NAD+ could help treat COVID-19 patients, scientists say.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a vital coenzyme that is central to cellular metabolism.
NAD+ acts as a catalyst in the processing of nutrients and is essential in converting nutrients to energy, as well as modulating immune response to viral infections.
Scientists in Bahrain have published a paper stating that COVID-19 infection can result in reduced NAD+ levels in our cells, and that restoring NAD+ levels could be an important treatment for patients with the illness.
NAD+ levels are known to diminish with age, which can reduce the effectiveness of the body’s immune response. Death rates from COVID-19 increase with age.
One possible reason for the depletion of NAD+ in COVID-19 patients is related to a large protein called poly-ADP ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1). PARP-1 helps catalyse the breakdown of NAD+ to perform its antiviral work, but the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COIVD-19 inhibits its effectiveness, leading to excessive PARP-1 activation and an inflammatory response.
This leads to increased consumption of NAD+, inhibiting cellular energy and resulting in cell death.
Writing in the Journal of Infection and Public Health, the Bahrain researchers suggest that restoring normal NAD+ levels in older COVID-19 patients could decrease the severity of their immune response and improve their overall health condition.
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