Cell energy is a top priority for healthy ageing
Colin Rose is a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the Founder and Director of Research and Innovation of Uni-Vite Healthcare and author of a recent book: Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, where he reveals how to slow ageing and, therefore, help prevent later-life illness.
This is his explanation of why your cellular energy declines over time and the role of Nicotinamide Riboside and Apigenin in reversing that decline.
Cellular energy powers every one of your body’s functions, your heart, brain, immune system – literally everything. So, maintaining that energy is central to maintaining your health making it the best health supplement for old age.
However, the ability to make energy declines as we get older. That’s directly linked to a sharp drop over time in a vital compound made within each cell called NAD+.
The master regulator of human metabolism NAD+
NAD+ is the ‘master regulator of human metabolism’ Link to reference and is essential for healthy mitochondria – the tiny ‘power plants’ in each cell. Our body makes and recycles more than enough NAD+ when we’re young.
But by your later 40s and 50s, levels of NAD+ may be about half what they were in your early twenties.
That’s because increasing levels of NAD+ are used by your body to try to counteract inflammation, adverse changes in the way important genes are expressed, a weakening immune system and DNA damage. And, if you are working, the effort of maintaining a reasonable work-life balance!
Low NAD+ levels are strongly associated with chronic illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and vision loss. Link to reference
“Maintaining NAD+ levels might be one of the most effective ways to increase overall health.”
General Practitioner Link to reference
Raising NAD+ can help reverse signs and health risks of ageing
The good news is that both animal and human research has now found that raising NAD+ levels can help:-
♦ Reverse signs of ageing Link to reference
♦ Improve cognitive health Link to reference
♦ Build back muscle Link to reference
♦ Lower the risk of many chronic diseases Link to reference
So how do you stop the decline of NAD+ - and even increase it - to combat fatigue and ageing?
BOOST NAD+ AND CELL ENERGY with Nicotinamide Riboside
AND PREVENT NAD+ DEPLETION with Apigenin
A wealth of recent studies has shown that supplementation with a new and patented variant of vitamin B3 called Nicotinamide Riboside increases NAD+. Link to reference helping your cells create more energy and repairing damaged DNA.
But it’s also important to prevent NAD+ from being depleted. Research shows that a natural plant nutrient called apigenin can inhibit the process that causes NAD+ depletion.
Apigenin is found in especially in camomile, parsley and celery. But not at levels that make a difference.
The combination of Nicotinamide Riboside with an optimum level of Apigenin is a unique twin strategy – supported by the very latest research – to increase the body’s available energy levels and support continuing health.
More on the research behind NAD+ and supplementing with NR
NAD+ and the mitochondria, the cell's "energy factories"
Mitochondria (one shown) are the mini ‘powerhouses’ of your cells. They produce the vital energy molecule ATP.
NAD+ is a co-enzyme and it is needed to metabolise food and create ATP within the mitochondria. Link to reference
Your production of energy is continuous, so NAD+ is produced in your cells – and used up – multiple times a day. So much so that, although it’s hard to believe, you create your body weight of ATP every day! That’s because each one of your 37 trillion cells is making and using NAD+ and therefore ATP an estimated 600 times a day.
The problem, as we have seen, is that the body has an increasing demand for energy as we get older. Energy needed to repair accumulated damage to cells and DNA and to counteract the many processes that lead to ageing.
At precisely the time when levels of NAD+ begin to fall.
YOUR ENERGY LEVELS DECLINE, IMPAIRING KEY BIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS, AND YOU AGE.
Decline in NAD+ affects many aspects of health
When the body is deficient in NAD+, it is rather like a battery that is running out of stored electricity. Link to reference
There is some evidence that the decline in NAD+ levels disproportionately affects skin, muscle and brain health.
A widely cited study published in the journal Science, entitled “NAD+ in Aging, metabolism and neurodegeneration” Link to reference confirms:
“Cellular NAD+ concentrations change during aging, and modulation of NAD+ usage or production can prolong both health span and life span”.
Boosting NAD+ levels also boosts DNA repair
The fact that boosting NAD+ also activates genes called sirtuins is really significant.
A large body of recent research shows that sirtuins repair damaged DNA, regenerate cells, counteract free radical (oxidative) damage and reduce inflammation. Unchecked, these are four major causes of ageing.
An article in Biogerontology entitled “Sirtuins – a promising target in slowing down the ageing process” confirms the anti-ageing role of sirtuins. Link to reference The article states that:
“One of the most promising targets for anti-ageing approaches are proteins belonging to the sirtuin family … In this manner it is possible to delay or even prevent some age-related pathologies.”
