What is NAD? Why should I take it?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a natural molecule found in every cell in the body. It is key for energy metabolism, constructing new cellular components, mitochondrial regeneration, resisting free radicals and DNA damage, and sending signals within the cells.
It enables the mitochondria – the ‘powerhouses of the cell’ to convert the food we eat into energy and “turn off” genes implicated in accelerating aging processes. Healthy mitochondrial function is an important component of healthy human aging. Our body naturally can make NAD+ from components in the food we eat. As we age, levels of NAD+ decline substantially. This decline leaves us at greater risk for neuro and muscular degeneration, declines in our cardio-metabolic health, and our capacity for repair and resiliency.
Declining NAD+ levels have been linked to aging-associated pathologies such as memory, hearing, and vision loss. By the time you turn 50, your NAD levels have dropped to as low as 15% compared to when you were 25! NAD+ is key to increasing our time in good health (2), and boosting cellular NAD+ can reverse the deleterious effects of aging. However, NAD+ is a relatively unstable compound and cannot be taken orally as a supplement. It will be degraded by gut flora and liver enzymes.
Is there a Difference Between NAD+, NMN, and NR Supplements?
NAD+ and Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are in the same cellular pathway; NMN is the precursor of NAD+ the body turns naturally into NAD+. NMN is more stable than NAD+. Boosting NMN levels can increase NAD+ biosynthesis and has been shown to mitigate aging-related dysfunctions. A recent Japanese double-blind, randomized trial on healthy humans shows that NMN is safe and well-tolerated and can replenish cellular NAD+ levels to mitigate aging-related NAD+ biosynthesis.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) Supplements
NR is another intermediate in NAD+ biosynthesis, and increasing NR can also increase NAD+ levels. A combination of NR and pterostilbene significantly increases the concentration of NAD+ in a dose-dependent manner in a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study in a population of 120 healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 80 years.
How Do I Know If NAD+, NMN, or NR Supplement is Right for Me?
Determining if NAD+, NMN, or NR supplementation is right for you involves considering various factors, including your health goals, current medical conditions, existing medications, and consultation with a healthcare professional. Here’s a more in-depth exploration:
Understanding the Compounds:
NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide): A crucial molecule in the body, it plays a role in cellular energy production, DNA repair, and other vital processes. Direct supplementation with NAD+ might not be common due to potential issues with cellular uptake.
NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide): A direct precursor to NAD+, which means the body can convert it to NAD+. Some research suggests NMN might have potential anti-aging benefits, though human studies are ongoing.
NR (Nicotinamide Riboside): Another precursor to NAD+ that might be more readily converted into NAD+ in the body than NMN. Like NMN, research into NR’s potential benefits is ongoing.
Each anti-aging molecule has its benefits and disadvantages, as shown in Table.
|Benefits: Taking NAD+ directly can rapidly increase cellular NAD+. NAD+ intravenous applications mostly achieve this. Studies have shown that NAD+ can boost cellular energy levels and activate cell anti-aging genes. It also enhances brain functions. Supports muscle endurance and strength.||Benefits: Taking NMN is the best way to boost NAD+. The NMN is more stable than NAD+ and stably increases NAD+ pools for a long. Increasing NMN has all the benefits of NAD+ and specifically helps with vision and hearing loss related to aging. Activates longevity and anti-aging promoting sirtuin genes.||Benefits: Taking NR can also increase NAD+. A double-blind, randomized trial on 30 healthy individuals showed that nicotinamide riboside effectively elevated NAD+ levels in humans and tolerated well.|
|Challenges: The major challenge is stability. NAD+ is not very heat stable and unsuitable for gut-based oral delivery products as it may get degraded in the gut.||Challenges: There are only a few reliable suppliers of enzymatically produced NMN. Good quality NMN is highly-priced. One of the key things to look out for when choosing an NMN supplement is to choose 99.9% pharmaceutical-grade NMN from a reliable source.||Challenges: NR is a synthetic product, and there are only a few reliable suppliers of NR. NR is a costly ingredient.|
|Best Delivery: Intravenous and sublingual||Best Delivery: Sublingual and transdermal. NMN also has relatively better bioavailability for gut-based delivery in capsule forms.||Best Delivery: NR also has relatively better bioavailability for gut-based delivery in capsule forms.|
|Recommended best for Athletic performance and increased energy metabolism for energy-deficient vulnerable groups.||Recommended best for Antiaging purposes and increasing mitochondrial functions.||Recommended best for Antiaging purposes and increasing mitochondrial functions.|
|Dosage: 250-500mg NAD+ per day||Dosage: 250-500mg NMN per day||Dosage: 300-500mg NR per day|
|Recommended Product: Sublingual NAD+ has high bioavailability to increase NAD+. Check out Longiva brand Sublingual NAD+ for maximum potency.||Recommended Product: Liposomal delivery has superior NMN absorption. Longiva Nanoliposomal is a vegan formulation that delivers 500mg of NMN per dose to increase cellular NAD+ levels.|
Sources of NAD+ and NMN
While supplementation is an option, diet is crucial in providing building blocks for NAD+ biosynthesis.
