A coenzyme present in every cell of our body, NAD+ plays an essential role in promoting health and extending our lifespan. Read on to learn what exactly this “anti-aging molecule” is, how it works, and how taking NAD+ IV therapy can benefit your health.
What is NAD+?
NAD+ stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, the chemical term for a coenzyme found in all of our cells. Coenzymes are “helper molecules” necessary for activating enzymes that convert food into energy in our body. As a coenzyme, NAD+ has two essential roles: giving us energy and repairing our cells.
NAD+ is a key player in metabolism where it helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. It reacts with oxygen in the mitochondria, the part of the cell responsible for metabolizing nutrients. This reaction creates energy which in its turn enables essential body functions such as breathing, thinking, moving, and digestion.
Secondly, as a helper molecule, NAD+ binds with other proteins to allow DNA repair and reduce DNA mutations, which can contribute to conditions such as immunodeficiency, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
And that’s not all. Besides converting food into energy and repairing damaged DNA, NAD+ serves as fuel for many indispensable biological processes like strengthening the immune system and setting the body’s internal clock. Scientists also believe that NAD+ is the most powerful antioxidant in our body.
The good news is that the human body can produce its own NAD+ coenzymes. However, the NAD+ supply is far from endless and its levels inevitably decrease as we age. This decline is often accelerated by factors such as stress, poor sleep, lack of healthy nutrition, and the use of drugs or alcohol. Low NAD+ levels are associated with signs of aging and age-related chronic conditions including diabetes, vision loss, heart diseases, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
The discovery of NAD+
The first scientists to discover NAD+ were British biochemists Sir Arthur Harden and William John Young. They came upon the crucial coenzyme while they were trying to better understand the fermentation, which is an essentially metabolic process, in 1906.
Two decades later, together with Swedish biochemist Hans von Euler-Chelpin, Harden won the Nobel Prize for the work on the fermentation of sugar and enzymes. The pair found that fermentation relied on NAD+. Their research led to the understanding of the processes taking place in the muscles for the supply of energy. This was the very insight into the structure of NAD+ and the crucial role it plays in metabolic processes in humans.
Our current understanding of the importance of NAD+ originates in the 1960s when, using nuclear extracts from hen liver, French scientists Pierre Chambon and Paul Mandel identified a group of proteins critical to DNA repair that require NAD+ to carry out cellular functions.
How does NAD+ Work?
NAD+ doesn’t provide direct benefits to any specific part of the body, but it helps our cells function better on the whole. Here’s how it works:
NAD+ is the principal carrier of electrons in the energy-producing process in our cells. Its role is to transport electrons from one place to another inside the cells. The electrons will then fuel chemical reactions in the mitochondria that power the cells and keep our bodies healthy.
To get a better understanding, you can think of NAD+ coenzymes as tiny shuttle buses that take electrons to work inside the cell. The more buses there are, the more electrons can be transported and the more energy will be created. When there aren’t a lot of NAD+ buses to transport electrons, fewer nutrients will get processed in the mitochondria, and fewer reactions can happen within the cell. As a result, cells will begin to age and eventually die.
What Is the Difference Between NAD and NAD+?
NAD is the term used to collectively refer to the NAD+ and NADH molecules, the two forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.
NADH is the activated carrier molecule that transfers electrons to the cell. The “H” stands for high-energy hydrogen and indicates that the molecule is in the most active form possible. At the same time, NAD+ is waiting to be put in use—it’s an empty shuttle bus ready to transport the electrons into the mitochondria. The ability to switch between the two forms allows NAD to transport electrons from one reaction to another in the process of metabolism and energy production.
So what exactly are the benefits of NAD+ in our bodies, and what happens when its levels drop?
What Are the Health Benefits of NAD+?
Studies have shown that NAD+ can help battle many chronic conditions and age-related illnesses and reduce the effects that aging has on the body. Here are some of its main benefits:
NAD+ activates certain enzymes that promote healthy aging. One type of these enzymes is called sirtuins. Research suggests that sirtuins may repair damaged DNA, boost stress resistance, and offer a range of other benefits such as:
- Reduce inflammation
- Restore muscle function
- Reduce fatigue
- Increase energy levels
- Boost metabolism
- Enhance athletic performance
In 2017, Harvard University geneticist David Sinclair found that NAD+ considerably impacts the cardiovascular system, neurological system, muscle wasting, and frailty. He showed that aging in animals, and potentially in humans, could be significantly slowed through NAD+ supplementation.
