- The first sign, indicative of NAD+ level decline, is aging.
- Memory loss and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s indicates lower NAD+ levels.
- High blood sugar levels and decreased insulin secretion is also the sign of lesser NAD+ levels.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide plays an essential role in cellular metabolism. It is involved in various metabolic pathways and acts as an energy transporter. The exact mechanism of NAD+ decline is still unclear. But it has been observed that with increasing age the levels of circulating NAD+ levels in the body decline, and it results in a negative impact on liver function, renal function, immune system, and increases the risk of cancer.
According to a scientific study, it has been observed that aging is by default a primary sign of depleting NAD+ levels. From the age of 40 and onwards, the NAD+ levels start declining to almost 50% by the time we reach the age of 60. As our NAD+ levels decline, we begin to slow down physically and mentally. This causes us to feel tired sooner and has less metabolic energy to function resulting in fatigue.
The levels of NAD+ decline in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, due to the impairment in co-enzyme-based energy transportation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial functional imbalance. Maintenance of NAD+ levels in neurons and astrocytes is decisive for cellular viability during oxidative stress.
According to a scientific study, with decreasing levels of NAD+, the sexual drive also decreases, and particularly, males start to experience erectile dysfunction and impaired exercise tolerance after the age of 40.
Depletion of NAD+ in cellular metabolism may lead to muscular disease such as sarcopenia. It may delay cellular repair and promote the development of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, along with many other chronic pain conditions.
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is another sign of depleting NAD+ levels. It is caused by the thickening and stiffening of the major arteries. As age progresses, the aorta becomes less movable eventually leading to an abnormal rise in blood pressure.
The SARS-COV-2, which is also known as the COVID-19 virus and is one of the most leading causes of death from last year, is linked to NAD+ levels in the body. With the mortality rate still on the rise, deficiency of NAD+ is associated with an elevated level of CD-38, a glycoprotein commonly found in immune cells. It is the main factor involved in increasing the mortality among COVID-19 Patients.
Lower levels of NAD+ affect the metabolic pathways such as glucogenesis, glycolysis, and gluconeogenesis. This is due to the reduced ability of NAD+ to activate sirtuins, a protein commonly responsible for maintaining metabolism at the cellular level. As a result, individuals become prone to chronic diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus, which is manifested by weight gain and high blood sugar levels.
Poor Sleep Quality
Depleting levels of NAD+ has a harmful effect on the circadian rhythm leading to impaired sleep. The individual starts experiencing more episodes of insomnia and leading to depression due to irregular sleep timings negatively affecting the quality of life.
NAD+ plays a pivotal role in various metabolic processes of the body. Scientific evidence has indicated that with lower levels of NAD+, there are more chances of developing different diseases. After the age of 40, NAD+ levels should be regularly monitored to avoid any chances of developing chronic diseases.
- Miller, R., A. R. Wentzel, and G. A. Richards. "COVID-19: NAD+ deficiency may predispose the aged, obese and type2 diabetics to mortality through its effect on SIRT1 activity." Medical Hypotheses 144 (2020): 110044.