NAD+ is one of several biochemical compounds believed to have anti-aging properties. Studies are still being carried out to establish its effectiveness in this respect. But a growing number of people are using it; many of them say that has improved their health.
Public understanding of NAD+ and how it works remains limited. This article explains what this compound is and reviews the evidence regarding its potential usefulness as an anti-aging agent.
What Is NAD+?
NAD—short for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide—is one of the most important and interesting molecules in the body. NAD+ is required for over 500 enzymatic reactions and plays key roles in the regulation of almost all major human biological occurrences. Above all, NAD+ may allow us to lead healthier and longer lives. It’s a coenzyme that exists naturally in human cells because it enables certain enzymes to carry out the metabolic functions that keep cells alive.
The compound carries electrons through chemical reactions in the cell, taking them from one enzyme molecule and adding them to another. This sustains energy-producing processes and ensures that cells—and by extension the whole body –continues to function optimally. It powers activity that allows our muscles to work, neurons to fire, and every other bodily function to carry on.
There are two types of NAD: NADH, which is what NAD is when it receives electrons from a molecule in the cell, and NAD+ when it has delivered electrons to another molecule.
NAD+ and the Aging Process
Enzymes called sirtuins are responsible for maintaining cellular health. These enzymes require NAD+ to function. When NAD+ levels fall, sirtuins are less effective, and cell health deteriorates. That deterioration, as described in this paper, is the aging process.
The physical and mental decline that could result from depressed sirtuins, including age-associated metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and psychiatric disorders.
Another study suggests a possible cause for this. It says that an increased presence of the protein CD38 is connected with the reduction of NAD+ in body cells, and the aging that follows. This increase happens as humans advance in age.
Not surprisingly, efforts at finding a solution to aging have turned to increasing NAD+ levels in cells. Research in this area is promising and still ongoing, often involving other mammals. Humans are also using it in the hope that it will improve their health.
Does NAD+IV Therapy Really Work as an Anti-Aging Strategy?
NAD+ IV therapy has developed out of optimism about the compound and its ability to reverse the aging process. However, it takes a review of available studies to determine whether it’s effective or not.
Thus far, the evidence shows the potential for slowing or reversing these signs of aging:
- Muscle fatigue
- Brain neuro-degeneration, which triggers diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Deteriorating or inflamed heart and kidney conditions
Improving Muscle Strength
Muscles need a regular supply of energy to remain active. That energy comes from the metabolism of glucose and fatty acids, which NAD+ enables. Declining NAD due to aging shrinks the amounts of energy available to muscles. It’s also linked to their degeneration.
Maintaining a higher level of NAD+ ensures that muscle cells get the energy they need to regenerate and thrive, as shown in a review of existing documentation on this topic.
Meanwhile, a study of mice suffering from muscle dystrophy showed that they had lower than normal levels of NAD+ in their muscle cells. Supplementing the existing NAD helped improve their muscle function.
Reversing Brain Neuro-Degeneration
Contemporary research indicates that neurodegenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may be managed with NAD+.
There’s typically a deficiency of DNA repair in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients. In one study, NAD+ levels were supplemented in mice with this deficiency. Results showed an improvement in DNA repair, as well as learning, memory, and motor function.
Another study reports a significant reduction in the observable symptoms of a Parkinson’s Disease patient administered with NAD+ intravenously. It shows that NAD+ IV therapy is a viable treatment option for at least a subset of people with Parkinson’s. A case report specifically notes declines in tremors, the most visible symptom, in another patient administered with NAD.
Reducing the Risk of Vascular and Kidney Disease
As people grow older, the interior lining of their blood vessels (endothelium) change. This puts them at risk of coronary heart disease. Research has shown that supplementing NAD+ levels in aging cells may prevent and reverse vascular problems, including heart disease and cognitive decline. NAD+ could be used in combination with other treatments to slow the aging of blood vessels and increase heart lifespan.
There’s also evidence that NAD+ could help improve kidney conditions for patients who suffer them. Certain kinds of kidney injury or inflammation may be treatable by augmenting NAD+ in kidney cells.
Other Areas of Potential NAD Use
The reduction of NAD+ levels in the eyes appears to be linked to retinal degeneration and age-related problems with vision. While more research is needed in this area, there’s the potential for improving eye health and function by increasing NAD+ presence in retinal cells.
Age-associated dermal conditions like skin cancer may also be prevented by maintaining NAD+ presence in skin cells. This wouldn’t be a surprise; skin cancer is probably more likely to occur with shrinking amounts of NAD+ in body tissue. Again, more work remains to be done here, but the prospects seem bright.
The Best Ways to Receive NAD+
The most preferred method of administering NAD+ is via Intravenous (IV) infusion. Although oral NAD tablets are available, it is difficult to ingest the compound from the gastrointestinal tract. That’s because acids in the stomach break down most of it before it gets absorbed.
When a patient receives NAD+ intravenously, it bypasses their digestive system and gets absorbed directly into their bloodstream and body cells. With more of the compound reaching the desired destinations, positive outcomes are far more achievable.
The future of NAD+ IV therapy is exciting. It’s an effective treatment for some signs of aging and could be for several others. More will be revealed as medical research progresses.
Patients interested in NAD+ IV Therapy should consult with their doctor before using it. It’s also advisable that they maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to augment the positive benefits derivable from NAD+ therapy.