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What is a cell? Why are they important?

  • Cells are the building blocks of life that support everything happening in our body

  • NAD+ is essential to the well-being of our cells, tissues, and organs. 
  • Restoring NAD+ levels in the body with NMN supplements promotes healthy aging 

 

The cell is the fundamental unit of life. Cells, tissues, and organs all change as we age, affecting the operation of every system in the body. Understanding the biological processes that maintain our health is essential, and learning about how cells function is a great place to start.

Keep reading to learn about the smallest unit of life and how you can use supplements to promote healthy aging from the cellular level.

 

 

 

 

Cell's Overall Role 

 

The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all living organisms and tissues. All organisms are composed of smaller units called cells. Trillions of cells make up the human body. Everything that goes on in our bodies results from the work of proteins, chemicals, and signals made by the biological machinery housed in our cells. In most cases, a light microscope is required to observe cells, whether single-celled or part of a multicellular organism.

Cells are the body's building blocks, supporting everything else that happens inside. Furthermore, they absorb food, transform it into energy, and use it to perform other tasks. Cells store our genetic material and are also capable of duplicating themselves.

 

 

Factory

 

 

Cell Components and Their Functions 

 

While some species (like some bacteria) are made up of a single cell, others, like humans, are composed of trillions of cells. Each one of the trillions of cells that make up the human body performs like a miniature factory. Like a factory, a cell consumes inputs like nutrients and generates outputs like proteins and lipids. A factory makes goods for the company's internal use and sale to the public. Likewise, cells manufacture proteins for their needs and exchange them with neighboring cells.

All of the components must function in harmony to maintain cell viability, which in turn sustains our own lives. These components within the cell are membrane-bound structures known as organelles. They are more or less the internal organs of the cell. 

In a way, the organelles in a cell are analogous to the departments and employees in a typical factory (cell). While everyone contributes to the final product, they each have their unique role.

Most of the action in a cell takes place in the cytoplasm, a viscous liquid within the cell membrane containing the organelles. Other organelles in the cell can function because cytoplasm is a foundation for them. The cytoplasm is where a cell's growth, replication, and maintenance processes occur.

 

 

Human cell components including the mitochondria

 

 

Here are some of the most vital organelles and the tasks they perform:

 

Nucleus [#8]

 

The cell nucleus acts like the headquarters of a factory, directing all processes within the cell. All the other organelles take their cues from this command center, which controls their activities and timing.

The nucleus of the cell also houses the chromosomes. The cell's complete genetic information is in its compact strands of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This information contains all the instructions the cell requires to create proteins and numerous other significant compounds.

A typical factory has plans for the day-to-day operations and the development and manufacture of the goods. DNA is comparable to such blueprints as it contains the instructions for making not just the products of the cell but also the proteins that regulate its day-to-day activities.

Managing a plant that has grown too large requires the construction of a new factory. Also, the new factory will require its own set of blueprints. 

Similarly, the DNA becomes stretched into extremely fine, hair-like structures during the cell's active growth phase. Then, the DNA bundles up into chromosomes and becomes replicated when a cell prepares to divide.

 

Ribosomes [#13]

 

One of a cell's most vital functions is protein synthesis. In the cytoplasm, you'll find little clumps of ribonucleic acid (RNA) called ribosomes. Their sole purpose is to put together protein molecules. The instructions for making proteins are encoded in their DNA. 

Workers in a factory take action on instructions needed for production in emails from the headquarters or command centers (nucleus). Similarly, ribosomes take action based on RNA messages they receive.

 

Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) [#12]

 

The next step, after protein synthesis, is transportation to the various destinations inside the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network of lipid membranes is responsible for transporting proteins within the cell.

The rough and smooth are the two forms of the ER. The rough endoplasmic reticulum acquires its name from the uneven appearance caused by the ribosomes implanted within it. On the other hand, the absence of these ribosomes gives the smooth endoplasmic reticulum its characteristically smooth appearance.

Like factory workers congregating in production lines, ribosomes are located on rough ER (an area of the cell where proteins are produced). The ER moves these proteins to a different organelle that will encapsulate and send them out for distribution.

Some human cells rely on smooth ER for calcium regulation. In contrast, others use it to produce, store and secrete steroid hormones and lipids. Additionally, smooth ER serves as a detoxifier.

 

Golgi Apparatus [#14]

 

To ensure that the proteins made by the ER ribosomes can be taken up by the parts of the body that require them, the cell must package them in a specific way before export. The pancake-shaped organelle, termed a Golgi apparatus, is responsible for this process. When proteins are ready to exit the cell, they pass through the ER to the Golgi apparatus that modifies, sorts, and packages them.

The role of the Golgi apparatus is analogous to that of a factory's packaging and shipping division. These workers are responsible for final quality control checks and changes.

