What Is Nad & Why Is It All the Rage?

What Is Nad & Why Is It All the Rage?

NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme found in all living cells. NAD+ is critical for maintaining the health of our cells, tissues, and bodies. As we age, the problem is we see a gradual change and drop in this important coenzyme.  NAD decline is linked to many age related diseases.  It plays a crucial role in various biological processes, including:

Energy production: NAD is involved in cellular respiration, the process by which cells convert nutrients into energy. It acts as a coenzyme in the electron transport chain, facilitating the transfer of electrons (a series of reactions that occur in the mitochondria of cells) and the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy currency of cells. During cellular respiration, nutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, are broken down to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy source for cellular activities. NAD acts as an electron carrier, accepting and donating electrons during these reactions, which are essential for ATP synthesis.

DNA repair: NAD is required for the activity of certain enzymes involved in DNA repair mechanisms. It helps repair damaged DNA and maintain genomic stability.

Cellular signaling: NAD is involved in various signaling pathways within cells. It serves as a substrate for enzymes called sirtuins, which regulate gene expression, cellular metabolism, and stress responses. NAD also participates in redox reactions.  Redox reactions are when there is  the transfer of electrons between molecules. These reactions are crucial for the breakdown of nutrients and the production of energy. NAD accepts electrons from molecules being oxidized (losing electrons) and donates them to molecules being reduced (gaining electrons), allowing for the efficient extraction of energy from nutrients.

Aging and longevity: NAD levels decline with age, and this decline has been associated with various age-related diseases and conditions. Boosting NAD levels through supplementation or activation of NAD-producing enzymes like sirtuins has been suggested to have potential anti-aging effects.

Some say that NAD helps detox the body.  The body has other mechanisms in place to prevent or minimize the entry of pollutants and toxins into the bloodstream. While NAD does not directly prevent the entry of pollutants and toxins into the bloodstream, it is involved in maintaining overall cellular health and function, which indirectly supports the body’s ability to handle and eliminate harmful substances.

Effects on Mood:

NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) has been implicated in mood regulation, although the exact mechanisms are still being studied. Here are a few ways in which NAD may affect mood:

Energy production: NAD is involved in cellular respiration and the production of ATP, the energy currency of cells. Adequate energy levels are essential for optimal brain function and neurotransmitter synthesis, which can influence mood. NAD’s role in energy production may indirectly impact mood regulation.

Neurotransmitter synthesis: NAD is required for the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play crucial roles in regulating mood, emotions, and overall mental well-being. NAD’s involvement in neurotransmitter synthesis suggests it may have an impact on mood regulation.

Oxidative stress and inflammation: NAD is involved in redox reactions and acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. High levels of oxidative stress and inflammation have been associated with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. By reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, NAD may have a positive impact on mood.

Sirtuin activation: NAD is a coenzyme for sirtuins, a group of enzymes involved in various cellular processes, including stress response and gene expression. Sirtuins have been linked to mood regulation, and NAD’s role in sirtuin activation may contribute to its effects on mood.

It’s important to note that while NAD may have potential effects on mood regulation, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and therapeutic implications. Additionally, individual responses to NAD and its impact on mood can vary, and it should not be considered a standalone treatment for mood disorders.

How does NAD assist and improve Metabolism, and fat digestion?

NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) plays a role in metabolism and fat digestion through its involvement in cellular respiration and energy production.  NAD is involved in the breakdown of fats, a process called lipolysis. When the body requires energy, stored fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. NAD participates in the oxidation of fatty acids, facilitating their conversion into acetyl-CoA, a molecule that enters the citric acid cycle (also known as the Krebs cycle) to generate ATP.

By participating in cellular respiration, fat metabolism, and redox reactions, NAD helps improve metabolism and fat digestion. It ensures the efficient breakdown of nutrients, including fats, and the production of ATP, which is necessary for various metabolic processes in the body. However, it’s important to note that NAD’s role is as a coenzyme, and its effects on metabolism and fat digestion are indirect, supporting the enzymatic reactions involved in these processes.

Overall, NAD plays a vital role in cellular metabolism, energy production, DNA repair, and cellular signaling, making it essential for various physiological processes in the body.

Michelle LeSueur BeP, CNC, CSN, CNS, CPT