Slowing or reversing the effects of aging is a significant concern for many people. Scientists conduct studies to learn more about how our bodies age and the contributing factors. Research is often primarily focused on finding ways to slow down aging and improve our health as we get older. NAD+ has long been researched and discovered to promote anti-aging, improve longevity, and provide several health benefits.
NAD+ is a lesser-known molecule in the body, yet its function is essential in the regulation of many of our body’s biological processes. Read on to learn more about what NAD+ is and why it’s important. Learn how to improve your NAD+ levels to fight the effects of aging and improve your overall health.
WHAT IS NAD+?
Discovered in 1906 by William John Young and Sir Arthur Harden, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, or NAD+, is a coenzyme or helper molecule found in every cell in the human body. Coenzymes are essential to activating enzymes that convert food into energy in our body. NAD+, which occurs naturally in our bodies, is essential to providing us with energy and helping to repair vital cells.
NAD+ plays a vital role in metabolism by helping enzymes turn nutrients that enter our body into energy by reacting with the oxygen in the mitochondria. Mitochondria use the energy to maintain homeostasis and repair cells if there is damage or stress. They are responsible for enabling all of our essential functions, such as moving, thinking, and digestion.
The secondary role NAD+ plays are as a helper molecule that binds with other proteins to promote DNA repair. It can aid in reducing DNA mutations that contribute to cancers, immunodeficiencies, and more.
NAD+ can influence a number of processes to improve mitochondrial efficiency and enhance cell viability, downregulate inflammation, increase antioxidant capacity, and activate SIRT1 and the sirtuin enzyme that plays a role in longevity.
Beyond DNA repair and converting nutrients into energy, NAD+ is responsible for many biological processes, including strengthening the immune system and managing the body’s internal clock.
The human body can create its own NAD+ coenzymes. However, as we age, the supply begins to decrease. The decline in NAD+ can be accelerated by stress, poor nutrition, substance use, and sleep deprivation. Low levels of NAD+ have been linked to signs of aging and age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
HOW DOES NAD+ WORK?
NAD+ function is complex, and the simplest explanation is that NAD+ picks up electrons from one molecule to drop them off with a different molecule. While NAD+ holds on to those electrons, NAD+ becomes NADH. Once the NADH drops off the electrons at the other molecule, it once again becomes NAD+. By shuffling electrons around, your enzymes are able to activate microscopic chemical reactions in your cells that keep your body functioning and healthy.
As you get older, the amount of NAD+ begins to decline, impacting many body functions. It’s essential to keep your energy metabolism and other essential biological processes operating properly to protect mitochondrial function and oxidative stress.
HOW TO RESTORE AND INCREASE NAD+ LEVELS
Although your body naturally produces NAD+, the levels begin to decline as you age. There are ways to increase the NAD+ in your body to help increase your health and protect your biological functions from reversing and slowing the effects of aging.
Eating Healthy – Leading a healthier lifestyle by adding foods that naturally boost NAD+ is one of the easiest ways to increase NAD+ levels in your body. These foods include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish like tuna or salmon
- Fermented foods
- Milk and dairy
Supplements – There are supplements available to boost NAD+ levels, including Niagen, nicotinamide riboside, and nicotinic acid (vitamin B3), which is converted by the body to produce more NAD+
IV Therapy – IV therapy introduces NAD+ through intravenous infusions that allow you to absorb the maximum amount of NAD+ to convert them into energy.
Getting Exercise – Regular exercise can enhance the DNA-rebuilding proteins in your body. Your body produces more NAD+ by adding daily workouts, which can slow the aging process.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NAD+
Many of your body’s key processes wouldn’t be possible without NAD+, and they play a vital role in your energy production, longevity, and health. Introducing NAD+ through supplements can provide many benefits, including:
- Improved Cognition and Mental Clarity – When you age, your memory, concentration, and productivity naturally begin to decline. With NAD+ therapies and supplements, the neuron function is repaired through cell regeneration and provides protection again irreversible damage such as Alzheimer’s disease. It can improve your memory, learning, and cognitive function.
- Improve Muscle Performance – NAD+ plays a major role in muscle health and can improve muscle function and increase athletic performance by preventing muscle pain, damage, and fatigue. It can be critical in pain management.
- Anti-Aging – NAD+ activates sirtuins that promote healthy aging, repair DNA, boost stress resistance, increase energy levels, and more. Studies have shown that NAD+ can significantly slow the signs of aging.
- Boosts Energy and Reduces Fatigue – NAD+ naturally helps produce energy by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy source in the cells. It boosts energy levels and reduces feelings of fatigue and exhaustion.
- Aids in Pain Management – Because NAD+ can regenerate and repair cells, it can be effective as a treatment for chronic pain.
Although NAD+ has been studied for over 100 years, research is still uncovering the impacts of this vital coenzyme and how it can be used. What is known is that NAD+ is essential for regulating your cell’s energy and is vital to the body’s function. By introducing NAD+ through factors such as supplements, and a healthy lifestyle, can slow the aging process and prevent age-related diseases.