Longevity Articles

Can We Optimize NAD Precursors Utilizing Our Body's Own Circadian Clocks?

Can We Optimize NAD Precursors Utilizing Our Body's Own Circadian Clocks?

Chronobiology is the study of how living systems work in relation to innate and external clocks–it’s how our bodies work with the added dimension of time. Many regions of the body contribute to this elegant balance of function and precision, including the hypothalamus, the ‘master controller’ of our body’s rhythms and homeostasis. Hypothalamic circuits are mechanisms that control this balance, and they involve a complex interplay between cell signaling, metabolic processes, and other physiology. Recent research has explored the connection between hypothalamic circuits, aging, and NAD levels.

The asynchrony of body clocks is thought to contribute to elements of aging and suboptimal cellular functioning. Emerging evidence suggests that abnormal metabolic signaling may uncouple body clocks. Certain theoretical models suggest that NAD has the potential to permeate the blood-brain barrier; because of this, NAD may also influence hypothalamic neurons. This could potentially lead to downstream modulation of biological clocks.

An animal study investigated the potential efficacy of time-dependent NAD administration in certain murine populations. NAD was administered prior to both “active” and “rest” phases throughout the day. The authors reported that increases in NAD levels prior to the rest phase did not improve metabolic markers with the same efficacy as during the active phase. Furthermore, the time-of-day-dependent administration of NAD was reported to help synchronize the hepatic circadian clock and help support intracellular signaling and gene expression.

Key takeaway:
While this study is preclinical (meaning that it was conducted in animals before testing in humans), this may suggest that morning administration of NAD boosters may be supportive of optimal efficiency and function. More evidence is needed, though, before clinical conclusions can be made.

Circadian coordination orchestrated by the hypothalamus, either through metabolic control (as described above) or other pathways, can broadly influence aging. Alterations in hypothalamic circuits have been shown to affect inflammatory pathways,cellular signaling, and sleep homeostasis. Certain lifestyle interventions and micronutrients including melatonin and NAD boosters may help support the optimal functioning of circadian clocks and healthy aging.

It's important to note that current research is scant regarding the impact of NAD precursors on the hypothalamus and circadian clocks. Further research is needed in general on this topic, especially in randomized controlled trials in the clinical setting. Still, this promising preliminary finding suggests that future studies may be warranted.

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