Ageing and NAD+ (NMN)

27 de julho de 2022

Understanding the ageing process and the supporting role NAD+ plays - can it really make you biologically younger??

When I began my own personal journey into alternative health, I couldn’t help notice that while there was no shortage of people promoting and selling products on Instagram and Facebook, there was certainly a massive shortage of people focussed on explaining any of the how and why behind these ‘boom and bust’ style supplements and daily practices.

When I was new to the industry this lack of information was a enormous source of frustration to me. Maybe I am wired differently to other people but for me to understand or even try anything, first I need to know the why and how behind it.

I’m pretty good at having my hopes raised by the claims of a product only to have the bubble well and truly burst as I begin to deep dive into the actual science.

While it used to be a source of great frustration, these days I have to acknowledge that, if this was not the case, I would still be living in the UK and sitting in an office for 12 hours a day slowly going insane.

It was this very lack of information that started my own personal journey deep down the rabbit hole of natural health. It’s the reason I now work in an industry I am passionate about.

6 years later, and multiple qualifications not to mention thousands of hours of research under my belt and now it’s time to impart that knowledge to a wider audience.

Due to the sheer volume of new products hitting the market which, are rarely mainstream or in anyway regulated, I feel I have a duty to explain to consumers, in finite detail the science behind the claims in an attempt to either legitimise or de-legitimise this endless flow of new ‘wonder’ products.

In today's article we are going to be focussing on a supplement that you may have heard about, especially if you are a listener of the Joe Rogan podcast. The product in question is NAD+ (sometimes referred to as NMN).

For those of you who don't already know NAD+ is being touted by a number of highly respected biologists and geneticists, such as David Sinclair (PhD), as a potential miracle cure for the one disease that every living being on this planet is certain to suffer, ageing.

But before we jump into NAD+ we're going to give you as brief a biology lesson as we possibly can on what ageing actually is.


As you know already, the human body is made up of millions of tiny cells and inside the nucleus of each of these cells, our genes are arranged along twisted, double - stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the tip of each chromosome are lengths of DNA called telomeres.

These telomeres protect our genetic data and make it possible for our cells to divide. Furthermore, it has also been discovered that telomeres hold the answers to some pretty big secrets about how and why we age.

Every time a cell divides, these telomeres shorten ever so slightly and once they become too short, the cells can no longer divide, at which time they either become inactive or die. These are referred to as senescent cells. This shortening of telomeres is thought to be one aspect associated with ageing and death.


DNA is obviously another vital component to the ageing process as it is extremely vulnerable to damage such as broken DNA strands or even gene mutations.

Over time and as this damage begins to accumulate it contributes to an acceleration of the ageing process. Often this can also lead to very specific lifespan reducing diseases as well as compromised immunity.

Immunosenescence cells can cause damage in ageing bodies


As we grow older our immune cells start to become inconsistent, or even erratic. Some may become overactive which is something we see regularly in modern society with so many autoimmune sufferers. It can also become slow or inactive leaving people prone to infection and general illness.

Both deficiencies are called immunosenescence which is a process closely linked to our mitochondrial function and energy balance both of which rely on healthy NAD+ activity.

Cellular energy loss

Another universal aspect in ageing is the loss of cellular energy. This leads to a reduction in something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and in turn, an inadequate level of cellular fuel required to power your body.

ATP is our primary source of cellular energy. In fact, all living entities including plants and animals require a continual supply of cellular energy in order to survive or even function.

A large causal factor for cellular energy loss is a breakdown in efficiency of the main pathway that we use to extract energy from our food, a function known as ‘the electron transport chain’. Disorders such as bone degradation and even obesity have been closely linked to the loss of this critical pathway.

Chromosome instability

Our chromosomes are extremely complex. A way to simplify them is; DNA is in our genes and genes are on our chromosomes. Like all other ‘complex structures’ chromosomes can become unstable and this can create havoc.

To ensure each gene is functioning properly, access is required to certain DNA strands for 'relaying' genetic instructions and this requires biochemical control of these proteins. After time, instability can create errors in how genes are interpreted leading to harmful changes in both cell structure and function. An increase in chromosome instability is directly linked to an acceleration in the ageing process.


Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain which relay signals between nerve cells. Via this process they help to regulate functions across your entire body. Such as, your appetite, your stress levels and your overall mood. Multiple studies have shown that sufficient levels of NAD+ are vital for healthy brain function.

