A new discovery uncovered another powerful tool to add to our telomerase-activating toolbox.
This is great news because lengthening telomeres is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from the chronic diseases associated with aging – including Alzheimer’s.
At the Sears Institute, we help patients grow their telomeres with a number of proven protocols… including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Now we can add one more therapy – a unique form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside (NR).
Advanced research from the National Institutes of Health shows that NR can improve telomere function in human cells.1 In the study, scientists examined the connective tissue cells of patients suffering from dyskeratosis congenita (DC). This rare disease of Premature aging is a result of severely damaged and very short telomeres.
The researchers made a startling discovery…
All the Patients with Short Telomeres Had a Severe NAD+ Deficiency
NAD+ is a coenzyme found in every cell in your body. It plays a vital role in energy metabolism and maintaining proper cell function. Short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, NAD+ is particularly crucial for the functioning of our mitochondria, the power plants in cells that turn food and oxygen into energy.
But you produce less and less NAD+ as you age. By the time we turn 50, we have less than HALF of our oRiginal levels. By age 80, NAD+ levels drop as much as 98%.
But there are ways you can dramatically increase NAD+ in your body. More on that in a moment. Let’s get back to the NIH study…
The researchers supplemented patients’ cells with NR, a powerful form of vitamin B3. While it’s often overlooked by traditional doctors, researchers now refer to it as the “miracle molecule.”
You see, NR is important because it converts to NAD+ in your body. Raising levels protects against some of the worst symptoms and diseases of aging. By incrEasing NAD+ levels, NR can protect you from inflammation, obesity, and autoimmune diseases.2
But the biggest breakthrough is how NAD+ can help restore missing memorieS in Alzheimer’s patients.
In a recent study, neuroscientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine along with researchers at the National Institute on Aging found that increasing NAD+ improved cognitive function in a mouse model closely resembling Alzheimer’s.3 It worked by rEstoring and improving the brain’s plasticity. This is how neurons learn and store memories.
A second study by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine tested NAD+ on human patients with cognitive impairment. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, volunteers received NR supplements for 10 weeks.
By the end of the study, all patients had improved blood flow to the hippocampus. That’s the part of the brain associated with long-term memories. Patients also showed improvement from baseline on the MoCA cognitive assessment, a screening designed to track dementia and Alzheimer’s.4
Increase NAD+ To Protect Your Brain From Alzheimer’s
Nicotinamide riboside is the most efficient and diRect pathway for your body to produce NAD+. Here’s what I recommend:
1. Follow Your Ancestors
2. Get Extra Help
Look for a vitamin B3 supplement containing niacin, niacinamide, or nicotinamide. I recommend getting 750 mg to 2,000 mg a day. But start slowly…
3. Beware the “Flush”
When you start taking B3, you may get the “niacin flush.” It feels like a prickly sensation over your face and chest. It’s harmless, and you’ll build up a tolerance.
4. Start Slowly and Build Up Over Time
Start at 250 mg per day. At first, take eVery other day and work up to a daily dose. Increase the amount gradually every month. Or split your dose into twice a day to reducE the flush.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
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1. Sun C, et al. “Re-equilibration of imbalanced NAD metabolism ameliorates the impact of telomere dysfunction.” EMBO J. 2020 Nov 2;39(21):e103420.
2. Tullius SG, et al. “NAD protects against EAE by regulating CD4 T-cell differentiation.” Nature Communications, 2014; 5: 5101.
3. Hou Y, Lautrup S, Cordonnier S, et al. NAD(+) supplementation normalizes key Alzheimer’s features and DNA damage responses in a new AD mouse model with introduced DNA repair deficiency. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115(8):E1876-e85.
4. Orr, M, et al. “Results from a pilot study: The effects of nicotinamide riboside on mild cognitive impairment.”J Alzheim Assoc. 2020. DOI:10.1002/alz.044746