The Forever Healthy Foundation has recently launched the Rejuvenation Now project, and it has just published a detailed analysis of NAD+ repletion therapies, providing the first scientific overview of this particular approach and of the supplements currently available.
One industry, two types of people
The field of aging research with an aim to rejuvenating the aging body in order to delay, prevent, or reverse age-related diseases is a field divided into two.
On one hand, there are the serious scientific studies being conducted by reputable scientists and institutions, which are steadily discovering how aging works and developing therapies and interventions with the hope of eradicating age-related diseases. These people are the researchers who are working hard to understand aging and to develop therapies that will help us all live longer and healthier lives.
However, on the other hand, there are the hucksters, snake oil salesmen, and opportunists who attempt to appear credible and part of the former group but, all the while, peddle pills with no or very little supporting evidence that they work. The supplement industry is the primary example of this misleading and market-driven cowboy economy where a mind-blowing multitude of pills are sold, often with zero supporting human data that they do anything useful.
These confidence tricksters have long been a plague on the field and have earned it a reputation of being a fringe science or even outright quackery. This is, of course, incredibly unfair to legitimate and hard-working researchers, and it is a real problem that we, as a community, face.
How, then, do we separate the wheat from the chaff? How do we discern the credible from the lies and half-truths told by charlatans out to make a quick buck?
To help combat the cowboy culture infesting our community, the Forever Healthy Foundation is creating a database of compounds and supplements with a view towards knowledge sharing and transparency.
Senolytics, NAD+ Restoration, Lipid Replacement, Decalcification, mTOR Modulation, Geroprotectors, … – the first generation of human rejuvenation therapies is available today.
However, the field is still very young and the information often spotty. New therapies are emerging, and existing ones are updated or replaced.
Many of us can not or do not want to wait for decades until we have all the knowledge, perfect therapies and a lifetime of experience on how to implement such therapies.
To take advantage of this exciting development right now, we need to navigate this time of transition and make very personal decisions about which treatments to apply and when. Arming ourselves with the best knowledge about therapeutic options is vital.
Project leader Michael Greve was one of the speakers at our recent Ending Age-Related Diseases conference in New York, and he gave a talk about the project and its aims.
The first step as part of the project is the detailed report and analysis of the various compounds and experiments focused on the restoration of NAD+ levels, as this critical molecule supports DNA repair and a myriad of cellular functions critical to life. The role of NAD+ in aging is a complex one, and there is good evidence that boosting falling NAD+ levels may be a useful approach in combating age-related diseases.
This analysis of NAD+ restoration therapy is part of Forever Healthy’s Rejuvenation Now initiative that seeks to continuously identify new therapies and systematically evaluate them on their risks, benefits, procedures and potential application. NAD+ is a pyridine nucleotide found in all living cells. It plays an important role in energy metabolism and is a substrate for several enzymes (including those involved in DNA repair). NAD+ levels may decline markedly with age and restoring those levels to a youthful state is believed to have beneficial effects on health and longevity.
Restoration of NAD+ levels has been shown to have beneficial effects on several organ systems and diseases with an excellent acute toxicity profile. The main benefits are in diseases or conditions that threaten the energetic status of the cell such as ischemic stroke, heart failure/infarction, and mitochondrial diseases. The highest level of evidence for NAD+ restoration therapy in humans is for skin diseases. There is a multitude of potential benefits for which the evidence level is still quite low because of the lack of clinical trials.
The major risks are related to tumorigenesis, the buildup of metabolites with undesirable effects, and an increase in the proinflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype of senescent cells. These have not appeared in clinical trials to date but have been identified during mammalian preclinical trials. More clinical trials are necessary to adequately assess the risk of long term NAD+ supplementation. Short and medium-term supplementation (up to twelve weeks) with NR elevates NAD+ levels safely and effectively but there is a lack of studies examining the potential adverse health effects of chronic, year-long NAD+ supplementation.
Ultimately, Forever Healthy will build a database of risk and benefit assessments for various supplements, which could be very useful to people who are interested in using them to try to slow down aging now while more robust therapies are being developed.
Such databases could also help to share knowledge in a transparent manner and push out the dishonest hucksters which currently cast a shade on our field. The sooner we can rid ourselves of these people and promote the serious science in our field, the better; to that end, the Forever Healthy Foundation is doing a public service.