Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a molecule present in all cells of the body. The biological activity of NAD was first discovered in 1906 by British chemists Arthur Harden and William John Young, when they noticed that an extract of yeast accelerated the fermentation of alcohol. In 1930, several biochemists isolated NAD from yeast and red blood cells (RBCs). In 1950, a British Nobel Laureate synthesized NAD in the laboratory for the first time.
Since then, scientists have taken a keen interest in this molecule, owing to its beneficial aspects regarding physical and mental health. NAD plays a vital role in cellular metabolism. This is done by enabling the powerhouses of cells, the mitochondria, to generate energy to carry out all processes in the body. Another function of NAD is in slowing down the effects of aging, by releasing proteins called sirtuins. Contemporary research suggests that NAD is helpful in increasing the amount of time we spend in good health.
A precursor of NAD, Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), has also been shown to provide similar benefits. Research into NAD precursors gained pace in 2013, when a ground-breaking research study revealed that injections of NR seemed to rejuvenate the mitochondria in mice cells. The study also showed that NR improved muscle and brain stem cell function, in addition to enhancing the life span in mice.
What Health Benefits are Offered by NR-Based NAD Supplements?
Most of the NAD supplements available in the market are based on Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), which is a precursor for NAD. Others contain NAD+ as the active supplementation agent. Some of the beneficial aspects of these supplements include:
- Generation of Energy – as discussed earlier, NR quickly gets converted into NAD+, which is necessary for the generation of energy in all cells of the body. The NR-based supplements basically increase the levels of NAD+, thereby enhancing the overall capacity of mitochondria in cells to generate energy for performing various functions of the body.
- Activation of Important Enzymes – NR supplementation increases the body NAD+ levels, which in turn activates the following essential enzymes:
- Sirtuins – these are known as the “anti-aging” proteins of the body. As we age, the levels of these proteins start to decline, which is reflected in the degenerative changes we’ve come to associate with aging. NR supplementation slows or reverses this trend.
- CD38 – this is a receptor in the immune system that plays a role in glucose-induced insulin secretion, thereby improving the energy utilization in the body and reducing chances of diabetes.
- PARP – these are the Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase proteins that play a vital role in DNA repair. NAD supplements have been shown to enhance the levels of these proteins, thereby minimizing the rate of DNA damage in the body.
- Restoration of the Circadian Rhythm – research has also shown that the increased levels of NAD regulate our body’s circadian rhythm and biological clock.
- NR Restores Skeletal Muscle Function – a study conducted on mice in 2016 showed that NR supplementation rapidly restored skeletal muscle mass and function. NR administration basically prevented the damage of mitochondria in the cells, thereby minimizing the chances of nutritional deficiency and damage of skeletal muscles.
- NR Supplementation and Liver Protection – NR based NAD supplementation also plays a role protecting the liver against damage. NR supplementation helps in boosting NAD+ levels, which in turn, has been shown to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, this study suggests.
Are NAD Supplements Safe for Use?
NR is basically a naturally occurring form of Vitamin B3. Hence, just like the vitamins, it is pretty safe for use in the human body. So far, most of the research on NAD and its precursors has been done on animals. However, a recent 12 week randomized clinical trial study published in the Nature journal in March 2018 indicates that long-term supplementation of NR is well-tolerated by the body. The study further shows that NR supplementation effectively enhances the levels of NAD in middle-aged people and adults. Although the study recommends the need for further clinical trials to determine the safety of NR. Current evidence shows that NR supplementation can be safely used for improving mental physical health.
Are NAD Supplements Recognized by FDA?
Several studies have been performed on mice to determine the safety of NAD supplements. A recent clinical study concluded that no adverse effects were observed with when NR when it was given in the dosage of 300 mg/Kg/day. Based on this study, the FDA recently put NAD supplements on a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.
What are NAD Supplements Useful for?
NAD supplements are effective in the treatment of following problems:
- Anxiety/ depression
- Chronic traumatic encephalitis (CTE)
- Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
- Improvement in cognitive function
- For slowing down age-related changes in the body
- To improve general health of the body
NAD supplementation is an effective method for addressing a variety of diseases and neurological problems. In addition to oral supplementation, a growing number of healthcare settings are using intravenous NAD+ for managing problems like alcohol addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re suffering from any of these problems, visit us at Springfield Wellness Center and let us help you get your life back!