what is nad+ and why is it important

Update:2023-07-10   


What is nad+ and why is it important?It is a common question about nad+. Today we’ll talk about it.

Introduction about NAD+

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a crucial coenzyme found in all living cells. It plays a vital role in redox reactions, transferring electrons from one reaction to another. NAD+ exists in two forms - the oxidized NAD+ and the reduced form, NADH. NAD+ acts as an oxidizing agent, accepting electrons from other molecules and being reduced to NADH. NADH, in turn, can donate electrons and convert back to NAD+. This electron transfer process is the primary function of NAD+.

NAD+ is particularly important in metabolism, where it serves as an electron shuttle. It receives electrons by oxidizing molecules such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate in glycolysis or isocitrate, alpha-ketoglutarate, and malate in the Krebs cycle. NADH then transports the electrons to the electron transport chain, which generates ATP through oxidative phosphorylation.

NAD+ is also involved in managing DNA damage and transforming macromolecules into ATP. Another significant aspect of NAD+ is its precursory role. Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) serves as the precursor for NAD+. Therefore, NMN is essential for the synthesis of NAD+.

To delve deeper into the biochemistry of NAD and its various functions, searching for "NAD biochemistry" on Google will provide more information.

 

Longevity,aging and NAD+?

 People keep bringing up longevity and aging into the picture because when NAD+ decreases, we experience signs of aging like slow metabolism, muscular dystrophy, and memory issues.

If NAD+ does not decrease, there will be no shortage of DNA repair proteins. Hypothetically, that means everything that defended you when you were younger will continue to be present as you age.

In fact, exercising regularly (the original longevity advice) increases NAD+.

 There is no difference between the NAD+ levels of a young adult and an older adult who exercises regularly. This heavily leans in favor of "Yes, NMN and NAD+ help people live longer."

 

But, and this is a big but, the research for supplementing NMN and NAD (in humans) is not conclusive. Sure, preserving NAD+ in mice can double their lifespan, but until clinical trials are finished, who's to say?

 

Harvard researchers have already carried out anti-aging studies on mice in a trial lasting a week but the outcome was very interesting. The research confirmed that 2 year old mice after the treatment appeared to be just 6 months of age!! If this translated to humans a 70-year-old might feel like a person in their early to mid 20s. The key is if it will reverse atherosclerosis, combat diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity, decrease the risk of cancer and prevent Alzheimer's?

 

 It all looks positive but the big question is "will it translate into humans?" the current answer is we don't know but its worth keeping an eye on it because its very interesting and could emerge as a potential way to combat some of the diseases of aging and might be more effective than expected.

 

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What is a good NAD+ supplement?

If you’ve read any of my other answers on supplements, you’ll know I’m not a fan, but for the sake of providing an answer to your question, here are my thoughts.

Any source of vitamin B3 or tryptophan, dietary or supplemental, will be a good source of NAD+.

NAD+ or NADH is a product of vitamin B3, otherwise known as niacin, nicotinic acid, nicotinamide riboside or nicotinamide. It has in recent times become touted as an anti-aging supplement.

Before you take any supplement, you need to consider the following:

1. What are the reasons in favour of taking it?

2. Is there good scientific evidence of efficacy with respect to my reasons for taking it?

3. what side effects could occur?

In order to better understand the answers to questions 1 and 4. you need to understand how your body makes and uses NAD+.

The key point from the complicated diagram above is that your body makes the NAD+ it needs from various forms of the vitamin B3 and/or the amino acid tryptophan. Because NAD+ is so important, the multiple pathways for making it ensure that if you have a genetically driven enzyme deficiency or dietary deficiency of either B3 or tryptophan, you will still have enough NAD+.

Once it has been made, your body uses NAD+ as it is or in a version with phosphorus (NADP+) as a cofactor in metabolic reactions to facilitate the production of cellular energy from food sources (NAD+) or the creation of steroid hormones and other endogenous substances (NADP+).

 

Supplemental Use

The idea that supplementing forms of B3 that are chemically closer to NAD+ could be beneficial to human health took off in 2013 with research on the effects of nicotinamide riboside (NR) on the status of mitochondria in old mice. Mitochondria are the organelles in cells that convert food energy in the form of blood sugar into cellular energy. NAD+ is involved in these mitochondrial processes. The study found NR injections caused senescent mitochondria to behave as if they had been rejuvenated.

 

Multiple groups of rockstar scientists, including Nobel prize winners, set out to create NR supplements, such as Niagen and Basis, on the belief that NR increases NAD+, and that this process constitutes a kind of fountain of youth.

Subsequent research has implicated mitochondrial decline as a contributing factor to the development of various age-related conditions. NR supplements have been shown in some studies to have reasonable oral bioavailability resulting in increased levels of NAD+

Much of the research performed to date on supplemental NR has been performed by researchers with links to manufacturers, so it’s not surprising the results show taking the supplement increases NAD+. They would not have published otherwise.

What has yet to be proved is whether or not NR or oral NAD+ is an effective treatment for the conditions attributed to mitochondrial decline, at what dose, and, if effective, what degree of results could be expected.

