Today, scientists and like-minded individuals have taken a keen interest on how they can at least slow the aging process if not reversing it altogether. In that regard, reactive oxygen species and free radicals among other factors have been particularly discovered to play a substantial role in aging. Free radicals are molecules that lack an electron to make them stable. They will therefore pick up an electron from the first item they come across. If the item is a protein enzyme useful in activating the core metabolic processes, the process will fail to take off and lead to a defective body.
NAD+ is known to play the balancing role in redox reactions that produce most of the reactive oxygen species in cells. When NAD+ is decreased, it leads to a build-up of ROS, which can cause damages to the cells and other critical proteins in the body.
How NAD+ Works to Accelerate or Slow Aging Process
Low NAD+ levels or its deficiency predisposes the body to accelerated aging as well as impeding the body’s ability to benefit fully from resveratrol. Luckily though, restoration of NAD+ cellular count to the recommended amounts does not require rocket science knowledge.
Repair of Damaged DNA
DNA is one of the most vulnerable proteins in the body, despite having a protective shelter for the chromosomes. DNA is often damaged by being exposed to several intracellular processes that do not support its existence. Thankfully, DNA can undergo cellular repairs upon damage.
Once the cells notice their DNA has been damaged, the body reacts by releasing PARP-1 enzyme which is responsible for DNA repair in cells. This enzyme works in the presence of NAD+ and may deplete those that are available to that cell. With this first depletion, subsequent DNA repairs will be hindered unless the levels of NAD are increased in the cells.
As soon as NAD+ levels are replenished to cells, DNA repair can resume, hence preventing the death of cells due to stress. Studies with animal models with neurodegenerative disease gave useful insights into the working of NAD+. When cellular NAD was increased, it significantly lessened the severity of disorders, led to normal neuromuscular functions, delayed loss of memory as well as extending lifespan.
Therefore, this demonstrates that when DNA repair is improved through increasing levels of NAD, it can result in slow aging of cells and make cancer causing mutations less persistent. Furthermore, the increased NAD+ levels can play substantive roles in guarding against inflammatory conditions like atherosclerosis.
NAD+ Can Modulate Signaling of Immune Cells
The aging process is potentially harmful to the aging process. The cells tend to lose sight of their intended functions and may become over-reactive, causing autoimmune diseases. Some of the immune cells tend to slow down during aging, which increases risks of contracting infections. This process is known as immunosenescence. Scientists have found it to be highly connected to the function of mitochondria energy balance. Both of them are fully dependent on the activity of NAD+.
The levels of NAD+ within cells (intracellular) usually regulate both immune and inflammatory pathways. This is inclusive of cytokine TNF-alpha, which is a highly crucial signaling molecule.