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POSTED ON JANUARY 20, 2020 BY TORONTO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CENTRE
What is NAD+?
Well, in order for our bodies to run smoothly, we need NAD+!
NAD+ is a coenzyme used in every biological process. It helps our enzymes create chemical reactions; it’s involved in regulating inflammation and metabolism, repairing DNA, detoxifying cells, regenerating mitochondria, and more.
As we age though, our NAD+ levels diminish; this may be concerning because we require NAD+ to support cellular health. Here are four things to know about NAD+ and how this coenzyme influences long-term health:
Our circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) relies on NAD+ to encourage the circadian rhythm to correspond with the cells’ mitochondria. In fact, NAD+ prompts the mitochondria to have our bodies use stored-up food as energy! But in order for this to happen, our circadian rhythm needs to be correctly working.
According to the journal Cell, “[t]he link of circadian genes and circadian regulation to health has been recognized in many disease-associated fields, including sleep disorders, diabetes, and cancer.” Because our circadian rhythm relies on NAD+ to trigger cell communication, low NAD+ levels may hinder the sleep-wake cycles and cause further health issues.
Our memory may not be as sharp as we age; this may be due to a group of proteins called sirtuins. Sirtuins help keep us calm during stressful times; they normalize inflammation, guard our bodies from oxidative stress, and safeguard our DNA. Sirtuins require NAD+ to help turn some genes on or off (some of these genes are linked to aging-affiliated ailments, such as Alzheimer’s). When NAD+ levels are low, this prevents sirtuins from optimally working. More research on this protein family is underway, but it’s been proven that sirtuins need prime NAD+ levels to function properly.
According to the journal Experimental and Molecular Pathology, “NAD+ levels are markedly reduced when blood alcohol levels are high during binge drinking.”
When you excessively drink alcohol, your body may have difficulty with cells transforming food into energy. Low NAD+ levels from alcohol may prevent sirtuins from functioning; your sleep-wake cycle may get disturbed. Low NAD+ levels from binge drinking may also lead to cell cycle arrest, when cells cannot duplicate or divide; in turn, “DNA damage, mutations, apoptosis and tumorigenesis” may result writes Experimental and Molecular Pathology.
For those detoxing from binge drinking, health practitioners may suggest intravenous (IV) therapy. An IV drip that focuses on NAD+ may help replenish low NAD+ levels; this may encourage the cells to detoxify and repair, while helping to reduce withdrawal effects from alcohol.
Remember, NAD+ levels decline as we age; low NAD+ levels may cause aging-related health concerns. Trends in Molecular Medicine has affirmed that neurodegenerative diseases, such as muscle atrophy, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular diseases, all have the commonality of low NAD+ levels in the body.
But evidence has shown that when you increase your NAD+ levels, this may stall the development of age-related diseases. NAD+, explains the journal Skeletal Muscle, has a huge role “in skeletal muscle development, regeneration, aging, and disease. The vast majority of studies indicate that lower NAD+ levels are deleterious for muscle health and higher NAD+ levels augment muscle health.”
For example, as we grow older, we want to stay limber. But our muscles may not bounce back from injuries due to “mitochondrial dysfunction,” writes Skeletal Muscle. It may be necessary to consider our NAD+ levels because “…NAD+ localization to mitochondria is important for muscle function,” further explains Skeletal Muscle. “Mitochondria are the subcellular compartments that have the highest level of NAD+ in skeletal muscle cells.” So when we boost NAD+ levels for anti-aging purposes, we are helping our cells regenerate mitochondria; in turn, this helps our bodies optimally function as we mature.
It should be noted that NAD+ plays a nutritional part, too. As per Skeletal Muscle, “Periods of muscle development and/or growth may be coordinated with nutrient availability. As NAD+ provides cells with information about nutrient levels, it is likely that NAD+ is involved in regulating these cellular transitions.”
Do You Have Anymore Questions About NAD+?
With the arrival of a New Year, maybe your goal is to improve your anti-aging regime and lifestyle. IV therapy is one method for encouraging your body to increase NAD+ levels; in turn, this treatment may support improved sleep, detoxification, cell health replenishment and lengthen your physical and mental longevity.
At our clinic, we offer an integrative and functional medicine programs to our patients, including NAD+ IV therapy. The NAD+ IV therapy treatment was created to help assist the body in restoring neuroreceptor function to an optimal level, while helping to diminish cravings for addictive substances; the treatment may also assist in improving memory, mood and energy. To speak to our health care team about NAD+, click here.
Chang, Hung-Chun, and Leonard Guarente. SIRT1 Mediates Central Circadian Control in the SCN by a Mechanism that Decays with Aging Cell 153, no. 7 (June 2013): 1448–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.027.
Fang, Evandro F., Sofie Lautrup, Yujun Hou, Tyler G. Demarest, Deborah L. Croteau, Mark P. Mattson, and Vilhelm A. Bohr. NAD thplus in Aging: Molecular Mechanisms and Translational Implications Trends in Molecular Medicine 23, no. 10 (October 2017): 899–916. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmed.2017.08.001.
Goody MF, Henry CA. A need for NAD+ in muscle development, homeostasis, and aging. Skelet Muscle. 2018;8(1):9. Published 2018 Mar 7. doi:10.1186/s13395-018-0154-1.
Imai, S., Guarente, L. It takes two to tango: NAD+ and sirtuins in aging/longevity control. npj Aging Mech Dis 2, 16017 (2016) doi:10.1038/npjamd.2016.17.
Samuel W. French, Chronic alcohol binging injures the liver and other organs by reducing NAD+ levels required for sirtuin's deacetylase activity, Experimental and Molecular Pathology, Volume 100, Issue 2, 2016, Pages 303-306, ISSN 0014-4800, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yexmp.2016.02.004.
Yahyah Aman, Yumin Qiu, Jun Tao, Evandro F. Fang, Therapeutic potential of boosting NAD+ in aging and age-related diseases,Translational Medicine of Aging, Volume 2, 2018, Pages 30-37, ISSN 2468-5011, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tma.2018.08.003.