How much NAD+ should you take daily for best results?

NAD+ supplements are proving popular as people seek new ways to fight the onset of aging, but how much is too much?

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) supplements are becoming increasingly popular as a way to slow down aging.

Makers suggest it can help with all sorts of things, from sharpening your mind to reducing your chances of developing Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer, but how much is the right amount, what are the side effects, and what form of NAD+ is best to take?

What is the role of NAD+?

NAD+ is a coenzyme produced in your body. It is used as fuel for other molecules, which help to keep your body ticking [1]. They are important in supporting metabolisms, repairing damage to cells and DNA, and boosting your immune system.

However, as you age, NAD+ levels naturally decline. As a result, all the functions it supports slow down, leading to poorer immune systems and slower metabolisms, which can lead to the onset of conditions such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions.

The thinking behind NAD+ supplements is that if we can slow down the rate of NAD+ decline, we can keep the body working more effectively for longer. This can slow down the rate of biological aging and protect your body against all the nasty conditions that come with it.

Research suggests that increased NAD+ levels can lead to longer lifespans [2], and supplements can increase levels. However, most of these studies are on mice or yeast, and there is no conclusive proof that this will work with humans.

Do longevity supplements work?

The quest for longevity and the prevention of aging-related decline has fueled interest in various supplements, with NAD+ supplements being at the forefront.

But do these supplements genuinely extend lifespan and improve health? The short answer is: the evidence is promising but not yet definitive.

Most research, including studies on animals like mice and yeast, suggests that increasing NAD+ levels can have beneficial effects. However, conclusive proof that these benefits transfer to humans is still lacking [3], [4]. 

The difficulty with supplementation is that simply putting NAD+ into the body does not work. Instead, these longevity supplements give the body building blocks – or NAD+ precursors – which your body transforms into NAD+. These come in many forms [5], with the most popular being:

  • Nicotinic Acid (NA) – Also known as niacin, this is often used as an umbrella term to include all forms of forms of vitamin B3. It can be an effective precursor but has also been linked to side effects, including flushing.
  • Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) – A form of vitamin B3 that is often seen as an efficient precursor in that it uses relatively little energy to create NAD+.
  • Nicotinamide (Nam) – Sometimes referred to as niacinamide, this form of vitamin B3 can also be produced when sirtuins consume NAD+. When this happens, they split it into parts, using up what they need and sending the rest of the NAM back to make more NAD+.
  • Tryptophan (Trp) – Often found in turkeys, it has been linked to the drowsiness effect you get after a big Christmas meal. Although it is a precursor to NAD+, it is significantly less effective than others.
  • Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) – The new kid on the block. Knowledge about how it gets into cells is expanding, and it is often directly compared against NR to see which is the most effective precursor.
Are there any dangers in taking NAD+ supplements?

Are there any dangers in taking NAD+ supplements?

Because it is found naturally in the body, there are relatively few side effects of NAD+, but this can vary depending on the type of NAD+ precursor.

Some, such as niacin supplements, have been known to cause flushing. At much higher levels, it can have some serious side effects, such as nausea, brain fog, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gout, and itching.

Human studies have shown that using 1,000 to 2,000 mg dosages is safe. However, more studies are ongoing to understand any particular side effects better. Studies into animals have shown that dosages of 300mg per kg of body weight for 90 days have no significant side effects.

These supplements are generally safe to use and have no known serious side effects.

How much NAD+ should I take?

The right dosage will depend on your current health condition and requirements and the type of precursor the supplement uses. It can be a good idea to consult a healthcare professional to develop the right treatment plan.

Most supplements recommend a daily dosage of 250 to 300 mg, which normally equates to one or two tablets. However, dosages between 100mg and 1,200mg have been used. There have been some significant side effects for much larger dosages of up to 6,000mg.

Some supplements will contain just the precursor itself, such as nicotinamide riboside, although some manufacturers may also combine it with other ingredients, such as anti-oxidants, which may also have other effects.

Factors influencing optimal NAD+ dosage

NAD+ supplementation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Several factors are crucial in determining the optimal dosage for individuals seeking its benefits.

Age and metabolism

Younger people, who typically have higher metabolic rates, may need different dosages than older adults with slower metabolic processes. The body’s ability to synthesize NAD+ declines with age [6], often requiring higher doses in older adults to achieve the desired effects.

Health status and deficiencies

Certain health conditions or deficiencies can significantly increase NAD+ requirements. Conditions such as diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, or metabolic disorders may require tailored dosages.

Increased NAD+ intake may be necessary for those undergoing intense physical activities or experiencing high levels of oxidative stress to support cellular repair and energy production.

