Blog 17 Comments on how to use Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+), a possible step to the scientific fountain of youth, discovered at Harvard by David Sinclair, PhD. This Anti-aging article was written by Mark Kingston Levin PhD an award-winning science fiction author, adventurer and scientist. Updated September 8, 2018
Figure 1. David Sinclair PhD, Harvard Professor shown in the laboratory.
In 1906, the coenzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) was first discovered by Arthur Harden and William John Young two British biochemists. Recently. the molecule’s importance to aging was discover by David Sinclair and others in his teams. Dr. Sinclair reversed aging in mice and increased their health-span and lifespan. Can it create a scientifically based Fountain of Youth for humans?
David A. Sinclair, PhD is best known for his work on understanding of the processes aging and how to slow them. He is a Professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School but also maintains a lab at UNSW near Sydney Australia from where he came. He is co-Directors the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging. Dr. Sinclair obtained his PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1995. He then became a postdoctoral researcher at M.I.T. under the famous Dr. Leonard Guarente where he co-discovered a cause of aging for yeast as well as the role of Sir2 (The three letters Sir stands for Silent Information Regulator, the 2 stand for the fact that the gene was the second SIR gene discovered and characterized. In 1999, Dr Sinclair was recruited to Harvard Medical School where his laboratory’s research has focused primarily on understanding the role of sirtuins in disease and aging, with associated interests in chromatin, metabolism, mitochondria, learning and memory, neurodegeneration, and cancer. He has been awarded more than 35 patents. Dr. Sinclair is co-founder of at least seven biotechnology companies including Sirtris, Genocea, Cohbar, MetroBiotech, ArcBio, Liberty Biosecurity and Ovascience. He has also received many awards and other recognition for his pioneering work. He is trying to find the scientific fountain of youth through his research, but we are not there yet. The future to watch is first human clinicals now underway. You can wait or jump in based on animal studies. There are a few studies on humans that confirm safety of up to 2 grams per day of NR and NMN done by Leonard Guarente, Charles Brennen and others.
Figure 2. A new scientific Fountain of Youth giving us pills and supplements.
Figure 3 The art of getting younger. Comes from Harvard Magazine article about the anti-aging research of David Sinclair PhD.
Strong evidence from a number of researchers led by Guarente and Sinclair show positive results in testing NAD+ promoters. In addition, other studied with the goal of treating neurodegenerative disease in mice, which looked promising. However, a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial in humans failed. We must be cautious and careful double-blind studies are underway and we should wait, but I have started supplements of NR and NMN, which are supplements now available that have been shown to increase NAD+ level in humans according to a paper describing the first human trails of these supplements.
Toward the end of 2013, Dr. Sinclair discovered fame by working with colleagues to publish several papers on NAD effects on mice: these results showed that the aging effect on mice reversing like from a hypothetical scientific FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. While at MIT he opened-up the market for resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine. Resveratrol was expected to slow aging in a similar way to calorie restriction. It has not done anything for me. I am not giving up. I do think this NAD+ is my best chance.
Figure 4. David Sinclair and some of his researcher team members near Sydney Australia. Professor David Sinclair (front) and Dr Lindsay Wu (far left) with the University of New South Wales research team. Photo: Britta Campion
The NAD story took off in about 2013 with another high-profile paper by David Sinclair and his colleagues at Harvard. The headlines were picked-up around the globe. He reported that “the mitochondria in the muscles was restored to that of a youthful mouse after injection of NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) a molecule occurring in normal cells”, which is called NAD+ as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. A model of the NAD+ molecule.
How can we medically restore our NAD+ when it is not stable molecule? We can inject into our bodies as done with the mice. There are also some other ways, for example, using supplements like NR or Niagen a band name. There are no proven methods in humans; however, there is hope as clinical human trials have started in August 2017. Please stay tuned as I expect first human efficacy trials to be completed soon but publication make take several additional months or years to see meaningful health effects and the impact on human lifespan.
Scientists speculate that NAD+ may contribute to longer life by repairing telomeres. I have not yet seen the data in humans; however, there is data in mice. I am holding my breath. I need this to work in humans for personal reasons. I was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA), which is about the worst of the neurodegenerative disease. I am cautious of course but looking for anything promising.
