The human body’s natural response to foreign bacteria is to defend itself. You probably know how this works. Our immune system releases white blood cells to fight off infections and other diseases to make sure we stay healthy. After our recent brush with the Covid-19 pandemic, we can’t take our immune system for granted.
There are plenty of ways we can boost our immune system. It usually starts with a balanced diet, exercise, and vitamin supplements. But did you know that white blood cells aren’t the only heroes in your system?
While scientists looked for ways to prolong human life, they made a breakthrough with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a naturally occurring molecule in human and animal cells. It helps create energy to maintain and repair cells. When your basic building blocks are in good shape, you are in good shape.
NAD+ levels decline with age. This is one of the reasons why older people tend to be more susceptible to diseases. When you improve the production or supplement NAD+ in the body, you can prevent a host of infections and improve your overall health.
NAD+ and Our Viral Response
NAD+ does not work alone in the whole viral response process. It works alongside a protein called poly-ADP ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1). This protein helps the breakdown of NAD+ in the body to stimulate the immune response. PARP-1’s antiviral properties make it one of our first lines of defense against viruses like SARS-CoV 2, also known as Coronavirus. However, increased PARP-1 activity means increased consumption of NAD+.
Researchers suggest that supplementing NAD+ could decrease the extreme immune response and reduce the chances of a cytokine storm, something that happens when the immune system sends out too many inflammatory signals. This discovery may significantly decrease high mortality rates and increase patient recovery rates.
Extreme Infections and NAD+
When battling an inflection, there’s a possibility that the body will attack its own tissues. This extreme response is called sepsis, and anyone who watches medical dramas knows that this can be life-threatening. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
According to the CDC, 1.7 million adults develop sepsis in the U.S. Patients may recover, but a third of those may still die due to secondary complications.
Researchers found that nanoparticles loaded with NAD+ can mitigate the initial immune response and secondary infections in mice. In short? It can prevent the worst-case scenario. One of the lethal consequences of sepsis is organ failure. This is due to the lack of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule that revitalizes cells with energy. By restoring NAD+, mice were able to maintain their ATP levels.
Only time will tell how this will translate to humans. For more updates on NAD+ and immune system research, you can check out: nad.com
Other Benefits of NAD+ Consumption
Aside from restoring and strengthening the immune system, NAD+ has other benefits. NAD+ repairs muscle, treats metabolic disorders, and reduces the risk of age-related diseases.
Decreased Risk of Age-Related Diseases
Humans and animals have guardian genes responsible for combating diseases called sirtuins. They play a vital role in sustaining genome integrity and increasing lifespan. To function properly, these genes need NAD+.
Replenishing NAD+ in the body can fuel sirtuins and prevent the risk of common age-related conditions like hypertension and dementia.
Fighting Metabolic Disorders
Besides reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, evidence suggests that NAD+ could improve metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, boost overall metabolism, and enhance the positive effects of exercise and diet.
Improving Muscle Repair
Your body follows a circadian rhythm that dictates how your biological processes work in a 24-hour period. As you get older, your circadian rhythm shifts and can throw off different aspects of your health. One of the notable changes is how your body bounces back from an injury.
When you were younger, you could probably bounce back quickly without much effort. However, when you are older, it might take a while and even after recovery, things could feel off. Since NAD+ has a positive effect on preserving healthy cells, it helps with muscle repair by fixing the defects in myoblasts or muscle stem cells.
This opens up the possibility of reprogramming muscles in older people. Typically, older adults lack the regenerative capacities needed to gain muscle mass. With NAD+ therapies and treatments, you could potentially reprogram the genes to facilitate stem cell activation once again.
The Great Potential of NAD+
NAD+ is one small part of a cell that has the potential to do great things across the board. The immune system is only the beginning. Doctors, scientists, and researchers continue to make breakthroughs with NAD+ research. What was deemed untreatable before might not be for much longer–especially age-related diseases and conditions.