Space research is once again — we saw it not long ago with Rejuvel’s 3D technology — having an impact on understanding the aging process, and a recent breakthrough could be one of the most encouraging yet. It is all about compounds in our bodies with nicotinamide and some acronyms that you should add to your radar, NAD and NMN. But first the news: Australian scientists have identified an important step in the molecular process required for the repair of damaged DNA.
Experimenting on mice, they believe it is possible to treat DNA that has been damaged by radiation exposure and the aging process. They claim that cells of the treated mice were identical to those of younger mice after only one week of treatment. This got the attention of NASA because DNA gets damaged by cosmic rays and such treatment could extend space travel. Now the trials are moving from mice to humans and that is what really got my attention. Human trials with NMN therapy are said to begin over the next six months in hopes of proving a safe and effective anti-aging drug.
The research team determined that NAD+, which is found in each cell in the human body, plays an important role as a regulator in the proteins that are responsible for DNA repair. The team treated mice with the NAD+ precursor known as NMN. I predict that we are going to hear a lot more about NAD+ and NMN and so it will pay to have a basic understanding.
As we age, the body loses its ability to make NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a key element for energy production. In the past, researchers tried to give NAD to aging mice in attempt to reboot levels. But they found that this didn’t work, so the researchers searched for an indirect method to boost the levels and looked one step earlier in the NAD supply chain.
What they found was the precursor to NAD, a compound called compound nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). When mice were given NMN in their drinking water, it was found that they could reverse age-related eyesight and metabolism deterioration. It seems that NMN could potentially extend people’s life spans by activating a gene known for its anti-aging effects called sirtuin. Sirtuins are able to silence certain genes, including ones that promote aging.
So NMN can stop genes that promote aging, which is great if you are still young(ish). The exciting thing about the newest research mentioned above is that it can repair aged and damaged cells. In other words, it can reverse aging.
I think it is safe to say that it will be a while before NMN is in our serums. And I do feel a little skeptical as to how far this can really go. After all, if NMN is in our bodies and we still age, then there’ll be rather more to anti-aging with NMN than smearing it on. Nonetheless, I’ll be looking out for more NMN stories in the months to come.