Longevity, Magazine, Molecules

Advantages of high NAD

Knowledge Article image Advantages Hohesnad

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide ( NAD for short) is a shooting star in the longevity scene. In past articles in MoleQlar Magazine, we have already looked in detail at the formation, life cycle and degradation of the super molecule in the organism:

What is NAD? - Part 1
What is NAD? - Part 2

We now go a step further and look at what benefits a high NAD level brings. The list is long and it all revolves around the central concept of energy.

NAD and memory performance

The brain, the control centre for the body, your thinking and remembering, has an extremely high energy demand. About 20% of our oxygen consumption is accounted for by the thinking apparatus alone - that's quite a lot relative to its size. The high energy demand also highlights the benefit of increased NAD, which is known to affect the mitochondria. The mitochondria are widely known as the "powerhouse of the cell" - this can also be understood figuratively. Studies found that people with Alzheimer's-type dementia had improved mitochondrial function and improved memory performance when NAD levels were increased.

The rest of our nervous system also benefits from NAD. Increased levels significantly improved the transmission of stimuli. In addition, a study shows that volume-induced hearing loss is reduced.

Image: shutterstock.com/MattLphotography

Improved muscle function

Neurological benefits can therefore be explained by an improved energy supply. It is then quite obvious that not only the brain acts as a consumer and benefits from the improved energy supply. The arc extends to the musculature, which is also able to use the improved supply.

In an experiment with mice, researchers found out interesting things: genes were modified so that selected mice had very low NAD levels. These mice were then examined during the course of the experiment. It turned out that, compared to their healthy counterparts, both the muscle mass and the endurance of the mice were greatly reduced or deteriorated.

Effects on the cardiovascular system

When it comes to energy, the heart is also indispensable. Our central vital organ is a great beneficiary of an increased NAD supply. For everyone, regardless of age, it is of great importance to have a healthy heart. According to the Federal Statistical Office, almost 35% of all deaths fell into the category of "diseases of the circulatory system" - so it's good when the heart is high on the list in all health efforts. Just as in the brain and muscles, the mitochondria of the cells also benefit enormously in the heart. The result is significantly more powerful heart cells and increased pumping power. Studies have also shown that the general risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced.

Considering the prevalence of the disease, you will certainly think of someone who suffers from high blood pressure. This can be age-related, but is more often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Here, too, there are correlations with NAD: blood pressures of ageing patients in a study fell.

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Detox booster

The liver, as a major detoxification organ, has also been shown to benefit from NAD. The tasks of the liver are manifold and have a great influence on other organs and our health. These include the filtration of the blood, the detoxification of various substances and also the processing of nutrients from our food. An age-related decrease in NAD availability puts a strain on our body's toxin manager. Conversely, high NAD levels improve liver function. For example, one study found that NAD provides protection against obesity in high-fat diets. This also has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, which suffers enormously from obesity and fat deposits in the tissues.

NAD as infection control?

A recent study looked at the immune defence in SARS-CoV-2 infections and obtained interesting results: NAD plays an important role in viral defence via the PARP (poly-ADP-ribosome polymerase) enzyme . PARPs are involved in the steps of cellular immune defence against viruses. NAD was found to be a basic building block for PARP and could thus be partly responsible for a good virus defence. Although the study only dealt with SARS-CoV-2 infected persons, the body's virus defence is very similar for different pathogens - accordingly, NAD is attributed a potential here.

Effects and targets of NAD+ in the body
NAD+ plays a role in numerous processes of our organism.

The fountain of youth of life?

NAD is intensively discussed and studied in the context of longevity research. In fact, there are already promising results from various studies. We would like to present one result here. The term stem cell is often used in connection with regeneration or diseases such as cancer. Stem cells are the starting point of new cells and are not yet further differentiated - this means that all kinds of cells (skin, intestine, muscle) can emerge from them.

While disorders of differentiation can result in cancer, healthy stem cells offer great potential for healthy longevity. When stem cell function declines over time, we age because the ability of tissues to regenerate is reduced. NAD promises to improve stem cell function in the study, allowing your cells to function properly for longer.


Wang et al, NAD + in Alzheimer's Disease: Molecular Mechanisms and Systematic Therapeutic Evidence Obtained in vivo(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34414179/)

Brown et al. (2014) Activation of SIRT3 by the NAD+ Precursor Nicotinamide Riboside Protects from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Cell Metabolism, 20(6), 1059-1068. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2014.11.003.

Frederick et al. (2016), Loss of NAD Homeostasis Leads to Progressive and Reversible Degeneration of Skeletal Muscle. Cell Metabolism, 24(2), 269-282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.07.005.


Smyrnias et al. (2019), Cardioprotective Effect of the Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response During Chronic Pressure Overload. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 73 (14), 1795-1806. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.12.087.

Martens, Denman, Mazzo et al. (2018) Chronic nicotinamide riboside supplementation is well-tolerated and elevated NAD+ in healthy middle-aged and older adults. Nat Commun, 9 (1), 1286. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03421-7

Canto C., Houtkooper RH, Pirinen et al., (2012) The NAD(+) precursor nicotinamide riboside enhances oxidative metabolism and protects against high-fat diet-induced obesity. Cell Metab, 15(6):838-47. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.022

Yamaguchi S, Yoshino J. (2017), NAD+ biology in obesity and insulin resistance: From mechanism to therapy. Bioessays 39 (5). doi: 10.1002/bies.201600227

Zhang H, Ryu D, Wu Y et al. (2016), NAD⁺ repletion improves mitochondrial and stem cell function and enhances life span in mice. 352(6292):1436-43. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf2693


The images have been acquired under licence from Shutterstock.com and Canva and are marked accordingly.

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About Joshua Heyne

Joshua recently successfully completed his medical studies. In his free time, he also focuses on the topic of health, enjoys reading scientific studies and maintains an active lifestyle. As a content creator, he would like to contribute to the health awareness of society. Picture: (c) Foto- und Bilderwerk

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