The Truth About NAD Boosters Like Nicotinamide Riboside

NAD boosters NMN

The Truth About NAD Boosters Like Nicotinamide Riboside

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is an important cofactor central to metabolism, health and wellbeing. There  are some important factor your need to know if you want to boost your NAD levels.

What is NAD How Can It Benefit Me?

A decline in NAD  as a result of age or high sugar diet can have huge impact on health. To put it simply NAD is key for producing energy from food.

NAD+ improves gluconeogenesis (making glucose)  in liver, lipogenesis (breaking down fat) in adipose tissue.

NAD does a lot more than that and optimizing NAD levels can improve cognitive function, the immune system, detoxification and reduce inflammation. 

NAD participate in a redox (reduction-oxidation ) reactions as part of this ATP making process, which means electrons are transferred forwards and back

NAD  is not just a redox cofactor either, it is a key signaling molecule that controls cell function and survival in response to environmental changes such as nutrient intake and cellular damage.

Changes in NAD  levels impact mitochondrial function (making energy),  metabolism, circadian rhythm (sleep), immune response, inflammation, DNA repair, cell division and cell communication

NAD  levels steadily fall with age, because our biochemistry becomes less efficient at making it and better at using it up.

NAD Booster

What’s the deal with NAD and aging?

The sirtuins (SIRT 1–7), are a network of enzymes produced by genes that regulate cellular energetics, gene expressions, anti-aging, and cellular defense. They are best know as anti ageing genes. NAD+ is needed for sirtuin activation, but the surtuins consume NAD  and it is converted to nicotinamide, which then inhibits the surtuins. So a constant supply of NAD is needed or a method to ‘recycle NAD’, which your body can do.

Can I take a NAD supplement?

No! Do not buy anything that claims to be NAD! Your body likes to make NAD  itself if you give it the right building blocks or ‘precursors’.

NAD cannot be taken orally and has to be taken as its precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)  or Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) which are forms of vitamin B3  and they are converted into NAD inside the cells.

NMN and NR are better than niacin (vitamin B3) as NAD+ boosters. There many studies on NMN in humans and it is regarded as safe and there is a clinical trial underway on the health-improving effects of NMN.

NAD+ can be made in other ways in the body as it is so important, for example from the amino acid tryptophan, but it’s much more efficient to use NMN or NR.

Do I just take NR or NMN by itself?

Yes of course you can! It would be better to balance it with methylation to get the optimum effect. Methylation is a biochemical process with key roles in numerous biochemical functions, including detox, managing gene expression and making neurotransmitters.

Maximizing methylation and NAD  raises celling for performance or wellness potential. If you want to drive NAD  higher for biochemical or cognitive performance it needs to be balanced with sufficient methyl donors.

Too much methyl folate (vitamin B9) can cause insomnia, anxiety, and irritability in some people so methyl B12 is a better choice. Other useful methyl donors are trimethylglycine (TMG) also called betaine and S-adenosyl methionine, SAMe.

Biology is all about balance and optimizing NAD levels by giving your body enough building blocks is vital for producing NAD. It is also important to balance NAD with enough methyl groups in order to get the maximum benefits from NAD boosters like NR or NMN


Poddar SK, Sifat AE, et al. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide: Exploration of Diverse Therapeutic Applications of a Potential Molecule. Biomolecules. 2019.

Rajman, Luis et al. “Therapeutic Potential of NAD-Boosting Molecules: The In Vivo Evidence.” Cell metabolism. 2018

Tsubota K The first human clinical study for NMN has started in Japan. NPJ Aging Mech Dis. 2016.

Airhart SE et al An open-label, non-randomized study of the pharmacokinetics of the nutritional supplement nicotinamide riboside (NR) and its effects on blood NAD+ levels in healthy volunteers. PLoS One. 2017.

Grozio A, Mills KF, et al.. Slc12a8 is a nicotinamide mononucleotide transporter. Nat Metab. 2019.

Mills KF, Yoshida S, et al. Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice. Cell Metab. 2016

McKee SE, Reyes TM. Effect of supplementation with methyl-donor nutrients on neurodevelopment and cognition: considerations for future research. Nutr Rev. 2018




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  • 8 Health Benefits Of Boron - Brain, Bones & Hormones | BusySuperhuman Reply

    […] NAD+ levels reduce with age. NAD+ has two general sets of reactions in the body. Firstly it helps turn food and nutrients into energy as a key player in metabolism.  Secondly working as a helper molecule for proteins that regulate other cellular functions from detoxification to sleep. […]

    January 24, 2021 at 10:24 pm

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