NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) occurs in every cell in our bodies. The aging process is natural. We gradually lose the ability to make the enzymes, hormones, amino acids, etc. that we used to make when we were teenagers as we get older.
NAD decreases to half the levels of our teenage years when we are in our 50s and drops further to around one percent when we enter our 80s. It is a molecule that helps the body to metabolize food. It also is part of the body’s process to create energy and assists in the repair of damaged cells.
Causes of Aging
Aging occurs more rapidly with a decrease in NAD. According to Life Extension magazine (February 2018), NAD fights aging in eight different ways. In my book, Longevity Secrets for Healthy Aging, I discuss the two major causes of aging. One is the loss of telomere length at the end of our DNA.
Each cell in our body had a predetermined number of replications before cell life ceases to function. Lifestyle actions affect the amount of loss of telomere length with each cellular replication. Smoking, obesity and other lifestyle choices increase the loss of telomere length and decrease longevity.
6 Ways NAD Helps
Sirtuin proteins contribute to longevity by telomere length. NAD maintains proper sirtuin protein function.
Our DNA is under continuous attack every hour of every day. Our DNA can repair itself by activating an enzyme known as PARP-1 (poly ADP ribose polymerase 1). Hugh quantities of NAD are required for PARP-1 to operate effectively.
Immunosenescence is the gradual deterioration of the immune system caused by aging. Part of the reason for immunosenescence is the disruptions of cellular energy production by our mitochondrial. NAD is critical for the proper function of our mitochondrial. NAD regulates immune and inflammatory pathways and restores normal mitochondrial function.
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels fall as part of the aging process. Cellular energy decreases in proportion to ATP levels. ATP is the genesis of energy production in our bodies. The foods we eat become energy at the cellular level because of ATP. NAD is required in the process to convert food to energy. When NAD levels decrease, the ability to convert food to energy lessens.
Our chromosomes are very complicated. Many enzymes are required to keep our chromosome structure and function at optimal levels. As the essential nutrients needed to keep chromosomes stable start to diminish, instability occurs. NAD is vital for the chromosome stability. NAD ensures the right enzymes are present and functioning correctly.
Options to Increase NAD
NAD is not available as a supplement. However, nicotinamide riboside can. Nicotinamide riboside becomes the active form of NAD in our bodies. Nicotinamide riboside is in foods such as dairy milk, fish, beer, cremini mushrooms, chicken, yeast, and green vegetables.
Brain health requires certain chemicals to move signals between nerve cells. These are called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters regulate mood, appetite, stress levels and many other things in the body. NAD supports and maintains the neurotransmitter function.