How to use NAD+ to Stand Up to Stressors, Starting in the Cells
If you read Super Human, my recent New York Times bestseller about how to live for at least 180 years, you’ve already learned some of the reasons you want to keep your NAD+ levels high. One way I do it is by taking Tru Niagen®, and I have for years now.
As you might imagine, the first step to living a long time is…not dying. That’s why most people now are paying extra attention to ways to support cellular defense. Although there isn’t yet conclusive research in humans, I’m all over the ways NAD+ functions in cellular defense and repair.
NAD+: Essential for Cellular Defense and Repair
Our cells are constantly under attack. Each day we accumulate quadrillions of new mutations in DNA, both from outside attackers like infection and alcohol and from the daily breakdown of food and air known as “metabolism.” Our bodies have powerful defenses to halt and repair this cellular damage that accumulates over time, and all defense and repair systems in your body require energy. To use energy to power your defense systems, your body needs an intracellular supply of NAD+ in order to move electrons around.
During quarantine, your body might undergo more stress than it usually does like a poor diet, heavy alcohol consumption, a lack of sleep, and a lack of exercise. All of those reduce NAD+ levels, and when NAD+ levels are low, cells have a harder time producing and moving the energy they need to function at their best.
The reason I use Tru Niagen® is that it is clinically proven to raise levels of NAD+, which I already know is a part of my healthy aging program, and now I see evidence that it may support the function of cells when they are stressed.
Stronger Metabolism Equals More Resilience
Sirtuins play a key role in regulating our body’s metabolism and cellular health. That’s why they are a major focus of new healthy aging research. We do know that NAD+ operates sirtuins, and nicotinamide riboside activates them.
When you eat large amounts of food, it combines with oxygen in your cells, which makes free radicals. The more food, or the lower the quality of the food, the more free radicals. When your metabolism creates more free radicals than your cells can neutralize with their onboard antioxidant defenses, the free radicals cause DNA damage. The more DNA damage accumulates, the more you get cellular senescence (resulting in the symptoms of aging) and genetic mutations that have been linked to chronic conditions such as cancer. In Super Human, this is one of the hackable “7 pillars of aging” that we know cause aging.
Metabolic researchers know that sirtuins decrease this kind of damage by slowing down metabolism. The current working hypothesis is that boosting levels of sirtuins could effectively “mimic” calorie restriction, which obviously would reduce oxidative stress in your cells. As I’ve mentioned, NAD+ levels decline with age, with infections, and with all other daily stressors of life. Fortunately, recent studies have found that restoring NAD+ levels seems to support heart and muscle health. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, it’s enough evidence for me to proactively take action, but as with every study that’s ever been published in academia, “further research is needed.” Fortunately, there is a ton of research on NAD+ and sirtuins underway.
So How Do You Raise Your NAD+ Levels at Home?
One of my favorite ways is to use Tru Niagen®, the commercialized form of nicotinamide riboside. Studies show it is an effective NAD+ booster when used as directed, as you may have heard on the Bulletproof Radio episodes about NAD+. There’s a lot of research supporting it – Niagen®, the active ingredient in Tru Niagen®, is backed by 11 published human trials (not just animals or cell cultures), and over 40 ongoing human trials, and it has regulatory acceptance from the United States FDA, Health Canada, European Commission, and Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia. It is the most studied and evidence-backed NAD+ precursor I’ve seen on the market.
There have always been sources of stress, and we have always existed in a sea of bacteria, viruses, pollution, and basic metabolic aging. There’s a clear case for you to keep your NAD+ levels higher to support cellular defense and repair with Tru Niagen®. It’s what I’m doing!