NAD+ is a coenzyme that’s crucial for every single chemical reaction in the body. By binding to protein molecules, NAD+ activates certain enzymes in our bodies to keep them functioning at optimal levels.
On a cellular level, NAD+ therapy is a modern treatment in the realm of medical recovery and wellness. Studies are continually being published on the coenzyme’s effectiveness. But to many of us, NAD+ therapy is unfamiliar. So what is it and what are the benefits it may offer?
NAD+: Its Role on the Human Body
Also known as nicotinamide adenosine, NAD+ plays a role in our cellular metabolism. In short, NAD+ transforms nutrients into cellular energy. It’s also a “helper molecule,” working dutifully alongside other proteins to regulate biological processes.
NAD+ depletion may have a role in our aging process because NAD+ levels impact our cellular function in many ways. This includes maintaining DNA health, changing the food we eat into working energy, and controlling our sleep-wake cycles. Low NAD+ levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and accelerated aging.
NAD+ levels unfortunately decline as we age; this means that our metabolic cellular function also declines.
An Introduction to NAD+ Precursors
Fortunately, it’s possible to replenish NAD+ levels through treatments. This may encourage the body to postpone age-related concerns such as muscle atrophy or cardiovascular diseases.
NAD+ therapy is available in several forms, including the oral supplementation of precursors. Precursors are known to boost the body’s inherent production of NAD+. According to animal studies, age-related phenotypes (the characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of our genes and environment) may be partially altered when the body is given NAD+ or NAD+ precursors. Many health benefits have been noted with this supplementation, such as:
- Restored insulin sensitivity
- Improved glucose tolerance/homeostasis
- Slowing down cognitive decline
- Increase of mitochondrial function
- Improved skeletal muscle metabolism and endurance
- Improved grip strength
- Reduced DNA damage
- The reversal of fatty liver
- Nerve damage protection
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Improved neurological function in Alzheimer’s disease model and cerebral ischemic.
There are various NAD+ precursors, however, not all of them are as thoroughly studied as nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Let’s think of these precursors as the building blocks for NAD+; this is because NMN and NR both transform into NAD+, through a series of chemical reactions. Here’s what the science field knows so far about these NAD+ precursors:
Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)
- Known as an “immediate” precursor to NAD+, it directly converts into NAD+ and it doesn’t need to be broken down into its constituent parts.
- NMN doesn’t need to be reassembled into NMN and then NAD+; it doesn’t need to be converted into NR to do so.
- The NMN molecule appears to enter the cell via a newly discovered NMN transporter and absorbed intact in the gut; therefore, the process of increasing NAD+ levels is efficient.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR)
- NR must undergo the process of breaking down and then reassembling first as NMN and then becoming NAD+.
- Studies are concluding that NR does not utilize the same transporter as NMN.
As our knowledge of NAD+ biology and its precursors thrive, new discoveries are being made. And as NAD+ studies evolve, there is ongoing debate among those who want to establish which NAD+ precursors are effective as dietary NAD+ precursor supplements. One of the easiest ways to settle the matter would be to run proper comparative studies with compounds such as NR and NMN. Currently, researchers are aware of the positive effects of NAD+ precursors and continue to study them.
NAD+ and Intravenous Therapy
NAD+ therapy is also administered intravenously. NAD+ intravenous (or IV) therapy is usually given to the patient via IV drip or injection. In fact, IV therapy is the preferred route if the body requires high levels of saturation for immediate support or if the patient cannot consume oral NAD+. NAD+ IV therapy may even be considered for the following reasons:
- NAD+ IV therapy may act swiftly during substance abuse therapy or addiction recovery. NAD+ therapy may help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, all while providing energy and helping to improve brain regeneration. Because IV therapy is directed into the bloodstream, NAD+ IV therapy may provide fast support, unlike oral supplements that take longer to exert effects on our cellular pathways (Read more about our Neurorecovery IV Therapy Program here.)
- NAD+ IV therapy may be part of an anti-aging treatment. Aging impacts every body system. Aging changes the way the body appears to how food is metabolized. Located at the ends of our chromosomes are protective caps called telomeres, which naturally shorten as we age. According to the Scientific American Mind, “Shortened telomeres have been observed in several types of cancer, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.” However, NAD+ therapy, including NAD+ IV therapy, may help protect chromosomes from further deterioration.
Learn More About NAD+ Therapy Today
NAD+ is linked to many biological processes from neurological and cardiovascular health support to DNA repair and anti-aging. Emerging evidence suggests that optimum levels of NAD+ in the body may reduce the risk of age-related disorders. This coenzyme may help slow down or encourage the reversal of some aspects of aging, especially when combined with a caloric reduced diet and regular exercise.
NAD+ therapy is available via oral supplements and IV therapy, or a combination of both. Both methods are efficient, though they differ mainly on how long they’re metabolized in the body. Therefore, we encourage you to learn how NAD+ therapy may affect your personal health.
At our Yorkville, Toronto clinic, Dr. Amauri Caversan, ND, and Arv Buttar, NP, are offering integrative and functional medicine programs to their patients. Our NAD+ IV Therapy treatment is designed to assist the body in restoring neuroreceptor function to an optimal level, while supporting improved sleep, detoxification, cell health replenishment and the lengthening of physical and mental longevity. Call 416-922-4114 to book your appointment.
“Chromosome Caps Offer Clues to Aging” by Tori Rodriguez, Scientific American Mind, published on March 1, 2013, viewed on July 21, 2020.
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“Demyelinating disease: What can you do about it?” by Jerry W. Swanson, MD, viewed on Mayo Clinic on July 18, 2020.
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“What is DNA?” Genetics Home Reference, published on July 7, 2020, viewed on July 18, 2020.
Yahyah Aman, Yumin Qiu, Jun Tao, Evandro F. Fang, Therapeutic potential of boosting NAD+ in aging and age-related diseases, Translational Medicine of Aging, Volume 2, 2018, Pages 30-37, ISSN 2468-5011, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tma.2018.08.003.
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