NAD+: The #1 Vitamin That Helps With Energy
Written by Tara Smith, January 12, 2017
NAD+ is part of more chemical reactions in the body than any other vitamin-derived molecule.
How do your cells produce energy?
Almost every cell in your body uses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to help fuel reactions that produce energy. Think of your cells passing an electron like a hot potato to NAD+ to form NADH. Cells accumulate NADH through different metabolic pathways, including glycolysis and the citric acid cycle. Cells use NADH in the electron transport chain to produce energy through adenine triphosphate (ATP). The delicate ratio of NAD+:NADH will determine if your cell has enough energy to survive and function normally.
Think of your cells as a representation of your house. When the electricity fluctuates during a storm, or when your mitochondria produces less ATP, the lights in your house flicker and possibly go out. The dimmed lights won’t impact you personally, but in reality the lack of electricity may shut down your wifi. Or the unstable supply of energy will lower the temperature in your refrigerator causing your food to spoil. You may not notice the fluctuating levels of ATP in your mitochondria, but it will disturb the maintenance of your cells resulting in a slow decline in health.
How do you boost NAD+ levels?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a pill to ensure our cells never run out of energy? Unfortunately, NAD+ through pill form is not an effective option because your body is unable to absorb it through the digestive system. The enzymes that live in the lining of your digestive tract need to break down NAD+ several times in order for it to be absorbed. Eventually nicotinamide (NAM) is the end product of NAD+ digestion, which can be directly absorbed into the body. The digestion of NAD+ is a lengthy process, and it’s not as efficient as other methods of supplementation.
You can assist your cells to produce more NAD+ by supplementing with the four major precursors:
Tryptophan is an amino acid that has a bad rap for making you tired after Thanksgiving turkey dinner, but tryptophan is also required for the production of serotonin.
Nicotinic acid (NA)
Nicotinamide riboside (NR)
NA, NAM and NR are all different forms of Vitamin B3, and vary slightly in chemical structure. A deficiency in Vitamin B3 is famously associated with pellagra. Low levels are also associated with decreased metabolism, cold intolerance, and delayed brain development.
Tryptophan, nicotinamide, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide riboside all have pathways to NAD.
Meat and fish are the main sources of tryptophan and Vitamin B3. Other vegetarian sources of Vitamin B3 include spirulina, California avocados, sprouted kidney beans, buckwheat and asparagus. It is important to note that the cooking process will deplete some of the bioavailable Vitamin B3. Eating sprouted grains and legumes will have more nutrient density than cooked foods
Sleep, Exercise and NAD+
Every health practitioner agrees that quality sleep and moderate exercise can have beneficial effects on your health, and can help reduce your risk to certain types of diseases. There is no doubt that sleep and exercise will boost your metabolism, but did you know it has the ability to boost your NAD+ levels as well?
While you’re fast asleep dreaming, your body is actively repairing itself. At the same time your cells are producing tremendous amounts of NAD+. And if you’re thinking about having that after dinner nightcap, you might want to think again. The metabolism of alcohol significantly reduces NAD+ because it’s used to break down ethanol. Those two glasses of wine you had with dinner will also have an impact on your quality of sleep, further depleting your ability to replenish NAD+ levels.
When you go to the gym, or go outside for a walk, your skeletal muscles use the ATP for energy. Studies have found that moderate exercise increases your mitochondrial energy and the production of NAD+. On the other hand, without sufficient amounts of NAD+ your muscles will start to deteriorate.
You don’t have to rely solely on food
Supplement companies sell various forms of B vitamins, but which supplement is the best for NAD+ production?
If you’ve ever shopped for B vitamins before, you might have felt overwhelmed by all the different types. Vitamin B3 is the main precursor to NAD+, but there are several different forms of Vitamin B3 to be aware of. You’ve probably heard of niacin (NA or nicotinic acid), and possibly even niacinamide (NAM or nicotinamide). Both of these forms will most likely be available at your local health food store. Remember NR (nicotinamide riboside) also leads to the production of NAD+, which is bioavailable and more efficient as a precursor. Oral supplementation of NR has been proven to raise NAD+ levels to a degree. You can find various oral NR supplements online.
The best way to replenish your cells with NAD+/NADH is intravenously (IV). IV vitamin therapy bypasses your digestive system and delivers nutrients straight into the bloodstream. Many patients of the NAD Treatment Center use IV therapy as a means to quickly raise cellular NAD+ levels, but also use intranasal sprays and supplementation to maintain levels after IV sessions.
The NAD Treatment Center help patients restore their health and well being through IV NAD+ vitamin therapy. Addicts are able to rapidly detox, chronic fatigue patients have a restored sense of vitality, and all patients walk out a healthier version of themselves.
To hear first hand stories testimonials of The NAD Treatment Center clients, click here.