Research by Heidi Moretti, MS, RD
Cell Regeneration

Our body is made up of approximately 37.2 trillion cells. These cells in our body are regenerating daily and we don’t even know it. Cellular regeneration keeps us alive and healthy. Some cell types are remade very often and require a lot of nutrients [R]. Other tissues are slower to repair and regenerate, such as nerve cells, but they may repair when they get the proper nutrition and phytonutrients.

Here are some examples of cell renewal times for different types of cells [R]:

• Intestines: 2-4 days
• Stomach: 2-9 days
• Immune cells: 2-5 days
• Lung tissue: 9 days
• Bone cells: 1-3 months
• Red blood cells: 4 months
• Heart cells: up to 10% per year
• Brain and nerve cells: lifetime

While foods are always a key to health, cell regeneration supplements may help prevent early aging of ALL cell types and help keep us young.

What do you need for cellular regeneration?

Nutrients and supplements may help restore cell health and may even help keep us youthful.
Our cell regeneration and cell repair keeps us healthy, energized, and free from diseases. Healthy cells are resilient and are able to help us combat the signs of aging. Our cells require proper amounts and forms of nutrients and antioxidants to help give us the best longevity. Some supplements may even help reverse a variety of aging processes. A key factor in cell regeneration is a substance called sirtuin. By increasing sirtuin gene activity, you can help regulate many processes in the body such as gene activity, metabolism, cell death, DNA repair, nerve protection, cell cycle, and immune response [R]. Much of the aging process and cell repair is also dictated by our metabolism.

Metabolism simply means the breakdown of nutrients and substances in our body into usable and beneficial forms. Metabolism in our bodies requires nutrients, enzymes, coenzymes, fats, and proteins. Many natural supplements, phytonutrients, and extracts can help support cellular repair by increasing sirtuin activity, antioxidant activity, and healthy metabolism. They also reduce inflammation, and this keeps us feeling and looking younger.

Here we will discuss:
1. NAD+ precursors
2. Fisetin
3. Quercetin
4 .Pterostilbene
5. Resveratrol
6. Vitamin D
7. Ganoderma
8. Spermidine
9. Dunaliella salina

NAD+ Precursors

A major nutrient that helps the body’s metabolism is called niacin. Our body uses niacin to make a substance called NAD+. This helps provide energy to our trillions of cells. NAD+ is required to keep our mitochondria balanced, our calories burning, and our fat burning in an efficient way. Research shows that optimizing NAD+ may help us stay more youthful through the actions of sirtuins.

NAD+ also helps fuel our DNA repair so that our bodies resist aging [R][R]. With adequate NAD+, we have proper energy, stabilized chromosomes, and ideal signaling within the cell. Another way of looking at is that NAD+ precursors like nicotinamide and nicotinic acid are helpful for cell regeneration and proper cell function [R] [R]. Our bodies need NAD+ from our diet from vitamin B3. Some forms of niacin may be best for increasing our body’s NAD+ supply. As we age, our bodies are less efficient making NAD+ from some forms of niacin.

Many forms of vitamin B3 can help our body, including nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, nicotinamide mononucleotide, and nicotinamide riboside. Niacin can increase NAD+ levels and helps keep our cells younger [R]. Restoring health of cells may also have anti-aging effects on the skin and hair [R].


Our foods contain thousands of different flavonoids that are beneficial to our health. A common flavonoid is called fisetin. Fisetin is a type of flavonoid that is found in many fruits and vegetables like strawberries, apples, persimmons, lotus root, onions, grapes, and kiwis. This compound is the strongest of the flavonoids at reducing cellular senescence, also known as cellular aging, as shown in mouse research [R]. Cellular aging creates stress and inflammation in the body. Supplemental fisetin results in reduced aging, prolonged life, and reduced aging diseases in mice [R].


Quercetin is a common flavonoid in foods and is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including onions, apples, kiwi, berries, and more [R].
This healthy compound reduces senescent cells or “zombie” cells in the body in early clinical trials of pulmonary fibrosis.

How does quercetin help with cell regeneration and function?
Quercetin works to help repair digestive cells by strengthening and stabilizing cells as well.
How ?
Along with NAD+ precursors like nicotinamide riboside, quercetin helps stabilize DNA by increasing sirtuins known as SIRT1 and SIRT2 [R].
Quercetin also helps with cell youthfulness by functioning as an antioxidant.


