Wondering About Sirtuins and NAD?

By The Wonderfeel Team
Sirtuins and NAD work together for cellular health and longevity. Boosting NAD levels through compounds like NMN and resveratrol enhances sirtuin activity. Exercise, calorie restriction, and intermittent fasting also activate sirtuins. Understanding this relationship can promote a longer, healthier life.

You can’t research the most effective way to raise NAD levels — we believe it’s via NMN, by the way — without running into some mention of sirtuins, which are the proteins that regulate cellular health. But how exactly do they do that? What’s all this talk of activating sirtuins, and how does one even manage that? What’s the relationship between sirtuins and NAD, and where does NMN fit into the equation? Good question, and good news — if you’ve been wondering about sirtuins and NAD, we’re covering all the basics.

First, meet the Sirtuin family.

Sirtuins are a family of protein enzymes. In mammals, there are seven sirtuins (SIRT1 all the way up to SIRT7), all of which play a role in cellular health regulation. In fact, it is the job of the sirtuins to regulate homeostasis or balance, in our cells, which means they regulate things like aging, inflammation, detoxification, stress resistance, metabolism, circadian rhythms, and something called mitochondrial biogenesis. In the process, sirtuins also control other genes, and they respond to all kinds of environmental factors. It’s all very complex, but for our purposes, the big takeaway is that sirtuins are involved with longevity.

Sirtuins and NAD

Here’s the thing — sirtuins can only do their job properly when NAD is in the picture. They’re what’s known as NAD-dependent enzymes. NAD, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is the molecule that regulates cellular metabolism and it naturally declines with age. That decline is associated with a subsequent decline in our health and vitality, along with all kinds of age-related diseases — think heart disease and metabolic disorders, and aging itself.

The NAD decline has another effect — it decreases the function of sirtuins, which has, among other drawbacks, a cascading effect on mitochondrial gene expression. Dysfunction in the mitochondria is considered a hallmark of aging. See what’s happening here?

Infographic of Sirtuins in human cell that activate NAD

Activating sirtuins — the how and why.

If a decline in sirtuin function negatively affects controls on aging and longevity, it makes sense that activating sirtuins might be a good idea. And there are indeed a handful of things that seem to positively affect these enzymes:

  • Resveratrol. This plant compound is perhaps the most researched of the sirtuin boosters. It’s a polyphenol, which means it occurs naturally in plants and can be found in nuts and grapes. Notably, resveratrol will survive the wine-making process, so it’s also found in red wine. It stimulates a sirtuin known as SIRT-1, which creates an antioxidant effect, improving insulin resistance and supporting NAD production, and the body’s muscular and nervous systems. 
  • Ergothioneine. Abundantly found in mushrooms, ergothioneine, or ergo, is known as the “longevity vitamin,” thanks to its dual ability to reduce oxidative stress and serve as a therapeutic agent. That makes it unique among antioxidants. Ergo’s protective effects are associated with SIRT1 and SIRT6 activity.
  • Pterostilbene. This polyphenol, found in blueberries, is very similar to resveratrol, minus a small structural difference, and shares some of the same effects on SIRT-1.
  • NMN. NMN is used to boost NAD in the body — the more NAD, the greater the sirtuin activity. This approach has the benefit of convenience because NMN can effectively be taken in supplement form. Two Wonderfeel Youngr NMN capsules deliver 900 mg of NMN, 100 mg of resveratrol, 80 mg of hydroxytyrosol, 4 mg ergothioneine, and 20 mcg of vitamin D3, a dose based on available research to ensure you get all the benefits of NAD.  And the more NAD, the more beneficial sirtuin activity.
  • Curcumin. A flavonoid found in turmeric, curcumin helps boost more than half of the sirtuins found in mammals.
  • Exercise. We know that regular exercise improves health across multiple parameters, and that includes sirtuin levels.
  • Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting. Restricting calories is largely considered one of the best ways to extend life and healthspan, simply because it delays the onset of all kinds of age-related diseases. That’s because calorie restriction boosts the production of sirtuins. Intermittent fasting has the same effect.

The Sirtuin – NAD takeaway.

Research into sirtuins is still relatively new, but we’re sure of a few things. First, sirtuins have a very complex, very important role in cellular health and are absolutely involved with longevity and healthspan. Second, sirtuins need NAD to function properly — these compounds are intimately connected on multiple levels, and all of the enzymatic activities the sirtuins so busily undertake specifically require NAD. And third, sirtuins respond to environmental factors, which is one reason things like a healthy diet with specific nutrients and regular exercise contribute to a longer, healthier life. Round that out with NMN, and you’ll keep those sirtuins pretty happy!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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