March 10, 2022
My guest on episode 42 of the podcast is Dr. Charles Brenner
Dr. Brenner is the Alfred E Mann Family Foundation Chair in Diabetes and Cancer Metabolism at City of Hope National Medical Center. In 2004, Brenner discovered nicotinamide riboside (NR) to be a vital precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which is made available by nicotinamide riboside kinases (Nrks) that are conserved between yeast and humans. In 2007, Dr. Brenner’s lab discovered a second pathway by which NR is converted to NAD+ and showed that NR can extend the lifespan of yeast cells by virtue of elevating NAD+ levels and increasing the activity of the NAD+-dependent Sir2 enzyme.
In the past decade, Dr. Brenner has made multiple seminal contributions to NAD+ metabolism, which include engineering a yeast strain to convert inexpensive NAD+ precursor vitamins into NR, solving the crystal structure of human Nrk1, developing the methods for quantitative NAD+ metabolomics, and demonstrating the activity of oral NR in animal models of fatty liver disease; obesity; type 2 diabetes; diabetic and chemotherapeutic neuropathy; heart failure; and central brain injury. Dr. Brenner also led the first clinical trial of NR, which established safe oral availability in humans. He is currently focusing on the maternal and neonatal effects of oral NR and translating animal discoveries into evidence-based safe, human clinical practice for human conditions of metabolic stress.
Dr. Brenner is clearly a well-credentialed scientist, but my main impetus for inviting him to come on the podcast is his recent public criticisms of the longevity field. In particular, Dr. Brenner has several recent posts in which he has directly called out prominent longevity scientist Dr. David Sinclair for what Dr. Brenner describes as spreading misinformation regarding what we know about aging and whether or not we can slow or reverse aging. We spend the last 20 minutes or so of the podcast discussing his critiques and where he believes scientists in the longevity field may be overstepping.
Other topics that we get into include some basics on human metabolism, nicotinamide adenine mononucleotide (also known as NAD) and the importance of the NAD system in physiology, what types of things perturb the NAD system and how this may contribute to diseases and aging, and ways we might be able to boost the NAD system through diet and supplementation.
I will say that at times, we got pretty technical in this podcast, and Dr. Brenner gets into some of the more complex biochemistry surrounding metabolism and the NAD system. But I really encourage you to listen to everything we chat about, because Dr. Brenner is such an eloquent speaker about these topics and I think that even if some concepts are higher level, you’ll learn a lot about biology and physiology through what he has to say — I surely did.
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Episode webpage: https://www.bradyholmer.com/pod/42
Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h6O5jxu6Yk
Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/science-chill/id1494739189
Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2ilq7P9OBAiqrxk4Ac4WQg
Brenner lab site: https://www.brennerlab.net/
Dr. Brenner's bio (Chromadex): https://www.chromadex.com/bios/charles-brenner/
Follow Dr. Brenner on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharlesMBrenner
Support the podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bradyholmer
Other support options: https://www.bradyholmer.com/donate
Claim your FREE LMNT sample pack: https://DrinkLMNT.com/scienceandchill
10% off of H.V.M.N. Ketone IQ for the Science & Chill audience (use code BRADY10 at checkout): https://hvmn.com/products/ketone?rfsn=6449481.3c177c
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