Pterostilbene is a natural compound in blueberries that has strong antioxidant effects. It also has a better lifespan in the body than some anti-aging phytonutrients, such as resveratrol [R]. Pterostilbene works to increase the sirtuin compound known as SIRT1, like quercetin and nicotinamide riboside. In a rigorous clinical study, a combination of pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside significantly increased NAD+ amounts after 8 weeks [R]. The NAD+ levels were improved for the entire 8 weeks using this combination. This means that pterostilbene may play an important role in reducing aging symptoms in the body.


One of the most studied anti-aging substances is called resveratrol. This potent antioxidant found in red wine, grapes, and peanuts. Resveratrol may even increase lifespan [R]. It does so by mimicking calorie restriction. Like other youth enhancing supplements discussed here, resveratrol also increases SIRT1 protein. At the same time it may speed up cancer cell death and reduce “zombie” cells [R].

Our blood vessels need to have good blood flow to help keep us young. Clinical studies of resveratrol show that supplements of resveratrol may be helpful in improving cardiovascular health and blood flow when people are given 100 mg per day over a period of 3 months [R]. Inflammation speeds up aging. Resveratrol can dampen down genes involved in inflammation in the body in people with coronary artery disease [R].

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3, also known as the sunshine vitamin, has thousands of functions in the body that are critical for health.

One of those functions may be to help keep us younger.


Vitamin D3 reduces the toxicity of a substance called beta amyloid [R]. Beta amyloid is implicated in aging diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D also helps balance stress hormones in the body and may promote longevity. It does so by regulating genes involved in stress known as SKN-1, IRE-1, and XBP-1 [R].

Supplemental vitamin D3 should be considered in people of all ages and screening for deficiency is paramount to health.


Ganoderma, also known as reishi and lingzhi, is a medicinal mushroom that helps strengthen the body’s immune defenses and is rich in antioxidants [R]. This powerful mushroom has been used for thousands of years for its health-promoting effects.As a nerve stem cell stimulator, ganoderma mushroom may help support cell regeneration of this most challenging type of tissue to repair [R] .

This may help to keep our nervous system more youthful. Ganoderma stimulates nerve cell production by increasing NPC (neural progenitor proliferation) and improves brain function in mice [R]. Ganoderma also protect nerves from degeneration by serving as an antioxidant and reducing inflammation compounds, such as NFkB [R]. This effect may also keep our skin and hair looking younger as well [R].


A unique compound that may help our body stay younger is called spermidine. Spermidine is a type of polyamine found in a variety of foods like broccoli, celery, garlic, aged cheeses, asparagus, and mushrooms [R]. It is also made by the bacteria in our digestive tract. Early research shows that spermidine can extend lifespan and healthspan of cells and in animals.

People who eat spermidine-rich foods also have a reduced risk of aging diseases like heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases [R]. Acting similar to calorie restriction in the body, spermidine is involved in cellular “clean-up” or autophagy. This helps protect cells from the damages of aging and diseases [R].

Dunaliella salina

Dunaliella salina is a type of algae that is the richest source in beta carotene on the planet. Unlike many kinds of algae, dunaliella salina can grow in very salty water conditions and in very sunny areas [R]. Due to its bright color, dunaliella has many vitamin A precursors, including ß-caroteine, all-trans a-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein [R].

Rich in these phytonutrients, dunaliella salina may help reduce diseases, repair cells from the damages of aging, and help prevent certain kinds of cancer [R]. Dunaliella powder benefits include reducing oxidative stress and supporting healthy immunity in the body.


Cellular regeneration and repair are keys to staying healthy and preventing diseases. Many phytonutrients and nutrients, like nicontinamide riboside, pterostilbine, resveratrol, dunaliella, ganoderma, spermidine, vitamin D, quercetin, and fisetin may help protect our cells, support vitality, and keep us looking and feeling younger. Before starting any new routine, please check with your healthcare provider.

Heidi Moretti, MS,
RD Master in Nutritional Science and Functional
Medicine The Healthy
RD Missoula, MT
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