NAD+ is the magic molecule that’s been taking the supplements world by storm, but are there any natural ways to boost your levels?
As a society we are continuing to live longer. Demand for products that can slow the aging process is growing. One of the most active of these is the supplements market with people seeking to replenish their bodies with the ingredients they need to operate at their best. One of the most promising of these is NAD+.
NAD+ is a coenzyme that helps other molecules keep our bodies working well. One of these are sirtuins which are crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system. Unfortunately, as we age, our levels of NAD+ start to drop which can result in health issues such as reduced metabolism, obesity, reduced immunity, heart disease and even cancer.
Evidence suggests there is reason believe that having a higher level of NAD+ in the body will lead to a longer and healthier life, which is why many people have turned to supplements. The supplements use so-called NAD+ precursors which the body transforms into NAD+ to boost levels and give your metabolism a lift. While there is evidence that they can boost levels it is still unclear about whether they have a direct impact on lifespan.
Meanwhile, there are also a number of ways to naturally keep your levels high by making a few tweaks to your lifestyle.
Exercising for NAD+
Regular exercise is one of those things you should be doing in any case, but it’s also one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost the amount of NAD+ in the body. A 2019 shows that regular exercise reduced age related decline in NAD+ levels in human skeletal muscle. When exercising muscles, your body needs more energy and responds by producing it. NAD+ is critical in ATP production and in regulating cellular homeostasis and can help to slow the age-related decline of muscle mass.
Staying out of the sun
The sun has many negative impacts on our health that we would ordinarily not notice. The process of getting a tan might look nice, but it is actively damaging skin cells due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The longer you are exposed to the sun, the more extensive the damage can be.
NAD+ plays an important role in reducing cell damage. It is consumed by molecules that set out to repair cells which depletes the body’s natural supply of NAD+. This is why over exposure to sunshine is often described as having an aging effect on skin. The more damage that occurs, the more NAD+ is produced and the faster it declines which in turn can lead to other health problems.
If you spend a considerable amount of time outside, this process will be happening all the time. You can limit it by staying out of the sun as much as possible or covering exposed skin with loose fitting and lightweight clothing to limit the damage.
Counter-intuitively, while direct exposure to sunlight isn’t good for you, heat is. Spending time exposed to either natural or artificial heat sources has been shown to boost these levels. The reason for this is what when you get hot, your blood pumps more quickly and you need more energy to avoid overheating. All this takes energy which prompts the body to up its NAD+ production. A good way to naturally provide the heat you need is submersion in warm water. A nice bath, sauna or dip in the hot tub will all do the trick.
Changing your diet
Inevitably, like most things, NAD+ levels can depend on what you eat – or don’t eat. NAD+ derives from vitamin B so it makes sense to eat foods which contains some of the active ingredients which your body will use to stimulate NAD+ production. The likes of peanuts, fish and avocados can all be good additions to your diet. For tea drinkers, there’s also some good news – as long as you have your tea white. Drinking two to three glasses of cow’s milk every day can also fuel your body up for NAD+ production.
Meanwhile, avoiding food altogether can also be beneficial. A 2010 study showed that a calorie restriction diet promotes the production of NAD+, which in turn stimulates the activity of sirtuins that are critical in maintaining a healthy immune system.
This is one reason why regular fasting and ketosis diets can help people lose weight. Maintaining a fasting plan which involves 16 to 24 hour fasting periods twice a week followed up with a good healthy meal triggers the body’s shock response which can naturally increase the supply of NAD+.
Another option is the ketosis diet which includes a low carb, high protein food plan. This can see a rapid reduction in weight which can help you lose weight and stimulate NAD+.
This, and other options, are all fast and relatively easy ways to stimulate your body into producing higher levels of NAD+. While supplements may have a place and have been shown to increase levels of NAD+, harnessing the body’s own natural mechanism may prove more beneficial. Aside from anything else, all the measures described here are part of a healthy lifestyle which will deliver all sorts of benefits aside from the production of magic youth coenzymes.