11 health benefits of NAD+

Health, wellness and antiaging have come a long way and don’t only involve anticipating the visible signs like grey hair and wrinkles. Prevention is better than cure, and the best place to start is from within.

NAD+ and its precursor NMN

NMN or nicotinamide mononucleotide is a naturally occurring molecule in all life forms. It is the direct predecessor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), an essential molecule needed for existence and cellular functions [1]. NMN is needed in forming NAD+ since the latter is not as bioavailable

A fair share of attention has been given to NAD+, specifically for its capability to slow down the effects of aging. NAD+ is used as a coenzyme in many molecular procedures that maintains your cells and keeps your body flourishing. A coenzyme is regarded as an enzyme helper or assistant and must be available for the reaction to take place.

Optimised intracellular NAD+ levels don’t just prevent the hastening of cellular aging. In fact, the NAD+ molecule is seen in every cell in the body, allowing the transformation of food we consume into energy and chemical products that the body requires to support itself. This is important since the health and function of every cell rely on this tiny molecule.

NAD+ also plays a crucial role with enzymes that handle gene expression in repairing damaged DNA. Through these pathways, NAD+ impacts a variety of processes involved in every cell in your body:

  • Activating SIRT1, a sirtuin enzyme that takes part in longevity
  • Growing the antioxidant power of cells and tissues 
  • Down-regulating inflammation
  • Enhancing mitochondrial efficiency
  • Improving cell viability
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The importance of increasing levels of NAD+

NAD+ plays a prominent role in every one of the body’s functions. We can’t do without it. 

In addition, if we increase its levels, we can also optimise cell functions and energy outcomes. Regrettably, as we age, levels of NAD+ decline, leading to signs and symptoms of aging.

Low levels of NAD+ are associated with:

  • Accelerated aging
  • Decreased metabolism along with thyroid hormones
  • Harmed immune function
  • Hypoxia or low levels of oxygen intracellularly
  • Impaired brain function
  • Increased inflammation
  • Increased sunburn and skin cancer
  • Reduced cellular antioxidants
NAD+ plays a prominent role in every one of the body's functions. We can't do without it. 
Photograph: Min An/Pexels

11 health benefits of increased NAD+

Here are some advantages of improving your NAD+ levels:

  • Augmented immunity, with NAD+ stimulating CD38 that’s present on T-cell immune cells, effectively boosting the immune response
  • Better exercise performance
  • Boosted cellular metabolism and energy production
  • Enhanced mitochondrial health
  • Improved insulin sensitivity, decreasing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome 
  • Improved production of sirtuins
  • Increased autophagy or cellular recycling
  • Rejuvenated skin health by boosting levels of collagen, keratin, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, a compound found in many skin creams
  • Stimulation of CD38 activity increasing oxytocin (a hormone linked to social intimacy and bonding)
  • Strengthened DNA repair and recovery
  • Upgraded protection of brain cells from oxidative stress, reducing neuronal loss and improving myelination (neuron insulation)
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Raising NAD+ levels naturally

Calorie restriction, exercise, fasting and NAD boosters raise the intracellular levels of NAD+, activate SIRT1, and have other physiological benefits. There are several ways to boost your NAD+ levels naturally through diet, lifestyle change and supplementation.

When we work out, we use NAD+ and replenish it rapidly. As a result, exercise can enable us to augment our reserves.

When we burn fat for energy (instead of carbohydrates), we conserve sufficient levels of NAD+ and boost levels of NAD+ in the brain. This lowers DNA damage in the hippocampus, the location of memory storage. 

Additionally, ketosis is achieved by observing a ketogenic diet (keto). Furthermore, ketosis might be enhanced for part of the day through practices like fasting mimicking, periodic longer fasts or intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting and calorie restriction and will also increase NAD+ levels.

Vitamin B3 or niacin supplements, together with foods rich in vitamin B3 (green vegetables, chicken, portabella mushrooms, rice, nuts, tuna, – although you need to be careful of mercury), will help the body’s NAD+ production. 

Niacin is said to serve as a building block for NAD+ levels. Lycopene-rich foods, like tomatoes, also help to avert NAD+ depletion.

You can take an NAD+ supplement orally or apply it to your skin. When taking an oral preparation, you must take a precursor molecule, as NAD+ will break down in your gut without being absorbed.

IV infusion may be an option for individuals with conditions like addiction, who have access to this kind of therapy. NAD+ bypasses the gut and is delivered directly to the bloodstream, where it can enter cells.

NAD+ repletion strategies, such as those outlined above, have shown a therapeutic potential to restore a healthy metabolism and physiological function. Numerous health conditions are multifactorial and require a root cause technique. It is also noteworthy to keep in mind the robust and developing research on NAD+.

How much NAD+ should I take?

The suitable dosage of NAD+ relies on your present health condition and needs, like the type of precursor the supplement is using. It is reasonable to consult a healthcare professional about developing the proper treatment plan. 

Most supplements will come with a suggested dosage of around 250 to 300 mg every day, generally equating to one or two tablets. Yet, some dosages have been used between 100mg and 1,200 mg per day [3]. There have been some substantial side effects for larger dosages of above 6,000mg.

Some supplements will contain just the precursor itself, like nicotinamide riboside. However, some manufacturers may also mix it with additional ingredients like antioxidants, which may have diverse effects.

Whether you’re planning to increase your NAD levels naturally or through supplements, speak with your doctor before attempting anything new, especially if you have underlying conditions that may be affected by health-related modifications. 

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[1] https://nad.com/what-is-nad
[2] https://hoffmancentre.com/health-benefits-of-nad-supplements/
[3] https://www.nmn.com/news/how-much-and-for-how-long-can-i-take-an-nad-precursor

Photograph: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels
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