What are NAD+ and NMN?
They’re at the cutting edge of science in the field of ageing, but what are NMN and NAD+, and what do we need them for? We spoke to Edward van Harmelen, the founder of Youth and Earth, to find about more about these molecules and how our bodies can make more of them.
What is NAD+?
NAD+ is an enzyme that’s used in many very key processes in the body. NAD is short for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide and we’ve actually known about it for over 100 years. It was one of the first molecules on earth and exists in every living cell. The molecule is used by the body all the time. Without it, it’s likely we’d die within 30 seconds!
NAD+ is integral to many bodily processes. Being involved in mitochondrial function, part of the normal production of energy in the body, it can keep us feeling active. It’s involved in ATP processes that can help us be active for longer. It’s also very important in DNA repair, identifying damage and fixing the molecules, and signalling.
As the mitochondria in our cells start slowing down and DNA damage starts increasing as we age, we use more and more NAD+. This is why levels of it decrease over time, with the feeling of slowing down as we age.
What is NMN?
We can’t absorb NAD+ directly. It’s too large a molecule for the body to cope with. Instead, supplements take the form of its precursors, which are ingredients your body can then convert. One such a precursor is NMN, or Nicotinamide Mononucleotide. By taking NMN you boost NAD+ levels in cells all over the body.
Around 20 years ago, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered genes called Sirtuins or SIRT1 genes. As humans, we have seven of these genes, but they help to protect all organisms on the planet from deterioration and disease. They work in the cellular pathways that control cell death. They also influence anti-ageing genes, help repair DNA, and regulate our metabolism.
When researchers put more of these genes into test organisms, they found that their lifespans were lengthened by between 5% and 20%. They began to mimic these genes using molecules and one of these molecules was NMN.
NMN is a Vitamin B3 derivative. Without it (and consequently NAD+), the SIRT1’s can’t do their job properly to fight ageing, and that’s one reason why we can feel our bodies slowing down as we age.
Can you increase it naturally?
There are ways to increase levels of NAD+ in the body. Exercise is one way to raise your levels and maintain more energy as you age. A sedentary lifestyle is something that can speed up the decline of the molecule. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is especially good for NAD+. As the enzyme gives you more energy, this also means you’ll be able to do more exercise in turn, creating an active cycle that’s great for your body. Exercising regularly is good for cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight and better sleep, which will also leave you feeling more energised.
Stress and illness can also decrease our levels of NAD+ so it’s important to look after our health and get enough rest.
Our diets also dictate the amount of NAD+ in our bodies. Vegetables and fish are the best natural sources. NMN can be found in certain green foods including broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame and avocado. Having said this, the amounts of NMN found in food tend to be quite low. You’d have to eat about a kilogram of broccoli to get a milligram of the molecule on board!
The best way to raise levels of NMN and NAD+ is the through supplementation. The body can easily absorb NMN and use it for a variety of bodily functions. liz is a big fan of the specific, so-called ‘anti-ageing’ supplements available at Youth and Earth. They’re on the cutting edge of nutritional supplementation to help maintain better quality of life as we grow older. Their NMN is potent and pure, and is available in both capsule and powder form.
Use the code LIZLOVES at checkout to receive 20% off your order of any of their interesting ranges.
What does it do?
Those over 40 are likely to see dramatic differences when supplementing NMN, as by this point natural levels in the body will have started to decline. You will likely notice a boost in energy that occurs shortly after you start supplementing. Many people report feeling lighter, more supple and less tired. Some customers also say that they feel less bloated and sluggish throughout the day. NMN can also help to keep your skin feeling elastic, as it helps with DNA repair. We think it’s a great supplement to take to feel fresher every day and help ward off the signs of ageing in our body.