Are NAD+ Supplements an Anti-Aging Miracle? What Science Says
NAD+ is the well-known name given to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is a coenzyme that all cells need in order to function. Since losing NAD+ is associated with aging, scientists now theorize that a lack of NAD+ could be an underlying cause of many diseases related to aging, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, and even metabolic syndromes like diabetes.
If this is the case, a NAD+ supplement could be an anti-aging miracle, preventing diseases associated with aging and reducing the stress it places on all aspects of your body’s functions.
Of course, since many manufacturers are quick to advertise their product as a magical cure-all, it’s important to back up these theories with knowledge of what NAD+ supplements are made of and how they affect your body.
What is NAD+?
NAD+ is a coenzyme in your cells that activates and regulates processes like metabolism and gene repair. This means that it is instrumental in a person’s longevity. Scientists have observed in recent studies that decreased amounts of NAD+ are associated with a higher prevalence of diseases related to aging like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, supplementing NAD+ has been shown in limited studies to improve metabolism and reduce the effects of aging.
NAD+ is naturally synthesized from different base compounds, including its naturally occurring form in the human gut, its reduced form (called NADH), and its prerequisite compounds like tryptophan and other nicotinamides such as Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), commonly referred as NAD+ boosters.
Using these precursors, scientists are now able to use health supplements to increase the production NAD+ with the intention of creating an anti-aging solution. For more on how NAD+ is predicted to improve health and wellness, read on.
The Benefits of NAD+ supplements
Since NAD+ levels in your cells naturally decline as you age, it makes sense that studies are showing the effectiveness of the enzyme on making you age slower. Though the studies need to be more long-term to prove conclusively what effects NAD+ has as a natural anti-aging supplement, the purported benefits of some major brands like Ivita Icaria are reasonable.
These benefits range from local repairs of tissues associated with metabolic problems to holistic solutions to problems in all systems of your body. The potential benefits of taking these supplements include:
DNA & Cellular Repair
DNA is designed to metabolically repair itself in the event of damage due to radiation or aging. However, extensive damage can cause cells to die or grow with unregulated speeds, which leads to cancerous tumors.
Damage to mitochondria related to metabolic changes associated with aging has been shown to be responsive to NAD+ in studies conducted on the process. By reinitiating the repair proteins and normalizing cell growth and decay, NAD+ supplements could potentially repair cells damaged through aging or radiation.
Sirtuins are instrumental in the health of your cells; this is why they are commonly known as the “longevity genes.” These proteins manage the tasks of all of your cells’ components from cellular metabolism on up to higher functions. They are fueled by naturally occurring NAD+ coenzymes.
As your levels of NAD+ decline with age, the function of the Sirtuins proteins declines as well. This means that the hundreds of simple processes in your cells aren’t being regulated as efficiently; some are getting lost in the shuffle altogether.
NAD+ supplements allow Sirtuins to do what they’re supposed to: manage diverse cellular processes efficiently.
Other purported benefits of NAD+ supplements include increased energy production at the cellular level, which keeps the mitochondrial process functioning efficiently and prevents breakdown. They are also known to induce muscle repair and reduce oxidative stress.
This last one is particularly significant when evaluating NAD+ as an anti-aging supplement. If you’re looking into supplements for your health and nutrition, particularly in the realm of making your cells age slower, you’ve probably come across the term, “oxidative stress.”
This is when free radicals, which are produced during normal metabolic processes in your body, are not sufficiently counterbalanced by antioxidants, which are your body’s natural defense against the radicals building up. This process becomes imbalanced as you age; it’s practically unavoidable.
However, by boosting your cells to better regulate metabolic processes, NAD+ has the potential to reduce oxidative stress, which is one of the main anti-aging properties of its related supplements and a huge reason so many people are excited about its potential.
What does it feel like?
Aging is a slow process and as it turns out, so is anti-aging. As your body’s source of NAD+ slowly replenishes, the process of cellular repair can’t be directly felt – just as processes like your cells becoming energized, DNA repair getting underway, and improved mitochondria function are all undetectable.
However, around the age of 40, we all start losing NAD+ and can lose as much as 50% of our cells’ supply by the time we hit our 60s. Replenishing it is bound to produce symptoms of some kind. So the question is: what should you expect when you start taking a NAD+ supplement?
There are a few everyday benefits that people who are deficient in NAD notice when they start taking supplements like Ivita Icaria and other leading brands. These include:
Improvements in Energy and Focus
This benefit is a result of your cells managing their process more efficiently. A healthier metabolic response means that your body is using energy more efficiently, which leaves more for your brain to use for attention and focus.
Feeling more energetic throughout the day and being able to focus on tasks longer are just the first two potential benefits of NAD+ supplements.
Repaired cells function better and this could mean changes in your overall appearance. NAD+ isn’t going to make wrinkles magically disappear, but it could make your skin look fuller and this could make them seem to disappear.
By repairing cellular processes that manage metabolism, NAD+ supplements may prove to be a management supplement for those suffering from diabetes and its related symptoms. By reigning in your metabolism and improving your cells’ ability to process and store energy, you may find that muscle and nerve pain may decrease as your cells adjust to their new efficiency.
Less Brain Fog
Brain fog is a troublesome symptom of aging. It prevents us from focusing, from remembering things clearly, and from being able to concentrate on our daily lives. While stress and lack of sleep are common causes of brain fog, aging itself can be to blame, which is where NAD+ supplements come in.
By returning your cells to a metabolically healthy state, these supplements can also eliminate brain fog. As your body is able to process energy more efficiently, it has more to be used by your brain.
NAD+ supplements are being touted in certain sectors of the medical community as a potential miracle anti-aging nutraceutical. Though more studies are required to conclusively determine the long-term value of these supplements, anyone interested in health and nutrition should be aware of these vital coenzymes and their potential benefits to your body.
By normalizing cell processes, NAD+ is responsible for many bodily functions related to metabolism and growth. Since we lose it as we age, supplementing with NAD+ may be a way to return these functions to normal levels.
This means promoting healthy cell growth, reducing the risk of age-related mental disorders, and repairing DNA. As a natural replacement for our body’s supply of the so-called “anti-aging enzyme,” it wouldn’t hurt to consult a doctor on the potential benefits of NAD+ supplements on your body.
Featured Image: Clarins