A further review from Washington University Link to reference stated that:
“SIRT1 activation has clear potential to not only prevent age-associated diseases, but also to extend health span and perhaps lifespan”.
NAD+, NR, Regenerating Stem Cells and Healthy Ageing
Another 2020 review article on the role of Nicotinamide Riboside Link to reference concluded that:
“ Oral supplementation with Nicotinamide Riboside has been shown to increase NAD+ levels in multiple tissues, along with increased SIRT activity, improved mitochondrial function, and regenerative potential of stem cells.”
The possibility that NR might increase stem cell production is intriguing, as loss of stem cells is known to be yet another driver of ageing.
Clinical trials in progress
As at early 2023, there are currently no less than 67 human clinical trials around the world testing Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) for a variety of conditions – all related to healthy ageing. Link to search of: nicotinamide riboside - List Results - ClinicalTrials.gov
NAD+ and NR for the Immune System
Effective immune response declines with age. This is directly linked to a reduction in cellular energy – making us more vulnerable to infections and mutated cells.
A 2021 study demonstrated that improving the level of NAD+ in cells via Nicotinamide Riboside NR helps recharge cellular energy levels which then improves immune response. Link to reference
NAD+ and NR role in blood pressure reduction
A 2022 review Link to reference states that improving NAD+ status:
“... has emerged as a potential target for combating age-related cardio-vascular and cerebro-vascular disorders … including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease”.
Considering these threats account for 1 in 3 deaths worldwide it’s a significant potential benefit.
The same study confirms that:
“Replenishment of NAD+ in vascular cells — either by the stimulation of NAD+ synthesis or the inhibition of its degradation — protects against age-related arterial stiffening and endothelial dysfunction”.
A 2019 study on middle-aged adults at the University of Colorado indicates that using oral Nicotinamide Riboside NR for six weeks works to decrease high systolic blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Link to reference
High blood pressure and arterial stiffness are both strong predictors of cardiovascular disease, so this study suggests that using Nicotinamide Riboside may help reduce the risk of related mortality. Link to reference
More benefits of Apigenin – in anxiety disorder, metabolic syndrome, cancer and brain health
Apigenin is a major compound in camomile and also occurs in parsley, onions and celery.
There is some indication that apigenin may reduce anxiety levels in patients with anxiety disorder Link to reference
More significantly, the Journal of the American Diabetes Association concluded that CD38 inhibitors like apigenin have a positive effect on the pre-diabetic condition known as metabolic syndrome. Link to reference.
Camomile helps this condition by improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar levels and thus – coupled with other lifestyle changes – may help reduce the risk of diabetes.
A very important potential benefit of apigenin is a reported ability to help reduce the risk of cancer. This is an effect reported in multiple studies – which is why so many drug companies are investigating apigenin. Link to reference
“Apigenin could represent a successful long-term treatment to prevent microglial activation and protect against or delay Alzheimer’s disease onset.”
There is no suggestion that an apigenin supplement can prevent cancer or dementia – and the dose levels in these trials were considerably higher than in Uni-Vite's NR+A nutraceutical supplement designed to increase NAD+.
Nevertheless, a daily intake of apigenin seems a safe and desirable element in an overall healthy ageing regime. However, the average intake of apigenin through diet is under 4 mg a day Link to reference
In a supplement designed to be an NAD+ activator, 30 mg (as in Uni-Vite's NR+A) should be enough to help counteract the draining effect of CD38.
You have a finite amount of NAD+ and it declines with age. Several processes compete for the limited amount of NAD+ including energy production and CD38. If one is too active, it can ‘starve’ the others.
I do realise this is all complicated – but so is your biology!
Supplements to restore NAD+
The first question you might ask on supplementation, is why not simply take NAD+ itself?
It is a large molecule, very poorly absorbed and when taken orally, there is no evidence it increases blood levels of NAD+.
So, to help the body make more NAD+ safely, we need two types of vitamin B3 in a supplement.
♦ First as Nicotinamide (abbreviated NAM)
♦ Second as Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)
Note: There is a third version (called NMN or Nicotinamide Mononucleotide), but supplementing directly with this version of vitamin B3 has not had safety approval in Europe. NMN was also recently classified as a drug by the American FDA, who have called for use as a supplement to be withdrawn.
Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation
We know from a large body of recent research that supplementing with Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) does increase NAD+ and hence ATP, which then raises energy levels to support health and vitality. Link to reference.
Food sources of Nicotinamide Riboside are very limited and typical dietary levels are low - averagely just 1 mg a day, obtained mainly from cow’s milk and brewer’s yeast. So, you are very unlikely to get enough from your diet to significantly boost your NAD+ levels.
