Anti-Aging from the Inside Out: An Introduction to NAD+
Author: Michael (Mike) Shaw, PA-C, ABAAHP
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, or NAD+ for short, is a coenzyme found inside every cell in the body. This “helper molecule” acts as fuel for several vital functions, including repairing damaged DNA and maintaining the length of our telomeres. It is also required for energy production in every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. When NAD+ levels and energy production decline, we begin to lose the functionality of our vital organs. Low NAD+ levels may be linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even vision loss.
Much like our hormones, NAD+ declines as we age. However, it isn’t clear if the decline results from an increased need for NAD+ in our later years, and our standard production can’t keep up or if our production of NAD+ decreases. Research is still being conducted. NAD+ stores also take a hit when they are met with chronic inflammation or illness, two things that are also very common as we age.
Can NAD+ be replenished?
In short, yes. There are a few things you can do to help maintain or replenish NAD+ in the body. It is important to note that NAD+ is converted from Vitamin B3 (niacin). So, a diet rich in foods that contain Vitamin B3 is always helpful.
Supplementing B3 is an option as well, but you may be familiar with the “niacin flush,” a reddening of the skin accompanied by a burning or itching sensation that can happen when you get too much. Although niacin flush is harmless, It is often a reason people stop taking vitamin B3 supplements.
You are probably wondering if you can just supplement NAD+ itself. Oral administration of NAD+ does not carry the same benefits as other methods. Taking supplements involves them passing through the digestive tract before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. With NAD+ in particular, the amount leftover after digestive processes is not enough to render significant benefits. However, you can supplement with an NAD+ precursor that enables the body to produce more.
There are other options that I would particularly like to highlight as they are a more effective (and more comfortable) approach to boosting NAD+ production.
The first option is supplementing with Nicotinamide Riboside.
Nicotinamide Riboside is another building block for NAD+ and is an alternative form of Vitamin B3.
Research shows that Nicotinamide Riboside is easily converted to NAD+ and higher doses can be taken without the flushing effect of niacin. The benefit of supplements is that they are affordable and can be easily added to your daily regimen.
Transdermal NAD+ patches
Transdermal patches provide a non-invasive, higher dose administration of NAD+ by absorbing it through the skin. The benefit of the patch is that it can be worn during everyday activities and doesn’t require toting around an IV. This is a lot more convenient for people who don’t have time for office visits. However, doses are lower than that of IV NAD+.
As you probably expected, this is the most effective way to maintain and replenish NAD+ in the body. It allows for higher doses and optimal absorption. IV drips must be administered slowly to help mitigate any feelings of nausea or wooziness that can sometimes occur with NAD+. Therefore, IV’s can take anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours. This may not be a viable option for very busy people. IV’s are also more costly than patches or supplements.
Nearly anyone can benefit from either taking supplements to enhance NAD+ production or receiving NAD+ via IV or patch. Those who are aging, suffering from chronic illness, or are under a lot of stress should certainly consider it.
Studies show that higher levels of NAD+ support muscle health. People involved in competitive athletics or extreme exercise may notice a difference in performance and quicker recovery after increasing their NAD+.
Since NAD+ along with ATP are required for energy production, lower levels may manifest as fatigue and low energy. If this is one of your major symptoms, then NAD+ enhancement may be an excellent place to start.
What can I expect after treatments or supplements?
As with most treatments, results are cumulative and require regular visits or consistent supplementation. However, many people report having more energy and a general feeling of well-being after their first IV treatment.
My patients who have used the Nicotinamide Riboside supplements reported positive changes in their energy levels within 4-6 weeks. Of course, results will vary from person to person. Nicotinamide Riboside has been a part of my supplement regimen for over 5 years, and I am a firm believer in its benefits.
Nicotinamide Riboside supplements are currently available in the Riordan Clinic Nutrient Store. IV NAD+ will be available in Wichita beginning in December 2020. Call 316-682-3100 to be placed on the waitlist.