Raising NAD+ levels inhibits coronavirus replication in lab research.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme found in our cells. It has two forms, NAD+ and NADH. NAD+ is the form of the coenzyme that can be put use in our cells. NAD+ helps to convert nutrients into ATP, the molecule that produces energy in every cell of our bodies. It also works with a range of proteins to carry out essential processes including DNA repair and supporting the mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cell. It also has an antioxidant function, removing damaging free radicals.
As it works it is converted to the NADH form, meaning that our bodies need to continually produce NAD+.
Researchers at the University of Iowa, Oregon Health & Science University, and the University of Kansas reported that in an in vitro cell model, levels of NAD+ were reduced by 80% after infection with a form of coronavirus similar to the one that causes COVID-19.
It has been shown that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 depletes the level of NAD+, which is essential in helping to repair inflammatory damage.
Now, new research in mouse cells demonstrates that raising NAD+ levels decreases the reproduction rate of coronavirus murine hepatitis virus, a ‘cousin’ of SARS-CoV-2.
The team also found that antiviral PARP enzymes, a vital part of the body’s immune response, are boosted by increased levels of NAD+.
This research looked at mouse cells in a lab so there is much more to learn. The researchers say the next steps are animal and human trials to determine whether NAD boosting can be effective in the fight against COVID-19.
The website www.aboutnad.com is a great resource for understanding the role of NAD and the potential shown by research into its effects on our health and wellbeing.