The question is what is NAD+? Everyone is interested in looking and feeling younger. Who doesn’t want to spend their retirement years (or even their 30’s!) feeling healthy, blissfully alive, full of energy and vigor?!
Many exercise programs, diets, and nutritional supplements claim to do this, they often have little or no actual research or testimonials to back up their statements.
Along Comes Something New
Not new per se, but new research to back up claims about a coenzyme in the body scientists have known about since 1906 called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD+.
What Is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide?
The textbook NAD+ or Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide definition is a “simple metabolic coenzyme of Niacin, a B vitamin that is involved in energy production for every
In layman’s terms, NAD+ is a coenzyme that is found in every cell of the body and necessary for life itself to function. Without Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, we would not exist because our bodies would not be able to create energy.
NAD+ is what enables the transfer of energy from the food we eat into energy that our cells can use. It is also involved in the repair of our DNA and improves the function of our mitochondria.
When the powerhouse, if you will, of our cells, the mitochondria, begin to weaken, it is one huge step towards the aging process.
As we age, it’s not surprising that our mitochondria begin to lose their power, it’s because our NAD+ levels fall to about half of what they were in our youth.
Because NAD plays such a vital role in the body’s production of energy, the potential benefits are numerous and have a direct link to not only the aging process, but a person’s overall quality of life. Who wants to live an extra 10, 20, or 30 years if you are sick and bedridden?
If we could stop NAD+ levels from falling, we would be able to keep our DNA and mitochondria strong, powerful, fully repaired and ready to take on more energy, adding extra years to our life, feeling younger and full of that youthful energy.
NAD+ and The Benefits Behind It
While no one is going to claim that NAD+ supplements will make you immortal or that you will live out your remaining years looking like The Hulk, but research backed science involving animals has shown that NAD+ can greatly slow down the aging process.
As you can imagine, the benefits behind this would be tremendous! A few of the benefits would include:
1. Improved Muscle Function and Tone
In a study involving aging mice, NAD+ injections helped to maintain their current muscle mass, improved their exercise capabilities, and improved their ability to grow new muscle tissue. Other studies that also involved mice found that when NAD+ was given orally, it prevented abnormalities in their mitochondria and improved the mitochondria function.
During the aging process, declining levels of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide weaken the function of the body’s mitochondria, which inhibits energy from being introduced and used by the cells. These studies found that by increasing NAD+ levels, dysfunctioning mitochondria were restored to normal function once more.
What does this mean for humans? Clinical trials are currently underway, but these results are extremely promising. In fact, NAD+ is being researched by multiple companies, including a Google company, Calico Labs.
2. Protects Hearing Loss
It’s well known that, as we age, our hearing often suffers. This is due to the degeneration of nerve cells within the ear that suffer damage from decades of exposure to various noises.
In another study done with mice, NAD+ supplements prevented noise-induced hearing loss. While this won’t “cure” deafness or defects, it does offer hope for age-related hearing loss.
3. Increased Longevity
This is a benefit everyone is interested in! NAD+ restores, repairs, and reprograms cells and mitochondria that have become dysfunctional. When these actions take place, it has been shown in studies involving mammals to increase longevity.
4. Protects Brain Function
NAD+ delays the degeneration of nerve cells, stimulates NAD pathways and activates SIRT3 and other pathways to prevent degeneration of the brain.
A study involving mice with induced Alzheimer’s disease found that the progression of this disease was restricted and cognitive function improved when given supplements over a 3 month period.
Imagine if we could limit or even slow the progression of this terrible disease?! This is an exciting new area of science that needs more study.
5. Reduced Diabetic Symptoms
In a study that involved both prediabetic and Type 2 diabetic mice, the supplementation of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide protected the subjects from diabetic nerve problems, reduced liver damage, lowered their weight, and improved their tolerance to glucose.
While this study did not reverse diabetes, it did reduce symptoms and protected the body from damage caused by diabetes.
6. Fights Cancer and Tumor Growth
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals made by the body and the amount of or inability of antioxidants to keep them in check. Oxidative stress causes tissue damage and is involved in the age-related development of cancer by causing direct damage to DNA.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide limits the growth of tumors, as well as protects the body from the damage caused by oxidative stress, which prevents the stimulation of the growth of certain types of cancer, such as liver cancer.
No Known Side Effects
One of the most amazing, and some would say beneficial, aspects to NAD+ is that it does not appear to have any side effects or even the potential for side effects. While certain types of niacin might cause flushing for a few persons, extended release formulas are effective in this area.
Otherwise, research has found zero side effects, even at very high doses. This unexpected find is the icing on the cake, as they say when so many things in life have some type of negative aspect to them.
Research and human clinical trials continue to uncover more about the anti-aging capabilities of NAD+, but at this time, researchers do know that this coenzyme is critical for:
- DNA repair
- Overall cellular function
- The prevention of dysfunctioning or weak mitochondria
- Protection from age-related diseases such as cancer, cognitive function, and hearing loss
No one is calling NAD+ the proverbial “fountain of youth”, but by slowing down the aging process, NAD+ might just be the “trickle of youth.”