NAD+ is one of the fastest growing anti-aging supplement fields today.
Some studies show that NAD+ can significantly reduce symptoms of aging, improving your quality of life as you age. NAD+ may also reduce wrinkles, improve energy levels, boost cognitive health, and provide other crucial advantages to the average aging consumer.
Some have called NAD+ the fountain of youth. Many users take NAD+ supplements daily to boost their health and wellness as they age.
Every NAD+ supplement makes a similar promise. These supplements offer users the chance to to reverse the effects of aging on their body and support your body’s overall health and wellness.
But do any NAD+ supplements work as advertised? Can NAD+ supplements reverse the effects of aging? Find out today in our ultimate NAD+ supplement guide as we dive into research, top NAD+ supplements, and everything you need to know about NAD+.
Ranking the Top 15 Best NAD+ Supplements in 2020
These rankings should be comprehensive, but they are certainly not definitive. Your needs and preferences with a given supplement may differ from our own. Use the following recommendations as a starting point for your own research prior to using any NAD+ supplement.
- 1 Ranking the Top 15 Best NAD+ Supplements in 2020
- 1.1 Elysium Basis
- 1.2 Tru Niagen
- 1.3 Thorne ResveraCel
- 1.4 Quicksilver Scientific NAD+ Gold
- 1.5 HPN Nutraceuticals NAD3 NAD+ Booster
- 1.6 Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator
- 1.7 aSquared Nutrition Nicotinamide
- 1.8 Toniiq NMN
- 1.9 Genex Formulas NMN
- 1.10 AlphaFit Micro NMN
- 1.11 Now Foods NADH
- 1.12 Absonutrix NMN NAD+ Complex
- 1.13 Biom Pharmaceuticals Sublingual NAD+
- 1.14 True NAD
- 1.15 UltraNMN
- 2 How We Ranked
- 3 Who Should Use NAD+?
- 4 Benefits of NAD+
- 5 Dosage
- 6 Side Effects
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions About NAD+
- 7.1 Q: What is NAD?
- 7.2 Q: What does NAD stand for?
- 7.3 Q: What does NAD do?
- 7.4 Q: How does NAD work?
- 7.5 Q: How do NAD supplements work?
- 7.6 Q: How does NAD repair the body and reverse aging effects?
- 7.7 Q: Can you inject NAD?
- 7.8 Q: What are sirtuins?
- 7.9 Q: Do NAD supplements actually work?
- 7.10 Q: Do NAD supplements only work on mice and rats?
- 7.11 Q: How do you take NAD?
- 7.12 Q: Who discovered NAD?
- 7.13 Q: Is NAD safe?
- 7.14 Q: How do anti-aging supplements target cells?
- 7.15 Q: What’s the difference between NAD and NADH?
- 7.16 Q: Can the body run out of NAD?
- 7.17 Q: Why are lower NAD levels a bad thing?
- 7.18 Q: What is a NAD booster?
- 7.19 Q: What’s the difference between NR and NMN?
- 7.20 Q: Is NR or NMN better for boosting NAD?
- 7.21 Q: How do you increase your NAD levels?
- 7.22 Q: Does a keto diet raise NAD+ levels?
- 7.23 Q: What’s the best NAD supplement?
- 7.24 Q: Can NAD treat diseases?
- 7.25 Q: What are the five precursors to NAD?
- 7.26 Q: What are the benefits of vitamin B3?
- 7.27 Q: What is pterostilbene?
- 8 Final Thoughts
Basis is one of the most popular and best-rated NAD+ supplements available today. It’s also one of the few NAD+ supplements on this list that has been clinically proven to increase and sustain NAD+ levels.
Elysium claims Basis can promote a healthy cellular aging process and activate sirtuins, which play a key role in cellular health. It also claims to support cellular energy, help maintain healthy DNA, and support “hundreds” of integral processes in your cells, among other benefits.
Basis consists of just two ingredients, including nicotinamide riboside (a patent-pending and highly efficient precursor to NAD+) and pterostilbene (an antioxidant). Nicotinamide riboside may sound fancy – but it’s just a unique version of vitamin B3.
In clinical trials, Basis was shown to create an average 40%+ increase in NAD+.
Price: $50 (30 Servings)
Tru Niagen, like Basis, uses nicotinamide riboside (a unique form of vitamin B3) to raise NAD+ levels within the body. Tru claims their supplement can support biological functions, encourage cellular health, and support energy metabolism, among other benefits.
Niagen is backed by five peer-reviewed, published clinical trials, all of which showed that Niagen raised NAD levels in the blood. The supplement is also approved for sale by Health Canada as a Natural Health Product (NHP). And, it’s NSF Certified for Sport. Each capsule contains 300mg of Niagen, giving you 263mg of nicotinamide riboside (NR). You take 1 to 3 capsules per day.
