Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a naturally occurring coenzyme that has an important role in cell functioning. In particular, it helps to protect cells against the effects of ageing and disease. Unfortunately, as we age, our NAD+ levels halve every 20 years; stress, chronic disease and our environment can also exacerbate this. A decline in NAD+ levels contribute to the ‘hallmarks of ageing’, which include:
We’re led to believe that these hallmarks are an inevitable part of ageing. Thankfully, NAD+ levels can be increased through a combination of lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, as well as supplementation, including the popular NAD+ IV drip. This can give us more control over the ageing process.
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) is often included in conversations about NAD+. Both are naturally occurring molecules, but NMN is a precursor (a substance that can be transformed into another substance) to NAD+ and is a key component when it comes to increasing NAD+ levels.
Let’s explore the differences between NAD+ and NMN, as well as practical, actionable ways to increase your levels of NAD+.
As mentioned, NMN is a precursor to NAD+, which means that it serves as a building block for the creation of NAD+. However, while NMN is available as an over-the-counter oral supplement, NAD+ is not. Instead, it must be taken intravenously and administered by a medical professional. This is because, NAD+ is unstable, and is easily broken down when passing through the gastrointestinal tract, therefore becoming unusable (it does not need to pass through the digestive system when using a correctly administered IV drip).
Conversely, NMN is stable, which is why it is readily available as a supplement. Because NMN is a precursor, it goes through a process within the body transforming it into NAD+. As Victoria, our New Patient Liaison and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, explains, “Many people ask us if supplementing orally with NMN is enough to sufficiently raise NAD+ levels. Like any oral supplements, there are benefits and disadvantages. For example, it is more convenient to take a daily oral supplement instead of going for an IV drip. Depending on brands however, differing amounts of the nutrients in these oral supplements get absorbed by the body. Therefore, it is quite hard to ascertain how much is actually being absorbed. By providing the body with NAD+, there is no need for the body to work to convert it into what the body needs”.
Many of our age-conscious patients choose to have a regular NAD+ IV drip in order to boost their levels directly, whether they take a supplement or not. At Harpal Clinic, we can offer an NAD+ IV drip paired with Nuchido TIME+, which is a supplement that features raw, precursor materials which have been clinically proven to help the body create its own NAD+.
A biological pathway encompasses a sequence of interactions involving molecules within a cell, ultimately resulting in the production of a specific outcome or a modification in the cell’s state. There are three main pathways involved in how the body maintains NAD+ levels:
The Preiss-Handler pathway utilises dietary nicotinic acid, which is essentially niacin, and an enzyme called nicotinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPRT) to produce NAMD, which is then transformed into NAAD and finally NAD+. This pathway marks the beginning of the biochemical cascade (a series of chemical reactions that occur in a cell when actuated by a stimulus) of how our bodies create NAD+.
De novo synthesis pathway
The second pathway is the de novo synthesis pathway. This is the conversion of tryptophan, an essential amino acid which we can obtain from our diets.
The third pathway is the salvage pathway, which is the main route to obtaining NAD+. The body obtains nicotinamide molecules, whether from niacinamide, nicotinamide riboside (NR) or NMN, and turns them into NAD+. The body can also recycle broken down NAD+ molecules by using the leftover niacinamide and recycling it into NAD+.
As well as boosting NAD+ levels with NMN supplements and an NAD+ IV drip, there are also ways to encourage your body to produce more naturally.
As you might have guessed, diet plays a part in NAD+ abundance. Here are some dietary changes you can make to help support your body in NAD+ production:
In addition to these dietary changes, regular exercise can naturally increase NAD+ levels, alongside keeping you physically fit and slowing down the effects of ageing. Exercise contributes to the maintenance of mitochondrial health (mitochondria being the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell), and should be a lifestyle priority alongside detoxification and good quality sleep.
We offer an NAD+ IV drip, which provides patients with a direct boost of NAD+, which is more efficient than only taking NMN.
As Dr Harpal Bains puts it, “We don’t offer NMN, because the body would just convert it into NAD+. However, you risk the body not being able to do the conversion well enough as there are quite a few steps involved. An issue at any of these steps will lead to a block in this conversion. So it just makes more sense to provide an NAD+ IV drip directly. However, the supplement that we recommend alongside this treatment, Nuchido TIME+, encourages the body to produce more NAD+ in between IV drips, to prevent you becoming deficient”.
At Harpal Clinic, we conduct a medical consultation prior to administering NAD+ in order to assess whether you may have any pre-existing issues that may affect the efficacy of the treatment, such as poor methylation (which can impact the metabolism of NAD+). This allows us to tailor the dosage to achieve the best results.