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Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+)
What Is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+)?
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide or NAD+ is a coenzyme found central to almost all types of anabolic and catabolic biochemical reactions. It is present in all living cells and was first discovered by Sir Arthur Harden in a boiled yeast extract. The structure of NAD+, as indicated by its name, consists of two covalently bonded mononucleotides, one of which consists of Adenine nucleobase and the other consists of Nicotinamide.
How Does NAD+ Work?
It is a well-known fact of science and chemistry, mainly that electrons are a source of energy. Their transport, loss, or gain is a source of energy. This energy helps drive all processes of life.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide is the main shuttle bus that transfers electrons between molecules and cells inside living organisms. It participates in all the vital energy-producing chemical reactions in the body.
In addition to energy production, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide regulates the circadian and sleep/wake cycle.
Changes In Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Concentrations With Age
The aging process results from a gradual decline in Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide levels, indicating that low levels of NAD+ may contribute to some age-related diseases and an overall decline in the body.
Research suggests that DNA damage, one of the hallmarks of aging, activates a family of enzymes called PARPs. The PARPs repair the damaged DNA by using NAD+. With more damaged DNA during aging, the PARPs will consume more Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide resulting in a decline in concentration.
Research also suggests that immune system activity increases with aging via the activation of different enzymes. Since these enzymes use NAD+ in some ways, immune system overactivity can reduce NAD+ levels in the body.
Sirtuins are another class of proteins associated with healthy aging by bringing about the genetic repair of chromosomes. These sirtuins also use NAD+ and hence, reduce their concentrations with aging.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Potential Benefits According To Research
Extensive investigations have been done on the potential uses and benefits of NAD+. According to these studies, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide can be helpful in the following conditions:
• Improvement of cardiovascular functions
• Protection of the nervous system
• Improvement of muscle activity and health
• Anti-aging properties
• Protection against metabolic disorders
There is now enough proof to demonstrate that the decrease in the levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide in the body is associated with various disorders, mainly being a hallmark of aging. Since boosting NAD+ levels in the body has been linked with protection against various metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders, researchers can deduce that exogenous administration of it can play an anti-aging role.
Its anti-aging effect is so potent that laboratory animals’ replenished Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide levels have improved their lifespan.
NAD+ and Muscle Development
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide is critical in regulating muscle activity and its growth and sustainability. Several studies on muscle tissue from mice have indicated that high levels of NAD+ in the muscle tissue are associated with improved muscle health and development. On the contrary, decreasing NAD+ has harmful effects on skeletal muscle development, regeneration, and aging.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide improves muscle health and activity by upregulating mitochondria in the muscle cells. Since mitochondria are the powerhouse driving all the energy-requiring processes in the muscle cells, improving their function improves muscle health.
NAD+ and Metabolism
The recent spike in the prevalence of metabolic disorders worldwide makes it a concerning issue for the medical community. Obesity alone, which has recently been declared an epidemic by the WHO, kills roughly 1.6 million people worldwide, and it is just one of the many metabolic disorders.
Aging and high-fat diet intake predispose individuals to various metabolic disorders. It is also closely associated with reduced Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide levels. Studies have proven that NAD+ administration can change healthy weight and exercise capability. In some mice, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide administration has even improved insulin sensitivity and the prognosis of diabetes.
NAD+ and the Heart
The elastic degeneration of the walls of arteries is one of the most common pathologies associated with cardiac dysfunction.
Research on mice has proven that boosting NAD+ levels improve cardiac functioning. By maintaining the levels of NAD+ at the baseline, we can significantly reduce the risk of heart enlargement, ischemic death, and injury.
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.