We’re all looking for ways to look and feel younger and combat illnesses and diseases. Adding NAD+ supplements to your daily routine and adding a few key ingredients to your diet may be your pathway to these benefits and more but first, what is NAD+ anyways?
What is NAD+ and Why is it Important?
NAD+, (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme, a molecule that assists hundreds of enzymes in chemical reactions.
NAD+ is important because its:
- Fundamental to energy metabolism
- Essential to DNA repair
- Key to activating sirtuin
What Does NAD+ Do?
Biochemically, NAD+ breaks down into a simple form called NADH. From there, the major role of NADH is forming ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which provides energy to cellular life processes through the electron transport chain.
Through this process, NADH is being broken down into an even simpler form, NADPH.
This very simple NAD structure is used in:
- Fatty acid synthesis
- Cholesterol & sterol synthesis
- Oxidation of glutamate
- Synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides (precursors of DNA)
- DNA repair
- Regeneration of glutathione, Vitamin C & thioredoxin
- Reactions in folate metabolism
How NAD+ Is Powerful
NAD+, and all of its reduced forms play a major role in cellular energy. When NAD levels decline, as it naturally does with age, your cells capacity to produce and maintain energy declines.
There are several precursors or NAD+ boosters that scientists have found. Some of those NAD+ boosters are nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, nicotinamide riboside (NR), and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
These precursors may allow NAD to be even more powerful by enhancing its production in the liver, pancreas, adipose tissue, heart, skeletal muscle, kidneys, eyes and blood vessels.
When a NAD booster enhances its production, your cellular health is enhanced.
- Releasing insulin
- Mobilizing lipids
- Better stress response
- Longer personal lifespan
- Circadian clock maintenance
With such a long beneficial history, the current increase in scientist involvement and curiosity, NAD+ is powerful.
What is the History of NAD+?
One of the initial looks into NAD+ was when it had been found to help in the fight against pellagra.
A deficiency in niacin, as well as tryptophan, had been seen in the early 1900s in Southern parts of the US. During this time many people consumed diets that were low protein and high in corn products.
Research by Joseph Goldberger found that pellagra could be avoided with a better diet.
From here scientists have found that NAD plays a big role in:
- Alcohol fermentation
- Redox reactions
- PARylation (where NAD+ is a co-substrate)
- Sirtuins and their impact on inflammation, cell growth, circadian rhythms, energy metabolism, neuron function and stress resistance.
What are the Benefits of NAD+?
Although there is still a lot to learn, NAD+ can be beneficial in:
- Lowering risk of disease
- Repairing DNA
- Protecting brain cells
- Reversing signs of aging
- Combating diabetes, Alzheimers and vision loss
- Although limited, there is research investigating pros and cons to fighting cancer.
- Improve chronic fatigue along with CoQ10
What is NAD supplement used for?
In general, NAD supplement is used to increase the levels in your body. Through this increase you could reap the many NAD benefits.
According to the FDA, IV NAD supplementation along with an amino acid complex, has been used in alcohol and drug withdrawal reduction.
Another way to increase your NAD is with an nad+ booster or precursor. As previously mentioned, there are several NAD+ boosters.
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), both that can be found as supplements. At very high doses NR and NMN may improve the heart, skeletal muscle, the brain and stem cells.
Other natural NAD+ boosters are resveratrol (found in grapes) and metformin. Please understand that metformin is a prescribed diabetic medication and it’s unlikely you will be prescribed unless medically necessary.
The Best NAD+ supplements
Remembering that the world of supplementation is lightly regulated, be sure to do your own research and speak with your physician especially if you have any current conditions, before adding any supplementation to your daily intake.
Through an NAD supplements review these were found to be some of the most used and with higher ratings:
- EienHealth NAD+ Superboost Supplement – NAD+ is vital to the production of energy in the body and the regulation of pivotal cellular processes.
- Protandim – supports the body’s natural cellular repair and rejuvenation and detoxification processes, keeping the master blueprint of the cell’s function intact.
- NAD+ GoldTM from Quicksilver
- NADH + CoQ10 lozenges from Seeking Health
- Basis from Elysium
- Nicotinamide with resveratrol from aSquared Nutrition
- TRU Niagen – NR (nicotinamide riboside) supplement – a form of vitamin B3 that studies suggest can improve our health and vitality.
Do NAD+ supplements really work?
This is truly questionable as all new science is. Currently more research is being sought out for NAD+ supplements for both the benefits and possible side effects.
Some studies have shown that supplementation of NAD+ could be effective in the fight against aging.
There is interest in supplements and the potential ability to increase NAD+ levels which may be accomplished with niacin supplementation.
There have also been scientists speaking of the potential negative side effects for those with cancer as well as those who do not have a current diagnosis.
Is NAD+ the future of aging science?
Even though there has been some amazing studies on NAD+ benefits more research could be done in ways to:
- Find the amount of NAD+ known to be the level associated with healthy aging and disease prevention.
- Understand pathways and mechanisms leading to those benefits of NAD+ replenishment
- Assess the safety and benefits of increased levels of NAD+ in people who are already living with age-related diseases
- In general more research is needed with human clinical trials as opposed to rodents.
In addition, with enhanced technologies, the research and findings can only be greater.
Why Is Cellular Health So Important?
Healthy cells are key to tissue and organ health. When your tissues and organs are healthy, your body runs efficiently decreasing your chances of disease, illness, and aging.
What Is NAD+’s Role In Detox?
Alcohol consumption at any level depletes your body of NAD+. Consequently, NAD can help your body rid itself of toxins and improve the health of your liver by improving the overall health of your cells.
If you or a loved one have an alcohol or drug addiction, or even if you are unsure, please seek immediate help from a licensed professional.
How Much NAD Do I Need To Remain Healthy?
Your body requires a large amount of NAD due to the fact that all your organs require it in order to function. The downside is that from the day you are born, there is a gradual decline in its natural supply.
Not only can you provide your body with NAD through supplementation, you can provide your body with essential nutrition needed for your body to synthesize NAD.
Although there isn’t an RDA or other number to reference in regards to the amount of NAD needed to remain healthy, you can follow a few guidelines in regards to nutritional needs.
As the main coenzyme of niacin, NAD can be supplied through foods rich in niacin (vitamin B3). The RDA for niacin is 16mg for mem and for women it’s 14mg.
NAD may be synthesized in the liver from the amino acid tryptophan. It takes approximately 60mg of tryptophan to produce 1mg of niacin and the RDA for tryptophan is estimated at 3.5 to 6.0mg/kg of body weight per day.
These daily needs can be met through food and when necessary, supplementation. Simply follow the manufacturer instructions as well as your physician, for a proper daily dosage of NAD supplements.
How can I increase my NAD naturally?
Because NAD is the main coenzyme form of niacin, it’s highly beneficial to increase those foods rich in niacin.
NAD can also be synthesized from tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that your body cannot make on its own so it’s important to eat foods rich in tryptophan.
Increase the follow NAD+ foods by adding them to your weekly meal plan:
- Canned Tuna
- Brown rice
- Fortified cereals & bread products
- Nuts & Seeds
It’s no wonder why this molecule is considered powerful. There is so much your body does on a microscopic level that requires NAD+.
Through good nutrition, improved lifestyle habits, and supplementing as needed, your body will live longer and with more vitality.