Lifestyle factors

Diet, exercise habits, and stress levels are crucial in determining the optimal NAD+ dosage. A diet rich in NAD+ precursors like niacin, tryptophan, or nicotinamide riboside may reduce the need for additional supplementation [7].

Conversely, poor dietary habits or high stress can deplete NAD+ levels, necessitating higher doses to maintain adequate levels.

While generally health-promoting, regular exercise can alter NAD+ metabolism and potentially modify dosage requirements for those engaged in strenuous activities.

Which supplement should you choose?

The ideal dose level, therefore, will depend greatly on the type of supplement you’re taking and the end result you’re looking for. Here’s a breakdown of common NAD+ supplements to help you make an informed decision:

NAD+ precursors

These supplements contain compounds the body can convert into NAD+. Examples include nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). NAD+ precursors are believed to enhance NAD+ levels by providing building blocks for its synthesis. They are well-tolerated and have shown promising results in preclinical and clinical studies.

NAD+ boosters

Some supplements contain ingredients that directly increase NAD+ levels in the body. These may include nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) or its active forms, such as NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride).

NAD+ boosters bypass the need for synthesis and deliver NAD+ directly into the system [8]. However, their efficacy and safety profile require further investigation.

Combination formulas

Certain supplements combine NAD+ precursors with other compounds or cofactors that support NAD+ metabolism and cellular function. These formulations may include ingredients like resveratrol, quercetin, or pterostilbene, which synergistically affect NAD+ levels and cellular health.

Delivery method

Consider the supplement’s delivery method, such as capsules, tablets, sublingual drops, or intravenous infusion. Each method has advantages and limitations regarding bioavailability, convenience, and absorption rate.

In the end, though, this will be a personal choice. Supplements may have different effects on different people. Generally speaking, sticking to the recommended dose on the bottle will be safe and sufficient.

You can select the most suitable supplement to support your journey toward optimal health and well-being by carefully evaluating different options and considering relevant factors.

What is the most effective way to take NAD+?

What is the most effective way to take NAD+?

Achieving optimal results with NAD+ supplementation requires careful consideration and adherence to best practices [9]. Here are key guidelines to maximize the benefits while minimizing potential risks:

  1. Begin with lower NAD+ doses and gradually increase as needed. This approach allows the body to adapt and minimizes the risk of adverse reactions.
  2. Pay close attention to how your body responds to NAD+ supplementation. Keep track of changes in energy levels, mood, or overall well-being. Monitoring allows for dosage or supplementation regimen adjustments as necessary to optimize outcomes.
  3. Recognize that optimal NAD+ dosage varies among individuals based on age, health status, and lifestyle. Consulting with a healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance tailored to your needs and goals.
  4. NAD+ supplementation may complement other health interventions, such as dietary changes, exercise routines, or antioxidant support. Integrating multiple approaches can enhance overall effectiveness and support holistic health.
  5. Choose reputable sources for NAD+ supplements to ensure purity, potency, and safety. Look for products that undergo third-party testing and adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards. Quality assurance helps mitigate the risk of contamination or ineffective formulations.
  6. Keep abreast of emerging research and developments in NAD+ supplementation. Science continually evolves, uncovering new insights into its mechanisms of action and potential applications.
  7. Listen to your body’s signals and adjust your supplementation regimen accordingly. Consult a healthcare professional promptly if you experience any adverse effects or discomfort.

In closing

NAD+ supplementation holds significant promise to support cellular health, metabolism, and overall well-being. As our understanding of NAD+ continues to evolve, so too does the potential for its therapeutic applications.

However, determining the optimal dosage and selecting the right supplement requires careful consideration of various factors, including age, health status, lifestyle, and individual needs.

By following best practices, individuals can maximize the benefits of NAD+ supplementation while minimizing potential risks. Additionally, choosing high-quality supplements from reputable sources ensures purity, potency, and safety.

You can harness the potential of NAD+ to support their journey towards a healthier life.


What are the main benefits of taking NAD+ supplements?

NAD+ supplements are primarily used to boost cellular health and slow aging processes. They help maintain vital functions like metabolism, DNA repair, and immune system performance.

Are there any side effects associated with NAD+ supplements?

Side effects from NAD+ supplements are generally mild but can include flushing, nausea, and diarrhea, especially at higher doses. It’s important to start with a lower dose to assess tolerance.

How do I know if I need NAD+ supplements?

Individuals interested in NAD+ supplements typically seek to address age-related decline or specific health conditions like metabolic disorders. Consulting with a healthcare provider can determine if NAD+ supplementation suits your health goals and lifestyle.


Photograph: Sharon Mccutcheon/Unsplash
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