Intermittent fasting has become extremely popular for its variety of health benefits and it is now known that many of these benefits are attributed to the increase in NAD+ levels caused by fasting. This article will look at the cellular pathways activated by intermittent fasting, the link to NAD+ and how you can combine NAD+ supplements with your fasting regime to maximize the benefits.
Intermittent fasting stimulates hormesis
Intermittent fasting is the practice of eating your daily calories in a specific window of time, rather than continuously eating throughout the day. This allows the body to have an extended period of time without food. There are many different types of intermittent fasting such as the 16:8 pattern or the 5:2 pattern but it can be as simple as having dinner slightly earlier in the evening and then having breakfast slightly later in the morning.
Fasting causes cellular energy stress. Without the external input of food, cells enhance their own energy production and activate repair pathways. The concept of putting your cells under a short period of stress to activate longevity pathways and boost resilience is called ‘hormesis’. Other examples include cold exposure, heat exposure and high intensity interval training.
Intermittent fasting activates AMPK
What occurs at a cellular level during fasting?
During fasting several pathways are activated, of note is AMPK. AMPK is the master energy sensor in the cell, detecting alterations in ATP (cellular energy) levels. In response to a decrease in cellular ATP, AMPK activates downstream pathways to support mitochondrial function and enhance energy production.
This includes stimulating production of NAD+ and activating sirtuins. NAD+ is critical for energy production and sirtuins regulate pathways that support mitochondrial health and repair. Collectively the activation of these downstream pathways ensure that the cell can survive the period of stress.
As AMPK controls so many beneficial downstream pathways it is regarded by scientists such as Professor David Sinclair as a key longevity pathway. However, activation of AMPK declines with age, so fasting and exercise are great methods to ensure AMPK activation to support your cellular health.
AMPK stimulates NAD+ production
As mentioned above one of the main benefits of AMPK activation is that it increases NAD+ production. This rise in NAD+ occurs via two mechanisms:
- AMPK increases expression of the enzyme NAMPT. This enzyme powers the NAD+ recycling pathway called the Salvage Pathway. This is the primary source of cellular NAD+ production and the more NAMPT, the more NAD+ is recycled.
- During fasting, as your cells switch from burning carbohydrates for fuel to burning fat, it alters the ratio of NAD+/NADH in favour of NAD+.
The increase in NAD+ activates the sirtuins which then mediate many of the beneficial effects of fasting.
Extend the benefits of your fast with Nuchido TIME+
Unfortunately, AMPK and other beneficial downstream pathways are switched off upon refeeding as the energy stress is reduced. However, by taking Nuchido TIME+ when breaking your fast you can maintain NAD+ production and sirtuin activation, extending the cellular benefits of fasting.
Nuchido TIME+ is clinically proven to boost NAD+ levels and increase sirtuin activation. Nuchido TIME+ also contains ingredients that are known to activate AMPK including: Rutin, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Quercetin and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), to further simulate the benefits of fasting.