Aging & Longevity
Cellular Regulators

NAD+ Equilibrium, Telomeres and Aging 

NAD imbalance within cells has a major impact on aging 

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a compound located in every living cell and is critically important for metabolism. It helps to convert food into energy within the mitochondria of cells. An imbalance in the equilibrium of cellular NAD has an impact on chromosomal telomeres leads to a faster aging process. 

Why is NAD+ important? It is critically important to keep the body healthy including the heart and arteries; the brain, the lungs and bronchioles; repairing DNA and it has many other functions. 

There are NAD precursors that can help to improve NAD homeostasis (balance). Research shows that NAD precursors have the ability to improve NAD homeostasis and lessen telomere damage. This is a huge step in the progress of aging research to find ways to help people enjoy life during the later years. 

NAD and NADH, which is another form in the body operate as coenzymes in energy metabolism pathways like the Krebs cycle Glycolysis and others. It has been determined in research that NAD levels need to be maintained to prevent the effects of aging (Sun C et al, 2020). The salvage pathway of NAD has a major effect on NAD within cells. One way that NAD helps during the aging process is with its indirect effect on telomeres. 

Telomeres are located at the end of chromosomes. They are segments of DNA nucleotides that repeat and they have a protein section that helps to protect the end of the chromosome. Telomeres begin to shorten with every cell division because it reduces its ability to completely replicate at the DNA ends. Telomeres begin to have problems functioning or lose their protection by the protein section. This causes an alert that there is DNA damage and reduces cell production to eventually senescence, which is the deterioration of cells (d’Adda di Fagagna et al, 2003). 

It has been known that short telomeres help determine aging (Raguraman V, Subramaniam JR, 2016). It is an important feature for researchers to determine what is happening as one ages. 

Research has shown that the length of telomeres and the loss of NAD with age shows potential causes of age and cell dysfunction, including problems with the mitochondria functioning properly (Sun C et al, 2020). The research evaluated the short telomeres and problems with telomere function on NAD metabolites.

Research has been performed looking at NAD levels and NAD/NADH ratios within primary skin fibroblasts in patients with health conditions (Sun C et al, 2020). Skin fibroblasts are cells found in connective tissue. It was observed that the fibroblasts of these patients had reduced NAD levels and lower NAD/NADH ratios compared to the healthy control group. 

Supplementation with the NAD precursors showed NAD balance improved, reducing the telomere damage and defects to the mitochondria. This provides proof of the importance of maintaining NAD levels in the body and can be helped with supplementation. 

If one has a health condition, one should check with their health care provider prior to taking any type of supplement. 

In summary, NAD+ is a compound found in every cell and is critically important for metabolism. It helps to convert food into energy. Imbalances in the equilibrium of cellular NAD has a major impact on telomeres that speed up the aging process. There are NAD precursors that can help to improve NAD homeostasis. This is a large step in the progress of research on aging to help increase life expectancy.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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