Studies: NMN, Resveratrol and β-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) Slow the Aging of Arteries

  • by Nils Osmar. © 2023.
  • September 20, 2023. Medical Disclaimer
  • This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice.

Aging arteries are associated with a number of the diseases, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

According to a recent study published in the journal Molecular Cell, both fasting and reducing caloric intake have been found to increase our production of a molecule called BHB, or β-Hydroxybutyrate – which significantly delay the aging of our arteries. BHB can also be taken as a supplement. Having high levels of BHB is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

From the article (emphases are mine):

According to a a recent Medical News Today article:

“Scientists led by Dr. Ming-Hui Zou — the director of the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine at Georgia State University in Atlanta — showed that fasting, or restricting calorie intake, can produce a molecule that delays vascular aging

Dr. Zou explains the motivation for this study, saying, “The most important part of aging is vascular aging. When people become older, the vessels that supply different organs are the most sensitive and more subject to aging damage…”

They saw that, as expected, the starving mice produced the molecule beta-hydroxybutyrate. Surprisingly, however, this molecule also prevented vascular aging…

Interestingly, the research also revealed that beta-hydroxybutyrate promotes the division and multiplication of the cells that line the inside of blood vessels. Cellular division is a marker of cellular youth.

The connection with Alzheimer’s

According to a study called Sex Differences in Large Artery Stiffness:

Dysfunction and damage to the vasculature with aging are strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. With aging there is an increase in stiffness of the large elastic arteries, and this stiffening is associated with cerebrovascular dysfunction and cognitive impairment.

The connection with cancer

According to an article called “Angiogenesis, Cancer, and Vascular Aging“:

Because aging is known to promote vascular inflammation by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, chronic inflammation during vascular aging might promote progression of cancer…

NMN and resveratrol

The nutritional supplements NMN and resveratrol have also been found in animal studies to improve arterial aging and stiffness. According to a study called “Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation reverses vascular dysfunction

 In old mice, NMN reduced arterial collagen type I to levels of young mice (Fig. 3C), and increased elastin to levels not significantly different from young mice (Fig. 3D).

Together, these observations indicate that NMN reverses large elastic artery stiffening with aging, in part by normalizing collagen and partially preserving elastin in the arterial wall.

This finding correlates with other studies showing a possible benefit from NMN supplementation in relation to Alzheimer’s. From an article called “Nicotinamide Mononucleotide: Exploration of Diverse Therapeutic Applications of a Potential Molecule“:

NMN has also shown promising activity in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as demonstrated by Long et al.

It has the capability to treat underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease, e.g., morphological abnormalities of mitochondria, decrease in oxygen consumption rates (OCR) and NAD+ content

Re: resveratrol, it has also been shown to reduce arterial stiffness – at least in patients with diabetes. From a study called Resveratrol Ameliorates Arterial Stiffness Assessed by Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:

Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified resveratrol supplementation as an independent predictor for a CAVI decrease of more than 0.5.In conclusion, 12-week resveratrol supplementation may improve arterial stiffness and reduce oxidative stress in patients with T2DM.

My thoughts:

  • I found these separate studies, taken together, to be intriguing.
  • Re: BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), it can be increased by fasting and caloric restriction as mentioned above – and because it’s a ketone ester, it can also be increased by eating a ketogenic diet. Exogenous ketones such as BHB can also be taken as nutritional supplements.
  • NMN and resveratrol are also available as nutritional supplements. I take 1.5 grams of NMN most morning. I’m not currently eating a ketogenic diet, but I am doing fasting at least two, sometimes three days a week, from 24-36 hours per fast.

More information:

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