Every year, you invest a whole bunch on external anti-aging products, yoga sessions, spa therapy, and supplements. Yet, you feel like your energy level still has a long way to meet your ideal goal. Yes, you’re right. It is part of the aging process.  When it comes to the word “aging”, not only does it describe your appearance, it also describes your metabolism, mobility, and cognitive function. 


It’s not surprising that you are deficient in some important fuel that feeds your cells.  Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) might be one of them. NAD is a coenzyme in all living cells, required for the fundamental biological processes that make life possible. 

It is an electron transporter and one of the master regulators of cell metabolism. It plays important roles such as helping turn food into energy and helping molecules for proteins that regulate other biological activity. These processes are incredibly important as they are responsible for regulating oxidative stress, circadian rhythms, and fortifying cells defense systems while also maintaining the health of your DNA.


What’s actually happening when you’re aging is that you’re getting an accumulation of damage within the cell, particularly around the DNA. It affects the way those cells and organ function, preventing it from providing what it needs to mitochondria, resulting in low energy production. 

As research has shown that NAD level starts to decline as you age.  You’ll lose up to 50% of NAD in skin tissue by the age of 40 - 60. And if you have low NAD levels, it can increase the risks of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and vision loss.  

Attacks On NAD

Besides it declining naturally, according to Dr. Charles Brenner (Head of Biochemistry In University of Iowa), your lifestyle, food choices, environmental stressors, and other factors are the major contributors in NAD depletion:

  1. Alcohol - NAD works with other compounds like NADH, NADP, and NADPH. 
    When you drink alcohol, your NAD+ converts to NADH, then the food you consume that you typically want converted to energy, can be redistributed to an alcoholic fatty liver. This then ends up as metabolic stress.

  2. Over nutrition (overeating) - Dr. Charles Brenner, “NADPH is the key metabolite for resisting reactive oxygen species.  Reactive Oxygen can damage DNA, protein carbonylation, lipids. Then the lipid peroxides can spread through the body, damaging nerves and the eye lens.” 
    With that said, overeating causes depressing NAD and NADPH, then brings a cascade of reactive oxygen species storm.

  3. Persistent stress under loud noises or related environments

  4. Excess sun exposure and oxygen damages

  5. Changing time zones (or dealing with jet lag)

  6. Neurodegeneration (peripheral nerves and in central brain injury) 

  7. Heart disease
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)
One of the best ways to raise your NAD levels is to consume NAD precursors, the building blocks, like Nicotinamide Riboside. Simply known as NR, it is an alternative form of vitamin B3.  The most known NR supplements are called Niagen. It’s one of the forms that is able to convert to NMN and can be absorbed across the gut without getting vitamin B intravenous treatment.

When NR is consumed, it supports brain cells by helping control the production of PGC-1-alpha, a protein that protects cells against oxidative stress and impaired mitochondrial function.  Other potential benefits from NR are lower heart disease, weight loss, modulate circadian rhythm, and boosting the energy levels.

Another reason NR holds an edge over its B3 siblings, besides its lack of negative side effects, is a unique pathway to producing NAD that none of the other vitamin B3s use.  NR is also like a motivational speaker of the cellular world. Once NR gets to work in the cell, it helps form NAD and gives sirtuins, the cellular repair promoting proteins, a motivating push.  These sirtuins then work overtime to help cells stay strong in order to boost stress resistance, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy aging.

Research & Resource
  1. Age-associated changes in oxidative stress and NAD+ metabolism in human tissue.

  2. A need for NAD+ in muscle development, homeostasis, and aging

  3. Dr. Charles Breener | New Anti-aging Supplement

  4. Nicotinamide riboside is uniquely and orally bioavailable in mice and humans.

  5. The association between PGC-1α and Alzheimer's disease.

  6. It takes two to tango: NAD+ and sirtuins in aging/longevity control

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