loved ones, it also carries the burden of having to deal with age-related chronic ailments. In animal studies, NAD+ supplementation increases NAD+ bioavailability, correcting age-related illness, and marginally lengthening life spans.
NAD+, also known as the “wonder molecule,” has demonstrated numerous potentials in treating cardiac illnesses, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and obesity in animal models. This is due to its capacity to repair and preserve cellular health. However, for scientists to guarantee the security and effectiveness of the chemical, they must first comprehend how research on animals may be applied to humans.