Why does NAD+ decline with age?

We know that NAD+ levels in our body naturally decline as we age. By age 40, levels of NAD+ have declined by 50% and this increases to 80% by age 60. NAD+ is intrinsically linked to the ageing process and our cellular health. But why do our NAD+ levels decline like this as we age?

NAD+ declines with age because it is destroyed

Research has shown that over time, NAD+ is actively destroyed by the enzyme CD38. CD38 is a membrane-bound NADase that hydrolyzes NAD+ to nicotinamide and (cyclic-)ADP-ribose. It’s associated with immune responses and energy metabolism, but it’s also a NADase whose levels rise with ageing, with a corresponding increase in NADase activity and a decrease of NAD+. Put plainly, CD38 requires NAD+ to function and while active, it binds and consumes specific parts of the molecule.

The mechanisms of ageing also contribute to NAD+ decline

Additionally, the common mechanisms of ageing, including oxidative stress, decline in mitochondria production and gene expression, DNA function, and healthy inflammation responses, all lead to NAD+ decline.

Salvage pathway vs. de novo pathway

To produce NAD+, two main pathways are involved. The first is called the de novo pathway, which uses the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. De novo pathways require precursors that can only be obtained from the diet. The second is called the salvage pathway, which uses the molecules NA, NAM, NMN and NR. The main source of NAD+ production is this salvage pathway but unfortunately, this pathway appears to be disrupted with age, possibly due to a reduction in NAMPT, an enzyme that inhibits the salvage pathway.

Consequences of low NAD+

Because NAD+ is so intrinsic to a variety of vital internal functions on a cellular level. The consequences of low NAD+ levels can be quite far reaching and can include:
  • Premature ageing
  • Skin damage
  • Immune system issues
  • Increased stress and anxiety
  • Excess fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog and lack of mental clarity
  • Low concentration levels
These can impact your day-to-day life and can leave you struggling to live a happy and fulfilled life as you get older. NAD+ levels can also determine the severity of the symptoms of some brain-destroying diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and can impact how people deal and cope with addiction issues relating to food, drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

NAD+ supplementation

It’s clear then that to maintain adequate levels of NAD+ as we age, continued NAD+ supplement is vital. The most cost-effective and efficient way to introduce more NAD+ to your body is by taking pure NAD+ supplements. Our Optima Max 100 supplement has been formulated by our research & development team, based on the same formulation as NADclinic’s pioneering NAD+ IV protocol. This supplement is made from 100% NAD+, the highest purity and potency of all non-prescription NAD+ supplements available. Simply take two tablets every morning, with or without food, to see the benefits of Optima Max and increase your NAD+ levels.