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Research Studies involving NAD+
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) is the oxidized form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Hydroxide (NADH). NAD+ is a crucial component of the Electron Transport Chain (ETC). ETC is the key to the cellular energy generation cycle. It produces energy in the form of ATP by transferring electrons from one carrier to another. NAD+ acts as a medium for sharing power within and outside the cells.
In addition to energy generation, NAD+ helps carry out several biological processes. One such process is the folding and protein modification after their synthesis (post-translational edit). It also helps in the activation/deactivation of several enzymes.
NAD+ peptide also acts as a means of communication between the body cells. NAD+ acts as an extracellular signaling molecule and helps regulate pivotal body functions. These functions include the activity of the intestine, bladder, neurons, and blood vessels.
It also acts as a co-founder for body processes. These include energy conversion, immune mediation, regulation of circadian rhythm, and timely DNA repair. NAD+ is an important biomolecule, but its levels in the body are age-related. Its levels decline with age, which signifies its importance in age-related diseases.
What Does NAD+ Research Suggest?
As mentioned, it is a critical component of crucial biological processes. Below are some research implications:
1. Anti-Aging Potential of NAD+
Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cells. It controls body processes that generate ATP, which is the body’s energy currency. In addition, it helps in several intracellular signaling processes and regulates innate immunity.
Age-related changes cause a decline in the function of mitochondria. Mitochondria senescence leads to decreased cellular metabolism, heightened inflammation, and accelerated aging. These processes can lead to age-related conditions, and it also causes organ dysfunction and altered healing from injuries.
Processes that can modulate or accelerate the actions of mitochondria can reverse the biological clock. As mentioned, NAD+ is a critical component of mitochondrial functions. A decline in the levels of NAD+ interrupts signaling pathways to the nucleus by promoting a pseudohypoxic state. These changes undergo reversal with adequate supplementation of NAD+. NAD+ supplementation can reverse age-related decline in mitochondrial action.
NAD+ supplementation leads to the activation of SIRT1. SIRT1 is a gene that produces an enzyme called Sirtuin-1. It is also known as NAD+-dependent Deacetylase Sirtuin-1. Sirtuin-1 acts as a co-mediator for cellular processes. These may include improved metabolism, cellular longevity, and reduced inflammation.
2. Neurodegenerative Conditions
NAD+ released by the nerve endings acts as a signaling molecule. Due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative properties, it has significant neuroprotective effects. NAD acts on the mitochondrial energy generation pathways and reduces the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS are toxic molecules that lead to the generation of biologically healthy molecules. ROS increases significantly with age and is a pathogenic process in age-related conditions.
In the animal models of Parkinson’s disease, NAD supplementation reduces ROS. It also improves the survival of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. It effectively reduced the motor deficits seen in the animal models of Parkinson’s disease.
3. Improve Muscle Function:
Like other body organs, muscles undergo age-related decline too. This decline is a direct consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction and NAD+ decline. A fall in mitochondrial gene expression leads to reduced oxidative phosphorylation. A decrease in oxidative phosphorylation leads to reduced energy production by mitochondria. Animal research suggests that NAD+ supplementation can help improve gene expression and energy generation.
NAD+ supplementation helps stabilize the activity of Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1-alpha). Stabilization of this gene has effects on muscle growth similar to regular exercise. Also, increased oxidative stress and inflammation cause a decline in muscle mass. NAD+ supplementation causes an improvement in the survival of muscle fibers.
4. NAD+ and Inflammation
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is an enzyme-linked to inflammation. Several cancers lead to an over-expression of this enzyme. It is also linked to type 2 diabetes, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), and obesity. NAD+ supplementation can cause a dramatic decline in the levels of NAMPT.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not intended for human or animal consumption. Research chemicals are intended solely for laboratory experimentation and/or in-vitro testing. Bodily introduction of any sort is strictly prohibited by law. All purchases are limited to licensed researchers and/or qualified professionals. All information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.
Dr. Usman (BSc, MBBS, MaRCP) completed his studies in medicine at the Royal College of Physicians, London. He is an avid researcher with more than 30 publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Usman has worked as a researcher and a medical consultant for reputable pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.