What You Need To Know About Healthy Ageing? - Blog
Healthy ageing can be defined in terms of maintaining functional ability and resilience, to maximise wellbeing as we age.
What Causes Ageing?
There are many factors that influence ageing, such as genetics, diet, and lifestyle. Biologically, ageing is due to cell damage that accumulates over time. Damage can be biologically predetermined or can occur due to external factors. Gradual damage to cells, DNA, and the telomeres of chromosomes is normal as we age, but can also be accelerated by environmental factors.
Protective factors that can help support healthy ageing include regular exercise and a healthy diet. At the cellular level, many molecules have also been investigated.
Importance of NAD
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a compound found in all living cells, that is essential in metabolic processes. NAD is an enzyme cofactor, meaning that it facilitates enzymes as they catalyse chemical reactions with substrates. NAD can be found in two forms; NAD+ is the oxidised form, and NADH is the reduced form. NAD+ and NADH are part of a redox reaction involving electron transfer where NAD+ accepts electrons and NADH donates electrons. This reaction is essential during glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, as it creates ATP energy which the body uses in cellular processes.
NAD+ is also required for sirtuins to function. Sirtuins are proteins that regulate cellular homeostasis and therefore help regulate the overall health of the cell. They are also known to support healthy ageing. The presence of NAD+ is critical, and if NAD+ levels are inadequate, sirtuin function becomes limited. Research also shows that the presence of resveratrol alongside NAD+ can greatly support the function of sirtuin.
Higher levels of NAD+ also enable better functionality of PARP1 enzymes, which facilitates DNA repair, as well as BubR1, and enzyme that protects against chromosome instability.
Supplements to Boost NAD+
Research shows that NAD+ can help to promote healthy cellular ageing and help support cellular energy. NAD+ has been studied for its potential to help with neurodegenerative and other age-related diseases. Mitochondrial myopathy is a neuromuscular disease.
Unfortunately, levels of NAD+ in the body naturally decrease with age. Recently, researchers have become particularly interested in how we can naturally boost NAD+ levels in the body, and various supplements containing NAD+ precursors have since been developed.
Nicotinamide Riboside Supplements for Ageing
Nicotinamide riboside, an alternative form of vitamin B3 (niacin), is a precursor to NAD+. This means it can be converted into NAD+ within the body. Taking nicotinamide riboside (NR) supplements can help to boost NAD+ levels within the body, to help support many key biological processes. Most research recommends taking around 250-300mg of NR per day to gain benefits.
Animal research has shown NR to be effective in extending the life of several organisms. Human clinical trials involving NR supplements show that adults taking the supplement consistently for around eight weeks had increased blood levels of NAD+. NR supplements can also support reduced blood pressure and inflammation. The current research in humans appears promising, however we still need further studies to better understand the full effects of NR supplementation on the human body.
About the Author
We use a variety of authors from both naturopathic and medical backgrounds. We also have in house researchers that compile the latest information into an easily digestible format.
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