What is NAD+ and why is it important?
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is a molecule, which is present in all human cells. And plays a vital role in the regulation of several biochemical reactions. For example, regulating signaling pathways, DNA repair, metabolism, cellular processes, and ageing. The research has found that when there is an increase in cellular energy levels, the NAD+ levels also increase. This cellular energy provides fuel for your life. And gives power to your brain, heart, protects against DNA damage, which can increase your longevity.
Another study highlights that NAD+ plays a vital role in fueling metabolism and powering mitochondria - the energy hubs of cells. It helps convert food into energy that sustains all body functions. On the other hand, a decline in NAD+ levels impairs your body’s ability to synthesis cellular energy that is significant in promoting protection against DNA damage.
In your body, this molecule is produced by simple amino acids. Like tryptophan, food that contains nicotinic acid (NA), nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), nicotinamide riboside (NR), and other precursors.
Why do we age?
The research has shown that decline in NAD+ levels is the major contributor to ageing. There is a dramatic reduction in NAD+ in your skin (almost 50% decline) when you age.
Two more studies use MRI to determine the NAD+ age-related decline in the human brain. The initial research conducted in 2015 revealed a marked decrease in intracellular NAD+ levels. And redox state in the brain like with ageing. The second research conducted in 2019 depicted that between the period of adulthood and old age there to 10 to 25% reduction in NAD+ levels in the human brain.
“The loss of NAD as we age, and the resulting decline in sirtuin activity, is thought to be a primary reason our bodies develop diseases when we are old but not when we are young.”
- David A. Sinclair, Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To
Why do levels decline with age?
NAD+ levels decline with age for several reasons. One of the main reasons is due to changes in metabolism and nutrient absorption that occur as we get older. With aging, our bodies' efficiency in absorbing and utilizing essential nutrients, including those responsible for NAD+ synthesis, decreases. Additionally, exposure to environmental stressors, such as oxidative stress and inflammation, can also lead to a decline. Furthermore, lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and chronic stress, can also contribute to the decline with age. These factors, combined with normal aging processes, can lead to a significant decrease in NAD+ levels and negatively impact cellular metabolism, gene expression, and overall health.
A better understanding of what NAD+ is
According to health experts, at a young age, there is a healthy supply in your body. Which keeps you vibrant, young, and maintains good health. This is because it gives a direct link between your cellular signaling and metabolism. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in supporting your immune system, regulating the sleep cycle, and repairing DNA damage.
When the natural level decreases, your longevity also decreases. Low levels also increase the risk of several chronic diseases and make visible signs of ageing more prominent. But don’t worry! By focusing on natural steps you can easily boost your levels every day. In return, this increase in NAD+ level promotes your overall health, physical energy, and youthful metabolism.
Also interesting: Top 11 Longevity Hacks Backed by Science
What is the difference between NAD and NADH?
NAD and NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Hydrogen) are two related forms of the molecule that play critical roles in cellular metabolism. The main difference between the two lies in their electron content. NAD is an oxidized molecule, meaning it has lost electrons, while NADH is its reduced form, meaning it has gained electrons.
NAD and Sirtuins
Sirtuins are a class of enzymes that require NAD+ as a cofactor and play critical roles in regulating cellular metabolism, gene expression, and stress resistance. A decrease in NAD levels with age leads to a decrease in sirtuin activity, which contributes to aging and age-related diseases. Sirtuins work by removing acetyl groups from specific proteins, leading to changes in cellular metabolism and gene expression. By maintaining adequate levels of NAD, sirtuin activity can be supported, contributing to optimal cellular function and overall health.
Restoring NAD+ levels can be achieved through intravenous (IV) therapy, supplements, or lifestyle modifications. IV therapy directly infuses the molecule into the bloodstream for immediate effects. It's a popular treatment for anti-aging and rejuvenation.
To maximize benefits, it's important to understand the limitations of NAD+ supplements. Unfortunately, The molecule cannot be absorbed in large enough quantities to significantly improve in the cell when taken by mouth. This is because it'ss a complex molecule that breaks down into smaller parts during digestion, making it difficult for the body to effectively absorb and use.
A more effective approach is to use NAD+ precursors, such as nicotinamide riboside (NR) or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which can be converted into NAD+ by the body. Studies have shown that these precursors can increase NAD+ levels when taken orally, but results may vary.
Increasing NAD naturally
The more effective way to maintain adequate levels of NAD+ is to make required lifestyle changes. By following these changes in daily life you can make your NAD+ levels strong. And can maintain high energy levels and healthy metabolism. Find out more ways on how to increase NAD+ levels naturally.