What Is Our "Cellular Metabolism" & How Does It Affect Aging?
The word "metabolism" likely rings a bell, but "cellular metabolism" might be a different story. But as OB/GYN Alyssa Dweck, M.D., M.S., FACOG, shares with us, optimizing our cellular metabolism is extremely important for our overall health. This process, she says, is arguably the most important component of our metabolism.
What is our cellular metabolism?
Our cellular metabolism, Dweck says, is the foundation for all metabolic processes in our bodies. It's the chemical process by which our cells produce energy and other cellular functions—including breaking down, removal, and regeneration of new cells.
Our cellular metabolism relies on NAD to function. In case you need a mini refresher, NAD+ is a substance that every cell in our body uses to turn food into energy, and it decreases as we age.
"We have so many cells in our body, and each cell relies on NAD+ in an effort to create energy," Dweck explains on the mindbodygreen podcast. "So whether we're talking about metabolism through the thyroid gland, through digestion, or through caloric intake, all of those cells in our body rely on NAD+ to go forward."
Every metabolic process in our body relies on this cellular metabolism to keep moving. So it's crucial to make sure our cellular metabolisms are up to speed—and an effective way to do so is by maintaining good levels of NAD+.*
How can we optimize NAD+?
"There is some really exciting research right now to find ways to support NAD+ through supplementation," Dweck notes.*
These supplements, according to Dweck, are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B3, and each has been shown to enhance the NAD+ levels in our cells and encourage longevity.*
The newest form of vitamin B3 on the market is called nicotinamide riboside, or NR. This supplement promotes the activity of sirtuins and doesn't include many of the side effects associated with other forms of vitamin B3, such as face flushing.* "It has a lot of benefits and minimal baggage," Dweck notes.*
While supplements can act as an additional resource to help support your body's levels of NAD,* you can also take preventive measures: reducing harmful sun exposure, alcohol use, and stress are also methods to combat our "cellular aging," Dweck notes.
Dweck acknowledges that we shouldn't live in fear of cellular aging, but she believes that the cellular level is just as important as cosmetics or exercise when it comes to healthy aging.* She says, "In an effort to help our aging process, we need to better our cellular metabolism so we can all age more gracefully."* Well said, Dweck.
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