What is NAD?
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is an important coenzyme found in every cell of all mammals. This special coenzyme reacts with other molecules to create energy, regulate cell activity, and protect DNA. As we grow older, NAD levels naturally decrease, and cells can no longer generate enough energy to function properly. These cells begin to deteriorate and die, which leads to disease and aging. However, by supplementing the body with NAD, cells can reclaim their ability to create energy, restoring cell function and reversing the effects of disease and aging. NAD therapy is emerging as a promising treatment for neurological diseases, depression, and addiction, and it can also be used to slow aging, boost energy levels, improve brain health, and increase athletic function.
NAD for Neurological Diseases
NAD is found in every cell in the body, and it is a crucial ingredient in creating energy in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. As we age, NAD levels decrease, and cells can no longer keep up with energy demands. In addition, interference from the molecule HIF-1 inhibits cell communication between the nucleus and the mitochondria, which hinders energy production even more. This is particularly problematic in the brain, which uses vast amounts of energy to command the rest of the body. When cerebral energy metabolism falters, diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia can set in.
By boosting NAD levels, cell communication is restored and cells are once again able to keep up with energy demands. In a 2018 study, mice with key features of Alzheimer’s disease were treated with a precursor of NAD. These mice exhibited a reduction in DNA damage, neuroinflammation, and programmed cell death in the region of the brain which deals specifically with learning and memory. Increasing NAD levels in the brain restored cognitive function and reversed features of Alzheimer’s disease, and scientists are hopeful that NAD supplementation will prove an effective therapy for Alzheimer’s disease in human patients as well.
NAD for Depression & Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are mental health disorders caused in part by imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain. NAD is a coenzyme crucial for energy generation and cell communication, and when NAD levels are low, communication between brain cells falters, leading to neurotransmitter imbalances which make depression, anxiety, and addiction more likely to set in. However, NAD supplementation can alleviate depression and anxiety by restoring cell communication, protecting the brain, and releasing important neurotransmitters.
NAD is a crucial component for a wide variety of chemical reactions. It activates a group of enzymes called sirtuins, which are known to regulate metabolic function and circadian rhythm. In addition, sirtuins protect the brain from deterioration by reducing inflammation and oxidative damage. By supplying sirtuins with extra NAD, these enzymes can protect the brain from damage that leads to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Those with depression have imbalances of multiple neurotransmitters, including low levels of the chemical dopamine. A study found that NAD supplementation was an effective treatment for depression because it increased levels of dopamine. NAD is a cofactor of the enzyme dihydropteridine reductase, which creates the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin to allow the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase to create dopamine. Basically, NAD makes the thing which helps the thing which makes the thing to help make dopamine. By increasing levels of this important neurotransmitter, NAD can alleviate depression.
NAD for Addiction Recovery
Similarly to anxiety and depression, addiction is caused by improper brain chemistry. NAD is crucial in brain cells for generating energy, regulating cell communication, and protecting cells and DNA. When NAD levels are low, cells do not have the resources to protect and detoxify the body from harmful substances.
NAD has two forms, NAD+ and NADH. The reduced form, NADH, is a powerful antioxidant which prevents free radicals from damaging cells, proteins, and DNA in their hunt for electrons to pair with. People with addictions to drugs or alcohol have a higher count of free radicals which the body is not equipped to handle without higher levels of antioxidants. NAD supplementation decreases levels of 8-Isoprostane, a marker for oxidative stress. This shows that increasing NAD levels is a powerful way to detoxify and protect the body from free radicals.
Besides just detoxifying the body, NAD can eliminate cravings for drugs and alcohol and can lessen withdrawal symptoms by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. NAD is an important messenger between the nucleus and the mitochondria of cells. When NAD levels are low, substances can interfere with cellular communication and prevent brain cells from balancing neurotransmitter levels. With NAD supplementation, brain cells can restore cellular communication and proper brain biochemistry to stop cravings and curb addictions.
NAD for Anti-Aging
Every cell in our body needs energy to function. NAD is pivotal in the cellular process for generating energy, but as we grow older, NAD levels naturally decline. Without NAD, cells cannot create enough energy, and they begin to malfunction and die, causing the body to experience aging by slowing down and losing function. However, NAD supplementation can slow or even reverse some of the effects of aging by restoring mitochondrial function, improving stem cells, repairing DNA, and reestablishing cellular communication.