 Also unproved is whether or not the effects of NR or NAD+ supplements exceed those of from dietary sources, or those of other B3 forms, supplemental or dietary.

The bottom line for me is that there is insufficient evidence at this time to justify taking expensive NR/NAD+ supplements when dietary sources or inexpensive supplements of B3 and tryptophan could achieve the same results

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why is it important

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a crucial coenzyme involved in oxidation-reduction processes within cells. It acts as a hydrogen acceptor and plays a significant role in energy production through the electron transport chain in cellular respiration.

It is a coenzyme that can be found in every cell in your body. In a healthy body, all the necessary NAD+ is created by utilizing vitamin B3 (also known as niacin, or nicotinamide).

 

The oxidized form of NAD+ is often denoted as NAD+ due to the positive charge on the nitrogen atom in the nicotinamide ring. Most oxidations in cells involve the removal of hydrogen atoms, making the NAD coenzyme vital in these processes.

NAD is involved in various redox events in cells, including glycolysis and the majority of the citric acid cycle reactions in cellular respiration. It is an important component in energy metabolism.

As a high-energy electron carrier, NAD+ yields ATP molecules in the electron transport chain after being generated during glycolysis and the TCA cycle. The reduced form of NAD+ leads to oxidation during these processes, resulting in the production of NADH.

A total of ten NADH molecules, along with two FADH2 molecules, proceed to the electron transport chain to produce ATP molecules. The conversion of NADH to ATP yields a total of thirty ATP molecules. Additionally, the two FADH2 molecules contribute four ATP molecules, and another net four ATP molecules are produced during glycolysis and the TCA cycle.

In total, cellular respiration yields thirty-eight ATP molecules through NADH and FADH2 contributions.

Aside from its role in energy metabolism, NAD+ is also considered essential for life as it acts as a coenzyme that enzymes need to function. Enzymes are responsible for catalyzing chemical reactions, and without them, biological processes would take an incredibly long time to complete.

However, NAD+ levels decline with age and certain chronic diseases. Addressing this decline by restoring NAD+ levels can potentially mitigate the effects of aging and prevent or reverse chronic diseases. Boosting NAD+ levels supports the activity of enzymes called sirtuins, which play a role in repairing DNA and maintaining mitochondrial health. Mitochondria are central to cellular energy production.

To increase NAD+ levels, supplementing with NMN, consuming polyphenols, exercising, and practicing caloric restriction can be beneficial. These methods can activate sirtuins, promote cell survival, protect DNA, and provide various health benefits such as preventing diabetes, fatty liver, sarcopenia, neurodegeneration, and adipose tissue gain.

 

NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in both fermentation and cell respiration. In fermentation, NAD+ acts as a carrier of electrons, accepting them from the breakdown of glucose and other sugars, and transferring them to other molecules. This process generates ATP, the energy currency of cells, as well as other products such as ethanol and lactic acid.In cell respiration, NAD+ again plays a key role as an electron carrier, but this time in the process of oxidative phosphorylation, which takes place in the mitochondria. During this process, NAD+ accepts electrons and protons from the breakdown of glucose and other fuels, and transfers them to the electron transport chain. This chain generates a proton gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane, which drives the production of ATP.Overall, NAD+ is essential for the efficient metabolism of glucose and other fuels, allowing cells to generate ATP and other energy-rich molecules.

So Why is NAD+ important? To put it simply, NAD+ is important because it is required for the necessary biological processes that allow life to happen. By assisting in the transfer of energy from fatty acids and glucose to the mitochondria (the "powerhouses of the cell") which, in turn, convert them to cellular energy, NAD+ plays a pivotal role in your cellular metabolism. Additionally, NAD+ plays a significant role in regulating how quickly your cells age.

 

Summary

What is nad+ and why is it important

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a crucial coenzyme found in all living cells. NAD+ is particularly important in metabolism, where it serves as an electron shuttle.

However, there is insufficient evidence at this time to justify taking expensive NR/NAD+ supplements when dietary sources or inexpensive supplements of B3 and tryptophan could achieve the same results as the animals.

The jury is out on NAD+ but the evidence is strong enough that I take a supplement to increase my NAD+. I think three things you can take daily might help to keep you ticking over for longer one is Nicotinamide Riboside to raise NAD+ (1) Pterostilbene (2) and 75/80mg of Aspirin per day. For item 1 I use products from nmnsupplier.com although there are other brands that are good in the case of Nicotinamide Chromadex are the only manufacturer. This is highly speculative but research it it’s worth a go.

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Footnotes

[1] Declining NAD+ Induces a Pseudohypoxic State Disrupting Nuclear-Mitochondrial Communication during Aging

[2] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d7a8/a0ddc41d0b4a562e04bf30725a9f10638e35.pdf

[3] Safety assessment of nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3.

[4] Repeat dose NRPT (nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene) increases NAD+ levels in humans safely and sustainably: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

[5] Can NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) Restore Youth?

[6] ScienceDirect

[7] Right of Assembly