Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a co-enzyme that exists in all of your cells, and it’s critically important for sustaining life. As you’ll see, it’s no wonder that NAD+ IV therapy has become increasingly popular as a modality for people hoping to slow and reverse the aging process.
NAD+ is involved in maintaining DNA integrity, as well as the conversion of food into energy. More specifically, NAD+ helps generate ATP in the mitochondria of the cells.
But with age, the amount of NAD+ declines throughout our bodies, leading to neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and death.
By age 50, NAD+ levels have declined 50%. By age 80, levels of NAD+ have fallen to 10% of youthful levels.
In light of this, scientists and many other people have become interested in ways to increase biosynthesis of NAD+ to youthful levels.
Since NAD+ is too unstable to be used orally, nicotinamide riboside (NR), a form of vitamin B3, can be taken orally to stimulate the increase of levels of NAD+ in the body.
Scientific research is now being done to study the effectiveness of increasing NAD+ levels via oral supplementation and IV therapy.
This blog post will focus on increasing NAD+ by IV therapy and oral supplementation.
Benefits of NAD+ IV Therapy and Nicotinamide Riboside
The main advantage of NAD+ IV therapy is that it avoids going through the stomach and liver, and goes directly into the blood.
In a pilot study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, participants in the test group were given 750 mg NAD+ over a 6 hour period at a rate of 2 mg per minute.
After 6 hours, researchers recorded a 398% increase in NAD+ plasma levels in the test group. Plasma NAD+ did not change significantly among the control group.
NAD+ plasma levels remained elevated in the test group for 8 hours (2 hours post infusion).
NAD+ IV therapy has long been used to treat substance abuse addiction. More recently it is being used by wellness clinics to address the following conditions:
- Cognitive decline
- Chronic fatigue
- Internal inflammation
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) given to mice extended their lifespans by 5%, which in human terms is equivalent to 4 years based on a life expectancy of 78.7 years.
NR also protects against high-fat diet induced obesity and enhances oxidative metabolism, protecting against metabolic abnormalities.
Increasing NAD+ also boosts sirtuins, proteins that modulate cell repair and cellular defenses.
Furthermore, resveratrol, the plant compound in red wine, which activates sirtuins responsible for promoting a longer, healthier life, requires NAD+ to be efficacious.
If your NAD+ levels are too low, resveratrol is ineffective.
More than 50 clinical trials have been done demonstrating positive effects of nicotinamide riboside. The benefits of increasing NAD+ levels appear promising.
NAD+ IV Therapy vs. Oral Supplementation
While IV infusion can quickly bring NAD+ up to youthful levels in the body, it gradually returns to baseline after 8 hours. The infusion process can take several hours.
Dosages for NAD+ IV therapy can range from 500 mg to 1200 mg at wellness clinics. The cost can be as much as $1200 per infusion ($1 per mg).
Taking oral NR daily is a viable strategy for maintaining elevated NAD+ levels. A 300 mg daily dose of NR will cost about $36 per month as of this writing.
Already taking resveratrol? You may want to take NR with resveratrol in one supplement to save money, which many supplement makers already offer.
Deciding What’s Right for You
If you’ve decided to add NAD+ to your health regimen, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of NAD+ IV therapy versus oral NR supplements.
A significant body of published studies demonstrate that oral supplementation with NR is effective.
NAD+ IV therapy is very effective at elevating your NAD+ levels acutely. If time and money are not an obstacle, then IV therapy may be for you.
The advantage that NR oral supplementation offers is lower cost and convenience.
More research is needed to compare the long term benefits of NAD+ IV therapy against NR oral supplementation.
Whichever option you choose, NAD+ looks to be a promising strategy for warding off many diseases of aging.
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