Recently the media has covered on a story about research in mice where it is claimed aging is reversed.

The story originated from the lab of David Sinclair, a Harvard researcher, and is based on a study published in the journal Cell.

It is understood that a decline in mitochondrial function correlates with aging.  In this study the researchers were able to show that the mitochondria of older mice have less oxidative phosphorolative units, molecular structures responsible for generating energy from oxygen and glucose.

They were further able to trace the loss in these units due to a defective communication pathway between the cell nucleus and the mitochondria which becomes impaired due to the decline of an intracellular metabolite NAD+.

To prove this theory, the researchers went on to raise intracellular levels of NAD+ in  aged mice.  They did so by feeding the mice a compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), a precursor to NAD that boosts NAD+ levels, for one week.  They discovered that doing so restored mitochondrial function to youthful levels, thus in effect reversing aging, at least at the mitochondrial level.

It also intriguingly implies simple ingestion of this compound regularly could reduce aging on the whole.

The authors conclude:

Our data show that 1 week of treatment with a compound that boosts NAD+ levels is sufficient to restore the mitochondrial homeostasis and key biochemical markers of muscle health in a 22-month-old mouse to levels similar to a 6-month-old mouse. Although further work is necessary, this study suggests that increasing NAD+ levels and/or small compounds that prevent HIF-1a stabilization or promote its degradation might be an effective therapy for organismal decline with age.

Full Text Reference