Understanding NAD+

NAD+ is an acronym for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a coenzyme found in every living cell.

NAD+ has been described as the fuel to the “powerhouse” of our cells. When NAD levels are high, it promotes health and well-being. On the other hand, when NAD+ is deficient, it limits energy production in our bodies and can lead to problems, including poor muscle function and diabetes.

This article will cover the basics of NAD+, how it functions in our body, why it’s essential for health and well-being to maintain optimal levels of this compound through diet or supplementation, and how you can overcome a deficiency of NAD+.

What Is NAD+?

NAD+ is a coenzyme that, in addition to vitamin B3 and other prevalent enzymes in our body, makes up our cellular energy “currency.” If there’s one thing that all cells need, it’s energy. And NAD+ is a catalyst that provides it.

The amount of NAD+ in each cell is determined in part by a person’s genetics and more so by their diet. For example, red blood cells contain more than ten times more of this coenzyme than any other cells in the human body, and the enzyme activity of these cells decreases the more a person ages.

The Double Helix

NAD+ has been referred to as an important “vital” for human health and well-being. It is critical in promoting energy production and detoxification, among many other roles. For example, when levels of NAD+ fall in the brain, it leads to neurodegeneration, which is associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Additionally, when NAD+ levels decline in our bodies, it leads to an increased build-up of DNA mutations, which can cause everything from age spots on your skin to cancerous cells.

Inside each of your cells are organelles called mitochondria. These are the “powerhouse” of your cells. These tiny entities have their own DNA and produce the energy required for life through oxidative phosphorylation, otherwise known as “cellular respiration.” ADP, adenosine diphosphate, combines with oxygen to form ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which is the molecule that fuels mitochondrial energy production. The “P” in ATP stands for phosphate. The more phosphate available for ADP, the more energy your mitochondria can produce. This is where NAD+ comes in.

How Does NAD+ Work?

When you consume food, your body converts it into a sugar called glucose. When this happens, the electrons released during the process enter your cells and are picked up by a substance called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, abbreviated as NAPDH. This compound then combines with ADP to produce NAD+.

NAD+ is found in two forms: NADH and NAD+. It’s more efficient to use NADH to transport electrons from ADP to O2, oxygen. When the electron is transferred from NADPH to the cytochrome complex, an enzyme embedded on the interior membrane of the mitochondria, hydrogen is released. This leads to protons and hydrogen ions being transported across the membrane, into the cell. These protons are then re-combined with electrons to produce the high-energy compound ATP.

NAD+ is vital for our bodies’ health and well-being. It may be the most critical molecule in your body. When there is too little of it, you may experience various symptoms ranging from fatigue to chronic pain to diabetes.

Biggest Benefits of NAD Therapy

Although NAD is critical for many processes throughout the body, there are a few key benefits for specific organs that the molecule provides. Perhaps most importantly is the effect NAD has on the brain. By supporting cellular generation and function, NAD increases the availability of neurotransmitters, making brain function feel clearer and helping people feel more alert and aware of their environment.

Another major role NAD plays in the body is in DNA repair, which can help prevent premature aging. Its antiaging properties are due to preventing cells from decaying or destroying themselves by providing them with the energy and resources needed to continue functioning for longer. 

How is NAD Administered?

To uptake NAD+ optimally, it should be administered in an intravenous solution on a regular basis. At VitaLab, we offer customized infusions that include other B vitamins and potent antioxidants to avoid flooding the body with a single nutrient that isn’t well-tolerated by the body.

Depending on your anatomy and goals, you can receive infusions twice a week for up to 5 weeks, with this protocol being repeated after 6 months or more as needed.

IV Therapy in San Diego

If you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue or other symptoms that could indicate your health isn’t optimal, IV therapy can help. Whether NAD, vitamin B compounds, or hormones, our technicians can customize a treatment for you to enhance your wellbeing so you can have the fully functional lifestyle you want. Call or contact us online today to learn more about our personalized services for physical and mental wellbeing.