NAD+ is oxidized Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, a coenzyme found in all living cells that is central to metabolism. When your NAD+ levels are low, you have an increased risk of chronic heart disease, vision loss, and diabetes. It’s that important.
As an oxidizing agent, NAD+ supports metabolism by accepting neutrons from other molecules, becoming “reduced” meaning that in its new form, it can now distribute neutrons to still more molecules. NAD+ is also adept at moving chemical groups to or from proteins. These two important functions have created immense interest in NAD+ therapy and made it a target for drug discovery in pharmaceutical research and development.
NAD+ levels are naturally higher in younger people and are part of what gives them their youthful glow and vitality. This is because NAD+ helps with several factors that make up an appearance of youthful health, like repairing damaged DNA, converting food to energy, supporting cell defense systems, and facilitating sleep by stabilizing the circadian rhythm.
In their 2020 research review, researchers Nady Braidy and Yue Liu wrote that “Recent studies have shown that raising intracellular NAD+ levels represents a promising therapeutic strategy for age-associated degenerative diseases in general and to extend lifespan in small animal models.”
Several aspects of lifestyle make up the basis for healthy NAD+ levels and explain why it declines in some of us. Some decline is natural as we age but making healthy choices in these lifestyle areas is your best method of supporting robust NAD+ levels in your system.
Ways to Restore NAD+ Levels
Because NAD+ is a B3 derivative integrally tied to metabolism, rigorous exercise tells your body that you’re serious about metabolism and prompts it to keep more NAD+ on hand. Exercise also helps modulate your weight, another defense against declining NAD+.
Less Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight has no advantages when it comes to reducing the appearance of aging. In addition to breaking down two important skin fibers: collagen and elastin, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays also deplete your body’s NAD+ levels, furthering the appearance of aging. Overexposure to UV rays “hogs” your body’s NAD+ supplies by rushing all of it to the damaged (sunburned) skin cells that need immediate repair, robbing other bodily functions and parts of their needed NAD+.
Take a Sauna
Elevating your body temperature increases the production of NAD+ simply by raising your heart rate slightly. But don’t use this as an excuse to lay in the sun, which damages NAD+. Instead, seek out the sauna, hot tub, or a nice heated pool to raise your body temperature slightly. The relaxation it brings won’t hurt a bit either.
Load Your Diet With Vitamin B
Make sure that your daily diet contains plenty of foods rich in vitamin B like leafy greens (kale, spinach, kai lan), legumes (beans, peanuts, lentils), dairy (eggs, milk, cheese), and fruit. In addition, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi contain high amounts of NAD+. Similarly, limit your intake of white flour and opt for whole grains.
KETONES, KETONES, KETONES
The keto diet which has gained in popularity in recent years is another way to boost natural NAD+ levels in your body simply be catalyzing your metabolism. For fundamentals on the keto diet, check out our recent blog posts on the diet’s pros and cons and suggested meal plans.
NAD+ levels decline naturally as we age, but you are not defenseless. Discussing your NAD+ levels with a doctor is the start.
If you have questions about NAD+ or any of the conditions discussed here, connecting with a doctor in a discrete setting has never been easier.
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