What are Autoimmune Diseases?
Autoimmune diseases are a class of ailments that occur when the body is attacked by its immune system.
In normal situations, the immune system protects the body against bacteria and viruses that might cause illnesses. On detecting these intruding agents, it produces proteins called antibodies to neutralize them.
But in certain individuals, the immune system mistakes internal cells for foreign invaders and attacks them instead. Sometimes a single organ is targeted; in other situations, the whole body takes a direct hit.
Autoimmune diseases include conditions like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, psoriasis and a host of others. They range from the well-known, to the extremely rare.
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin, the hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. With fewer cells making insulin, the hormone is depleted, and blood sugar levels rise. In lupus, the immune system attacks the whole body and harms the kidney, joints, brain, and heart.
Why Autoimmune Diseases Are a Big Concern
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise across the world. In the United States, their prevalence has risen 50% over the past 25 years.
The exact cause of abnormal immune responses triggering these diseases is still unknown. Exposure to certain chemicals, a western diet, and having a family history with a disease are often thought to be predisposing factors. One study even suggests that modern hygiene standards are to blame; we aren’t as exposed to germs as we used to be, so the immune system overreacts to non-threats while trying to stay active.
Treatment of autoimmune diseases currently focuses on moderating the body’s immune response. Scientists continue to work towards finding a cure.
NAD+ and Autoimmune Disease
One substance, in particular, has shown great promise as a treatment for autoimmune disease. It’s NAD+.
NAD—that is, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide – is a biochemical compound found in all cells of the body. It’s crucial for the health of the cells and the body as a whole. That’s because it helps sustain the energy production and transfer process that happens in each cell. Thanks to this, cells, tissues, and whole organs can continue to function optimally.
On a general level, NAD+ keeps the nerves healthy, maintains muscle mass and strength, protects the heart, and slows down aging. It protects against the effects of stress and is linked with the performance of the immune system against disease- causing viruses and bacteria.
NAD+ levels decline with age. Reduced NAD+ levels have also been consistently detected in people with a wide range of conditions. Tests show that increasing NAD+ may help reverse the symptoms of these ailments.
Research demonstrates that NAD+ could be effective against autoimmune diseases as well. Available evidence suggests that NAD+ regulates immune responses and can turn destructive autoimmune cells into protective cells. It’s studies like these that inspire the use of NAD+ as a treatment for autoimmune diseases.
The Evidence for NAD+ Therapy Success in Autoimmune Diseases
Here we review the research that’s been conducted into the potency of NAD+ treatment in some of the most common autoimmune diseases.
People with diabetes have lower-than-usual amounts of NAD+ in their body tissues. This has serious implications for their health—they suffer more oxidative stress, which leads to the many complications we associate with the disease.
Experts have suspected that increasing NAD+ levels in diabetics could reverse these complications. There’s now growing evidence for this: studies have indicated the effectiveness of NAD+ in patients when administered intravenously.
In multiple sclerosis, the immune system erodes the myelin sheath, a protective covering of the nerve cells. As a result, signals transmitted between these cells are slower. This causes the symptoms associated with the disease: numbness, poor balance, and difficulty with walking.
Researchers have demonstrated that NAD+ can restore balance in the immune system and reverse the damage done by autoimmune responses. Based on the results of such studies, some experts have encouraged the development of NAD based therapies for multiple sclerosis patients.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel syndrome is a class of diseases that affect the intestinal tract. Examples are Crohn’s disease, which can occur in any part of the gut, from the mouth to the anus; and Ulcerative Colitis, which only inflames the lining of the large intestine and rectum.
Lower NAD+ leads to an erosion of protective mucus that lines the intestinal walls, and the inflammation of the intestinal cells. Experiments have shown that increasing NAD+ can reverse intestinal inflammation and improve the condition of intestinal walls.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and damage to joints across the body. Existing treatments focus on treating the symptoms, but do not tackle the autoimmune problems that trigger them.
NAD+ therapy offers a different, more sustainable path to treating this disease. This study indicates that NAD+ metabolism is an essential factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis and suggests that increasing NAD levels can help combat the disease.
This autoimmune illness causes skin cells to rapidly build up in thick patches on the hands, feet, neck, scalp, or face. These portions of the skin are red and painful; sometimes, they break and bleed.
Results from contemporary research say that nicotinamide, a component of NAD, could reduce the cell proliferation seen in Psoriasis, and ultimately ameliorate the condition.
How is NAD+ Administered?
Given the effectiveness of NAD+ IV Therapy for such a wide range of conditions, it’s not surprising that it’s now a sought-after treatment. While a number of modes exist for administering it, they are not all equally efficacious.
The body doesn’t absorb all of the NAD+ that’s received orally (as tablets). Some of it is lost in the journey through the digestive tract.
But when NAD+ is administered intravenously, the compound reaches every part of the body via the bloodstream. You can expect better results from this treatment compared to oral ingestion.
The rising concern about the prevalence of autoimmune diseases is justified. So is the excitement around potential NAD+ IV therapy as a treatment for some of these illnesses. The evidence for its potency keeps stacking up, even as research continues to shed more light on how it works in our bodies.
Patients who wish to undergo NAD+ IV therapy may consult with their doctors before beginning with it. It doesn’t come with a risk of toxicity, so they can be certain that it’s safe.