There’s a lot of talk about Anti-Aging these days! But do we really want to live to be 120 years old or more? Doubtfully so, if we have to live with one of the many chronic diseases that plaque our society today – such as the disabling consequences of diabetes, heart disease, cancer or dementia.
In June 2018, the World Health Organization released the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, and for the first time, Aging was added as a Disease. This classification of Aging as a disease has opened the doors to new research and novel therapeutics to delay or reverse the aging process.
Can Diseases due to advanced age, such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration (a disease of the retina ultimately causing blindness) actually be halted or delayed by slowing down the degenerative process?
David Sinclair, Harvard University’s renowned anti- aging researcher, thinks so! He has been studying the new science of aging, and has been providing insights on how we might currently be able to extend our lifespans.
In his book “Lifespan- Why we Age and Why We Don’t Have To ,” Sinclair believes there is a single cause of aging, which is due to loss of analog information. Much of his recent aging research focuses on several longevity factors which influence the loss of analog information.
Changes in the following genes and enzymes can provoke the hallmarks of aging:
1. NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenosine Dinucleotide) is a co-enzyme needed by every cell of the body for energy production. The mitochondria is the Powerhouse of the cell – meaning it takes food substrates, such as glucose, and converts it to ATP, or energy. This process does not happen without NAD+. Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the hallmarks of aging.
2. Sirtuins- a family of proteins that regulate cellular health, such as repairing damaged DNA, and lowering inflammation. Sirtuins can’t do their job without adequate levels of NAD+.
3. TOR (Target of Rapamycin) – a complex of proteins that regulate growth and metabolism.
4. AMPK- an enzyme that detects low energy levels and responds by activating metabolism to improve cellular energy.
In Christopher Shade’s article, the Science Behind NMN, he describes the process of aging as a “cascade of robustness breakdown triggered by a decrease in systemic NAD and biosynthesis and the resultant functional defects in susceptible organs and tissues.”
Every cell needs NAD+ to function properly; however, by middle age our NAD+ levels are half that of our youth. So what are the dire consequences of plummeting NAD+ levels as we age? A slower metabolism, or rate at which we burn calories, decreased energy production- meaning an increased propensity for exhaustion, and impaired cognitive function, often leading to brain fog/ poor memory or decreased mental focus.
You may be asking… Can’t I just take an oral NAD+ Supplement? The answer is No. NAD+ is not well absorbed by the gut, nor directly taken up by the cells for utilization, making its oral supplementation impractical.
Alternatively, improving NAD+ synthesis from NAD+ intermediates may have significant value in slowing the aging process. More and more studies are showing the efficacy of precursors, such as NR ( Nicotinamide Riboside) and NMN ( Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) in boosting NAD+ levels, as well as mitigating age-related diseases in animal models.
Taken orally, NMN is rapidly absorbed and converted to NAD+.
Although NMN is naturally found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and avocado, most NMN is synthesized from Vitamin B3, or Niacin. NMN levels are also known to decline with age, and supplementation with NMN has demonstrated numerous benefits, including suppressing “inflammaging”- an increase in tissue inflammation associated with aging.
In Cell Metabolism Review, NAD+ Intermediates: The Biology and the Therapeutic Potential of NMN and NR, Jun Yoshino, et al. show growing evidence of the beneficial metabolic effects of NMN administration. Studies suggest that pancreatic B cells are sensitive to systemic NAD+ decline, and a single bolus of NMN at 550mg/ kg enhances insulin secretion and improves glucose sensitivity in diabetic mice.
Recent studies also suggest that NMN improves numerous neuronal functions in the brain- improving cognition and memory in mouse and rat models with Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the research, NMN also restored severe retinal degeneration, as well as reduced the infarct area after ischemia/ reperfusion heart injury (heart attack) in mice.
Clearly, NMN is a Fountain of Youth for rodents, but what about for humans? Shin- Ichiro Imai is now studying NMN supplementation in humans, and believes that it may improve metabolic processes, rendering the adult metabolism more like that of someone 10 -20 years younger.
David Sinclair agrees. He is also conducting human trials with NMN, and taking NMN himself. He claims that his energy level and blood markers at 52 years old are closer to those of a 30 year old. Now that is slowing down the aging process!
To find out more about oral NMN supplementation, as well as IV NAD supplementation, please contact the experts at R3 Health. We are here to answer all of your health, wellness and anti-aging questions!