Why Nicotinamide Riboside and Pterostilbene are the Perfect Pair For Those Over 40
Optimizing lifestyle habits - eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, getting a good night's sleep – is the foundation of every smart longevity plan, since without these solid steps, any other therapy is unlikely to be effective. With those elements firmly in place, we can add supplements to move the health and longevity marker even more, improving energy, mobility, cognition, and heart health.
Recent research suggests that certain compounds, namely Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Pterostilbene (PT), could potentially help in supporting cellular health, thereby helping to slow the aging process. These compounds have been linked to the increase of a critical coenzyme in our cells called NAD+ and the activation of proteins known as sirtuins, both of which are crucial for various cellular processes.
Understanding NAD+ and Its Significance
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, commonly known as NAD+, is a vital coenzyme found in every cell in our bodies. It facilitates the conversion of nutrients into cellular energy, fueling hundreds of metabolic processes. NAD+ is also a helper molecule for proteins that regulate other essential cellular functions.
However, as we age, our NAD+ levels decline – by about 1% per year, so that by the time we’re 50 years old, our NAD+ production is roughly half that of when we were children. This decrease in NAD+ levels is a natural part of the aging process but is also associated with various health issues seen in older adults, such as cognitive impairment, decreased heart function, and overall pain, stiffness, and weakness. Therefore, maintaining healthy NAD+ levels is seen as one way of supporting our cellular health and overall well-being.
What is Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)?
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 distinct from its cousins nicotinic acid and niacinamide due to its capacity to elevate cellular NAD+ levels.
NR has demonstrated a unique ability to bypass the rate-limiting steps traditionally seen in the NAD+ biosynthesis pathway. Typically, the conversion process involves several steps and intermediates, but NR enters the pathway at a stage that allows for more rapid and efficient synthesis of NAD+. This characteristic gives it a marked advantage in elevating cellular NAD+ levels, making NR a subject of intense scientific scrutiny for its potential benefits in cellular health.
One area where NR supplementation stands out is in its potential to counteract the age-associated decline in cellular NAD+ levels. It is well-documented that NAD+ levels decline with age, which in turn is associated with a decline in mitochondrial function and energy metabolism. By efficiently elevating NAD+ levels, NR can help maintain robust mitochondrial function, thereby supporting cellular energy output. This is particularly relevant for adults over 40, for whom mitochondrial inefficiency and energy decline may become noticeable problems, so much that many people stop engaging in work, hobbies they love, and being active with their friends.
Another potential benefit of increasing NAD+ levels via NR supplementation is the enhancement of cellular repair mechanisms. NAD+ is essential for the function of certain enzymes that assist in DNA repair, a process that becomes increasingly important as we age. Improving NAD+ levels can, therefore, contribute to the maintenance of genomic stability, offering yet another route through which cellular health is bolstered.
Moreover, elevated NAD+ levels have implications for metabolic health. NAD+ is involved in pathways that regulate lipid and glucose metabolism. Thus, maintaining optimal NAD+ levels through NR supplementation could offer advantages in metabolic regulation, potentially benefitting individuals who are focused on metabolic health as part of a broader longevity strategy.
The Role of Pterostilbene (PT)
Pterostilbene (PT) is a polyphenolic compound found in certain plants, notably small berries and nuts. Its molecular structure allows for efficient absorption and bioavailability, distinguishing it from other polyphenols. PT is an exceptionally potent antioxidant, offering a line of defense against oxidative stress, a factor implicated in cellular aging and dysfunction. By neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative damage, PT provides an elemental layer of cellular protection.
One of PT's most fascinating roles lies in its ability to activate sirtuins. These enzymes function as cellular regulators, modulating a variety of processes such as inflammation, metabolism, and cellular stress resistance. Sirtuins require NAD+ to function, which creates a complementary relationship with NR, a precursor to NAD+. PT and NR together can form a synergistic alliance, increasing cellular NAD+ levels while simultaneously enhancing sirtuin activity. This dual action makes the NR and PT combination particularly potent for comprehensive cellular health management.
