Traditionally, addiction is understood as the inability to stop consuming certain substances or engaging in a specific activity. This dependency portends a loss of physical and mental health, as evidenced in the many symptoms associated with addictive behavior.
Scientists are working to understand the nature of addiction, in the hope of developing medical solutions that help sufferers recover from it. Various therapies and medical treatments already exist for this purpose, each displaying varying degrees of effectiveness.
One of these therapies involves administering NAD+ intravenously to patients as part of a broader addiction treatment program. Reports suggest that it has helped patients on their path to recovery. Research on it is still ongoing, but the prospects seem bright with the relationship of NAD+ IV therapy and addiction.
What Is NAD+?
NAD– short for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide —is a biochemical compound that exists naturally in body cells. It’s involved in the production of energy from the food consumed by humans, and the deployment of that energy for use within the cells.
NAD+ IV therapy does this by sustaining the reactions that occur between enzymes in the cell (hence its status as a ‘coenzyme’). It takes electrons from one molecule of a reacting compound and fixes it into another molecule. This activity produces the energy that powers cell processes.
As long as the cells maintain this rhythm, the tissues, organs, and entire body remain healthy; muscle movements, neural, heart, and brain activity runs normally. NAD supports all of this, assisting with cellular communication and the repair of DNA.
The Relationship Between NAD+ and Addiction
Drug addiction is known to reduce the levels of NAD+ in body cells. For instance, one study notes that prolonged cigarette use depletes NAD and causes DNA damage. It’s even been suggested that individuals with lower than average levels of NAD are more likely to venture further into addiction.
With these falling NAD levels comes the effects associated with drug withdrawal. These symptoms include anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Reduced levels of sirtuins– enzymes that are activated by NAD+ predisposes individuals to anxiety and depression.
Given these facts, scientists are now researching the potential of treating these addiction symptoms by replenishing NAD+. This knowledge is also behind much of the use of NAD in addiction recovery therapies.
NAD+ IV Therapy for Addiction: What Does the Evidence Say?
Whatever public opinion is on this compound, the verdict of its usefulness is left to research scientists to determine. This article presents some of the evidence from studies about the effectiveness of NAD+ in treating addiction.
The reported benefits of NAD+ typically fall into one of these categories:
- Reduction of cravings
- Reversal of withdrawal symptoms
- Treatment of depression and mood issues
- Cognitive clarity
- Improved energy levels
Check out some of these examples from researchers and professionals studying NAD+ IV therapy and the relationship between addiction on a daily basis.
Reduction of Cravings from Addiction
The biochemistry of drug addiction is complex. But among the many neurochemical relationships that have come to light, one stands out for our purposes. It’s the connection between reduced NAD+ and sirtuins on one hand, and cravings on the other.
This relationship is indirect but crucial. A compound called dynamin-related protein-1 (drp-1) is associated with cocaine-seeking behavior. This compound becomes more active when NAD+ and sirtuin levels are reduced. This seems to suggest that the depletion of NAD+ predisposes addicts to cravings for drugs like cocaine.
This has led researchers to investigate the likely effects that replenishing NAD+ reserves may have on drug cravings. One study reports the removal of cravings after administering NAD+ to patients.
Reversal of Withdrawal Symptoms
Addiction recovery efforts are often made difficult by withdrawal symptoms. Patients who are weaning themselves off drugs may suffer physical and psychological problems like muscle aches, anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and high blood pressure.
Several healthcare facilities are using NAD+ to minimize withdrawal symptoms in their patients. Studies appear to show recovering addicts faring better with these symptoms after undergoing NAD+ IV treatment.
For instance, a study examining NAD+ activated sirtuins in the brain shows that increased levels of the enzyme significantly lowers anxiety in patients.
Treatment of Depression and Mood Issues
Drug dependency is both a potential precursor and an outcome of substance abuse. It’s also been linked to reduced levels of NAD-activated sirtuins in the brain. On the other hand, raising sirtuin levels seems to lead to anti-depressive behavior.
Since NAD+ is an activator of sirtuins, it seems logical that boosting NAD+ should ultimately alleviate depressive symptoms. Available research findings support this assumption.
A major effect of addiction is the impairment of cognitive abilities. Holistic recovery efforts should focus on improving this, as well.
Patients recovering from addiction have reported improvements in their apprehension after undergoing NAD+ IV therapy. This seems plausible, given that boosting NAD+ levels in other mammals seems to have restored their cognition.
Reduced Fatigue and Improved Energy Levels
NAD+ drives the production of energy in body cells. So, it’s little wonder that raising amounts of the coenzyme in the body leads to increased energy.
Several studies demonstrate this.
One review cites multiple studies to demonstrate the role of NAD+ in skeletal muscle development. It notes that lower levels of NAD+ hinder muscle health. Higher levels of the coenzyme, on the other hand, enables muscles to strengthen and remain active.
Another study showed that patients suffering from chronic fatigue saw improvements in their physical fitness after undergoing treatment that involved raising their NAD+ reserves.
On the whole, the evidence for the effectiveness of NAD+ as an agent for addiction- recovery is expanding.
How Should NAD+ Be Administered?
Patients can either receive NAD intravenously or by ingesting it as oral tablets.
The latter method isn’t very effective. That’s because the majority of the NAD+ gets broken down by digestive acids in the gastrointestinal tract. When administered intravenously, NAD+ IV therapy bypasses the digestive system and goes directly to the target cells. As a result, it’s more effective.
Final Words on NAD+ IV Therapy and Addiction
Addiction is a big concern for large swathes of contemporary society. A lasting solution to it would drastically improve the wellbeing of millions across the world. In NAD+ IV therapy, there’s the potential for a powerful agent that can reverse the most debilitating symptoms and help sufferers on their path to recovery.