NAD+ plays a major role in the development, regeneration, aging, and disease of muscles. Low NAD+ levels are detrimental to muscle health. Studies show that NAD+ supplementation helps improve muscular function in mice who suffer from degenerative muscle diseases like dystrophies and myopathies, which are also common in humans. Although there is still no scientific proof of its effect on humans, it is likely that NAD+ supplementation may improve both muscle damage, muscle pain, and muscle fatigue.
NAD+ is found to regulate protein interaction during DNA repair which is essential for cell function and cell survival, as well as the prevention of cancer. Although cells can repair damaged DNA themselves, this ability declines with aging as a consequence of a gradual NAD+ level decrease. Experiments conducted in mice by David Sinclair demonstrate that treatment with an NAD precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) can bring a negative charge to places where DNA is damaged and repair it.
Aging entails cognitive decline: our memory worsens and it is more difficult to remain concentrated and productive. Scientists believe that NAD+ is among the best brain restoration therapies. It can repair the brain’s neuron function by helping cells regenerate and protect them against irreversible damage.
After an NAD+ treatment, you will experience improved mental clarity, better concentration, enhanced memory, and better mood. This overall boost in brain function can also help overcome common mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
As our cells lose the energy they need for optimal function, our physical and mental systems weaken. Combined with stress, this degradation accelerates and can lead to everything from depression and anxiety to heart disease. Boosting your NAD+ levels through therapy can improve your emotional and mental well-being, whether you are experiencing chronic fatigue or simply feeling the effects of getting older.
NAD+ plays an essential role in establishing the sleep cycle. A family of proteins known as sirtuins regulates circadian and homeostatic functions that control our wake-sleep cycle. Sirtuins themselves depend on NAD+ to work properly. If either sirtuins or NAD+ get disrupted, our circadian rhythm (internal clock) does too.
Metabolism is largely dependent on NAD+. Scientists have discovered that increasing the amount of NAD+ in the body directly influences metabolism. It leads to heightened metabolic function, one of the central signs of age reversal. Other metabolic benefits of NAD+ therapy are helping burn fat and keeping weight off.
Other NAD+ benefits
Research shows that a number of medical conditions can be improved with NAD+ therapy:
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Alcohol and drug addiction
- Forgetfulness and memory loss
- Attention deficit
- Fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands
- Parkinson’s disease
But NAD+ can also be beneficial for healthy people. It can help increase physical energy, improve mental performance, enhance response to short term sleep deprivation, and reduce the effects of jet lag, for example.
The more NAD+ our cells have at their disposal, the more energy they are capable of producing. Conversely, a deficiency of NAD+ in the body results in an energy deficit which can have many consequences to health and general well-being. NAD+ deficiency affects the body, resulting in a range of different symptoms and conditions, including:
- Chronic fatigue
- Weakened immune system
- Muscle pain
- Memory disturbance
- Sleep issues
- Concentration problems.
About 10% of the population suffers from a genetic condition called NAD Energy Deficiency or “irreversible chronic NED.”
But does the fact that NAD+ has so many positive effects on our health mean that anyone can benefit from the therapy?
Is NAD+ Safe to Take?
Taking NAD+ supplements is for the most part completely safe. If you don’t exceed the recommended amount of 10 mg per day for up to 12 weeks, you should not experience any harmful effects. Some people may have very mild reactions to NAD+ like nausea, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and indigestion.
If NAD+ is infused for less than 2 hours during the IV therapy, you may feel increases in physiological activity including chest pressure, increased energy, intestinal cramps, lightheadedness, and nausea.
Because NAD+ is a vitamin supplement and naturally produced by the human body, the FDA has not assessed NAD+ supplementation and therapies.
So what are the ways to get an NAD+ boost in your body?
The Best Way to Take NAD+
There are several means of increasing the NAD+ levels: nutrition, oral supplements, and intravenous infusion therapy (IV). Choosing the best NAD+ supplementation method is absolutely crucial to getting the maximum benefits.
