Beyond the Hype. NAD, NADA, MNM, and NR

The mice have not solved the puzzle yet, but one Japanese research team is making promising strides.

Have you heard all the recent buzz about the newest and most exciting advances coming out of every corner of the internet, promising, once again, a miracle pill? Hope in a capsule, holding out the possibility of bio hacking an aspect of our genetic expression that will allow us to live longer, healthier, and more disease free than ever thought possible. It may be closer, and more realistic than you think.

NAD+ what it is– In metabolism, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is involved in redox reactions, carrying electrons from one reaction to another. The cofactor is, therefore, found in two forms in cells: NAD+ is an oxidizing agent – it accepts electrons from other molecules and becomes reduced. This reaction forms NADH, which can then be used as a reducing agent to donate electrons. These electron transfer reactions are the main function of NAD. However, it is also used in other cellular processes, most notably a substrate of enzymes that add or remove chemical groups from proteins, in posttranslational modifications. Because of the importance of these functions, the enzymes involved in NAD metabolism are targets for drug discovery. -wikipedia

Allow me to state, for the record, that I am not a scientist, nor am I endorsing any specific diet or product. It is my intention to present what facts I have been able to find, and provide you with the links to do your own research.

Simplified. Your mitochondria requires a constant supply of NAD to function at maximum capacity. As we age, the levels drop off due to the aging of the synthesis chains ability to uptake  sirtuin enzymes. This is not as simple or the same as adding niacin, B3 or simply a supplement of NAD, NMN or NR, as the process is complicated, and although concrete success has been determined in rat research with supplementation, Drs. Ichiro and Grozio are the only researchers currently expanding this knowledge base with a human extended double blind placebo human study.

The Drs, re iterate that there are only currently two valid manufacturers and commercial distributors of a viable source for NMN, which is not disclosed, as they are not endorsing products, but conducting research.

Japanese research NMN
Shin-Ichiro and A. Grozio lead research on NMN

“NAD+ is a rate-limiting co-substrate for sirtuin enzymes, which are key egulators of pro-survival pathways and mitochondrial function in the endothelial cells [[15][16][17][18]]. There is increasing evidence that with age cellular NAD+ availability decreases [19,20], which is a critical driving force in aging processes. In support of this theory it was demonstrated that enhancing NAD+ biosynthesis extends lifespan in lower organisms [21] and improves health-span in mouse models of aging [22]. There is particularly strong evidence that in aged mice enhancing NAD+ biosynthesis by treatment with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN; a key NAD+ intermediate) [23] reverses age-related dysfunction in multiple organs, including the eye [24], skeletal muscle [19] and peripheral arteries [15,25]. A key mechanism underlying the anti-aging action of NMN treatment is reversing age-related decline in mitochondrial function [24]. Although there is strong evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction and increased mitochondrial oxidative stress contribute to cardiovascular dysfunction [[26][27][28]] and neurovascular impairment in aging [13], the potential protective effects of NMN on the aged cerebral microvasculature and NVC responses have not been investigated”. -Science Direct pdf

Leading the research in this field is Shin Ichiro and Alessia Grozio, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine, have identified a previously unknown route for cellular fuel delivery. A finding that could shed light on the process of aging and the chronic diseases that often accompany it.-Julia Evangelou Strait.

If you go to the internet shopping directory, you will be assaulted with an avalanche of products claiming to be NAD, NAD+ or magical precursors to your body manufacturing it’s own. Often, the active ingredient is simple B3 and/or a variety of food concentrates that we normally associate with natural sources of the enzymes, but again, that sidesteps the research, and it’s potential effectiveness.

Chromadex holds the patent for Niagen, which is the trade name for the real NAD+ ingredient, and markets their own brand under the name TRUNiagen. Elysium, with market product, Basis, was the second commercial product to use the patent, but currently source from a distributor other than chromadex. There are a few others, but if you want to play it safe, I recommend you verify your product contains Niagen.

  • Supports youthful levels of cellular coenzyme NAD+, which is necessary for the production of ATP, or cellular fuel
  • Promotes healthy cellular metabolism & energy production
  • Helps fight general fatigue & promote longevity
  • Encourages youthful cognitive function in pre-clinical studies
NmN supplimentation has shown promise in slowing aging and degenerative disease in several rat studies.

The research and implications are very exciting, and far reaching. However, the definitive dosage and acceptable products have not been agreed upon, and all the facts are not in. As usual, isolating an element that shows promise in one area often needs to looked at from the macro level to insure we aren’t swinging wildly too far out of homeostasis in any one direction without self correcting as a whole. I will anxiously await the results of the definitive human trial.

Note: It is my understanding that to take an amount of supplementation that would show definitive improvement in cellular functions, you would currently require something along the lines of the last product linked, which is around 1500 mg’s and quite un-affordable to most of us. Which is not to say that a smaller amount of a valid product won’t be helpful, but I think I will wait until I see a little more proof, and a little less price.

I have provided some links below to some of the more acceptable products, as well as to the clinical research.

Product links: Regenerator Niagen Niagen

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