NAD+ boosts a ground-breaking supplement

A vital co-enzyme that helps repair damage and prevent aging can now be bought over the counter – is NAD+ the Longevity wonder drug people are hoping for?

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is a chemical that enzymes need in order to function – a coenzyme – and it performs a crucial role in respiration, the process by which cells convert glucose and oxygen into energy. Like a taxi that ferries passengers from place to place, NAD+ collects an electron from a molecule, becoming NADH, and drops it to another molecule and in doing so reverts to NAD+.

TRU NIAGEN has developed a unique form of vitamin B3 clinically proven to safely increase levels of NAD.

Longevity.Technology: A vitamin that promotes healing and halts aging on a cellular level would revolutionise medicine, being easily administered and available everywhere. A once-a-day solution to old age? Sign us up!

The TRL score for this Longevity.Technology domain is currently set at: ‘Technology refined and ready for initial human trials.’

The TRL score for the technology addressed in this article is: “Late proof of concept demonstrated in real-life conditions.”

Moving electrons from place to places ensures the enzymes trigger small and numerous chemical reactions that lead to growth, movement, repair and all bodily functions. Without NAD+ our mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, cannot make energy and the cells die. Researchers in Switzerland proved this with an experiment that inhibited it and caused total cell death [1].

As well as its vital role in energy production, NAD+ also plays a key part in ensuring that proteins are folded and rippled into exactly the right shape to perform their function [2]. Proteins fold in special ways to ensure they are in the most energetically favourable and compact shape [3].

So, NAD+ is a vital chemical, but what is its specific Longevity function?

Mitochondria use NAD+ to repair themselves if they are damaged or put under stress and a lack of it means they cannot; the associated decline in both the number of mitochondria and their quality has been linked to aging and age-related diseases [4]. NAD+ is also used by sirtuins, incredibly important proteins that regulate cellular health and maintain the length of our telomeres, ticking biological clocks that shorten every time a cell replicates itself. Once the Longevity-linked telomeres are too short for cell division, the cell enters senescence and can produce damaging chemicals that induce aging. Sirtuins can only function in the presence of NAD+ [5].

NAD+ also protects cells from stress – damage that can cause senescence and aging. Researchers found that cells given an NAD+ boost were more stress-resistant and less likely to die [6]. NAD+ is also used in DNA repair, bringing a negative charge to damaged strands and aiding repair. This process uses up NAD+ and research has shown that increased quantities of NAD+ increase lifespan by facilitating increased DNA repair [7].

There are numerous benefits to having good levels of NAD+, but researchers have found that NAD+ declines by up to 50% between the ages of 40 and 60 [8]. The good news is that Nicotinamide riboside has been found to increase levels of NAD+ and is now available as a dietary supplement. TRU NIAGEN, part of ChromaDex, has developed NIAGEN, a “unique form of vitamin B3 clinically proven to safely increase one’s levels of NAD,” [9].

TRU NIAGEN was featured at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress in December 2018 [10] and activating sirtuins to slow or halt aging has proved a hot prospect before – GlaxoSmithKline bought Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for $720million in 2008 [11]. The US supplement market alone is projected to reach $52.5billion next year [12], so Longevity over the counter will of course be a real winner.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4487780/
[2] https://www.cell.com/biophysj/pdf/S0006-3495(17)33518-X.pdf
[3] https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/protein-structure-14122136
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4779179/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24786309
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18617666
[7] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S155041311630482X
[8] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0042357
[9] https://bit.ly/2KJ5dLr
[10] https://bit.ly/31EMh62
[11] https://bit.ly/2Z5J4Qh
[12] https://bit.ly/2KRYiOH
Image: Ekaterina_Minaeva / Shutterstock.com
Eleanor Garth
Staff Writer and Community Manager Following a degree in Classics, Eleanor organised biomedical engineering conferences and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals, before working as a science and medicine journalist.

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