It’s generally assumed that little can be done to roll back the effects of aging. But what if were possible to undo age-induced damage? Surprising as this notion may seem, a team of Boston-based researchers contends that certain cells could be harnessed for this very purpose.
NMN and NAD
This group, working at Harvard Medical School’s Center for the Biology of Aging, reached their conclusions after conducting experiments with laboratory mice. The team set out to increase the rodents’ levels of NAD, a chemical which is crucial to the wellbeing of mice – and humans too. Age does a number on our NAD supply, which erodes
as we get older and older. To accomplish this goal, the authors injected their small subjects with a chemical compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN for short.
Two groups of mice received this treatment – one group consisted of mice that were 18 months old, while the other featured subjects that were significantly older (32 months).
From Mice to Men (and Women)
Both groups benefited greatly from the NMN boost. Specifically, the mice’s endurance levels increased by anywhere from 56 to 80 percent, while their blood vessels exhibited higher levels of NAD. The journal Cell published the study’s
findings in March of 2018.
Lead researcher Dr. David Sinclair believes that his team’s mice experiments could eventually yield major dividends for humans. “We’re absolutely talking about increasing the quality of life – preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s,” stated Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. “It could have a big effect on increasing lifespan in a healthy way.” At the time of the study’s publication, Sinclair’s team had begun testing the NAD booster on human volunteers, hoping to achieve similar results.