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Scientists discover coenzyme with potentials to postpone ageing

health and fitness Updated: Oct 15, 2016 13:54 IST
ANI
ANI
Highlight Story

The researchers when injected the coenzyme in mice and roundworm, it not only postponed the onset of ageing but also extended life.(Shutterstock)

New research conducted at the Center for Healthy Ageing and the American National Institute of Health found that coenzyme NAD+ plays a main role in ageing processes.

The researchers when injected the coenzyme in mice and roundworm, it not only postponed the onset of ageing but also extended life.

The researchers found that this new knowledge will eventually be able to help patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

As we live longer and longer, a lot of people are occupied with their state of health and not least, quality of life in old age.

Therefore, researchers all over the world are trying to understand ageing mechanisms, as this knowledge may eventually help to postpone physical ageing and extend life.

As per the scientists the substance Bridges Gap: Previous research has shown that a main process in ageing is the capacity of the cells to keep our genes, our DNA, more or less intact.

However, changes in the cells’ power stations, the mitochondria, also affect ageing processes.

An international team of researchers has shown that the substance NAD bridges the gap between two main ageing theories - repairs to the DNA and poor functioning mitochondria.

Lead researcher Vilhelm Bohr, explained: “Our new study shows an age-dependent decrease in the level of NAD+, and this decrease is far greater for organisms with early ageing and a lack of DNA repairs. We were surprised to see that adding NAD+ postponed both the ageing processes of the cells and extended life in worms and in a mouse model.”

The researchers have bred mice and roundworm with the illness Ataxia telangiectasia, A-T, for the purpose of the study.

In A-T patients the part of the brain that is responsible for coordination gradually degenerates, DNA repairs are lacking, and they experience other symptoms characteristic of early ageing.

Adding NAD Postpones Ageing: “We know from previous studies that a drop in the level of NAD+ results in metabolism errors, neurodegeneration and ageing, but the underlying mechanisms remainunclear to us,” he said.

Adding, “Our new study stresses that the substance NAD+ plays a main role both in maintaining the health of the cells’ power stations and in their capacity for repairing the genes.”

The study also indicates that damage to the DNA can result in poor functioning mitochondria, leading to increasing neurodegeneration in A-T patients.

Adding the substance NAD can stop the damage to the mitochondria.

Help for Patients in the Future: Even though the researchers have only examined the effect of the substance on model organisms and not administered the substance to patients, they expect to see the same effect in humans, as the cell repair mechanisms are universal for the cells of all living organisms.

Understanding the universal mechanisms at cell level is key to understanding human ageing and why we become more susceptible to illness as we grow older.

Hopefully, this new knowledge will be able to help postpone physical ageing processes and prevent illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The results of the study were published in the leading journal Cell Metabolism.

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