Resveratrol, niacin and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are key performers in helping to activate sirtuins to promote a longer lifespan. The research community has been quite intrigued to find and study these types of sirtuin activators because of their function. If the sirtuins can be activated humans have the opportunity to extend their lifespan.

The 7 Sirtuins

There are 7 sirtuins located in the body, which are made up of protein and are known to regulate cell activity and are critical to longevity (Grabowska W et al, 2017).

Sirtuins have been nicknamed “the magnificent seven and have also been labelled “the master switches of metabolism” (Pizzorno L, 2018). If they do not function properly, cells age faster and there is increased risk for health problems. Also, sirtuins will perform when there is an overabundance of free radicals and extinguish them since their attack causes DNA damage in cells.

How are the sirtuins activated in the body?

One objective is to identify substances that boost NAD+ since it is required for sirtuins to function. Certain foods activate sirtuins in the body, but also it has been shown that calorie restriction and exercise activate them also, which helps to increase longevity (Pallauf K et al, 2013; Corbi B et al, 2012).

The 3 key performers resveratrol, Niacin, and NMN activate sirtuins, mainly SIRT1 (Kane AE, Sinclair DA, 2018).

Resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene) has been studied the most and has shown great success as a nutritional SIRT1 activator. It is a bioactive from red wine and has been positioned to have cardiovascular protective effects. It has been studied to show that it activates the sirtuin gene and has a similar mechanism of action as calorie restriction to improve longevity (Baur JA, Sinclair DA, 2006). In addition, resveratrol is involved in helping to control regulatory enzymes such as lipooxygenases, cyclooxygenases, aromatase, kinases and ribonucleotide reductase.

It has been shown for decades that there is a tight connection between NAD and sirtuins and controlled at different metabolic levels making it more complex in its understanding. It has been shown that levels of NAD are reduced with age, which lowers sirtuin activities (Imai S-I, Guarente L, 2016). This interrupts cellular mitochondria and nucleus communication.

Niacin (vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid)

Niacin is found in different foods such as lentils, whole wheat bread and pasta, peanuts, salmon, halibut, chicken and turkey breast.

It is a building block for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). It operates in the mitochondria, involved in essential biochemical reactions to help form NAD (Djadjo S, Bajaj T, 2020). It is necessary that humans continuously consume niacin on a daily basis from the diet and/or supplements essential for NAD and its other functions. Niacin has been shown to activate Sirt1 in the liver, which is involved in regulating cholesterol and keeps lipids at normal levels (Pizzorno L, 2018).

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)

NMN as a sirtuin activator

It is known that sirtuin activity is controlled by NAD pathways and nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). The NAMPT produces nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which is also a SIRT1 activator (Imai S-I, 2010). NMN is changed to NAD in the process.

One should check with their health care practitioner if they have a health condition and/or take medication prior to taking a new supplement.

In summary, resveratrol, niacin and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) have the special ability to activate sirtuins, which helps to increase one’s lifespan. There is so much yet to learn, but there is an understanding that sirtuins and NAD are closely connected. All 3 of these nutrients have been shown to operate as sirtuin activators. Niacin and NMN help to produce NAD at the cellular level to bring about the activation of sirtuins.