Boosting NAD+ improves muscle disease


NAD+ is a redox-active metabolite, the depletion of which has been proposed to promote aging and degenerative diseases in rodents. However, whether NAD+ depletion occurs in patients with degenerative disorders and whether NAD+ repletion improves their symptoms has remained open.

Here, we report systemic NAD+ deficiency in adult-onset mitochondrial myopathy patients. We administered an increasing dose of NAD+-booster niacin, a vitamin B3 form (to 750-1,000 mg/day; NCT03973203) for patients and their matched controls for 10 or 4 months, respectively.

Blood NAD+ increased in all subjects, up to 8-fold, and muscle NAD+ of patients reached the level of their controls. Some patients showed anemia tendency, while muscle strength and mitochondrial biogenesis increased in all subjects. In patients, muscle metabolome shifted toward controls and liver fat decreased even 50%.

Our evidence indicates that blood analysis is useful in identifying NAD+ deficiency and points niacin to be an efficient NAD+ booster for treating mitochondrial myopathy.

SOURCE: Cell Metabolism

EDITOR’S NOTE: Increased blood levels of NAD+ were achieved here with a readily available supplement, niacin (vitamin B3).

Niacin: an old lipid drug in a new NAD + dress


Niacin, the first antidyslipidemic drug, has been at the center stage of lipid research for many decades before the discovery of statins. However, to date, despite its remarkable effects on lipid profiles, the clinical outcomes of niacin treatment on cardiac events is still debated.

In addition to its historically well-defined interactions with central players of lipid metabolism, niacin can be processed by eukaryotic cells to synthesize a crucial cofactor, NAD+. NAD+ acts as a cofactor in key cellular processes, including oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis, and DNA repair.

More recently, evidence has emerged that NAD+ also is an essential cosubstrate for the sirtuin family of protein deacylases and thereby has an impact on a wide range of cellular processes, most notably mitochondrial homeostasis, energy homeostasis, and lipid metabolism. NAD+ achieves these remarkable effects through sirtuin-mediated deacetylation of key transcriptional regulators, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-α, LXR, and SREBPs, that control these cellular processes.

Here, we present an alternative point of view to explain niacin’s mechanism of action, with a strong focus on the importance of how this old drug acts as a control switch of NAD+/sirtuin-mediated control of metabolism.

FULL TEXT: Journal of Lipid Research



Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, collectively referred to as niacin, are nutritional precursors of the bioactive molecules nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). NAD and NADP are important cofactors for most cellular redox reactions, and as such are essential to maintain cellular metabolism and respiration.

NAD also serves as a cosubstrate for a large number of ADP-ribosylation enzymes with varied functions. Among the NAD-consuming enzymes identified to date are important genetic and epigenetic regulators, e.g., poly(ADP-ribose)polymerases and sirtuins.

There is rapidly growing knowledge of the close connection between dietary niacin intake, NAD(P) availability, and the activity of NAD(P)-dependent epigenetic regulator enzymes. It points to an exciting role of dietary niacin intake as a central regulator of physiological processes, e.g., maintenance of genetic stability, and of epigenetic control mechanisms modulating metabolism and aging.

Insight into the role of niacin and various NAD-related diseases ranging from cancer, aging, and metabolic diseases to cardiovascular problems has shifted our view of niacin as a vitamin to current views that explore its potential as a therapeutic.

FULL TEXT: Adv Food Nutr Res

NAD deficiency + niacin supplementation


Background: Congenital malformations can be manifested as combinations of phenotypes that co-occur more often than expected by chance. In many such cases, it has proved difficult to identify a genetic cause. We sought the genetic cause of cardiac, vertebral, and renal defects, among others, in unrelated patients.

Methods: We used genomic sequencing to identify potentially pathogenic gene variants in families in which a person had multiple congenital malformations. We tested the function of the variant by using assays of in vitro enzyme activity and by quantifying metabolites in patient plasma. We engineered mouse models with similar variants using the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 system.

Results: Variants were identified in two genes that encode enzymes of the kynurenine pathway, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid 3,4-dioxygenase (HAAO) and kynureninase (KYNU). Three patients carried homozygous variants predicting loss-of-function changes in the HAAO or KYNU proteins (HAAO p.D162*, HAAO p.W186*, or KYNU p.V57Efs*21). Another patient carried heterozygous KYNU variants (p.Y156* and p.F349Kfs*4). The mutant enzymes had greatly reduced activity in vitro. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is synthesized de novo from tryptophan through the kynurenine pathway. The patients had reduced levels of circulating NAD. Defects similar to those in the patients developed in the embryos of Haao-null or Kynu-null mice owing to NAD deficiency. In null mice, the prevention of NAD deficiency during gestation averted defects.

Conclusions: Disruption of NAD synthesis caused a deficiency of NAD and congenital malformations in humans and mice. Niacin supplementation during gestation prevented the malformations in mice.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparent restoration of NAD synthesis was achieved here with a readily available supplement, niacin (vitamin B3).