Sirtuins: Everything You Need to Know
Let’s be honest: our bodies are a bit confusing —okay, a lot confusing. With so many different hormones, enzymes, and proteins floating about, it can be difficult to understand what our bodies need and what they don’t. But, that’s why we’re here.
If you have taken a deep dive into the health and wellness industry lately, you’ve probably heard the term “sirtuins” being thrown around a bit, especially in regard to your cellular health. Sirtuins are yet another part of our complicated bodies that we need to function properly. But, how? As a function many of us are unfamiliar with, we’ll help you fully understand what sirtuins are, what they do, and just exactly how we can keep them properly regulated.
What are Sirtuins?
Let’s start with the basics: sirtuins are naturally-occurring proteins within the human body that work to regulate your cellular health and help achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis within our cells involves keeping all of our cells as balanced as possible, removing toxins when necessary, and absorbing nutrients when we can.
These protein molecules, however, can only function properly when in the presence of one specific coenzyme: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD+ for short. As a coenzyme found in all living cells, this doesn’t seem too difficult, right?
Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies slow the production of coenzymes like NAD+, leaving our sirtuins unable to do their job, and, thus, our cellular health is no longer being regulated the way it needs to be. Though this sounds detrimental at first glance, there are steps we can take that will not only boost our NAD+ production but will boost our sirtuins, too.
How Do Sirtuins Work?
We’ve already established that sirtuins only function when in the presence of NAD+ coenzymes, but how do sirtuins work? Whenever we have sufficient levels of NAD+, the sirtuins within our bodies are able to work to remove acetyl groups or “toxins” within other proteins. Acetyl groups are essentially proteins that have been tasked with duties but need to be deacetylated in order for these functions to be performed properly. In a nutshell, this chemical reaction refers to the process of removing one or more acetyl groups from a molecule and plays a vital role in contributing to damage repair of our DNA.
Sirtuins are one of the only proteins that can perform this deacetylation, allowing other proteins to work the way they’ve been designed. Through a series of chemical processes, the proteins that need assistance within the body are flagged, letting our sirtuins know that they need their help, typically through deacetylation. Through this process, our sirtuin proteins are able to assist with DNA transcription, gene expression, purging of toxins, and absorption of necessary nutrients; all functions that are crucial in helping us to feel and perform our best.
But, the older we get and the more our bodies struggle to produce NAD+, the more difficult it becomes for our sirtuins to do their job. Eventually, we’re left with a buildup of unused proteins. As a protein that essentially manages all of our cellular functions, a lack of active sirtuins can cause serious change–and potential damage–within our bodies, throwing off all of our internal systems significantly.
Thankfully, we don’t have to panic too much. Boosting our sirtuin production as well as our NAD+ coenzymes is still a definite possibility through the necessary supplementation — no matter how old we may be.
All Science Jargon Aside — How Do You Boost Sirtuins?
Studies have shown that everyday activities like exercising can boost our bodies’ sirtuin count within the skeletal muscle, promoting mitochondrial health and acting as a therapeutic agent. Stringent exercise routines have shown positive effects for sirtuin levels within our bodies, especially when paired with diet changes. Balanced, nutritional meals can do wonders for our cellular health, and we’re even discovering that intermittent fasting may be helpful, too. Recently, research has found that by occasionally cutting off our bodies’ calorie intake, our sirtuins levels can actually increase.
Though, none of this does much good if we don’t have the NAD+ enzyme to pair along with it.
To give our bodies a bit of a boost in the NAD+ scene, then, we can turn to better diets, occasional fasting, and, of course, NAD+ boosters or health supplements. Health supplements have been all the rage recently, as more and more people are beginning to discover just how helpful and easy they are in getting your body to its most natural, healthy state. Most health supplements don’t just focus on one specific issue, but rather they tackle your body as a whole, helping to achieve the equilibrium or homeostasis it needs–the equilibrium that sirtuins so often provide.
Certain supplements like NAD+ by ICARIA, optimize sirtuin performance directly, providing an incredible health boost. With ingredients like Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), Resveratrol and Pterostilbene, this new innovation by ICARIA helps promote cellular health and prevent damage to create NAD+ and sirtuins as well increase their effectiveness in the body. If you got all that, here’s a recap on the few ways you can increase sirtuin:
- Routine exercise
- A balanced, healthy diet full of nutritional foods
- NAD+ Supplements or Boosters
Keeping our Cells (and Selves) Happy
Ensuring that the innumerous cells in our bodies are healthy, happy, and doing what they should be sounds like an impossible task for us here on the outside. Luckily, it’s not, and the health and wellness industry is showing us, every day, that we’re more than capable of putting our health back into our own hands. While it may not always be easy, it isn’t impossible: through the use of various supplements as well as being cognizant about what you’re putting your body through, both NAD+ and sirtuin production (and regulation) is achieved. Once this homeostasis occurs, we promise, you’ll feel a noticeable difference in how your body performs on a daily basis. Just don’t let these little proteins fall by the wayside.