No one wants to think about the negative effects of aging. In fact, most people actively seek ways to naturally reverse the effects of aging. Much research has been dedicated to discovering what causes signs of age, and what options are available to slow or stop these signs. One area that has recently been receiving a lot of focus is the role of NAD+.
This is a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide that can help keep the mind and body from aging healthily. Maintaining and supporting this coenzyme in the body can help reverse and slow signs of aging. NAD+ Therapy is designed to help individuals receive the numerous benefits that are naturally provided by NAD+.
What Is NAD+
NAD+ is a molecule found in all living cells that plays a vital role in energy metabolism and the maintaining of quality cell function. NAD+ is an alternative form of the B3 vitamin. B3 is vital for a variety of different biological processes. Low levels of NAD+ can increase the risks of chronic diseases that can affect the heart, increase the risk of diabetes, or increase the risks of vision loss. NAD+ plays a vital role in the functioning of mitochondria. Mitochondria can be thought of as a power plant in our cells that turn food and oxygen into energy.
NAD+ plays an important role in metabolism and the cellular process of aging. 1 The levels of NAD+ within the body decline significantly as we get older, essentially playing a large role in driving the aging process. NAD+ also helps sirtuins do their job. Sirtuins are a class of proteins that regulate biological pathways, protect cells from age-related decline, and turn certain genes on and off. NAD+ is responsible for repairing damaged DNA, converting food into energy, aiding in cell defense, and even coordinating circadian rhythms needed for sleep.
Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Levels of NAD+
Maintaining healthy levels of NAD+ can provide several different benefits. This molecule helps to support the body’s response to stress through the cellular activity that reacts to triggers, such as environmental toxins, foods with inflammatory properties, trauma, and chronic use of medication. Several tests have been conducted that show healthy levels of NAD+ can lead to improved memory, resistance to weight gain, and longer life. 2 Improvement is seen in:
Memory Loss – NAD+ helps enhance memory and slow down age-related memory loss.
Metabolism – NAD+ helps support metabolism and weight maintenance which can become more difficult over time. Research shows benefits even when a diet is high in fat.
Strength and Endurance – Age can affect muscle function and strength, NAD+ helps to reverse these effects.
Longer Lifespan – NAD+ has been shown to improve lifespan, ensuring a long and healthy life.
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There are several potential ways to help increase NAD+ levels. Many of these natural options can be followed at the same time to provide the best chance of increasing NAD+ levels.
Fasting and Food Restrictions
One suggestion is calorie restriction and fasting. There are indications that restricting the diet to 20-30% of what would normally be consumed may help increase NAD+ levels. Fasting allows the digestive system to release several hormones and enzymes that boost the body’s ability to repair itself.
There are several options when it comes to fasting. It is recommended to fast for 12 hours at a time. This can vary depending on what type of fasting plan you decide to follow. Fasting and food restrictions should also be done with caution. It is important to ensure you are following the programs safely and effectively to avoid counterproductive risks.
The low-carb, high-fat diet known as the keto diet continues to grow in popularity for several observed health benefits.4 This means that the majority of calories ingested in a day needs to come from healthy fat, and no more than 10% of daily calorie intake should come from carbs. This is typically less than 50 grams of carbs per day. When carbohydrate-rich food is restricted regularly, the body enters a metabolic state where the body and brain are fueled by fatty acids and ketones instead of glucose. This is called ketosis.
Not only has this proven to be beneficial when it comes to significant weight loss, but it can also increase NAD+ levels. Following a keto diet is easier than ever due to its popularity. Many stores offer keto-specific foods that are designed to provide low-carb options for common household staples, such as bread and other grain alternatives.
Supplements containing nicotinamide riboside (NR) are another avenue used by those who want to increase their levels of NAD+.4 NR is a newly discovered form of vitamin B3 that can be found in trace amounts in milk. Recent studies have indicated that NR can help boost NAD+ better than other options.
There are also several options to consider when wanting to boost NAD+ levels naturally. This includes being more aware of the foods you eat. Several raw foods contain high levels of vitamin B. Knowing what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid, can make a huge difference in not only your NAD+ levels but your health as a whole.
Foods to consider include:
Dairy Milk – Drinking a glass or two of cow’s milk is a great source of NR that can leave you looking and feeling younger.
Fish – Steamed fish offer numerous health benefits. Fish such as tuna, sardines, and salmon are rich sources of NAD+.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms can be added to practically any dish with ease and provide a natural boost of NAD+.
Green Vegetables – Vegetables provide all sorts of nutrients that provide a wide range of benefits. Peas, asparagus, green beans, and other vegetables are an excellent way to naturally boost NAD+ levels.
