NAD, a form of niacin or vitamin B3, is a metabolic co-enzyme found in all living cells with more than 100 functions in the human body. It plays a key role in cellular metabolism and is tasked with the important job of structuring, repairing, and remodeling every cell in the body.
NAD+ contributes to several important functions including: repairing failing mitochondria (the powerhouse of our cells), DNA repair, and providing fuel for some important immune modulators.
NAD levels decline steadily with age and can eventually create an energy deficit that can cause advanced aging. NAD deficiency is further accelerated by various lifestyle choices and environmental exposures such as: stress, inflammation, diet, alcohol and both illicit and prescription drug use.
NAD deficiency has a direct correlation with chronic illness. When NAD levels decline, it results in a decrease in cellular energy, which can also be described as “mitochondrial dysfunction” – a condition that is implicated in most chronic illnesses, including diabetes, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and many more.
The brain is one of the most impacted organs from NAD deficiency. NAD directly influences the supply of neurotransmitters that are necessary for maximizing cognitive functioning as well as managing acute and chronic stress on the brain. Studies have shown that NAD switches “off” the genes of aging, helping to extend life span, increases endurance, improves cognitive function, and enhances cellular energy. These benefits provide a system-wide slowing and reversal of certain aging processes as well as prevent disease. NAD’s ability to reduce inflammation, increase DNA repair and improve energy, makes it just as essential as hormone replacement to improve longevity. Scientists believe that mitochondrial disfunction will continue to impact all disease and plays a central role in society’s declining health, despite the advances in healthcare technology. With the increased emotional and physical stress, it is believed that the majority of the population has a degree of mitochondrial impairment that causes a cascading effect of inflammation and disease development.
Common conditions associated with NAD deficiency:
- Autoimmune disease
- Acute and chronic pain
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance Use disorder
- Neurocognitive disorders
- Spectrum disorders including Rhett and Autism