By: Dr. Rudy Gehrman.
NAD, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a naturally occurring coenzyme (helps the body do its job) of niacin (vitamin B3) that is found in every cell in your body, and involved in hundreds of metabolic processes like cellular energy and mitochondrial health. NAD exists in two forms: an oxidized and reduced form, abbreviated as NAD+ and NADH, respectively. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on NAD+, the oxidized form.
Scientists have known about this critical coenzyme since 1906 and have extensively studied how all living cells use NAD+ to generate energy. It does so by converting the energy we get from food into cellular energy.
Back to middle school biology class for a second… The mitochondria is known as the powerhouse of our cells. They are organelles (subunits that live in the cell) that act like a digestive system. They take in nutrients, break them down, and create energy-rich molecules for the cell. Mitochondria are the working organelles that keep the cell full of energy. Mitochondrial health is one of the cornerstones of anti-aging medicine.
It is known that our NAD+ levels decrease over time as we age. NAD+ drops by up to 50% in humans between our 40s to 60s. Out of all the factors that require NAD+, aging is probably the most significant and least avoidable. Simply put, our cells make NAD+, and as we age our cells start dying faster than we can replace them.
Now onto ‘sirtuins’, so exciting! Sirtuins are a class of proteins, 7 in total, that play a key role in regulating our cellular health, empowering our cells to respond to stress, and keeping us in homeostasis/balance. Thank you sirtuins. However, sirtuins can only operate in the presence of NAD+.
Analogy time… Our cells are the office (Physio Logic for instance), and in that office are a bunch of team members, in various departments, with various tasks, all with a common goal to fulfill the mission of the company (for us that means to hack healthcare and empower our patients) for as many years as possible. The CEO (that’s me) is the sirtuin, and the NAD+ is the currency that pays the CEO, all of the team members, the rent, the light bills, and everything else. Just as priorities in companies change, due to various internal and external factors, so do the priorities of our cells. Someone has to run the office, regulating what gets done when, who is going to do it and when to change directions. In an office setting, that would be the CEO, aka, the sirtuin.
So NAD+ is the rocket fuel (currency) that our bodies need to repair our DNA, boost our cells’ natural defenses, and convert our nutrients to energy. When we have optimized levels of NAD+, we can more easily respond to the toxic world around us; water, atmosphere, food, medications, and alcohol. Prevention is key with regards to toxins, it’s imperative to always be cognizant of minimizing your toxic load.
On to the good news: We can naturally boost, reduce depleting, and/or enhance our NAD+ levels…
7 Ways to Increase NAD Levels Naturally
- Implementing time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting
- Minimizing your toxic load: water filters, air purifiers, limiting chemical exposure, etc.
- Eating certain foods rich in vitamin B3 such as, but not limited to:
- Avocado/nut butter
- Whole Eggs (preferably pasture-raised)
- Fish (ie. salmon)
- Mushrooms (ie. crimini)
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fermented foods
- Adequate sleep
- Boosters and/or Supplementing NAD+ (offered at Physio Logic)
- Sublingual melts/oral (whole body, gastrointestinal health)
- Topical creams (local, skin health/pain creams)
- Subcutaneous injections (local)
- Intravenous injections/drips (whole-body)
- Nasal sprays and/or Intranasal (brain nervous system health/optimization)
- Supplementing with Resveratrol, a plant compound that acts as an antioxidant, or the accelerator pedal for the rocket fuel (NAD+).
If you’d like to follow my journey with NAD+, follow me on Instagram @DrRudyGehrman. If you’re ready to explore NAD Therapy and other ways to increase your NAD levels naturally, give us a call or you can start by filling out the form below.