Did you know that NAD+ is found in every cell of the human body? Yeah, it’s THAT amazing!
NAD+ is the fuel source for a variety of proteins and enzymes that perform some of the most important cellular processes in our bodies and thus it’s critical for operating efficiently. Let’s group these processes into 4 main categories:
- Improved cognitive function and neurodegenerative protection
- Mental Stability – addictions, depression and anxiety
- More efficient body process-boosts energy levels, improves circadian sleep rhythm and skin, promotes weight loss through increased energy and craving reduction, body repair
- Reduce internal inflammation, and increase reaction times and body repair processes
There are two ways to increase our own internal NAD without supplementation which is a third way. First, by increasing those things that promote NAD, and second, by reducing those things that eat, or use NAD, thereby leaving more available where our body needs it more.
What we put into our bodies every day is important. It helps us take on the day and it gives us energy which are a few of the many benefits of NAD
Eating foods that are rich in niacin, a B vitamin that includes NAD+, is another way to increase NAD+ levels naturally.
Foods that are high in niacin include meat, fish, liver, brown rice, nuts & legumes, white & sweet potatoes, and mushrooms, and green peas. Those are just some examples that you can add to your diet to increase NAD naturally.
One of the up-and-coming research is to add Resveratrol rich foods in your diet. It’s a natural compound found in peanuts, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and even red wine that has been shown to increase NAD+ levels in the body. NAD+. Resveratrol works by activating a protein (called SIRT1), which in turn stimulates the production of NAD+ in the body.
Diet: Ketogenic Eating Style
A ketogenic eating style is higher in fat and very low in carbs. When you eat this way, most of your calories come from the healthy fats rather than carbohydrates thus putting your body into a ketosis mode.
A few studies (1, 2) show that a ketogenic lifestyle increases NAD+ levels in the brain. Additionally, other studies show that beta-hydroxybutyrate (a ketone) preserves NAD+ levels in the brain!
As with any specific dietary style, we highly recommend discussing this with your healthcare provider before trying it as a ketogenic eating style is not for everyone.
Diet: Intermittent Fasting
Fasting gives your digestive system a break. Research (3) is showing that when you restrict calories and/or fast intermittently, then NAD+ levels rise.
Did you know that regular exercise, especially high-intensity interval training or HIIT, is one of the best ways to increase NAD+ levels naturally?
When you exercise, your body produces more NAD+, which can lead to better metabolic function and energy production. It’s pretty cool!
Recent research published in nature aging (4) has shown that NAD+ levels decrease as we get older. But the good news is that exercise can help increase levels of NAD+. A study found that older adults who exercised regularly had NAD+ levels that were almost as high as younger adults! So if you want to slow down aging and feel more energized, try to exercise more often. Your body will thank you for it!
Although sunlight is great for producing vitamin D and making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, too much UV rays can cause oxidative stress in your body which is one reason we wear so much sun screen in Arizona! Too much time in the sun can damage your skin and that directly impacts your NAD+ levels.
When you get sun damage, your body sends NAD+ to help repair the damage which is a direct result of spending too much time in the sun. Thus taking away NAD+ that could be used elsewhere.
Additionally, information published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (5) suggests that when your NAD+ levels are depleted you experience a greater sensitivity to sunlight. Then you get stuck in a circular pattern.
As we mentioned at the beginning, NAD+ is a fuel source for many proteins and enzymatic body processes. One of those protein groups are called sirtuins. Science has identified 7 different sirtuins thus far, and aptly named them sirtuin 1, sirtuin 2, etc. One function of sirtuins is cellular health and repair of cellular damage. Thus, when NAD levels are depleted unnecessarily, you are also impacting your body’s ability to properly repair its cells.
But don’t worry, there are ways to protect your skin and not deplete your NAD+ levels.
Wearing protective clothing, like a hat or long-sleeved shirt, can help reduce sun exposure. And don’t forget your sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays! So, if you want to enjoy the sun and keep your NAD+ levels in check, make sure you protect your skin and stay safe in the sun, especially in Arizona!
I’m sure this is the last thing you really wanted to hear, but let’s examine how this helps our NAD levels.
The body treats alcohol like a poison. The liver goes into overdrive to filter and counteract the alcohol. In order to do this, it utilizes NAD+ which is converted to NADH. This in turn reduces the amount of NAD+ in ALL the body’s cells.
This ripple effect in the body makes the whole body function less efficiently and can lead to inflammation and ultimately fatty liver disease among other health problems and diseases.
So yeah…literally drinking alcohol requires the use of NAD+ making it less available everywhere else.
There are lots of different ways to increase your NAD+ levels naturally from simple things you can do at home such as get more exercise (you don’t need a gym for this) to adjusting how or when or what you eat and drink. And when these don’t work for you are just aren’t enough, then you can always add a supplement.
If you’d like to know more about NAD+ you can read more about it on our website including how our NAD+ injectables and IVs can help you. If you have questions or want to know more, please reach out to us.