Sirtuins are a family of signaling proteins involved in metabolic regulation


Sirtuins are major regulators of cellular ageing due to their ability to manipulate and fundamentally influence functions such as DNA repair or a bodies inflammatory response. They also play an integral role in whether our cells enter a replicative cycle or die a programmed death.

Activation of sirtuins has shown extreme promise in preserving healthy brain function and fighting heart disease however, they simply cannot function in anyway without sufficient levels of NAD+. While this information may seem like gobbledegook to many of you, this really is a brief dive into the fundamental steps involved in the ageing process.

So how can NAD+ supplementation help

Well for an in-depth answer to this question I strongly recommend a book (or audiobook) called lifespan written by David Sinclair PhD however here are some of the science backed highlights that are directly relevant to the information above.

#1 - NAD+ has shown in a multitude of studies to be critical in the functioning of sirtuin proteins which are required to help maintain the length and health of telomeres.

While there is also evidence that foods and supplements rich in polyphenols, such as pterostilbene and resveratrol may also help in the activation of sirtuins, evidence suggests they function much more effectively when NAD+ is activated.

#2 - DNA can fight back and repair itself by activating an enzyme (PARP-1) which carries out DNA repair within our cells. However, to achieve this PARP-1 relies guessed it, NAD+.

When PARP-1 carries out DNA repair, it consumes vast quantities of NAD+ and as we get older our natural NAD+ levels deplete which has a significant impact on our ability to repair our DNA.

Replenishing your NAD+ levels holds the key to your body’s ability to restore the DNA repair process and can also prevent cell death under stress.

#3 - Adequate levels of NAD+ are critically important for youthful cellular energy, one of most important factors in avoiding immunosenescence. It’s also vital for maintaining our defences against autoimmune disease and infection.

#4 - A growing number of studies show that raising levels of NAD+ is an extremely rapid and effective way of restoring 'electron transport chain function'. NAD+ achieves this by promoting the production of a number of essential enzymes involved in sustaining youthful cell function as well as energy extraction. This helps to reduce physiological decline and provides protection from age-related disease.

#5 NAD+ Helps stabilise chromosomes - In order to function properly the enzymes involved in ensuring 'stable chromosomal structure' require NAD+.

In animal studies it was shown that when NAD+ was present in sufficient levels it contributed directly to longevity. However, when the enzymes that require NAD+ to function were inactive, cells were found to replicate abnormally and chromosome structure suffered considerably.

#6 - Multiple studies show that NAD+ is vital for sustaining healthy brain function due to its effects on neurotransmitters. In fact, a study published in the Journal of biomedical science suggests that NAD+ actually meets all of the criteria to qualify as a neurotransmitter itself.

#7 - NAD helps to regulate cellular ageing by activating sirtuins - Humankind has long searched for the secret elixir to unlocking endless youth and more recently this search has been focussed on supplements that have the ability to regulate or boost our sirtuins.

Supplements such as quercetin, resveratrol and pterbolene have shown some promise as potential activators. However, none of these compounds can even function where NAD+ is lacking.

A very long story short…..without sufficient levels of NAD+ sirtuins simply cannot function, DNA repair would cease and our inflammatory process would be severely compromised.

NAD+ was first discovered as an integral part of the process which channels chemical energy from the food we consume to the ATP fuel our cells need to survive. It is also a functioning signalling molecule involved in processes that relate to the production of energy in both sirtuins and PARP-1 so its ‘kind of a big deal’.

The advantages of sufficient levels of NAD+ in this area are 2 fold. PARP-1 needs to consume large quantities of NAD+ to work efficiently while high levels of NAD+ is also known to activate sirtuins.

Final thoughts

As our cellular energy diminishes so does our very life force but there really is a reason to get excited. While I am not suggesting that we can live forever or that anyone would truly want to, is there anyone out there that wouldn’t want their quality of life to be maintained for as long as that life may happen to last? I know I would.

We do hope you enjoyed this dive into ageing and NAD+ and we hope you learned something new, and if you have any questions or comments as always please feel free to contribute in the comments section or by sharing the article on your social media. it really does help.

If you are interested in arranging a free no-obligation discovery session with one of our certified functional complementary medicine experts contact us anytime on

Good vibes

Nikki Jo Edyvane - MCMA

Written by Nikki Jo Edyvane - MCMA aka Natural Health Nut

Nikki is a certified breath work coach and complementary medical practitioner specialising in the endocannabinoid system, plant medicine and the gut brain connection. He is an associate member of the Complementary Medical Association.

He's also a very keen blogger, podcaster, yoga breath teacher and all round educator of all things natural.

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