 

Lysosomes [#6]

 

The lysosome is responsible for recycling and waste removal. These organelles essentially digest anything that messes with the cellular balance. They can break down a wide range of materials, such as dead cells and organelles, food debris, pathogens, and germs. Lysosomes are responsible for the digestion of macromolecules such as proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.

Why are lysosomes important to the health of cells? Cellular wastes like old or broken components would build up and become toxic with no lysosomes to filter them out. As a result, the cell would malfunction and die.

 

Mitochondria [#9]

 

The mitochondria (singular is mitochondrion) are the cell's powerhouses responsible for generating the energy necessary for cells to function properly. Energy is a necessity for all living creatures to carry out their daily tasks. The mitochondria are powerful organelles because they transform nutrients in food into usable forms of energy. 

It is impossible to run a manufacturing facility without access to reliable electrical power. Most manufacturing facilities have power plants, where generators burn fuel to create heat energy, which is subsequently utilized to generate electricity. 

Similarly, a cell can only perform its primary role of protein synthesis if it has access to a usable form of energy. Consequently, mitochondria are responsible for transferring the energy contained in glucose into the phosphate bonds of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

It would be a grave understatement to claim that mitochondria are essential to human health and life. They are crucial to our survival. Without them, we wouldn't have much chance to stay alive. NAD+ is a mitochondrial fuel that is essential for cellular processes. NAD+ is required for cellular respiration and ATP synthesis. Therefore, it is safe to say that NAD plays a vital role in cellular metabolism and maintaining good health.

 

The functions of the human cell and industrial factory similarity

 

 

Infographic explaining cells overall role, their different components and functions

 

 

The Role of NAD+ on Aging and Longevity 

 

Every living cell contains nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which is essential to the well-being of our cells, tissues, and organs. NAD+ is involved in two distinct sets of reactions in the human body. First as a significant actor in metabolism (the process by which nutrients are converted into energy) and second in its role as a support molecule for proteins that govern other cellular activities. 

NAD+ is a coenzyme in vital bodily functions, such as  ATP synthesis, DNA repair, and sirtuin activity (enzymes involved in aging). These processes cannot happen, and life would not exist without NAD+ functioning as a coenzyme.

Within every cell, NAD+ exists in many subcellular locations. It's in the cell's powerhouses (mitochondria), gelatinous cytoplasm, and DNA storage  (nucleus).

NAD+, however, is a limited resource in the body because it naturally reduces with age. Our ability to function and survive depends on having enough NAD+. But studies have found that by middle age, we only have about half as much as we did in our youth. 

Scientists now agree that declining NAD levels are a signature of aging. Numerous age-related disorders, such as dementia, sarcopenia (age-related muscle mass and strength loss), and feebleness, have been linked to this drop in NAD+. Restoring NAD+ levels can halt the progression of several of these disorders and even reverse them in some cases.

The levels of NAD+ can be kept stable or increased in a few different ways. In particular, the NAD level can increase by raising the number of its precursors in the body. These include nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide, both precursors to NAD+ (NMN).

However, clinical trials have shown that only supplementation with NAD+ precursors can boost NAD+ levels safely and sustainably.

 

 

Individuals smiling big due to NMN supplements

 

 

The Role of NMN Supplementation in NAD Production 

 

The conversion of NMN to NAD+ is very efficient. An analogy that may help you visualize the difference between NMN and NAD is that NMN is the raw material, and NAD is the refined version that your body can actually use. Though NMN is naturally occurring, you can also get it in supplement form. 

JOOSH NMN is an effective supplement for boosting NAD+ levels in the body. The supplement is available in capsule and powder form. 

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is among the most studied and widely used antiaging compounds. During a 12-week trial, researchers found that healthy persons who took 250mg of NMN daily saw their NAD+ levels rise by almost 40%. Moreover, the results of this study demonstrated that NAD+ levels returned to pre-supplementation levels once subjects stopped taking NMN.

Animal research, particularly in mice, suggests that NMN supplementation may have beneficial effects, such as slowing the aging process and enhancing brain function. Various researchers, including longevity expert and Harvard University professor David Sinclair, are exploring its promising potential benefits in humans, including antiaging.

NMN effectively prevents age-related changes in gene expression, suppressing age-related weight gain. In addition, this precursor to NAD+ enhances energy metabolism and physical activity and improves insulin sensitivity, visual function, and mitochondrial metabolism.

 

Safety of NMN supplements

 

NMN is an excellent supplement for raising intracellular NAD levels because it is safe and has shown to have little if any, adverse effects in human and animal trials.

Still, it is best to consult a doctor or other qualified medical practitioner about the dangers and advantages of taking any dietary supplements to your unique health situation before deciding to do so.

 

Conclusion 

 

Every single cell in our bodies relies heavily on NAD+ to function correctly. Numerous enzymes and proteins rely on NAD+ to perform their tasks. Regrettably, our NAD+ levels drop as we age, leading to various age-related health problems.

Restoring NAD+ levels with NMN supplements can slow aging and protect against age-related disorders.

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