In the context of age-related physiological decline, PT's sirtuin-activating property is exceptionally relevant. Sirtuins are implicated in extending the lifespan of various organisms in experimental settings, and while translating these findings to humans requires further research, the underlying mechanisms are highly conserved, meaning they are likely to act in the same way in humans as they do in other species. Activating sirtuins could potentially mitigate age-related declines in cellular function, enhancing not just lifespan but healthspan, the period of life free from chronic diseases and functional impairments.
Another noteworthy benefit of PT is its potential impact on metabolic health. PT has shown promise in modulating lipid profiles and glucose metabolism. Research has suggested that PT can improve insulin sensitivity, thus aiding in glucose regulation—an aspect of metabolic health that often deteriorates with age.
Moreover, PT's ability to cross the blood-brain barrier offers potential neuroprotective benefits. Studies have indicated that PT can modulate cognitive function and may support neuronal health, adding another layer of utility to this multifaceted compound.
The Synergistic Effects of NR and PT For Adults Over 40
The aging process involves numerous changes in tissue function rooted in cellular mechanisms. For those particularly interested in targeted strategies to enhance cellular health and combat age-related physiological decline, the combination of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Pterostilbene (PT) offers a compelling approach.
NR serves as a more efficient precursor to NAD+, compared to other NAD+ intermediates. NR has the ability to bypass the rate-limiting step in the NAD+ synthesis pathway, which makes it a superior candidate for elevating cellular NAD+ levels. This is especially relevant as individuals pass the age of 40, at which point a decline in cellular NAD+ becomes more pronounced. Restoring NAD+ levels could, therefore, be beneficial in supporting cellular energy, enhancing mitochondrial function, and assisting in the maintenance of healthy DNA.
On the other hand, PT operates through another axis of cellular health—sirtuin activation. Sirtuins are enzymes implicated in cellular stress resistance and metabolic regulation. PT’s role in activating sirtuins provides a complementary strategy to the NAD+ boosting capability of NR. PT is also a potent antioxidant, offering an added layer of cellular protection.
When used in combination, NR and PT offer a synergistic effect aimed at both the enhancement of NAD+ levels and sirtuin activation. Scientific research supports the benefits of this combination. For example, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrated a significant increase in cellular NAD+ levels when participants were supplemented with both NR and PT. The study also noted that the combination was well-tolerated, with minimal side effects.
Why is this synergy particularly important for adults over 40? As we age, the biological cards are often stacked against us: cellular NAD+ levels decline, sirtuin activity decreases, and oxidative stress accumulates. This combination acts like a double-edged sword, cutting at both the decline in NAD+ levels and the decrease in sirtuin activity, providing a robust, multifaceted approach to cellular health.
The Potential Benefits of Maintaining Healthy NAD+ Levels
Maintaining healthy NAD+ levels could potentially support various aspects of our health. For instance, it could help support cellular energy and metabolism, target cellular aging to promote a slower cellular aging process, and help maintain healthy DNA.
The benefits of maintaining healthy NAD+ levels could extend beyond supporting cellular health. For example, more NAD+ can support the process of synthesizing ceramide and collagen for healthy skin. It can also support healthy muscle function and liver health.
The Bottom Line
Current studies suggest that compounds like NR and PT could support our cellular health by boosting NAD+ levels and activating sirtuins, thereby supporting longer healthspan and lifespan.
As we age, keeping our cells healthy becomes increasingly important. Incorporating an NR and PT supplement into our daily routine, alongside maintaining a healthy lifestyle, could contribute to improved cognition, heart health, energy, and mobility.
Those over 40 can see the greatest benefits from the combination of NR and PT, since those in this age group already have depleted NAD+ levels and need the DNA-protecting abilities of the sirtuins enzymes to keep cells and tissues healthier.
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