July 14, 2021

What is NAD+ and why it is so important?

Our bodies are very complicated organisms made up of billions of molecules and incredibly 99% of them are water.  What is the other most abundant molecule in our bodies?  It is NAD+.

You’d be forgiven for not having heard of NAD+ or having any idea what it is or what it does.  It is a relatively new discovery (it was only discovered in 1906), and scientists have been fascinated with trying to learn more about it.

They have made some incredible discoveries too!

Let’s have a look in a bit more detail at what NAD+ is and why it is so important to us.

What is NAD+ and what does it actually do?

NAD+, or Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide if you want its full name, is an essential coenzyme that the body uses for life and cellular function.

To really get into the nitty-gritty NAD+ binds itself to enzymes to transfer electrons between molecules.  This transfer of energy is what makes the body function.  You could think of it as a recharging battery.  Once the battery is depleted it needs a boost in order to regain its energy.  NAD+ is that boost for your body.

NAD+ has a number of different functions in the body, or more specifically, it is the energy that is used for lots of functions in the body to occur.

One of its primary functions is it is used by lots of proteins in the body, one of the most important being sirtuins.

Sirtuins are key proteins that work to repair damaged DNA.  They participate in your body’s cellular stress responses and repair damage.  They are also important for insulin secretion, the aging process, and aging-related health issues.  We explore this in a bit more detail below.

NAD+ also plays an active role in our metabolic processes and occurs in our mitochondria giving us cellular energy.

Why should we care about NAD+

According to leading Harvard geneticist and NAD researcher, David Sinclair, we lose NAD+ as we age.  This causes a decline in our sirtuin activity which is believed to be the primary reason our bodies age and are more prone to disease as we get older.

He believes that increasing NAD+ levels in the body naturally could slow or even reverse some aging processes.

In fact, a study from the National Center for Anti-Aging Research in the U.S. that was published in the October 2016 issue of “Cell”, showed that supplementing the human body with NAD+ can prolong life and greatly improve health through mitochondrial and DNA repair.

As we age the accumulation of DNA damage increases.  As we’ve discussed the NAD+ is essential in helping repair this damage.  Less NAD+ means fewer repairs to our damaged DNA.

Its incredible anti-aging properties are only one of the great benefits of increased NAD+ in the body.  It also helps with your metabolism to maintain a healthy weight, boosts immunity, and it also helps with brain function.

How can we increase the amount of NAD+ in our bodies?

You’d think that the obvious answer would be to take NAD+ supplements, but unfortunately, these suffer from bioavailability issues.  When ingested our digestion bacteria break down most of the NAD+.

Supplementing is a good idea, however, only the best supplement to take to increase your NAD+ is actually to take NMN supplements.

NMN is a precursor enzyme to NAD+ and is essential in its creation.  By taking NMN supplements you are essentially giving your body the necessary tools to make NAD+.

As we’ve mentioned, this in return has some huge health benefits:

  • It helps your body’s cells repair damaged and aged DNA
  • It supports energy metabolism
  • It enhances your brain’s cognitive function
  • It suppresses age-associated body weight gain
  • It even boosts immunity and fosters healthy aging

We have a great article on NMN that goes into more detail about what it is and why it’s a great thing to add to your supplement regime here (link).