Over the past few years, the anti-aging community has been abuzz about a unique chemical compound called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, or NAD+ for short.
In one landmark study, Harvard researchers were able to use NAD+ to make the cells of 2 year old mice look like the cells of 6 month old mice.
Is NAD+ really the secret cure for aging? Can you take NAD+ supplements to reverse the effects of aging on your body and mind? Let’s find out today in our NAD+ review.
What is NAD+?
NAD+ is the shortened name of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. It’s a chemical compound used by every cell in your body.
In fact, NAD+ is found in every living mammal.
Researchers have found that NAD+ levels are directly related to aging: as we age, levels of NAD+ decline, so there’s an inverse relationship between aging and NAD+ levels. This is what Niagen has been known for and associated with increasing NAD+ in the body to produce better anti-aging environments.
Interestingly enough, NAD+ levels decline in everybody as they age. Regardless of your personal health, diet, or physical fitness, your NAD+ levels will decline as you age.
The idea behind NAD+ is that we can artificially raise these levels and trick the body’s cells into thinking we’re younger. If you’re experiencing fatigue, lack of motivation, and age-related physical or mental decline, then NAD+ supplementation has been proposed as a cure.
Chemically speaking, there’s a difference between NAD+ and other forms of NAD. NAD is a coenzyme found in all living cells, and NAD+ is the oxidized form of NAD. There are also compounds like NADH, the reduced form of NAD, NA, NAM, NR, and NAD – all of which act as precursors or building blocks for NAD+.
Generally speaking, NAD+ enables the transfer of energy from the foods we eat to our cells. When our cells need to perform essential functions, they ask our blood for energy in the form of glucose and fatty acids. NAD+ helps get that glucose where it needs to go, giving us better physical and mental energy.
NAD+ has been linked with a number of powerful biological processes.
— Promote Sirtuin Gene Activation (using SIRT1 and SIRT3)
— Enhance The Growth And Efficiency Of Mitochondria, Which Boosts Physical And Mental Energy Throughout The Body
— Optimize Metabolism
— Enhance Cognitive Health And Reverse The Effects Of Aging On The Brain
— Promote Insulin Sensitivity And Encourage Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
— Repair DNA
Together, these benefits reverse the effects of aging in every cell of the body. As we age, levels of NAD+ decrease. This makes it difficult for cells to process the energy they need – their mitochondrial function is severely impaired.
Mitochondrial depletion in every cell of the body is one of the major reasons behind the physical symptoms of aging. Declining NAD+ and mitochondrial function leads to neurodegeneration, vascular inflammation, increased fat storage, increased fat production, insulin resistance, fatigue, and loss of muscle strength.
Scientific evidence has been mounting in support of NAD+. More and more studies are being done every year on this exciting new compound. In 2003, there were 474 studies published on niacinamide. In 2013, there were 1,713.
Here are some of the notable studies which have been performed on NAD+ thus far:
2015 Study Shows Nicotinamide Could Prevent Arsenic-Induced Skin Cancer
A 2015 study published in PLoS One measured the effects of nicotinamide on repairing arsenic and ultraviolet radiation-damaged skin. In developing countries, arsenic contamination of water leads to a higher risk of arsenic-induced skin cancer. Nicotinamide “reduced both types of photolesions…likely by enhancing DNA repair.” Researchers concluded the study by stating that “Nicotinamide is a nontoxic, inexpensive agent with potential for chemoprevention of arsenic induced skin cancer.”
2013 Harvard Study Turns 2 Year Old Mice into 6 Month Old Mice
Perhaps the most exciting study on NAD+ came out in 2013, when Harvard researchers “discovered a cause of aging in mammals that may be reversible.” Researchers were able to inject an NAD+ molecule into 2 year old mice. After just one week, researchers examined the tissue of the 2 year old mice and found that it closely resembled the tissue of six month old mice. Researchers concluded that “this would be like a 60-year-old converting to a 20-year-old.”
One team of researchers published a study in 2013 which showed that NAD+ could be used to synchronize mitochondrial function with circadian regulation. In other words, NAD+ could optimize energy production and synchronize our body’s light and dark (waking and sleeping) cycles. This is theorized to provide a more sustained release of energy throughout the day.
2015 and Onward – Early Human Clinical Trials for NAD+ Are Promising
Human clinical trials on NAD+ are currently underway around the globe. These clinical trials are being led by the same Harvard Researchers that produced the 2013 study listed above, as well as teams from the University of New South Wales and other institutions around the world. A recent report by Australia’s ABC claimed that the early human trials were showing “promising results” although the full impact would not be measurable for several more years.
More studies need to be done on NAD+ to determine the full impact of this new chemical. With hundreds of active studies currently taking place around the world, there will surely be plenty of new and exciting NAD+ information to digest in the near future.
Ever since NAD+ exploded onto the scene with that Harvard study in 2013, there have been NAD+ supplements appearing online and in health food stores.
Most of these supplements, however, are little more than a flashy name: they add the term “NAD+” to the packaging and people buy the supplement thinking it’s a cure for aging.
In reality, many of these supplements are absurdly under-dosed. Most legitimately contain NAD+, but they have such low amounts of NAD+ that it won’t make any noticeable difference on your body.
How Much NAD+ Should You Take?
Before buying an NAD+ supplement online, be sure to check the dosage per serving. Most NAD+ pills appear to have a formula containing less than 100 mg of NAD+. In reality, you want at least 1000 mg (1 gram) or more in order to see any benefits.
Alternatively, use vitamin B3: there’s a form of vitamin B3 that acts as a precursor to NAD+. Specifically, the type of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside has been found to increase NAD+ levels.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends a daily intake of 14 to 18 milligrams for niacinamide and niacin, with the upper intake level being 35 mg per day.
However, that upper intake level is routinely exceeded when taking niacinamide for various conditions. When taken to prevent age-related eye disease, patients take up to 500 mg by mouth. When taken to prevent clogged arteries, patients take 3,000 to 4,000 mg by mouth.
And when taken to prevent heart disease, patients take anywhere from 0.125 to 12 grams of niacin by mouth daily for up to five years.
Many people follow these general guidelines when deciding how much NAD+ to take. Most of the benefits from niacin supplementation occur after doses of at least one gram.
Always talk to your doctor before taking an NAD+ supplement.
The field of study around NAD+ is still very new. Many studies have been performed already, and most of those studies have been overwhelmingly supportive of NAD+ and its health benefits.
Unfortunately, the NAD+ supplements you see on the market today don’t typically provide the benefits.
NAD+ could legitimately be the cure for aging: more research needs to be done, and more research is being done. Unless you can find an NAD+ supplement which offers a dosage higher than 1 gram, then the NAD+ supplements you see on store shelves or on Amazon aren’t worth your time or money.