In the body, sirtuins are believed to be important to postponing the aging process and keeping body systems and organs healthy. Low calorie diets and exercise have been shown to stimulate sirtuins and help delay the aging process (Kane AE, Sinclair DA, 2018).
Sirtuins are proteins and 7 of them are found in the body that are involved in regulating cellular activity and keeping the cells balanced (Grabowska W et al, 2017). They are active with cell signaling and cell survival in the cell’s mitochondria and when they do not operate properly, the body ages faster and there is greater risk for health problems. They are dependent on NAD+ in order to perform their work. Sirtuins also function when free radicals are in excess and they help rescue cells from the attack that causes damage to DNA within cells.
What are Sirtuin activators?
Researchers have an objective to find ways to activate sirtuins so that they can perform their critical function within cells. Restricting calories and physical exercise has demonstrated to activate sirtuins to help prolong life (Corbi B et al, 2012; Guarente, 2012).
Certain foods that are thought to activate sirtuin in the body include kale, strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, red wine, soy, walnuts, and onions (Pallauf K et al, 2013).
The other goal is to find compounds that boost NAD+ since it is necessary for sirtuins to do their job.
Sirtuin activating compounds (STAC) have been discovered, which are molecules that promote and influence sirtuins. The sirtuin activators are mainly beneficial to the sirtuin, SIRT1. Some of the roles of SIRT1 are to help protect blood vessel walls and their function, blood sugar, weight management and the heart (Kane AE, Sinclair DA, 2018).
Identified sirtuin activators
There are different sirtuin activators that have been identified and one is a natural substance called resveratrol (Duan W, 2013; Villalba JM, Alcaín FJ, 2012). Resveratrol is from grape skin and has been demonstrated to activate the sirtuin SIRT1. By having this effect, it may help weight management and provide support as one ages. It has also been shown to activate SIRT3.
Curcumin is another natural compound that has been studied and suggested that it is also a Sirt activator (Grabowska W et al, 2017). Curcumin is a naturally-occurring bioactive compound found in the spice turmeric.
Let’s not forget that NAD+ is necessary
NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) needs to be present in the cells in order for sirtuins to function. NAD+ is found in all living cells of the human body and is necessary for the repair of damaged DNA and is needed during the aging process. NAD+ is found in foods such as fish like tuna, salmon and sardines.
In summary, sirtuins are essential to keep the body healthy and help to delay the aging process. Calorie restriction and exercise are important in activating sirtuins to perform their functions. A few natural compounds have been discovered that activate Sirt1 and they are resveratrol and curcumin. Although its important not to forget the importance of NAD+ since it needs to be available in order for sirtuins to function.