Introduction: Our cells develop disease and premature aging due to every day assaults on our cellular health, such as:
- Poor nutrition
- High toxin levels
- Poor sleep
- High stress levels
- Genetic predispositions
- Under or over exercising
Conventional medicine typically uses drugs and surgery to address these health challenges, however, these are usually not sustainable strategies. Treating symptoms and managing disease is not as valuable as preventing and reversing disease.
NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a form of vitamin B, acting as an enzyme that has been proven to be a key nutrient in preventing and reversing the cellular damage previously mentioned. This diagram depicts the five stages of cellular deterioration that could be delayed with the use of NAD.
Markers of Cellular Deterioration
As cells continue to experience these assaults on our cellular health, our bodies begin to produce recognizable markers of this deterioration, including:
- Oxidative stress
- Metabolic dysfunction
- Symptoms of deficiency
- DNA damage
- Biochemical imbalances
- Disease (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.)
Early Warning Health Assessment
Cell replacement and survival become seriously compromised if these cellular reactions are not caught soon enough. Some good diagnostic tools that can provide some early warning protection include:
- The glucose challenge test
- C-reactive protein
- Galectin 3
- Vitamin D3 levels
- Heavy metals levels
- Omega 3/6 levels
- NA/NADH ratio
By using these early warning health assessment tools, it has been proven that natural/functional medicine doctors can prevent and reverse over 80 percent of all chronic illness, and the formula for this prevention and reversal process is usually the same in each case.
- Identify and remove toxins in the body.
- Adopt a Mediterranean style diet.
- Use moderate exercise, including aerobic, resistance and flexibility.
- Use quality nutritional supplements as needed.
- Practice meditation, yoga and other positive thought practices. Reduce stress as much as possible.
- Get good restorative sleep every night.
The evidence-based science behind these natural approaches is indisputable and will eventually be adopted by everyone once the profit-driven health care system is dramatically changed. We need a health and prevention system instead of a disease management profit-based system.
NAD Major Cell Protector
NAD is now beginning to assume its role as the next superstar in this strategy to improve cellular health in some very serious ways. Here are the primary improvement categories for cellular health improvement identified in current NAD research.
- Reduced levels of cellular inflammation (NF-KB).
- Reduced levels of free radicals (oxidative stress).
- Improved metabolic homeostasis (biochemical balancing).
- Reduced cell cycle disturbances via ADP-ribose, polymerase (PA R P-1) and sirtuins (Sirt-1-7).
- Repair of DNA damage in cell nucleus.
- Improvement in cell mitochondria function (energy).
The cell cycle process controls cell replacement and cellular death. If any of the key change junctures are negatively influenced by toxins, poor nutrition or stress of some kind, then this cycle could be disrupted, leading to the development of inferior cells, mutated cells or even cell death. NAD has the ability to correct these disturbances and even fix mutated DNA if it can be delivered to the cells before permanent mutation can occur.
As We Age
In addition to the impact of poor nutrition, toxins, and stress, there are also natural genetic and biochemical changes that happen as part of “normal aging.” Cellular replacement time declines, enzyme, probiotic and antioxidant levels decline, and, levels of NAD decline. We can address most of these cellular aging factors with better diet, detoxification, stress reduction and supplementation with key enzymes, probiotics, and other nutritional supplements, include NAD. This aging process, as related to the presence of NAD, looks something like this:
1. NAD declines with age — The DNA in our cells becomes damaged due to assaults by free radicals. This increases the need for NAD, because it is a key element of the DNA repair process.
2. NAD/NADH ratio — This decline in NAD can change the ratio of NAD/NADH, which causes disruption to the basic cellular processes it facilitates.
3. Early cellular changes — Low NAD leads to decreased mitochondrial oxidation and insufficient ATP production. Low energy.
4. Low energy consequences — Insufficient cellular energy impedes cellular function, including DNA maintenance and repair.
5. Mitochondrial communication—Reduced mitochondrial communication impedes cellular defense mechanisms, such as immune function as well as increased vulnerability for microbial illnesses, genetic predisposition and biochemical imbalances. (Diabetes, heart disease, etc.)
Increasing NAD levels
The very first step in this effort to increase NAD levels is to get the NAD/NADH blood test. This will establish the existing levels of NAD homeostasis. Then, if levels are low or out of balance, the following steps can be taken:
- Eat these foods high in NAD—Green vegetables, chicken, fish, crimini mushrooms, yeast, beer and dairy products (preferably goat products).
- Take a good NAD supplement—One of the earliest products was developed by Life Extension Foundation, which contains the patented ingredient, NIAGENTM.
The probable outcomes of increasing NAD levels:
- Reduce inflammation
- DNA repair
- Increased energy
- Improved immune function
- Genome integrity
- Damaged cell replacement
- Reduced oxidative stress
- Reduced aging stress
- Decreased susceptibility to cancer.
- Resolution of many heart disease challenges.
- Reduced blood pressure due to improved arterial flexibility.
- Improved function for early stage organ compromise.
- Improved cellular preformation related to addiction issues.
- Possible improvement in various brain related challenges, such as depression, anxiety and dementia.
While we should be cautious about using the term ¡§miracle cure,¡¨ it is obvious that NAD plays a crucial role in our cellular health. We know that levels of NAD decline by as much as 50 percent between the ages of 40 and 50. We also know that this decline has a potentially negative impact on every one of our 60 trillion cells.
- Free radicals cause damage to our DNA, which is a proven cause of disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many brain-related illnesses.
- NAD can protect our cells from the damage and, in some cases, can even reverse some of this damage. The science behind this is growing every day.
- To achieve optimal health, we need to do many things, including taking quality nutritional supplements. There is no science to dispute this fact.
- NAD should definitely be one of those supplements, and adding it is a wise decision.
Charles K Bens, PhD
Charles K. Bens, PhD is an author, speaker and wellness consultant specializing in the prevention and reversal of chronic disease. He is the founder and president of Healthy @ Work, Inc. a wellness education and consulting company focused on improving the health of employees. The company provides workshops on a wide range of health topics. He has written nine books including Healthy at Work: Your Pocket Guide to Good Health, The Healthy Smoker: How To Quit Smoking By Becoming Healthier First and over 200 articles. Dr. Bens lectures all over the world on organizational change and improvement as well as on wellness and health improvement. And was selected by Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation as the Vail Visiting Professor for 2013.