Wonderfeel’s Dr Andrew Salzman on why a supplement with a holistic approach is a winner when it comes to boosting NAD+.
Recently, we covered the launch of Youngr, a new supplement targeting the root causes of aging; combining NAD+ precursor NMN with emergent antioxidants this novel synthesis has the aim of creating a predominant supplement to maximise healthspan.
Longevity.Technology: The supplements market is growing at a fast pace, meaning products have to up their game to stand out on the crowded shelves. What caught our eye about Youngr is that it is a supplement where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It contains NMN, the precursor of NAD+, a vital molecule that helps generate energy, regulate cellular function, keep your metabolism ticking along and help cells repair damaged DNA, and antioxidants, molecules that protect your cells against the oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals.
Given the part NAD+ and antioxidants play in healthy aging and maximising healthspan, we were keen to find out more about Youngr, particularly because its mission is not only to build physiological health at the molecular level, but also to operate a holistic approach, enhancing happiness and mental fitness. We sat down with Andrew Salzman, Harvard MD and Chief Medical Officer for Wonderfeel, the company behind Youngr to learn more.
There are numerous studies that look at the longevity of people who are active and full of energy and happiness, and people who are depressed – and depression is massively correlated with early death, says Salzman, explaining that an interest in longevity should go hand-in-hand with an understanding that it needs a holistic approach.
“A person’s happiness is just as important as any medication they’re taking,” he says. “It’s essential. On the one hand, we’re helping with physiology, but on the other hand, we’re encouraging people to go out and be active and be fit and be happy and to have good relationships.
“Although we’re calling Youngr a metabolic supplement, it is also having an effect on happiness because when you’re fit, you feel better, and that makes you healthier overall. So, we have to look at this holistically. It’s not just a medicine you take and go home.”
Ergothioneine and NMN, two of the featured ingredients in Youngr are known to have benefits that address cognitive performance; cognitive decline is a critical facet of aging and often one of the earliest first thing that people recognise in themselves, such as losing their sharpness, their memory and their ability to handle complex situations
“Those losses are going to have a big effect on how people feel about their health and longevity,” says Salzman. “If you have problems with cognition, you’re confused, you don’t feel energetic, you sit down most of the day, you’ve lost your energetic status; these things can actually make you depressed as you realize that you’re not as fit as you used to be. So it works in a circle.
“So, there are biochemical correlations with your status and your health, your happiness, and your holistic sense of how you’re doing for your well-being that are easily measurable. If you could take the brain out of a person, you would see a very, very strong biochemical correlation of your happiness with your entire health, longevity, and fitness.”
Youngr has a double-pronged approach – NMN plus antioxidants – that has key implications for mitochondria, as Salzman explains.
“When you have mitochondrial injury or under conditions of mitochondrial senility, as happens as we age, one of the very first things to go wrong is that the mitochondria become less efficient in their energy production, and they generate incompletely formed oxygen, which is in the form of toxic oxidant molecules,” he says.
“To guard against this oxidant stress, the mitochondria have evolved within them a special protective enzyme, but this enzyme can become easily overwhelmed by high levels of oxidant stress. So, as one ages, or if an individual is in a really emotionally stressful situation, the mitochondria produce an extraordinary load of oxidants. With this level of oxidant overproduction, the mitochondria simply cannot cope. And ultimately they are overwhelmed with oxidant stress and they fail.”
When mitochondria are overwhelmed by oxidants and fail, the oxidants directly injure coupling of molecular oxygen to produce energy in the form of ATP. These oxidants can directly interfere with how well the mitochondria perform as a machine, so it is critical to remove oxidant stress when trying to sustain and nurture and optimise mitochondrial function.
“Just to give NMN without protecting against oxidant stress would be only half the story,” explains Salzman. “Our focus at Wonderfeel is on getting mitochondria back to full health – thus we are aiming to address both mitochondrial challenges at the same time.”
Salzman explains that first, the aim is the correction of age-dependent drop in NAD levels, and secondly, the removal of higher levels of oxidant stress.
“It is not enough to just feed mitochondria with NAD or NMN. Just giving NMN or NR is nice, but it’s half the story,” he says, adding that it is critical to have both of these tracks going in parallel.
“By giving antioxidants, and notably the ones found in our formula, we nurture, we potentiate the efficacy, we augment the effect of NMN.”
Youngr includes various specific antioxidants, including hydroxytyrosol, because there are many different types of oxidant stress in the cell.
“It’s not one size fits all,” says Salzman. “There’s actually a variety of molecules that contribute to oxidant stress – some are lipids, some are sugars, and there are proteins and other small molecules that are pro-oxidant. There are free radicals… There’s a lot going on in the cell, which we together call oxidant stress. But it’s actually the combination of numerous different, quite different forms of free radical and oxygen injury. Therefore, there is no one antioxidant that can counteract all of these different threats, and so, naturally, the cell has devised numerous proteins and small molecules within it to handle different types of oxidant injury.”
Salzman explains that a supplement provider cannot rely upon one single antioxidant, and expect realistically to address the broad range of oxidant and pre-radical threats. “
By using diverse but specific antioxidants in a mixture, we create a broad spectrum antioxidant action, which can attack and address various forms of oxidant injury,” he says. “Much more than anyone independent, any one player or any one actor could do.”
Boost your NAD+ levels and protect your DNA with Youngr – the new supplement packed with NMN and antioxidants.
Check out part two of our interview with Dr Salzman, exploring hydroxytyrosol in greater depth and looking at the latest clinical trial results.
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