NAD+: What Are We Talking About?

Article by SoLongevity Research
NAD+ is a molecule involved in cellular metabolism and aging. As the age increases, its level actually decreases. But with appropriate supplementation, it can be restored.

What this article is about

  • NAD+ is present in all cells and plays a central role in the biochemical processes that lead to energy production
  • NAD+ concentration declines with age, and this appears to contribute to conditions such as cognitive decline, cancers, metabolic diseases, and bone fragility
  • The use of supplements containing the molecule’s precursors could help counteract the effects of various diseases, and increase the duration of healthy life

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide

Keeping healthy and young is also a matter of molecules. Discovered 90 years ago, the molecule Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD, or rather NAD+), also known as coenzyme 1, is present in all cells and plays a central role in metabolism, that is, the biochemical processes that lead to energy production. NAD+ influences several different cell functions, playing an important part in DNA repairimmune cell function, and aging.

Age goes up, NAD goes down

Scientists have found that as we age, the concentration of NAD+ in cells and tissues gradually declines, a decline that appears to contribute to various diseases including cognitive decline, cancers, metabolic diseases, bone fragility and sarcopenia.

La struttura molecolare di NAD

Over the past two decades, researchers have shown, first in animal models and then in some clinical studies, that levels of this molecule can be increased, for example, by appropriate supplementation. The idea is that supplements containing the precursors of the NAD+ molecule, i.e., molecules used by the body to produce NAD+ such as the different forms of vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinamide or NAM and nicotinamide riboside or NR) or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), can help to raise its levels and counteract the effects of various diseases, as well as increase the length of life and, in particular, a healthy life.

NAD+ influences a number of cell functions, from metabolism to DNA repair, immune cell function and ageing.

NAD+ and sirtuins

In these early studies, supplement intervention has been shown to be safe and associated with benefits against age-related diseases and in slowing aging. High levels of NAD+, in fact, appear to activate sirtuins, a group of 7 proteins (produced by the corresponding set of genes called SIRTs) involved in regulating the aging of cells, which use NAD+ itself to carry out their functions. Sirtuins generally become activated under conditions of a metabolic threat and stress (e.g., in the presence of cold temperatures or shortages of nutrients such as amino acids and sugars), reducing cell reproduction activities and thus allowing the organism to focus on survival.

NAD precursors

NAD+ precursors are found in numerous foods of both plant (e.g., spinach, peanuts, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, and watermelon) and animal (such as cow’s milk, white meat, salmon, swordfish, and tuna) origin. They are the subject of various studies testing their potential as components of dietary supplements to restore NAD+ levels, since diet alone may not be enough, and have been shown to be stable and safe.Supplementation with these “NAD boosters” in laboratory research has shown very promising results, for example in animal models with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease there have been benefits in terms of weight reduction, increased glucose tolerance and improved survival rates. There is also evidence that they help counteract neurodegeneration, with increased memory, learning ability, motor function, mitochondrial function, and reduced neuron loss. They also appear to be able to prevent age-dependent changes in gene expression. Results on humans are also encouraging; data which are currently available point in the same direction.

Insieme al glutatione, al resveratrolo e alla polidatina, NAD+ è una delle cosiddette “molecole della longevità” su cui si concentra la ricerca SoLongevity. Su questo sito potrete trovare un approfondimento dedicato a ciascuna molecola.

Along with glutathione, resveratrol, and polydatin, NAD+ is one of the so-called “longevity molecules” that SoLongevity research focuses on. On this site you can find an in-depth study dedicated to each molecule.

Last published posts

Want more information?