A clinician’s view: We need to manage immune stress better

The powerful little molecule known as NAD+ is heavily implicated in many aspects of longevity. Having lower levels of NAD+ is linked to a wide range of conditions, from obesity and heart disease to dementia and cancers. The molecule is also heavily linked to the effective function of our immune system and is thought to be depleted by as much as 80% when our bodies are subjected to immune stress. This effect on our immune health is why ChromaDex recently introduced Tru Niagen Immune, a specially formulated version of its NAD+ boosting supplement.

Longevity.Technology: While the COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone more aware of the importance of immune health, the fact is that there are a whole host of reasons why we might experience immune stress. We caught up with Dr Alyssa Dweck, a practicing gynaecologist in New York, to find out why combining immune and NAD+ boosting ingredients is a sensible move.

Longevity.Technology: While the COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone more aware of the importance of immune health, the fact is that there are a whole host of reasons why we might experience immune stress.
Dr Alyssa Dweck

In her almost 30 years of practice, Dweck has developed her own perspective on longevity and healthspan over the years, both personally, but also as her patients have grown older.

“From a clinical standpoint, many of my patients have aged with me,” she says. “I still see plenty of young women, but also lots of perimenopausal women and menopausal women who are really traversing difficult symptoms and still trying to be productive, efficient, and strong in their personal and professional lives.”

Patients savvier about healthspan

As a doctor practising in an affluent area of the country, Dweck acknowledges she is fortunate to be in a community where her patients are often highly motivated around health and wellness.

“I see lots of women who are looking to really maintain their health and wellness, whether it’s through diet, exercise or stress reduction,” she says. “They research things, they bring me articles, they even teach me things sometimes.”

Dweck also sees that her patients are increasingly aware of the importance of cellular health when it comes to general wellness and immunity, including the role that supplements can play.

“I think that people are becoming much more savvy, thanks to the availability of information,” she says. “The last couple of years with this pandemic has brought immunity front and centre in people’s minds, so it’s on people’s radar. But the supplement world can be the Wild West, so it’s important that people do their homework and that I do my homework – I want to know that there is good science behind what I might recommend.”

When it comes to the impact of immune stress on our cellular health, Dweck is confident that the science is clear.

“Some of us like to sit in the sun, some of us smoke, some of us drink alcohol, all of which are major stressors,” she says. “Lack of exercise, overeating, eating the wrong foods – these may all sound obvious, but I think they apply to many of the patients that I see every day. We need to try and help manage those cellular stresses.”

The benefits of combination to immune stress

By combining the benefits of NAD+ with immune-boosting ingredients in its new supplement, Dweck thinks that ChromaDex is onto something.

“I think Tru Niagen Immune can be framed as a one-two punch, if you will,” she says. “On one hand, we have benefits to cellular health, because we know that NAD+ increases cellular energy and that cellular repair will be supported and optimised. And then we have the other ingredients that have been tried and tested extensively for their immune optimization and for the antioxidant potential of vitamin C. And I think that the combination makes it a no brainer for people who are looking to support these functions.”

In addition to 150mg of Niagen to boost NAD+, Tru Niagen Immune also contains:

  • 2,000IU (250% daily value) of VegD3 a proprietary form of plant-based vitamin D3 derived from algae, as opposed to animal-sourced lanolin
  • 20mg (182% daily value) of zinc in two forms, gluconate and citrate, for better absorption
  • 180mg (200% daily value) of vitamin C produced via fermentation, as opposed to synthetically sourced
  • 30mg Theracurmin, a superior form of curcumin that is 27x more absorbable than regular curcumin

Speaking about the new ingredient blend, Dweck says curcumin, vitamin C and Zinc are “no-brainers” for their unique benefits.

“Many of my patients already take these supplements on an individual basis, many of which are already contained in this new supplement, so it seems only rational and reasonable to take it as a combination.”

From a gynaecologist’s perspective, she also points out that vitamin D is vital for women’s bone health as they go through perimenopause and menopause.

“I’m thrilled that there is a reasonable amount of vitamin D in this supplement, which will help to support bone health, as well as many other functions,” she says. “In addition, vitamin D is often deficient in women’s diets, because a lot of women at this age are either intolerant of many dairy products or are limiting them voluntarily for caloric restriction.”

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