Spotlight on NAD+
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+, sometimes referred to as NADH) is an essential molecule found in every living cell. This critical coenzyme is used by all living cells to generate energy.
NAD+ is used by cellular machines like sirtuins, the family of proteins that regulate cellular health. It helps cells respond to stress and maintain their overall health.
1. NAD+ and Ageing:
Our NAD+ levels decrease with age. By age 60, our NAD+ levels are approximately half of what they were in our 40s. As we age our bodies can’t replace the cells that die as quickly with new ones. This contributes significantly to the ageing process.
2. NAD+ and Fat Metabolism:
One of NAD+’s most essential functions is energy metabolism. Our cells use NAD+ to turn the food (and drinks) we consume into the energy we need to stay healthy. NAD+ does this by turning into the hydrogen-carrying version of itself (NADH) which aids in burning fats and proteins in the cell.
3. NAD+ and Carbohydrates:
NAD+ also turns into NADH to help convert carbs into energy. It plays an essential role in glycolysis, the cycle by which our bodies convert sugars into energy.
4. NAD+ and Sleep:
The production of NAD+ is one of the many biological processes in our bodies that follows a circadian rhythm. Energy metabolism, hormone regulation, and body temperature variations all rely on a 24-hour cycle. NAD+ helps regulate circadian rhythms by keeping them in sync.
5. NAD+ and Oxidative Stress:
While our bodies need oxygen, the metabolism of oxygen can sometimes affect other parts our cells, causing oxidative stress. Since NAD+ is an important part of the body’s defence against oxidative stress.
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