What Is Our "Cellular Metabolism" & How Does It Affect Aging?
Ah, the metabolism. While most of us have a general understanding of the metabolism and want to keep it as fast as possible, it's become a term that leaves a lot of us confused, conflicted, and sometimes downright frustrated. How can we keep our metabolisms sharp? What part of the body even is it? In other words, what is our metabolism?
To add another phrase to your vocab list, OB/GYN Alyssa Dweck, M.D., M.S., FACOG, shares with us the importance of optimizing our "cellular metabolism." This process, she says, is arguably the most important component of our metabolism—so if you're going to glean one take-away from a metabolism bootcamp, let this be it.
What is our cellular metabolism?
Our cellular metabolism, Dweck says, is the foundation for all metabolic processes in our bodies, and it 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."
So, every metabolic process in our body relies on this cellular metabolism to keep moving. That said, 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.*
Cellular beauty has arrived with this revolutionary formula.*
While supplements are by no means the only way to enhance our cell metabolisms (reducing harmful sun exposure, alcohol use, and stress are also methods to combat our "cellular aging," Dweck notes), the bottom line is that our cells truly are the foundation for all processes in our bodies.
Although it might be difficult to visualize our cells when optimizing our well-being, try to imagine those guys when you're thinking about your next self-care day. As we approach the throes of holiday mania—where beach vacations and holiday-themed sips are a little more prevalent than usual—remember that our cell metabolisms might feel the effects of those cellular stressors long after the new year rolls in.
While Dweck acknowledges that we shouldn't necessarily live in fear of cellular aging, she believes that the cellular level is as 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.