A study conducted at the University of Colorado confirms that supplementing with Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) stimulates NAD+ metabolism. Link to reference In this study, an average increase of 40% in NAD+ levels was achieved from Nicotinamide Riboside supplementation in less than 3 weeks.
Other studies show that supplementing with NR may be beneficial for reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, too. Link to reference
As you may have seen if you watched the video earlier, the unique advantage of supplementing with NR+A (Nicotinamide Riboside plus Apigenin) is that you not only increase NDA+, you also inhibit CD38, which otherwise drains NAD+.
The safety of any nutraceutical formula is a top priority. Uni-Vite's NAD+ booster contains:
250 mg of Nicotinamide Riboside + 30 mg Apigenin + 4 mg Nicotinamide
The COMBINATION means that at the same time as you are making more NAD+ with the help of NR, you'll also be losing less from the effects of Apigenin.
Nicotinamide Riboside Safety
This daily level of NR has been passed as safe by the US FDA and NR is classified as a safe novel food by the European Food Safety Authority.
Links to references:
Safety and Metabolism of Long-term Administration of ... (Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride) in a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial of Healthy Overweight Adults - PubMed (nih.gov)
Apigenin is a very safe natural plant compound. The key meta study The Therapeutic Potential of Apigenin - PMC (nih.gov) concluded that: “Apigenin is considered safe, even at high doses, and no toxicity has been reported”.
THE BIG PICTURE ON NAD+ AND WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPLEMENT
Over the last few years there has been an explosion of scientific research into the importance of NAD+.
A key article from 2021 sums up the story – NAD+ metabolism and its roles in cellular processes during ageing Link to reference It confirms that, because NAD+ is critical for energy, it also positively affects:
◊ Cellular and DNA repair
◊ Immune response
◊ Cardiovascular health (heart)
◊ Neurogenesis and maintenance of cognitive (brain) health
In so doing, it is central to staying healthy as you age.
Thanks for reading
I spend my time researching the new science of healthy, successful ageing. And how to extend health span rather than just lifespan.
And if you enjoyed it, please send the link of this article to any friend or family member who might benefit.
NR+A in conjunction with NutriShield Premium
From the beginning, we designed NutriShield to be a comprehensive supplement to support natural healthy living and healthy ageing.
You’ll see from the above that one major reason that NAD+ declines so much over time is that increasing amounts are used up counteracting inflammation.
Since NutriShield contains very many anti-inflammatory nutrients – curcumin, extracts of green tea, grapeseed and bilberry, Omega 3, isoflavones – it will slow the drain on NAD+.
Since, too, Nutrishield also contains high levels of anti-oxidants – beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, Omega 3, glucosamine and betaine – it will also help to reduce free radical damage to mitochondria and cells.
NutriShield also contains CoQ10, which doesn’t increase NAD+ levels, but it does help support ATP/energy production within your mitochondria via a different route (called the electron-transport chain). Link to reference
NutriShield also includes the version of vitamin B3 called Nicotinamide (NAM) which does help make NAD+. But for very complex (epigenetic) reasons, it is counterproductive to supplement with more than 40mg a day.
So if you are a regular NutriShield customer, I believe you are still taking the most comprehensive healthy ageing supplement.
But we cannot ignore new research as it comes in. I see our role to report it and to make sure you have the best options.
The importance of NAD+ is a comparatively new discovery. And cellular energy IS critical to counteracting the increasing forces of ageing – and hence age-related illnesses – as time goes by. According to a March 2023 article in the New Scientist it may be central to avoiding or postponing cognitive decline.
So I invite you to read the relevant articles we have put here in the Health Library.
And if it’s within your budget, I do believe that NutriShield combined with NR+A is ideal – and a very worthwhile extra component of your healthy ageing plan. Check out the detailed pages on this site here.
One final point: You’ll be improving the way your mitochondria function to increase cellular energy. This does translate somewhat to muscular energy.
But the main purpose is energy directed towards DNA repair, immune, cardio and cognitive function, so most people won’t get a sudden burst of teenage level exuberance! But it will be working.
NutriShield Premium Health Supplement
NutriShield Premium was originally designed by Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.
It contains 6 different capsules, combining a total of 43 powerful nutrients to support healthy ageing and has been updated and improved every year since 2002 based on the newest longevity research.
Delay Ageing book explains the ageing process and how you can postpone it
Medical researchers agree that if you slow ageing, you also delay the onset of age-related disease. And we know that it’s not just nutrition. Sleep, reducing stress and cardio and strength exercise are also essential to longevity and ageing well.
My book Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, published in 2020, explains the latest ageing science in an accessible way.
It’s been rated 5-star and I am sure you will get a lot of benefit from it, as so many have already.
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