Feeling the effects of aging firsthand can be frustrating and even scary. Getting older doesn’t have to be a negative experience. The key is to live a healthy lifestyle to age in health with grace. Implementing the right daily habits and having an effective wellness routine can help you maintain your health into your older years.
With so many wellness trends these days, you may be wondering which daily habits are the most important to maintain your longevity. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and taking certain supplements are effective ways to maintain your health and function optimally.
Maintaining NAD+ levels might be one of the most effective ways to increase overall health. To understand why NAD+ supplementation works so well, we must first understand what NAD+ is and its role in the body. Keep reading for everything you need to know about NAD+ and its role in aging.
What Happens in the Body As We Age?
As we get older, you can expect all types of changes to occur throughout our body. All systems of the human body change with age, including the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, and neurological system. Increased blood pressure is a common change that many people experience with age, given the heart’s need to work harder to pump blood. You may also notice that your joints become more sensitive, and your doctor may find that your bone density has decreased.
The changes we experience in the larger systems of the body maybe some of the most obvious, but age-related changes that occur on a cellular level are some of the most important to note.
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD+ is found in every cell of the human body. This coenzyme is vital in cellular function and plays a role in virtually every function within the human body. When you think about how every microscopic process in the body culminates in creating the larger body processes, it makes sense that coenzymes like NAD+ are as important as they are. NAD+ helps the cells convert glucose to energy, playing a vital role in metabolic processes.
History of NAD+
The scientific applications of NAD+ date back to 1906, when it was first identified by Sir Arthur Harden and William John Young while studying fermentation. Nearly 20 years later, Euler-Chelpin noted that the structure of NAD+ contains two nucleotides. It was then discovered that fermentation relied on NAD+. Fermentation is a metabolic process, so this can easily be applied to the modern knowledge that NAD+ plays a vital role in metabolism.
Why is NAD+ Important?
In addition to helping our bodies convert food to energy, NAD+ serves several other important functions. NAD+ helps prevent DNA damage, regulates circadian rhythm, and protects the body from disease. NAD+ works with other enzymes to help transfer electrons between molecules. This helps with all types of different cellular reactions.
All processes within the body rely on cellular function, and all cellular function relies on NAD+. Without adequate levels of NAD+, the cells wouldn’t be able to generate energy, and the body wouldn’t be able to function properly.
NAD+ and Aging
As we get older, NAD+ levels decline. The drop in NAD+ that occurs with age has been associated with age-related changes in the body, such as slowed metabolism and lower energy levels. Some other changes that are associated with decreased NAD+ levels include the following.
As our cells age, they experience damage to the DNA. NAD+ is used by the cells to repair this DNA damage. If NAD+ isn’t being synthesized or replaced adequately, levels will decrease as the body uses the vital NAD+ to carry out these functions. Studies have found that NAD+ supplementation can greatly increase the lifespan in certain animals, such as mice.
NAD+ is vital for mitochondrial health. Mitochondria generate most of our cells’ energy, so well-functioning mitochondria mean steady energy levels. Decreases in NAD+ levels that occur with age can cause a reduction in muscular functioning since muscular cells with low NAD+ levels have less energy capability. Contrarily, maintaining high NAD+ levels improves mitochondrial function and has positively affected fitness and muscular strength in recent clinical studies.
Metabolic issues such as obesity and diabetes are associated with low levels of NAD+. This makes sense when considering what metabolism is and how NAD+ plays a part. The metabolism is a series of chemical reactions in the body that work to convert food into energy. A well-functioning metabolism means that your body processes will occur seamlessly, whereas a poorly functioning metabolism can lead to dysfunction and disease. NAD+ is required for the metabolism to function, so declining levels of NAD+ can lead to a poorly functioning metabolism.
As the body ages, heart function changes. Arteries stiffen, and the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Many people experience high blood pressure in their older age.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are common amongst elderly populations. Aging is the main risk factor for these types of diseases. One study found that increased NAD+ levels in mice with Alzheimer’s were found to have improved cognitive functioning.
What is Cellular Health?
The cell is the most basic form of human life. Supporting your health on a cellular level means doing things that will boost NAD+ levels and support mitochondrial health. By improving cell health, we can improve longevity by having a body that functions optimally.
How to Naturally Boost NAD+ Levels
Now that we know the importance of NAD+ in the body, you’re probably wondering what you can do to keep your NAD+ levels high as you age. Healthy lifestyle habits such as eating healthy and regular exercise can help naturally boost NAD+ levels. Some foods contain small amounts of NAD+, such as avocados, broccoli, and cabbage.
The mild stress that exercise causes on the body can also stimulate the production of NAD+. Exercise helps with cellular health by increasing proteins that help with DNA-rebuilding. In response to these proteins, your body will produce more NAD+.
Another way to maintain healthy NAD+ levels is to moderate your sun exposure. Some exposure to sunlight is good for the health since it stimulates vitamin D production. However, excessive sun exposure can damage the skin, causing your body to use large amounts of NAD+ to repair this damage. Be mindful of your sun exposure and use protective measures when necessary.
You can also increase your NAD+ levels outside of healthy lifestyle choices by taking NAD+ supplements or precursor supplements. The most direct and efficient precursor to date is Nicotinamide Mononucleotide NMN. NMN can signal your body to produce more NAD+ when taken orally.
Some people choose to supplement NAD+ by taking NAD+ supplements, while others opt for the precursors such as NMN. However, evidence of NMN and its effect has been demonstrated in many recent clinical studies. A recent clinical trial placebo-controlled, randomized, double blind, parallel-group trial was conducted to investigate the safety of orally administered NMN and its efficacy to increase NAD+ levels in thirty healthy subjects. Healthy volunteers received 250 mg/day of NMN (n = 15) or placebo (n = 15) for 12 weeks, and physiological and laboratory tests were performed during this period. In addition, NAD+ and its related metabolites in whole blood were examined. Oral supplementation of NMN for 12 weeks caused no abnormalities in physiological and laboratory tests, and no obvious adverse effects were observed. NAD+ levels in whole blood were significantly increased after NMN administration. We also observed the significant rise in nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NAMN) levels, but not in NMN. We also found that the increased amount of NAD+ was strongly correlated with pulse rate before the administration of NMN. These results suggest that oral administration of NMN is a safe and practical strategy to boost NAD+ levels in humans.
Aging is a part of life, and although we cannot control the fact that we’re getting older, you can take steps to age in health and feel great even into your older age. NAD+ is a vital molecule that exists in every cell of the body and naturally declines with age.
Replenishing NAD+ with Nicotinamide Mononucleotide NMN has shown to be well-tolerated and to effectively ameliorate age-associated diseases. NMN supplementation demonstrated to increased NAD+ biosynthesis and to improve age-related energy metabolism, adipose tissue inflammation, insulin sensitivity, glucose intolerance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and the increase of aerobic capacity of humans during exercise.
Consider adding NMN supplement to boost NAD+ to help combat the signs of aging and to increase healthspan. Certain lifestyle choices such as mild exercise and plant-based diets can help overall health and naturally boost NAD+levels.