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Leveraging the Power of Sirtuins to Combat Aging: 7 Strategies

In a previous post, we delved into the role of NAD+ as a coenzyme in critical metabolic processes like glycolysis and the TCA cycle, ultimately converting glucose into ATP. We also explored six key strategies to bolster NAD+ production, aiming to optimize our NAD+/NADH ratio for enhanced energy metabolism. This post builds on that foundation and continues the journey. For a comprehensive NAD+ toolkit, refer back to the previous post.

During that discussion, we highlighted NAD+'s importance in energy metabolism and touched upon its involvement in other reactions. To deepen our understanding, we're now shifting focus to another reaction heavily reliant on NAD+, a reaction driven by these special enzymatic proteins known as sirtuins. While we won't cover every nuance of sirtuins, we'll explore key aspects that shed light on their function, their reliance on NAD+ for enzymatic actions, and how they can be harnessed for longevity.

Before we dive into sirtuins, let's clarify the concept of longevity. While often understood as extending lifespan, we'll narrow our lens to cellular aging since our overall lifespan hinges on cellular health. Cellular aging involves intricate control mechanisms spanning the nucleus, DNA organization, transcription, and more. Dysregulation in these areas can lead to cellular damage, contributing to the nine hallmarks of cellular aging:

  1. Genomic instability

  2. Telomere attrition

  3. Epigenetic alterations

  4. Loss of proteostasis

  5. Deregulated nutrient-sensing

  6. Mitochondrial dysfunction

  7. Cellular senescence

  8. Stem cell exhaustion

  9. Altered intercellular communication

This discussion sets the stage to grasp the profound biochemical basis of aging, which paves the way for understanding sirtuins' role in cellular longevity. But before we delve into sirtuins' specifics, consider this crucial point: as cells accumulate damage with age and protective mechanisms falter, cellular growth and replication can be compromised. This condition, known as cellular senescence, is a pivotal hallmark of aging, and it will be key in our later conversation.

With this foundation, let's navigate the realm of sirtuins. These proteins, with origins from yeast aging studies, particularly Sir2, are renowned for promoting longevity. In yeast, Sir2 increased lifespan by slowing down aging. This protein, an NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase, hinges on NAD+ for its enzymatic functions. As an enzyme, it influences gene silencing by deacetylating histones around which DNA wraps. Silencing genes prevents genome instability and inappropriate gene expression, effectively increasing cellular lifespan.

Transitioning from yeast to human cells, researchers found seven homologs of Sir2 in humans, named sirtuins. For instance, SIRT1, encoded by the SIRT1 gene, parallels Sir2's actions in yeast. SIRT1, an NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase, extends its influence beyond epigenetic regulation, meaning that it can deacetylate over 50 non-histone proteins, including transcription factors and DNA repair molecules.

These sirtuins, with their deacetylase capabilities fueled by NAD+, counteract cellular aging's hallmarks. Examples include gene silencing, enhancing genome stability, suppressing stress-induced senescence by deacetylating p53, and fortifying telomere integrity – all pivotal aspects in battling aging at the cellular level.

So what are some key strategies to increase sirtuins within the body and, thus, promote cellular longevity?

Sirtuin Toolkit: 7 Key Strategies

1. Resveratrol: The foremost tool and perhaps the most widely recognized supplement for boosting sirtuin levels is resveratrol. Numerous studies indicate that resveratrol increases protein expression of SIRT1 in a dose-dependent manner. It's worth noting that an antioxidant called Pterostilbene, closely related to resveratrol, boasts better bioavailability.

2. NAD+ Enhancement: Moving on to the second tool in our arsenal – enhancing NAD+ availability within the body. In a previous post, I outlined six strategies to raise NAD+ levels and improve the NAD+ to NADH ratio. These strategies include specific NAD+ precursors, alongside other essential nutrients. If this topic intrigues you, I encourage you to revisit that post for a comprehensive exploration.

3. Exercise: The third tool in our lineup might seem intuitive – exercise. Studies show that exercise directly boosts SIRT1 levels in the liver, muscles, and heart of both rats and humans.

4. Omega-3 DHA: Moving on to the fourth tool – DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Research indicates that DHA activates SIRT1. If consuming fish rich in omega-3s doesn't suit you due to concerns like heavy metals or personal preference, there's an array of omega-3 supplements available.

5. Zinc: Tool number five is zinc. Its significance lies in maintaining the structural integrity and deacetylase activity of sirtuin 1. Zinc has shown to be essential in this regard, and sources like oysters provide a potential supply.

6. Additional Neutraceuticals: Tool number six builds upon tool number one. There are other lesser-known neutraceuticals that can increase SIRT1 levels. Some of these include berberine, quercetin, fisetin, and curcumin.

7. Intermittent Fasting: Lastly, tool number seven is intermittent fasting. This approach leverages the fact that intermittent fasting increases the NAD+ to NADH ratio. This shift ensures that NAD+ is available for the sirtuins to perform their deacetylase activities effectively.

1 comentário

Going to need to revisit my supplement regime and add in some!! Great information!

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