The easiest way to get more NAD+ in your body by making a few simple dietary choices. Some foods naturally boost NAD+ levels in the body, so make sure to include them in your diet. These are:
- Milk and dairy products
- Yeast (fresh bread, pastries)
- Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, cabbage)
- Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
- Fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut).
Following a high-fat, low-carb keto diet as well as practicing intermittent fasting can also naturally increase NAD+ levels in the body. Because much of NAD+ is lost in cooking, it is beneficial to eat raw foods.
On the downside, NAD+ is broken down by the acid in the stomach. This means that it may get oxidized and degraded long before it is effectively absorbed from the digestive tract and before the body can fully benefit from it.
NAD+ supplements are readily available from online retailers and local convenience stores. You can get practically all the NAD+ you need from these products. Niagen, nicotinamide riboside, and nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) are some of the oral supplements that can be converted by the body, ultimately producing NAD+.
However, there are risks involved with taking high quantities of store-bought supplements and they are often full of artificial ingredients. Besides, studies suggest that the digestive system breaks down orally administered NAD+ supplements before the cells can get a chance to absorb them.
The safest and most effective method of replenishing your NAD+ is through intravenous infusions via an IV drip. This is currently the only way to ensure that you get the maximum effect from the molecule. Through IV, the body can absorb the highest amount of coenzymes and convert them into the necessary energy. It uses the maximum amount of what it needs and simply discards the rest.
The IV therapy consists of slowly feeding NAV+ into your bloodstream. There is no need for the supplement to pass through the stomach and, therefore, no risk that it will get broken down. Instead, the chemical can get directly into the bloodstream and allow for faster and better absorption. This way, the ingredients become immediately available to your cells, greatly decreasing the time it would take for medication or supplement to take effect.
During IV NAD+ therapy, you can request to add other vitamin supplements to enhance the treatment. Our add-ons include the antioxidant glutathione, vitamin C, vitamin B12, B-complex, biotin (a type of B vitamin), multi vitamin cocktail, and more. IVs also replace lost fluids and electrolytes quickly and efficiently. Intravenous delivery is, therefore, a fast way to rehydrate and enjoy the effects of the nutrients included in our formulas.
Let’s see what exactly you can expect from your IV therapy session, how often you should have one, and how long the effects will last.
How Does the IV Treatment Session Work?
Every NAD+ treatment starts with a detailed consultation and is tailored to your individual needs. During the session, a licensed medical professional will insert a small tube into your vein. The tube is attached to a bag containing NAD+ which is pushed directly to your bloodstream. An IV NAD+ treatment takes between 2 and 4 hours per session.
NAD+ IV treatments are administered exclusively by board certified physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses and are, therefore, completely safe.
How Long Does NAD+ Take to Work?
Your first NAD+ therapy will give results that last anywhere from 4 to 14 days, depending on your health condition and goals. Although you will start feeling better after just a few days, to obtain optimal results, it is important to continue the full course of treatment.
How Often Should You Have an NAD+ Treatment?
NAD+ IV treatments are most effective when they are being administered over time. The frequency of treatments will vary from person to person and depend on individual therapy plans. In most cases, you can get treatments several times per month unless you are advised otherwise during your initial consultation.
At the beginning of the treatment, you may need to schedule weekly infusion sessions. Once your nutrient levels become stabilized, you can space them to every two weeks. Many patients choose to schedule monthly infusion therapy sessions after they have achieved the desired results. But you will certainly also benefit from just one treatment and can choose to seek treatment when you experience symptoms.
How Much Does NAD+ Treatment Cost?
One NAD+ IV treatment at Reset IV costs $799. The cost includes our high-end equipment, trained professionals, and travel fees.
For an additional cost, you can choose to enhance your treatment with one of the add-ons such as vitamin C, vitamin B12, and multi-vitamin complex. Add-ons costs start at $60.
How Long Does NAD+ Therapy Last?
Each NAD+ IV treatment is individually designed based on your symptoms and desired results:
- A typical treatment for the ultimate recovery consists of 500-1000mg of NAD+ infused daily over 4-10 days.
- Anti-aging treatments usually take place once every other week for 3 treatments and then continue once a month for maintenance.
- Neurodegenerative disorders are treated with 500mg of NAD+ daily for 5-7 days or every other day over a 10-14 day period.