These are the 3 Most Promising Longevity Supplements From Scientific Research So Far
Reprinted with permission from World At Large—a news website reporting on travel, politics, health, science, and current events.
Since the turn of the century the progress in the field of longevity has been remarkable. Researchers like Dr. David Sinclair, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Dr. Eric Verdin, and others have catapulted the field from one that was secondary to other lifespan-focused fields like those dedicated to helping reduce cancer or diabetes, into one of the most exciting and interdisciplinary areas of study today.
So far, the ever-expanding research into longevity has yielded a shopping list of benefits—from limiting age-related decline in the eyes, to reducing all-cause mortality.
Along with research into simple lifestyle interventions like sleep, exercise, and sauna use, certain specific nutritional elements, notably a select few known as “NAD+ boosters,” are being looked at and now commercially sold, as a potentially effective treatment for a condition that’s very old but also very new: aging.
NAD+ boosters, like nicotinamide riboside (NR), and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), as well as the compound resveratrol—produced in plants, notably red grapes, during periods of stress—can now all be purchased in supplement form commercially.
What might a longevity supplement do for you? We know it has shown a variety of benefits in scientific studies of both humans and rodents.
Of all the NAD+ boosters—compounds which either convert directly into, or contribute in some way to the process of creating the nutritional element—nicotinamide riboside (NR) has been the most extensively studied, mostly in animals.
In one study, mice who were fed a diet high in both sugar and fat in order to quickly create obesity, gained less body fat and demonstrated increased insulin sensitivity when taking an orally-administered dose of NR.
Mice receiving the same size dose of NR as the obesity study (400mg per kilo of bodyweight) were also found in another study to have reversed mitochondrial damage and increased mitochondrial biogenesis, the process through which mitochondria are created.
Finally, benefits to the brain from NR supplementation were also confirmed in rodents, including neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and reduced beta-amyloid build up in the brain, which is a strong indicator of Alzheimer’s risk.
“Whether taking nicotinamide riboside will have the same effects on delaying aging or improving mitochondrial function in humans as it does in animals is unknown,” writes longevity expert Dr. Rhonda Patrick on her blog. “However, when people with type 2 diabetes took a nicotinic acid derivative (an NAD+ precursor), they exhibited improvements in mitochondrial function in their skeletal muscle as well as increased NAD+ levels in their muscles.”
While not studied as thoroughly as NR, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) has also been shown to reduce some effects produced by aging.
In separate mouse studies, injections of 500mg per kilo of bodyweight were found to have beneficial effects in countering symptoms of obesity, particularly in improving insulin sensitivity and NAD+ levels in the liver and muscle, and also several markers of cardiovascular disease related to dysfunction of the heart.
As we age, levels of NAD+ decrease in tissues over time, which experts believe is a key factor in age-related decline in the muscles, heart, brain, liver, and other organs.
Starting at 5 months of age, one mouse cohort was split into two groups and fed a diet that included 100 and 300 mg per kilo of bodyweight of NMN for 12 months respectively.
“The mice that were fed nicotinamide mononucleotide had improved skeletal muscle mitochondrial function, increased energy expenditure, increased bone density and decreased insulin resistance in a dose-dependent manner,” writes Rhonda. (Dose dependency refers to the amount of NMN consumed relating to the gravitas of the observed effect.)
For instance in the case of the mouse cohort, 100mg of NMN in the diet resulted in a 4% reduction in age-associated weight gain, while the 300mg group experienced a 9% reduction. Remarkably, it was also shown to increase or fortify energy metabolism, eye function, insulin sensitivity, while reducing age associated gene expression.
Short of your bartender explaining to you why this or that particular bottle of red wine is good for your heart, resveratrol is only recently beginning to be explored as a potential longevity compound. It exists in the seeds, fruits, skins, leaves, stems, and other parts of a variety of plants, and is created during periods of stress on the plant.
This is why red wine is noted as having heart-healthy or antioxidant effects on the body. During the winemaking process, the stressed parts of the grape confer resveratrol into the beverage, however it’s likely negligible amounts.
In a study where healthy individuals were given a 6-week course of 40mg of resveratrol derived from the extract of a plant called Japanese knotweed, multiple anti-inflammatory effects were observed. Reductions in pro-inflammatory markers such as cytokines TNF-Alpha and IL-6, as well as the concentrations of oxidants were noted after the trial.
IL-6 and TNF-Alpha contribute significantly to declines associated with aging, with TNF-Alpha being correlated with possibly every disease known to man.
The most significant way in which resveratrol acts to improve longevity is through sirtuin activation. World at Large reported in January: “Sirtuins use NAD+ to control the genes involved in some of the most critical systems in our biology including energy metabolism, circadian rhythms, autophagy, DNA repair, and cell survival…”
Sirtuins play a role in insulin release, lipid mobilization, stress responses, and lifespan modulation, and mimic many of the beneficial effects observed in calorie-restriction, another longevity-based field of research. Dr. Patrick explains on her website how caloric restriction has been widely-shown to increase healthspan and lifespan in organisms from bacteria to primates.
A study in Nature involving yeast showed that “resveratrol mimics calorie restriction by stimulating sirtuin-2, increasing DNA stability and extending lifespan by 70%.”
Taking resveratrol in supplement form must be done with a little more application than other supplements. Dr. Patrick has collected much of the resveratrol research on her website, including how the bioavailability of resveratrol was shown to be higher with a moderate fat breakfast than with a high fat breakfast and how resveratrol is safe in humans in doses as high as 5 grams.
Finally, in a conversation between Dr. Patrick and Harvard Professor of Genetics Dr. David Sinclair, the latter recommends the storing of resveratrol in a cold dark environment at all times.
Continue exploring this topic — Maybe You’ve Heard of NAD+: Here’s Why it’s Important and Why Everyone’s Talking About It
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Published at Sat, 07 Mar 2020 23:55:37 +0000