NAD is involved in oxidation-reduction reactions which fuel the mitochondria, the part of the cell responsible for energy generation. By increasing the amount of NAD available to the mitochondria, cells are able to naturally restore their ability to produce energy. This allows many reactions in the body to resume at the highest level, thus improving vitality and overall well-being.
Stem cells have the potential to develop into a variety of different cell types, and they are crucial for tissue regeneration and repair. Keeping up with maintenance demands becomes increasingly difficult for the body as it grows older, but NAD supplementation allows the body to continue repairing itself by increasing its number of stem cells. In a 2016 study done with mice, a precursor to NAD rejuvenated deteriorated muscle stem cells, and it also prevented the decline of brain and immune system stem cells. Mice with higher NAD levels had extended lives, a trend which looks promising for other mammals, including humans.
DNA provides the blueprint for how to create every component of our bodies, and enzymes like PARP1 are continuously repairing DNA. Without sufficient levels of NAD, the protein DBC1 can interfere with PARP1 to prevent DNA repair. NAD supplementation prevents aging by allowing DNA repair to continue uninhibited. In addition, NAD protects telomeres, short segments at the ends of chromosomes which protect DNA. Telomeres shorten with each cell division, meaning that they naturally decrease with age, but NAD can provide an extra measure of protection to these DNA guardians.
NAD is the messenger between the nucleus and the mitochondria, and when the connection between these two is lost, cells are unable to make energy, which leads to disease and aging. HIF-1 is a molecule which interferes with this communication, and when NAD levels are low, cells can no longer prevent this interference. However, increasing NAD levels activates a protein called SIRT1, which acts as a sort of guard dog against HIF-1 and allows energy generation and cellular communication to be restored. This revitalizes cells and renews their ability to power themselves and stay healthy, even as the body grows older.
NAD for Chronic Fatigue
Sleep is an important process for the body to rest, heal, and process information. The body’s biological clock is regulated by proteins called sirtuins, particularly SIRT1, which is dependent on NAD. When NAD levels are low, SIRT1 can no longer function, and circadian rhythms are thrown out of balance, leading to sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, and low energy. By increasing the body’s levels of NAD, sirtuins are able to reset sleep routines to eliminate fatigue, increase energy, and revitalize the body.
In addition to regulating circadian rhythms, NAD combats chronic fatigue by increasing cell’s ability to make their own energy. NAD is a coenzyme which is crucial for the mitochondria to make energy. NAD levels naturally decrease as we age, and without NAD, cells are not able to make the proper amount of energy to keep up with the body’s demands. A lack of cellular energy leads to feelings of fatigue, burnout, and exhaustion. Rather than using substances which only mask feelings of fatigue, NAD supplementation gets to the root causes of fatigue by enabling cells to create their own energy! NAD empowers cells to fuel the whole body, naturally.
NAD for Brain Health
The brain consumes more energy than any other part of the body. Every task we do while awake or sleeping requires commands from the brain, and all of these commands cost energy. NAD is a necessary coenzyme for generating energy, but as we age, NAD levels naturally decrease. Without enough energy to function, cells malfunction and die, which leads to disease and aging. When the brain does not have enough energy, it becomes difficult to think and remember clearly. However, NAD supplementation is a natural way to restore mental clarity and memory by increasing the amount of energy available to brain cells. Rather than masking or ignoring symptoms, NAD therapy treats the root cause of brain fog and memory loss by empowering cells to generate their own energy.
NAD for Athletic Performance
Athletic performance requires energy, and a lot of it! Athletic endurance, strength, stamina, and performance are all directly dependent on how much energy the body can generate. ATP is the primary energy molecule in the body, and the mitochondria relies on NAD to create this energy. By increasing NAD levels, the body has a heightened ability to create energy for all the body’s demands, including athletics. Supplementing with NAD IVs increases performance for athletes in a way that is healthy and natural. NAD also protects muscle cells from deterioration, allowing athletes to continue using their muscles even as they age.