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NAD+ and Brain Health: Unlocking the Power of Cellular Energy.

Updated: Jul 21, 2023


The human brain is a remarkable organ that requires continuous energy to function optimally. The production and maintenance of this energy depend on various cellular processes, including the availability of a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD plays a vital role in brain health, and its levels have been linked to various aspects of cognitive function and overall brain vitality. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of NAD for brain health and discuss how boosting NAD levels can support cognitive function and enhance overall brain wellness.

Enhancing Energy Metabolism:

NAD is a key player in cellular energy production. It is involved in the conversion of nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cells. By supporting efficient energy metabolism, NAD helps maintain optimal brain function and promotes mental clarity.

Neuroprotection:

NAD has potent neuroprotective properties, which means it can help safeguard brain cells from damage and degeneration. It activates cellular repair mechanisms, promotes DNA repair, and combats oxidative stress and inflammation, all of which contribute to the protection and preservation of brain cells.

Cognitive Function:

NAD has been found to influence various aspects of cognitive function, including memory, learning, and attention. Studies suggest that boosting NAD levels may improve cognitive performance and support overall brain health.

Neurotransmitter Function:

NAD is involved in the synthesis and regulation of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that transmit signals between brain cells. Balanced neurotransmitter activity is crucial for mood regulation, stress management, and overall mental well-being.

Mitochondrial Function:

Optimal mitochondrial function is crucial for brain health, as mitochondria are responsible for producing the energy needed for brain cells to function properly. NAD plays a vital role in supporting mitochondrial function and efficiency. By maintaining healthy mitochondria, NAD contributes to overall brain health and vitality.

Neurodegenerative Diseases:

The decline of NAD levels has been observed in various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. This decline is believed to contribute to the progression of these conditions. Increasing NAD levels through supplementation or other means holds promise as a potential therapeutic strategy to slow down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and preserve brain function.

Mood and Mental Health:

NAD has been found to have a positive impact on mood regulation and mental health. It can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve overall emotional well-being.

Neurogenesis: Neurogenesis:

NAD has been shown to stimulate neurogenesis, the process of generating new neurons. This is particularly relevant in conditions where brain cell loss occurs, as promoting neurogenesis can potentially enhance brain repair and recovery.

By understanding the crucial role of NAD in brain health, we can explore various strategies to enhance NAD levels and support optimal brain function. These strategies may include NAD supplementation, lifestyle modifications, and other interventions that promote NAD synthesis and utilization.

Please note that while NAD therapy shows promise in supporting brain health, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding treatment options or supplementation.


Things that deplete NAD+

1. Alcohol Use Alcohol quickly depletes NAD+ in the body, which then leads to inflammation in the brain and liver. These lower levels of NAD+ also allow for chemical reactions that cause cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Thus, successful alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers often use NAD+ to aid in the detoxification of these addictive substances. 2. Overeating Overeating causes cortisol, glucose, and insulin levels to rise, which can lead to weight gain and increased inflammation. Eating foods high in sugar and fat also puts a lot of stress on the liver and can lead to fatty liver, a condition where fat is stored in the liver. This has been associated with lower NAD+ levels in aging. 3. Staying Awake At Night / Night Shift Workers Studies have shown that people who are awake during the night have more oxidative stress than people who sleep at nighttime. This internal inflammation is thought to stem from melatonin suppression during the night by staying awake and/or working during the night. 4. Pregnancy* & Postpartum Both pregnancy and postpartum bring major metabolic stressors to the mother as she is growing and nourishing the baby. During lactation, macronutrients from the mother are transported from the liver to the mammary glands (breasts), and the overall metabolic stress can decrease the mother’s liver NAD+ levels by one-third, adding stress to cells that perform up to and over 500 enzymatic reactions. On the other hand, mammary NAD+ increases by 20-fold. Therefore, improving NAD+ levels in the body may support healthy lactation. 5. Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease & Other Chronic Infections These conditions, associated with CIRS, or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, notoriously correspond with lower NAD+ levels that are secondary to the oxidative stress involved. One reason is that CD38, a protein on the surface of immune cells, needs NAD+ to function and ward off foreign invaders — during inflammation, CD38 function increases and contributes to the depletion of NAD+. Many people with mold toxicity, Lyme disease, or other conditions associated with CIRS also suffer from neuroinflammation in the brain, which is fueled by depleted levels of NAD+. If you are facing any of the above conditions, the best things you can do are reduce and eliminate unhealthy habits and increase healthier ones. Eating the right foods in healthy amounts, sleeping well at night, avoiding alcohol, and removing or avoiding sources of environmental toxins like mold are great first steps. To further improve your NAD+ levels during times of illness or stress, or simply to feel your best as you age, infusing supplemental NAD+ through intravenous (IV) therapy is the most effective way to increase NAD+ in your body.

By understanding the crucial role of NAD in brain health, we can explore various strategies to enhance NAD levels and support optimal brain function. These strategies may include NAD supplementation, lifestyle modifications, and other interventions that promote NAD synthesis and utilization.

Please note that while NAD therapy shows promise in supporting brain health, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding treatment options or supplementation.




References: Belenky, P., & Bogan, K. L. (2015). NAD+ metabolism in health and disease. Trends in biochemical sciences, 40(6), 324-331. Guarente, L. (2014). Aging, metabolism, and cancer. Science, 345(6196), 1189-1190. Hou, Y., Lautrup, S., Cordonnier, S., Wang, Y., Croteau, D. L., Zavala, E., ... & Bohr, V. A. (2018). NAD+ supplementation normalizes key Alzheimer's features and DNA damage responses in a new AD mouse model with introduced DNA repair deficiency. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(8), E1876-E1885. Wang, S., Li, J., Xie, J., Li, Y., Song, X., Zhang, Y., & Wang, J. (2019). NAD replenishment with nicotinamide mononucleotide protects blood-brain barrier integrity and attenuates cognitive dysfunction in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Aging cell, 18(6), e13017. Zhang, H., Ryu, D., Wu, Y., Gariani, K., Wang, X., Luan, P., ... & Schadt, E. E. (2016). NAD+ repletion improves mitochondrial and stem cell function and enhances life span in mice. Science, 352(6292), 1436-1443.




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