NAD+: Everything You Need To Know
NAD+, the oxidised form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is essential to creating energy in the body and is involved in hundreds of metabolic processes. In this article, we’ll explain what is NAD+ exactly, why it’s so important, and how you can increase the NAD+ levels in your body.
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme central to metabolism where its main role is the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another. Found in all living cells, NAD is necessary for over 500 enzymatic reactions. NAD exists in two forms: an oxidised and a reduced form, abbreviated as NAD+ and NADH, respectively. In our bodies, NAD can be synthesised from simple building blocks (de novo synthesis) from either tryptophan or aspartic acid; alternatively, more complex components of the coenzymes are taken up from amino acids found in our diet like niacin.
The coenzyme NAD+ was first discovered by the British biochemists Arthur Harden and William John Young in 1906 while trying to understand fermentation better. Nevertheless, our current understanding of the importance of NAD+ began in the 1960s when French scientist Pierre Chambon identified a process called Poly ADP-ribosylation. NAD+ is broken down into two parts during that process, one of which gets recycled, while the other meets up with a protein. That eventually led to the discovery that certain protein groups that perform essential cellular functions, like PARPs and sirtuins, can only function in the presence of NAD+.
NAD+ is critical for human health and longevity as it plays a crucial role in various biological processes, including metabolism, DNA repair, and gene expression, among others. NAD+ also supports healthy ageing. Remember the sirtuin group of proteins mentioned earlier? Sirtuins play a crucial part in regulating cellular homeostasis, which involves keeping the cell in balance and protecting it from age-related decay. Sirtuins were first discovered in the 1970s, but their dependence on NAD+ wasn’t realised until the 1990s. That means that to work properly, sirtuins need to be activated by NAD+.
On top of that, NAD+ is involved in DNA repair that has been damaged by day-to-day processes and exposures, and research has shown that it can also protect your cells from stress. Sirtuins protect cells against oxidative stress, and NAD+ helps activate sirtuins. Sirtuin proteins, these mighty regulators, also play a significant role in maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep-wake cycle, determines when you feel awake and well-rested, when you feel tired, and even regulates your appetite by controlling the release of hunger hormones. Sirtuins depend on NAD+ to work correctly, so a healthy circadian rhythm, sirtuins and NAD+ are all interconnected.
What happens when NAD+ levels are low?
NAD+ is indeed a miraculous molecule, but unfortunately, our body doesn’t have an endless supply of it. In fact, it declines as we get older. As NAD+ levels decrease with age, this can lead to reduced DNA repair, cellular stress response, and regulation of energy metabolism. Metabolic disorders caused by low levels of NAD+ may include obesity and insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure, putting you at increased risk for developing age-related diseases. Preventing the decline of NAD+ offers a promising strategy to combat metabolism disorders with age.
How to increase your NAD+ levels naturally
When we are young, our bodies have an abundant supply of NAD+, which plays a vital part in our metabolism and helps repair damaged DNA, supports cell defence mechanisms, and coordinates circadian rhythms. As we get older, weakened NAD+ biosynthesis and accelerated NAD+ consumption can lead to dysfunction in multiple tissues.
Making a few necessary lifestyle changes can help us keep our NAD+ levels high and maintain a healthy metabolism, high energy levels and a youthful, vibrant appearance. Regular exercise is one of the simplest and easiest ways to boost our overall health and increase the NAD+ levels in our bodies. Regular workouts require more NAD+ for energy, and our bodies respond by producing more of it.
Another way to naturally boost our NAD+ levels is by getting more NAD+ building blocks through our diet. By providing your body with NAD+ precursors like tryptophan, nicotinamide mononucleotide and niacin (vitamin B3), you help it naturally produce NAD+. You can get these nutrients in supplements and in foods rich in vitamin B3 like beef, eggs, avocados and salmon. Also, consider adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet, like sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha, which naturally contain NAD+.
How can Effect Doctors help with your NAD+ levels?
Unfortunately, a hectic lifestyle can make it quite challenging to stick to a healthy balanced diet and exercise routine to keep your NAD+ levels high. If you live a high-pressure, busy working life, and you want to get a much-needed energy boost and improve your overall wellness in a way that fits perfectly in your busy schedule, why not try an IV drip treatment?
An intravenous or IV drip delivers essential nutrients and fluids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing your digestive tract. When nutrients are taken orally, they have to be absorbed in the stomach and then transformed into useable forms by the liver. These processes lead to losses and waste of nutrients, as the absorption rate depends on your gut and liver health, your deficiencies, and how well your hormones are balanced, among other things. By bypassing your digestive system, IV drip therapy ensures the maximum possible absorption and effectiveness of nutrients entering the body.
Here at Effect Doctors, we don’t just sell ready-made IV bags. We provide bespoke solutions tailored to your individual needs and requirements. Our doctors prescribe them after a full medical consultation. Our NAD+ IV Therapy is specifically formulated to boost your body’s levels of NAD+, which will increase your energy levels.
As one of London’s leading IV drip clinics, we offer a range of medical-grade intravenous drips administered by our team of trained doctors and nurses. We pride ourselves on employing only the highest quality staff members. We were founded by NHS doctors, who’ve also developed our range of IV drips and treatments. You can find out more about our staff on our Meet the Team page.
While we have our state of the art clinic in London (we’re a 5-minute walk from Sloane Square, right off the King’s Road in the heart of Chelsea), we know that a number of our customers would prefer to have their treatment in the comfort of their own home or office. So if you are located in London, a member of our team will come to your home or office for a private session for an additional fee. They will get everything set up for your IV vitamin therapy and be on hand throughout your session. If you’d like to know more about booking an IV drip at home, please contact our team.