Posted 19th May 2021
NAD boosting has emerged as one of the key strategies for improving our healthspan. The notion that NAD levels decline with age, has led many of us to respond with supplementation of NAD boosters such as NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide). NMN is an NAD precursor, which when it enters the cell, restores the levels of NAD to more youthful levels. The trouble is, there are many pressures on NAD biology with age, which cause NAD levels to decline.
While taking NMN can lead to excellent results in our energy levels, it is only one part of the strategy that we employ to restore our NAD levels. To create a comprehensive strategy, we need to also consider the role of an enzyme called CD38. CD38 increases in activity as we age, and acts to consume our precious NAD, preventing it from entering the energy cycle in the cell.
Recent research from the Buck Institute has revealed this to be caused by age-related inflammation. This ‘inflammaging’ is related to the activity of white blood cells called ‘macrophages’, trying to intervene with the age-related damage. Engaging with this problem requires intervening in a way that decreases the expression of CD38 enzymes in this process.
What can be done to help fix this problem?
It turns out, we have an unlikely ally in this struggle – one that might be growing in your home garden right at this very moment…
Now before you go chomping down like a rabbit on this green miracle plant, we’ll need to better understand what the active compound in parsley is that can assist with inhibiting CD38. This active ingredient is called ‘apigenin’, and it’s been found to ‘switch off’ the pro-inflammatory genes leading to the inflammaging problem, driving the response of those macrophages involved in expressing CD38.
Apigenin is a flavonoid, which is a compound that exists in many types of plants, including the humble (and delicious) parsley. Thanks to a significant body of recent research (here’s one such example), we now know that supplemental apigenin can inhibit CD38 directly, and result in increased NAD levels. This also shows up in better maintenance of your protein regulation, as your genes become less ‘acetylated’, and more youthful as a result.
So, as you venture forward, aiming to improve your NAD levels, and express a more youthful version of yourself with NAD precursors like NMN, you’d be wise to make sure you suppress your CD38 expression with an inhibitor such as apigenin.
Aim for a 1:1 ratio with your NMN supplement as a starting point and run your own ‘self-experiment’ to see how you fare. You now have the ability to measure your NAD levels using Do Not Age’s NAD test kit, so that you can know for certain.
I guess my Mum was always right about eating my greens…
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Post Contributed by Dr Nick Engerer
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