In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, molecular biologist Dr. Nichola Conlon joins me to talk about the role of a little molecule found in every cell in your body that has a huge impact on aging. She specializes in the study of aging as a biologically complex disorder, specifically the role of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide).
You’re going to learn about how NAD+ works in the body from this scientist who was named one of 2021’s Coolest Female Founders of UK Tech Making Huge Impacts.
Dr. Conlon says a key thing for people to understand is to go back to why NAD+ actually declines. “You really need to understand actually how NAD+ is produced by the cells when they’re young.”
NAD+ is a natural molecule found in every cell in our bodies. It’s involved in energy production, helping convert the food you eat into the energy your cells need to stay alive. It is an activator of longevity proteins that are associated with cellular health and good aging, DNA repair and more. But as you get older, those NAD+ levels rapidly decline. Dr. Conlon explored why.
“It’s become a lot more apparent recently that it’s not just energy production that NAD+ is involved with,” Dr. Conlon says. “It’s also involved in cellular maintenance and repair. It’s almost like the fuel which switches on different enzymes and different processes. NAD+ is critical and actually driving DNA repair and making sure that DNA repair enzymes get to the damage site and do the job that is required.”
She says she got frustrated with the lag time between scientific discovery and actually getting new supplements and drugs to consumers—often a process of 10 to 15 years. “It’s like all of science is encapsulated in this bubble, where it never actually gets out to real people in the outside world,” Dr. Conlon says.
So, she took her years of expertise focused on early stage drug discovery with a leading biotech firm and founded Nuchido. She uses a “systems pharmacology” approach to look at the complexity of our individual biology because there’s no single magic bullet for any ailment. Systems pharmacology has three main principles that differ from conventional pharmaceutical discovery, Dr. Conlon says.
- “Biology is really complex and there is a lot going on and it is very robust. It’s built to withstand impact generally and it doesn’t ignore that. It actually looks at every single gene, every single pathway, every single protein, every single feedback, feedforward, inhibition, everything that is going on and almost looks at it as a big network.”
- “It’s never, ever scientifically plausible to take a single target approach. Try to put your finger on one tiny little piece of that massive complex puzzle, it’s just never going to work,”
- “You’ve got to take a multi targeted approach and look at the best combinations of targets within all of that complexity and understand how you can target them.”
Nuchido looked at NAD+ through that lens and wanted to repair the ways our bodies lose that NAD. Dr. Conlon and her team of scientists and scientific advisors– several who are giants in the field of biogerontology–identified the right combination of targets to restore cellular NAD+ production back to youthful levels, leading to the development of a breakthrough NAD+ booster called Nuchido TIME+.
The TIME+ booster restores and improves the cell’s ability to make and recycle its own NAD+, makes cells more efficient at making NAD+ again, stops cells from wasting NAD+, and reboots the efficiency of your salvage pathway recycling. Your cell function improves and you get your energy back. Pretty cool!
Dr. Conlon says, “I think people don’t realize how their energy is actually really pretty bad and the brain fog is pretty bad, and then all of a sudden when it’s gone, they’re like, ‘Wow! I feel like I can breathe again. I’ve been living under a cloud.’”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
- How do I just make stuff that works whatever has to be in there and get it out?” That’s what we’re going to talk about today. – 1:56
- I think the bit that generally, that we’re really bad at is actually piecing it all together and looking at the wider picture. – 5:42
- If there’s one good thing that’s come out of COVID that is how quickly that you can actually get a drug or a vaccine or something to market. – 8:11
- Using an approach called systems pharmacology, which came out of big pharma, but you’re using it for natural compounds. Explain what that is. – 12:22
- Instead of ignoring the complexity and ignoring the fact that drugs stick to multiple things, you actually use it to your advantage. – 14:43
- NAD, it’s a fundamental molecule, but I wonder how did you get to that one when you could have done like 50,000 different other molecules? – 18:50
- NAD is critical and actually driving this DNA repair and making sure that DNA repair enzymes get to the damage site and actually do the job that is required. – 22:46
- We use NAD, it becomes nicotinamide, and then we recycle it back into NAD. – 27:08
- The bad recycling pathway is one of the ways we lose NAD, but there’s another major way we lose NAD and then I want to talk about how to fix the recycling pathway. – 32:04
- What CD38 does, is it’s basically involved in immune activation. And it has to use a huge amount of NADs as its substrate to make the enzyme go – 32:42
- Nuchido TIME+ has CD38 blockers in there. – 35:02
- Initially that was around a 90% increase above baseline. So, that’s not bad at all because we weren’t putting anything into the system, this was just fixing the system. – 38:50
- On average, we were able to increase NAD by 242% over two weeks supplementation with the formulation that became Nuchido TIME+. – 39:44
- We see an increased expression of NAMPT. We found that we were getting an increased expression of the sirtuins. – 41:11
- 48% of people under 40 have early onset mitochondrial dysfunction according to the research in Super Human, – 42:40
- The salvage pathway it can recycle multiple different vitamin B3 precursors, but the main thing is that it’s kind of utilizing what is already in the cell. – 45:56
- We can see in the blood cells of people that have actually been taking TIME+ we see an upregulation of this NAMPT enzyme. – 47:06
- If there’s an energy stress such as fasting, where you’ve kind of got a lack of fuel coming into the body, it basically turns up NAD production. – 51:10
- If you take Nuchido TIME+ at the end of the fast, right at the time when usually AMPK will be getting turned down and your NAD levels would be starting to get turned down you actually extend the benefits of the fast because you keep in those beneficial pathways actually activated. – 53:57
- You have to be more careful about the other things you take with bioperine containing supplements. – 59:59
- Would not take B complex with your supplement or you would just be careful about it? – 1:02:12
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