NAD+, a new discovery in anti-ageing

By Dr Guanchen Sun

Ageing is an unavoidable fact of life. But despite this, there are a number of things we can do to slow down the process and effects of ageing, and in this article we are going to detail one of the latest advances in science that helps combat the ageing process.

Life’s choices, its ups and downs and even where we decide to live and work can all impact your personal ageing journey. These external and environmental factors combined with sun damage, diet, exercise regime, sleep quality and stress levels all contribute to the speed at which our cells age.

Whilst our bodies are equipped and have the tools to repair cell damage, the ability to do this efficiently decreases with age, hence the onset of the appearance of ageing and increased risk of disease. 

Scientists have found a way to cheat nature a little by discovering how to boost nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels, resulting in a powerful anti-ageing remedy that can deliver benefits to almost every part of the body, ultimately regenerating  skin and reducing the speed at which fine lines and wrinkles appear. Put succinctly, if you can increase the energy in an ageing cell, it will mimic the function of a younger cell and result in better skin.

The most significant research and discoveries made around (NAD+) is that it is a major contributor to the metabolism of our bodies’ cells and that by boosting NAD+ levels, it regenerates cells sooner by giving them an energy boost and stopping them from ageing or dying. 

University researchers and scientists worldwide have made significant advances by distinguishing the particular compounds and reactions that contribute to ageing at a cellular level. Professor David Sinclair of UNSW School of Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical School, Boston has made significant progress in research and trials related to NAD+ and its positive effects resulting in anti-ageing.

The most significant research and discoveries made around (NAD+) is that it is a major contributor to the metabolism of our bodies’ cells and that by boosting NAD+ levels, it regenerates cells sooner by giving them an energy boost and stopping them from ageing or dying. Hence, slowing down the overall ageing process in our bodies.

Scientists have discovered that NAD+ when found in larger quantities activates enzymes that are responsible for combating internal and external signs of ageing and the onset of many diseases later in life.

The most significant enzyme related to ageing skin is poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). This group of proteins are involved in many different cell processes including DNA repair, genomic stability and cell death.

Sirtuins are another group of enzymes that are activated with increased NAD+ levels. Sirtuins are responsible for metabolism, cellular repair and memory. Resveratrol is also an activator of longevity enzyme, Sirtuin1. Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, is one of the major reasons that drinking wine can be beneficial to health. Although the amount of resveratrol in red wine is relatively low, there is much scientific research that supports the health and anti-ageing activities of resveratrol.

The latest research published in June 2020 shows that the compound Niacin is an efficient NAD+ booster in humans. Nicotinic acid (niacin) is a safe NAD+ precursor which has been taken by humans for over 70 years. Taking nicotinic acid with an empty stomach may cause a transient harmless flushing effect. This is because nicotinic acid can dilate vessels under the skin. Some people might experience their skin turning pink for a few minutes but this flushing reaction is harmless and is ultimately beneficial to skin. By dilating blood vessels, many cells can receive increased blood supply, nutrients and oxygen, while metabolic wastes that are deposited in the cells can be flushed away. This is a great way to help regenerate the skin before or after cosmetic procedures. Many companies now use niacin-based ingredients in their formulations and since it is a nutrient natural to the body, it is safe to use.

Research also shows that our bodies produce senescent cells which cease to grow or divide, and our immune system removes these cells. During ageing, our immune system becomes compromised and cannot clear the senescent cells effectively. As a result, they may accumulate and cause ageing-related health issues, especially problems with heart and bones and tired-looking skin. NAD+ assists in the clearance of senescent cells and support heart function, protect bones and improves skin tone.

From a cosmetic perspective, NAD+ can improve:

  • Sun/environment-damaged Skin
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Skin tone and clarity
  • Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass)
  • Wrinkles and fine lines

Even though NAD+ is a relatively new approach, it is rapidly gaining recognition across the globe. Scientific research proves its efficiency, and an increasing number of clinics consider including NAD+ in the list of their products and services. Over some time, this revolutionary method will likely become mainstream.

About Dr Guanchen Sun

Dr Sun is a Doctor of Pharmacy, graduating from the University of Sydney. He is the senior science adviser of Biogency Pty Ltd. Biogency is a biotech company based in Sydney, which develops anti-ageing products based on the mechanism of enhancing NAD+ metabolism and clearing senescent cells. All Biogency products are approved by the TGA.