NAD+ and Its Subtle Relationship with Anti-Aging:
A Revolutionary Discovery in the Medical Field

What isNAD+? 

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme present in all living cells. Its primary function is to transfer electrons from one molecule to another, which is a key part of most biological reactions. For example, NAD+ plays a key role in metabolism, helping to turn nutrients into energy as a key player in metabolism and working as a helper molecule for proteins that regulate other biological activity. NAD+ is indispensable for life, and its levels tend to decline with age. This is where NAD+ catches the eye in the context of health and aging. Low levels of NAD+ are associated with aging and multiple age-related diseases, including metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Several lines of research have demonstrated that boosting NAD+ levels can extend the lifespan of yeast, worms, flies, and mice.

This has led to a great deal of interest in NAD+ as a potential anti-aging intervention in humans. The reason why NAD+ is so important for aging has to do with the role it plays in activating proteins that help make life longer. One key group of these proteins is the sirtuins. Sirtuins influence the body's ability to repair damaged DNA and regulate many metabolic processes like the response to stress and how cells age. In simpler terms, we age due to a number of reasons, a crucial one being the decrease in NAD+ levels with age. This decline leads to a decreased ability of our cells to effectively repair damaged DNA. Although cells can still replicate, the replication of damaged cells increases, and the number of healthy cells decreases. As this imbalance grows, problems begin to appear in our body functions, which is what we call aging.

Why should you know aboutNAD+? 

In 2013, Professor David Sinclair, a geneticist at Harvard University, made a breakthrough in anti-aging research. He found that compared with young mice, the levels of NAD+ in older mice were relatively low. He added Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) to the drinking water of older mice, and within a week, their muscle function and DNA repair capabilities returned to the levels of the younger mice. The tissues of the two-year-old older mice and four-month-old younger mice, which were previously significantly different, became indistinguishable.

Professor David Sinclair discovered that NAD+ can activate cells. The hypothesis is that when NAD+ levels are high, the Poly-ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1), which is responsible for repairing cellular DNA, is stimulated and repairs defective DNA. However, when NAD+ levels decline during aging, PARP-1 also declines, resulting in DNA that cannot be repaired.

NAD+ is not a new discovery, and many students who have studied biology for HKDSE may have read about it. However, its significant impact on aging is a new and important discovery. Since 2013, many medical research around the world have consecutively discovered the positive impact of NAD+ on human anti-aging and health.

Aging brings many health problems, including various types of cancer, metabolic diseases (obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes), brain function decline (cognitive impairment), heart disease (atherosclerosis), deteriorating vision and hearing, weakening muscle strength, unattractive appearance (skin wrinkles and sagging, white hair), decreasing mental capacity (intelligence and memory), joint pain, etc. In developed countries, 90% of deaths are related to problems caused by aging.

To combat aging, preparations should begin when young. However, even if you are already 80, it is not too late to start combating aging today.

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