The anti-aging product market, worth $250 billion, is funded by countless individuals determined to regain the vibrancy of their youth. Up until recently,most believed this was impossible. Now, new developments in scientific research have led to the identification of a compound known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD+, which might justturn back the hands of time.
Some theories on aging believe it occurs when mitochondria, the powerhouse of a cell, degenerate. This, in turn, leads to everything from a lack of vital energy to mental decline to organ failure. NAD+ may have the ability to reverse this mitochondrial deterioration, thereby positively influencing its countless associated conditions.
The NAD+ molecule not only directs the aging process but plays vital roles in overall body function. In essence, it gives cells life. It is so crucial, in fact, that life without it will not continue past 30 seconds. Unfortunately, as people or animals age, NAD+ levels naturally decline, causing mitochondrial decay while bringing them steadily closer to the inevitable. Or, can this process be reversed?
According to research, yes. When scientists altered levels of NAD+ sothey were higher in older mice,they began not only to lookbut act more youthful. Also, they lived longer. Providing mice with liquid NAD+ in water was effective enough to raise internal levels in minutes. Amazingly, after just weeks of drinking this mixture2-year-old and 4-month-old mice became indistinguishable. In another similar study, elderly mice injected with a substance known to boost NAD+ levels developed younger looking muscle.
The trick is to apply this treatment to humans and get as greata result. The good news is that a study in theNature journal demonstrated that people given daily supplementation of NAD+ precursors over a period of a few months did experience increased levels of NAD+. Better news still, the supplement used in the trial is also available on the market under the name Basis. It is not marketed as a life extender, but more as a way to remain highly functional for longer.
Other scientists plan to get the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration and make a pill that can be either purchased over-the-counter or prescribed. The years it will take to get the approval areyears well spent; many believe that selling Basis as a supplement and bypassing the FDA has left consumers open to a host of potential problems as there is limited information about long-term effects.
Fortunately, clinical trials for Basis are ongoing. As the scientists behind the Basis supplement and those moving forward to market it as a drug continue to test their products, our understanding of NAD+ should further improve. We will begin to get definitive answers as to whether or not it can indeedact as a fountain of youth, or not. What we know already is that it gives us energy, repairs cellular damage,and helps regulate our sleep cycle. The possibility of staying young is just a bonus.