Niacin: A significant precursor for NAD+ production, found in foods like chicken, tuna, and turkey.
Edamame: Recent studies have identified the SLC12A8 gene in the intestine, a transporter that facilitates NMN uptake. Edamame is highlighted as a natural source of NMN.
Other Ingredients: While not directly providing NAD+ or NMN, foods rich in proteins, phosphate groups, and enzymes support the pathways involved in NAD+ biosynthesis.
Brain Health Benefits: NAD+ & NMN Supplements
Among the most important age-related benefits, improving brain health functions stand out. As a major energy-churning organ, NAD+ depletion in brain cells due to aging leads to several issues, such as memory and cognitive impairment and brain energy imbalance, also related to vascular aging.
One of the major issues with drug addiction patients is low brain energy levels, resulting in mood alterations, distorted time and sensory perception, decreased memory, and problem-solving. NAD+ has been clinically used since the 1960s to help break free from chemical dependence. NAD+ is an all-natural vitamin B derivative with minimal side effects. Similarly, increasing NAD+ using NMN may significantly benefit neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
How Safe Are NAD+ / NMN Supplements?
NAD+ and NMN are natural molecules found in every cell in the body, and they are derivatives of Vitamin B2 (Niacinamide). Several clinical studies have shown the safety and tolerance of NAD+ and NMN supplements. One of the side effects of any Vitamin B compound is flush. The flush happens when niacin causes the small capillaries in your skin to dilate, increasing the blood flow to the skin’s surface. Like this, the customer has reported a much smaller flush effect taking NAD+ and NMN supplements.
Optimal Storage for NAD+ and NMN Supplements
Because of the inherent stability of nucleotide products, these products are better recommended to be kept in a cooler place. The preferred storage temperature is 4-8 ℃, which supports 90-95% of potency. A few products in the consumer space ship out in a cold chain to keep the potency of the products. Biom Pharma is one such company dedicated to achieving one of the most ambitious goals of 21st-century medicine: increasing human longevity with a high quality of life. Their Longiva® line of NAD+ and NMN products have superior quality and 99.9% potency.
Innovations in NAD and NMN Supplements
Dr. David Sinclair at Harvard University is the pioneer in elucidating the prominent functions of NAD+ and NMN in anti-aging part, especially the sirtuin activation pathways. Several groups are working on NAD and NMN clinical programs and better delivery methods. A new study has shown boosting NMN and NAD+ in late life can restore and rescue female reproductive function in mammals, suggesting the future of NMN supplements in reproductive health.
A new product uses a proprietary mix of NAD+ NMN in a sublingual delivery method to rapidly boost the body’s NAD+ pool. In this formulation, the preformed pure NAD+ immediately gets absorbed to spike cellular NAD+ levels while the NAD+ precursor, NMN, gets into systemic circulation for the sustained increase of NAD+ for an extended period. This formulation can have the benefits of both NAD+ and NMN!
Another formulation uses the synergistic combination of pterostilbene and NMN in a transdermal suppository formulation that prevents gut and liver-based NMN loss and allows maximum transdermal bioavailability of NMN. A few other products use nano liposomal delivery mechanisms to optimize the delivery and availability of NMN for superior absorption.
How To Naturally Maintain Healthy NAD+ Levels
Besides supplements, a balanced diet and active lifestyle can help sustain good cellular health. A combination of vegetarian and fiber-rich food can increase the vital gut microbiome metabolism, maintaining a healthy cellular pool of NAD+. An inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diets with saturated fatty acid and sugar can significantly reduce the NAD+ and rapidly prompt the cell to age. A healthy regimen of NAD/NMN supplements with a healthy diet may easily reverse aging by 10-15 years!
Other Senolytic Supplements that Work Well with NAD+ and NMN supplements
Senolytic supplements are a class of supplements that selectively clear senescent cells or aged cells while nurturing new cells. Senescent or aged cells do not replicate and can release factors that cause tissue dysfunction and remain viable. Several senolytic herbal products, such as quercetin, pterostilbene, and resveratrol, have been shown to boost the effects of NAD+ and NMN products. Quercetin is a plant flavonoid that retarding the aging process. Therefore, combining quercetin with NMN will have additive benefits in the anti-aging process. Similarly, vitamin C and reduced glutathione may also increase the potency of NAD+ by preventing the natural breakdown of NAD+ and NMN.
What are the benefits of taking a combination of NAD+ and NMN?
Combining NAD+ and NMN supplements can enhance cellular energy production and support healthy aging. These key molecules significantly affect energy metabolism and mitochondrial health, promoting overall vitality.
Which supplement has the best result for anti-aging?
NAD+ and NMN have shown promising results among various anti-aging supplements. They are known to enhance cellular repair, improve mitochondrial function, and delay aging-related decline, making them potent tools for promoting longevity.
Do herbal extracts contain NMN supplements?
While certain herbal extracts have health-boosting properties, NMN is typically not naturally present in herbs. Instead, it’s usually taken as a synthetic supplement to boost NAD+ levels and support cellular health and energy metabolism.