Research have shown that NAD+ is required for sirtuin proteins that contribute to longevity. How do they do this? One way is to maintain the length of critical telomeres. Please see the two drawing below:
Figure 6. Shows chromosomes with telomeres located on the ends where the red cap is located all four ends. Telomeres are made up of DNA, Credits Bigstock.
Figure 7 show what the telomeres are made from, which is DNA.
Telomeres are repetitive pieces of DNA strands that are shown in green-yellow on the ends of chromosomes. See the green-yellow caps area in the above figures 7 and red caps in figure 6 at the end of chromosomes. This is like a clock ticking to set off a bomb, our telomeres at the ends of our chromosomes gradually shorten every time a new cell is produced. Once telomeres reach a critically short length, death is near for that cell.
Researchers have been looking to find a drug and other interventions that might lengthen telomeres, to extend lifespan. To date, the best methods are weight loss and exercise. Certain other nutrients, such as resveratrol, may activate sirtuins. However, it has not worked for me, I tried drinking red wine and taking resveratrol. After many years no effect that I could measure.
NAD+ is unstable and cannot be used as a pill supplement. Humans prefer taking a pill to injections. Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a useful precursor to NAD+. Data shows that NR is capable of restoring cellular NAD+ levels in mice and recently in humans. However, infusion of NAD+ may be an option to consider.
Animal studies show that nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation can slow cellular aging and improve many of the metabolic defects common to the aging processes in mice, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative conditions and more.
Supplementation with nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) offers new ways of supporting essential body systems with NAD+ in humans, but health effects, which take years to study, must be completed to really know the benefits of this potential fountain of youth.
I am waiting for the publications. But I am taking NMN one of the precursors and think I feel something called more stamina. It is only subjective. We all need real double-blind placebo-controlled data.
With recent research coming from David Sinclair’s (the Australian transplant) lab at Harvard shows that in advanced age, the cell NAD+ levels plummet. Theodore, restoring normal NAD+ levels in mice showed dramatic improvements. David Sinclair once implied that normal aging may one day be classified as “NAD+ deficiency syndrome.”
Recent research suggests it may be possible to reverse mitochondrial decay with dietary supplements that increase cellular levels of a molecule called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) in animals, so let us hope they work on all humans. I beat two incurable and untreatable large granular lymphocytic (LGL) leukemias (t cell and nk) after about ten-year battle with the help of Dr. Catriona Jamieson at UCSD and a new drug recently developed by J&J called Imbruvica. I contracted Wolhdenstrom’s Syndrome, which is a b-cell lymphoma in about 2012-2013. I tried all chemo and other drugs available nothing worked until Imbruvica was approved on Dec. 19, 2014. Dr. Jamieson started treatment with Imbruvica in early January 2015 and by April 2017; Dr. Jamieson told me I was no longer her patient because she cannot find any cancer in my body!! I had many failures and one success. I am now ready to fight against Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Dose is one gram per day has been shown in small studies to increase NAD levels in humans (Charles Brenner and the University of Boulder study). The NAD structure is shown below. This molecule may be the scientific fountain of Youth, stay tuned for more proof as it become available.
Figure 8. Structure of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, oxidized (NAD+). (Image: NEUROtiker/Wikimedia)
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Dr. Levin was born and grew up in Vermont with many winters spent in Florida as a child. As a teenager he wrote poetry, served as a lifeguard and played football. He currently enjoys sailing, exploring underwater caves, snorkeling, writing science fiction and other pursuits. After working on the Apollo and Mars projects, he decided to return to school to study under Nobel Laureate Paul Dirac obtaining his Ph.D. in 2.5 years. Dr. Levin founded two companies and served the Science Policy apparatus in President Ford’s administration. He has published over 44 times in the scientific literature and was awarded over 32 US Patents. The science fiction writer is now emerging with his first work a trilogy entitled 30th Century. The first book is now on Amazon titled 30th Century: Escape. Book 2 in the series will be out in April 2018. It is titles 30th Century: Revived.