You should consider limiting bread, rice, and other forms of white flour products. Whole grains are a better alternative that provides several benefits. You should also avoid alcohol since it can interfere with metabolic processes, reducing the efficiency of NAD+.
Exercise is the easiest and most cost-effective method of boosting NAD+ levels. When exercising, our bodies use energy that comes from NAD+. Exercise forces the muscles in our body to produce more mitochondria. Exercise also helps to maintain weight, keep the heart healthy, and release natural feel-good chemicals within our brain.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
UV rays can damage skin cells, which causes NAD+ to work hard to repair the damage. If you are going to spend a lot of time in the sun, it is beneficial to wear protective sunscreen and protective clothing.
Use Heat to Your Advantage
While direct sunlight may not be good for your overall health, there are benefits to enjoying natural or artificial heat at safe levels. Saunas, heated pools, and hot tubs cause the heart to beat faster, requiring more energy from your body to regulate temperature and keep it cool. This increase in energy can trigger your body to naturally increase the production of NAD+.
This is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound commonly found in grapes, red wine, raspberries, and dark chocolate. This compound can also help in preventing the development of neurodegenerative diseases. This compound is shown to increase NAD+ synthesis and NAD+ levels in brain cells. Consuming foods rich in resveratrol isn’t enough to increase levels of NAD+. To benefit from this compound, it will need to be supplemented.
Inflammation can be extremely uncomfortable, affecting your daily life. Reducing inflammation can help increase NAD+ levels since these levels are not being depleted by chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be caused by mold, brain injuries, and infections. However, it is most commonly caused by diet.
To reduce inflammation, it is beneficial to avoid gluten and dairy. These food sources can trigger inflammation in the gut and brain. It is also helpful to remove unnecessary processed food. A person should increase their intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, organic chicken, and grass-fed beef.
What Is NAD+ IV Therapy?
Holistic approaches to treatment strive to find alternatives to medications that can be harmful to an individual. NAD+ IV Therapy is the perfect option for those who want to boost their NAD+ levels through a method that is effective and reliable. This form of therapy takes out the guesswork when it comes to determining if you are successfully increasing your NAD+ levels. This is often done through intravenous therapy, also known as IV therapy.
IV therapy provides a direct source of a variety of nutrients that are beneficial for the body.5 There are several medical concerns that can affect a person’s GI health. Digestive issues can complicate the absorption of supplements and medications. Using IV therapy provides an option that can bypass the gut, providing lasting relief sooner.
NAD+ IV therapy can help to address an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain that can cause anxiety or depression. Depleted NAD+ levels can cause low dopamine. Using NAD+ IV therapy may help balance neurotransmitters, providing relief. This type of NAD+ therapy can be used for a variety of conditions, such as OCD, anxiety, depression, and during medication tapering.
NAD+ also provides numerous benefits when it comes to counteracting the negative effects of aging. Individuals who use this therapy treatment report quickly experiencing improvements in sleep, mood, and energy. This method of treatment also provides a higher therapeutic dose when compared to oral supplements.
Give NAD+ Therapy a Try
NAD+ plays a vital role in our overall health. Just because the levels of NAD+ naturally decrease over time doesn’t mean we have to live with the repercussions of that decrease. There are several different methods that can be used to boost NAD+ levels. This includes making changes in your diet that focus on healthier, natural options. It can also include regular exercising, avoiding direct sunlight, and taking supplements that support B3 vitamins and other boosts of NAD+.
1. Covarrubias, A. J., Perrone, R., Grozio, A., & Verdin, E. (2021). NAD+ metabolism and its roles in cellular processes during aging. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 22(2), 119-141. Retrieved June 16, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41580-020-00313-x
2. Reiten, O. K., Wilvang, M. A., Mitchell, S. J., Hu, Z., & Fang, E. F. (2021). Preclinical and clinical evidence of NAD+ precursors in health, disease, and aging. Mechanisms of Aging and Development, 199, 111567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2021.111567
3. Martens, C.R., Denman, B.A., Mazzo, M.R. et al, (2018). Chronic nicotinamide riboside supplementation is well-tolerated and elevates NAD+ in healthy middle-aged and older adults. Nat Commun 9, 1286. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03421-7
5. Del Vecchio, L., Ekart, R., Ferro, C. J., Malyszko, J., Mark, P. B., Ortiz, A., … & ERA-EDTA European Renal and Cardiovascular Medicine Working (EURECA-m) Group. (2021). Intravenous iron therapy and the cardiovascular system: risks and benefits. Clinical Kidney Journal, 14(4), 1067-1076. https://doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfaa212
This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.
Dr. Samuel Lee
Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Lyle Murphy is the founder of the Alternative to Meds Center, a licensed residential program that helps people overcome dependence on psychiatric medication and addiction issues using holistic and psychotherapeutic methods.
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.