What is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+)?
NAD+ is an oxidized form of NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Hydroxide). NAD+ is a component of the Electron Transport Chain (ETC) and carries electrons from one biological reaction. That is how it becomes a medium for shuttling energy within and outside the cell. It also acts as a mediator for various biological processes in the body, such as post-translational modification of the proteins and activation/deactivation of some enzymes.
It is the critical component in maintaining cell-to-cell communication in the body. The neurons present in the blood vessels, intestines, and bladder release NAD+, and it acts as an extracellular signaling molecule to regulate bio-functions in the body. It functions as a cofactor in numerous bodily processes such as immune defense, DNA repair, circadian cycles, and energy conversion. However, like other naturally occurring mediators in the body, its level declines as age advances. Therefore, replenishing the levels of NAD+ in the body can help off-setting various age-related progressive and degenerative processes. NAD+ is a naturally occurring compound with virtually few to no side effects. It can also be used synergistically with other supplements to obtain multiplied benefits.
SYNONYMS: Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, Beta-NAD, NAD, Endopride
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 663.43 g/mol
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C21H27N7O14P2
NAD+ is of pivotal significance in numerous biological processes and greatly interested researchers. The goal is to study its natural role in the body and how it implies the clinical well-being of people owing to its immense properties. Below are a few of the many implications of NAD+.
Mitochondria are considered the powerhouse of the body. They serve as a platform for primary metabolic functions such as intracellular signaling and regulation of innate immunity. These processes are directly affected by mitochondrial senescence and ultimately alter cellular metabolism, inflammation, and even stem cell activity. These altogether reduce the pace of healing following an injury. That is how mitochondria are involved in age-related tissue and organ function decline. Any way of modulating mitochondrial activity can slow, cease or even reverse the process of aging.
A deficiency of NAD+ in the cell induces a pseudo-hypoxic state which interrupts signaling within the nucleus. Studies have provided evidence supporting the role of NAD+ supplementation in reversing at least some of the age-related decline in the function of mitochondria. The mechanism underlying this property involves the activation of the SIRT 1 function. A gene encodes an enzyme called Sirtuin-1 (NAD+ dependent Deacetylase Sirtuin-1). Sirtuin-1 regulates the mediators involved in metabolism, inflammation, the longevity of cells, and the processes linked to stress.
Improvement in muscle function:
The decline in muscle function related to age is associated with mitochondrial senescence. It occurs in two steps. The first reversible one involves declined expression of mitochondrial genes. These genes are responsible for oxidative phosphorylation (the process by which mitochondria produce energy). The second irreversible step consists of a decline in genes responsible for oxidative phosphorylation in the nucleus. Mice experiments have demonstrated a step 1 reversal when there is an administration of NAD+ before the cell progresses to step 2.
The mechanism behind this intervention in mitochondrial aging involves stabilizing the activity of Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Gamma Co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1-alpha). Studies have proven that the effect mentioned above produced in the mitochondria is similar to exercise on the mitochondria of skeletal muscles. This information helps maintain the skeletal muscles’ oxidative capacity over a long period.
Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases:
NAD+ is a cofactor that plays a significant neuroprotective role. It does so by improving mitochondrial function and reducing the production of Reactive Oxidative Stress (ROS). ROS are responsible for inflammatory changes associated with injury and degenerative changes associated with aging. This association provides its basis for treating certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Research conducted on mice showed that the administration of NAD+ helps protect against progressive motor deficits and the death of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra. It implies that although NAD+ doesn’t alleviate the symptoms, it sure does slow the progression if not entirely prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Reduction of inflammation:
NAMPT is an enzyme that is associated with inflammation. It is overexpressing in some types of cancers. An increase in the levels of NAMPT is related to a decrease in the ranks of NAD+ and vice versa. The NAMPT-associated inflammation occurs in cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NAMPT is a potent activator of inflammation whose levels tend to decrease dramatically following the administration of NAD+.
Treatment of Addiction:
Drug and alcohol addiction is associated with a decline in the levels of NAD+. This addiction leads to significant nutritional deficiencies and cognitive deterioration. Supplementation with NAD+ can help overcome these changes and can be helpful in various addiction disorders.
NAD+ supplementation provides a wide range of benefits when used alone and can also be used in conjunction with other therapies to obtain multiplied effects.