How NAD+ Levels can Impact COVID-19 and Cytokine Storms
Disclaimer: The medical statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other governing health authorities. The information comes from a peer-reviewed scientific paper by Dr. David Sinclair, Amber L Mueller, and Meave S. McNamara. Dr. Sinclair is one of the world’s premier authorities on aging, a Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and a co-director of the Paul F Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 please seek the treatment of a doctor or medical professional.
In the peer-reviewed scientific paper, “Why does COVID-19 disproportionately affect older people?”, David Sinclair, Amber L Mueller, and Meave S. McNamara offer potential explanations as to why COVID-19 adversely affects some people more than others. The authors report that, “the severity and outcome of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) largely depends on a patient’s age. Adults over 65 years of age represent 80% of hospitalizations and have a 23-fold greater risk of death than those under 65.” According to the paper, mortality in COVID-19 patients is largely due to the cytokine storm which results from an overreaction of the immune system when fighting off the virus.
Cytokines are powerful chemicals released by the immune system to kill an attacking virus. However, when the body’s production of cytokines goes into overdrive, instead of helping to defeat the virus, the cytokines start to damage the body, thus creating a cytokine storm. The cytokine storm through an exaggerated and rapid pro-inflammatory response gives rise to complex pulmonary (lung), cardiac (heart), and hematologic (blood-clotting) conditions, which can be fatal. For every COVID-19 fatality, “one in two experience a cytokine storm, 82% of whom are over the age of 60.” The authors postulate that there are three leading, interconnected factors that may be able to explain a person’s predisposition to cytokine storms: age; NAD+ levels; and NLRP3, a “major protein component of the inflammasome” that triggers the release of proinflammatory cytokines.
NLRP3 is regulated by Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2), a member of the NAD+ dependent Sirtuin family. As humans age and NAD+ levels sharply decline, Sirtuin’s ability to control NLRP3 levels is dramatically reduced. According to the paper this results in “an increase in the amount and activity of NLRP3 in immune cells.” It is this overactivation of NLRP3 in older people due to low NAD+ levels that when fighting the COVID-19 virus, they are more susceptible to developing a cytokine storm and therefore suffer a higher mortality rate than young people.
According to the authors, boosting and maintaining high NAD+ levels through NAD+ precursors could potentially help reverse cytokine storms, alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 and ultimately lower the mortality rate. “… NAD+ precursors, such as NMN and NR, have been suggested as possible treatments for COVID-19, especially in older people. Clinical studies are needed to determine if NAD+ supplementation would benefit in the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 to reduce replication or if NAD+ treatment during acute COVID-19 can hasten recovery.”
While clinical trials are yet to be completed, a case study from Cedars Sinai Medical Center was published on April 20, 2020 overviewing the great success at reversing cytokine storms and alleviating COVID-19 symptoms in patients through the use of an over the counter NMN cocktail. For more details on the case study, check out our article: Cytokine Storm & COVID-19 Symptoms Alleviated by NMN Cocktail
References: Mueller AL, McNamara MS, Sinclair DA. Why does COVID-19 disproportionately affect older people?. Aging (Albany NY). 2020; 12:9959-9981. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103344