May 16, 2016 at 2:16 pm #46569
Note: Pat Cox has a free newsletter on technology & investing. I’m personally counting on a combination of external alchemy (herbs, vitamins, other tech breakthroughs in longevity and qigong + internal alchemy, which nourishes stem cell with harmonized post-natal Qi and influx of new pre-natal and primordial Qi. – michael
This is an excerpt:
Editor, Transformational Technology Alert
I want to address news published in an important scientific journal that bears directly on the aging problem and therefore societal debt. Nothing about this research is particularly surprising if youve been following the nicotinamide riboside (NR) story. What is surprising, however, is that it got a lot more attention than I expect a research paper to get.
NR to the Rescue: Saving Your Stem Cells
Ive written a lot about NR, the vitamin compound that is being used to delay aging by at least six Nobel-prize winning scientists and a host of other prominent researchers. The compound, a variant of the B3 vitamin, has already garnered quite a lot of media attention, but this coverage is a little different as it was sparked entirely by the publication of a peer-reviewed journal article.
The paper is aptly titled NAD+ repletion improves mitochondrial and stem cell function and enhances life span in mice, and it was published in the prominent journal Science. Scientists from various institutions participated, but it was overseen by researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL).
I think the title of the study, explicitly referencing enhanced life spans, may be the reason that this particular paper got so much more attention than other NR research. It might also reflect an increasing interest, due to other stories about anti-aging research, in improving health and life spans. Newsweek covered the publication of the study as did many other news sources.
Essentially, the Science paper shows that NR improves the health and life spans of mice even when it was given to aged mice. In broad terms, the EPFL study doesnt tell us much about NR that we couldnt deduce from earlier studies. It does, however, illuminate some of the mechanisms by which age-related problems are reversed.
We already knew that NR repairs mitochondrial function. Our bacteria-like mitochondria are the intelligent energy grid that powers our bodies. You have, by the way, roughly 37 quadrillion mitochondria in your body, and most have multiple circular DNA plasmids with 13 protein-coding genes each.
As our mitochondria lose functionality, various biological systems begin to age and fail. This, in turn, fosters the conditions that lead to multiple diseases.
The primary cause of this loss of function is the slow loss of a critical substance, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in its oxidized form (NAD+). NAD+ is abundant in the cells of most younger people but is increasingly absent as we age.
The vitamin NR, which occurs naturally in your body and is present in very small quantities in milk, increases NAD+ levels. Increased NAD+ improves mitochondrial function, allowing mitochondria to optimally convert consumed food into usable biological energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP). It also facilitates communication between our mitochondrial DNA and each cells master genome.
This has all been known for some time, but NR was, until quite recently, prohibitively expensive. The modern tools of biotech, however, have yielded new and economic ways to synthesize this rare vitamin needed by your mitochondria. This is the reason that researchers are now able to study the compound.
One of the EPFL studys major conclusions is that a reduction in NAD+ has particularly serious impacts on health because it impairs stem cell functions. Adult stem cells repair all kinds of cellular damage wherever it occurs, including muscles, organs, and the brain. Our stem cells, however, grow old right along with the rest of our bodies. If their mitochondria are crippled by a lack of NAD+, they cant carry out their repair functions properly and aging accelerates.
When NAD+ levels are increased by NR, the EPFL study shows that our stem cells ability to repair damaged cells is significantly restored. Evidence of this repair has been shown in many animal studies, but this paper provides new information about how and why those repairs take place. I wish I could post the study online. I cant, but you can buy it directly from the journal Science at this link if youre interested. I can, however, excerpt the abstract:
Adult stem cells (SCs) are essential for tissue maintenance and regeneration yet are susceptible to senescence during aging. We demonstrate the importance of the amount of the oxidized form of cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and its impact on mitochondrial activity as a pivotal switch to modulate muscle SC (MuSC) senescence. Treatment with the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) induced the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) and synthesis of prohibitin proteins, and this rejuvenated MuSCs in aged mice. NR also prevented MuSC senescence in the Mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy. We furthermore demonstrate that NR delays senescence of neural SCs (NSCs) and melanocyte SCs (McSCs), and increased mouse lifespan. Strategies that conserve cellular NAD+ may reprogram dysfunctional SCs and improve lifespan in mammals.
Its true that it will take human trials to definitively and mathematically prove that NR extends human health spans, but this is not some exotic small-molecule drug that could metabolize toxically in the liver. NR is a naturally occurring nutrient that plays the same role in mouse biology as it does in human biology. In fact, neither mouse nor human livers can function without NAD+, which can be increased via NR supplementation.
This is why I think it is rational to assume that the benefits we see in other animals will occur in humans. The systems being affected by NR are conserved across mammalian species, meaning that it is a core genetic characteristic of all mammals.
A lot of people are skeptical about the efficacy of nutraceuticals, believing that synthetic man-made drugs are necessarily more effective. This is despite the fact that the most studied of the drugs with anti-aging impacts, rapamycin and metformin, come from natural sources.
This will change over time as more peer-reviewed NR research is published. I expect, in fact, more evidence in the relatively near future because this is one of the hottest areas of research today.
The timing couldnt be better. Aging boomers are beginning to take the concept of anti-aging seriously just as organizations like the CBO are recognizing the root cause of our economic problems. Anti-aging therapeuticssome already known and others to appear soonnot only have the power to help us enjoy healthier bodies, they have the potential to dramatically reduce healthcare costs and rescue our ailing budget.
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Editor, Transformational Technology Alert
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