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Ageing is an unavoidable process that every living being must go through. As humans age, things that were once found in high amounts within the body begin to deplete, and organs, muscles and even bones begin to lose their vigour.
This ageing process occurs because once the body reaches a certain age, cells can become damaged and lose their ability to do their job as effectively as they once could. Because cells only have a finite lifespan, it is an impossible feat to stop the ageing process altogether. But what does that have to do with NAD+?
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a cofactor involved in biological processes that keep the body at its healthiest. The coenzyme is found in all cells within the body and helps with many processes, including turning food into energy and regulating other cellular functions.
NAD+ requires certain precursors to help in its development within the body. This means that although NAD+ is created in the body, it needs other nutrients to help it produce. The smallest precursor for NAD+ is the amino acid tryptophan, followed by vitamin B3, which can be found in different forms including niacin and nicotinamide. Bigger building blocks like nicotinamide riboside or nicotinamide mononucleotide also exist for supplementation. Innovative supplements of the latest generation, like NAD+ Fatigue Resist, even use the whole coenzyme NAD+ in capsule form.
NAD+ offers multiple benefits. In terms of cognition, it is vital in the overall health and function of the brain. Since the brain uses 20% of the body’s overall energy stores, having enough NAD+ provides it with the energy it needs to perform at its best. NAD+ has also been shown to help with neuron activity and improve sensory neuron damage. It is needed to maintain mental wellness and sensory processes.
NAD+ also plays a role in muscle function, since it is needed for muscle mitochondrial health. Proper stores of NAD+ can help maintain the function of muscles as well as reverse issues with low muscle mass and muscle endurance.
Low levels of NAD+ may be linked to dysfunction in heart health, metabolic health and innate immunity. NAD+ can potentially boost cardiovascular health, support healthy liver function and defend against immune stress.
Connection between NAD+ and ageing
Some studies on mice have shown that NAD+ can have a positive effect on the ageing process by way of decreased physiological declines and the counteraction of mitochondrial damage caused by the ageing process. This has led to many believing that NAD+ could be a ‘fountain of youth’, so to speak. But since there have been no human studies, the question remains: could NAD+ influence ageing in humans?
The answer at this point in time is no. But that doesn’t mean NAD+ is useless against the hands of time. Studies have shown that because of its ability to improve stress-induced damage on a cellular level, it may help to improve overall quality of health as you age, rather than simply lengthening your life.
NAD+ also declines with age, and research has found that this decrease can be linked to age-related diseases. This means it’s extremely important to ensure the body gets enough NAD+ at all times as you grow older.
Why does NAD+ decline with age?
As the body ages, NAD+ levels begin to decrease. It’s more than just a natural depletion, though. Besides the lower rate of production, NAD+ also becomes the subject of attack from different enzymes that consume it in the process of biochemical reactions. In turn, this may result in mitochondrial dysfunction that is found to increase the risk of developing age-related diseases.
What can a NAD+ supplement help with?
NAD+ supplementation can be taken on a regular basis if levels are depleted and/or as you age. This supplementation can help restore function to your cells. It will not slow the ageing process, but it can alleviate the risk of developing age-related diseases and improve your quality of health as you age.
Supplementing with NAD+ has been shown to help restore cellular balance and increase overall levels of energy by increasing energy in every cell that needs it. One specific condition it has been known to potentially help is chronic fatigue syndrome, although other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, depression and even jet lag require more research to determine the effectiveness of NAD+.
Overall, NAD+ is a vital component in human health, and since levels deplete naturally through the ageing process, supplementation can be the key to staying healthy for longer.