Overall, Tru Niagen and Elysium Basis are the two best-rated NAD+ supplements in the industry, and they’re backed by more clinical evidence than virtually anything else on this list.
Price: $50 (30 Servings)
Thorne Research makes an NAD+ supplement called ResveraCel. There’s 300mg of nicotinamide riboside chloride in each two capsule serving. Thorne has also added 150mg of trans-resveratrol, 250mg of quercetin powder, and 50mg of betaine anhydrous. Overall, Thorne claims that ResveraCel delivers an effective precursor to NAD, while resveratrol and quercetin increase the activity of sirtuins.
If you want a standard NAD supplement with added ingredients for higher antioxidant value, then ResveraCel may be the right choice for you. It’s also easily available through Amazon, where it’s priced roughly the same as the top two NAD+ supplements on our list.
Price: $48 (30 Servings)
Quicksilver Scientific NAD+ Gold
Quicksilver Scientific’s NAD+ Gold is a high-priced “elixir” that claims to be the only liposomal source of NMN. Like nicotinamide riboside (NR), NMN enters the body, then turns into NAD+, the body’s natural anti-aging molecule.
Quicksilver Scientific has also added methylation to the formula to promote the replenishment and rejuvenation of cells and metabolism, among other benefits. NAD+ Gold is also one of the few NAD+ supplements on this list found in a liquid – not a capsule or tablet. Although it’s not backed by as much science as the top-ranked options on our list, NAD+ Gold has a niche following and makes big claims about its benefits.
Price: $90 (30 Servings)
HPN Nutraceuticals NAD3 NAD+ Booster
HPN Nutraceuticals make a popular supplement called the NAD3 NAD+ Booster. The company claims to use the purest ingredients that work “in perfect harmony” to “increase your energy naturally, improve brain function and focus, boost your metabolism,” and provide other benefits.
HPN Nutraceuticals also claims their formula is “clinically proven” and “doctor recommended”, and that the average user will see noticeable changes in the first five days, with maximum effectiveness occurring after eight weeks.
HPN Nutraceuticals claims that their NAD3 formula is more effective than nicotinamide riboside. It takes 500mg of NR to match the effectiveness of NAD3, according to a medical doctor (MD) on the HPN Nutraceuticals advisory board.
Price: $40 (30 Servings)
Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator
LifeExtension’s NAD+ Cell Regenerator is a nicotinamide riboside NAD+ booster that provides 250mg of NR in each serving. The supplement claims to support energy levels and physical performance, preserve cognitive function during aging, promote insulin activity, and support healthy cellular metabolism, among other benefits.
Each bottle contains 30 servings (30 capsules), which is a lower dose per serving than most others on our list. However, it’s also priced lower, costing just $30 per bottle. That’s still a higher price-per-capsule than the higher-ranked options on our list.
Note: Life Extension sells different versions of this supplement, including one with 100mg of NR per serving and another with 250mg of NR. You want the one with the higher dose.
Price: $30 (30 Servings)
aSquared Nutrition Nicotinamide
aSquared Nutrition has one of the highest nicotinamide doses on this list. The company has also added resveratrol to the formula for added anti-aging effectiveness. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that could support other anti-aging effects.
There are 120 capsules in each bottle, and each capsule contains 500mg of nicotinamide in the form of vitamin B3. aSquared Nutrition has a reputation for creating trendy supplements – like garcinia cambogia supplements – that dazzle with high dosages without being overly effective. However, if you’re looking for the maximum nicotinamide dosage at a reasonable price, then aSquared Nutrition Nicotinamide is one available option.
Price: $28 (120 Servings)
Toniiq NMN has the coolest packaging on this list. It also has a decent dosage of NMN. Each two capsule serving contains 300mg of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). The company also claims to use a higher purity powder than many competing supplements on this list, offering NMN with 99.7% standardized purity for higher absorption and bioavailability.
There are no other ingredients: Toniiq NMN is just 300mg of NMN packaged into two vegetarian capsules. It’s priced higher than competing supplements at a similar dose, although it may offer purer-quality NMN.
Price: $43 (30 Servings)
Genex Formulas NMN
Genex Formulas offers several anti-aging supplements, including two supplements that raise NAD+. First, we have Genex Formulas NMN, which offers 250mg of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) in each two capsule serving.
The company also offers NMN sublingual powder. Instead of taking NMN powder in capsule form, you can take it via a sublingual formula. Both supplements claim to boost energy metabolism, promote healthy brain and cardiovascular function, repair DNA for anti-aging, and activate sirtuins, among other benefits.
Price: $44 to $70 (30 Servings)
AlphaFit Micro NMN
AlphaFit Micro NMN is a metabolism booster and anti-aging supplement that contains 250mg of beta-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) in each two capsule serving. There are no other active ingredients: it’s just pure NMN packaged into a vegetable capsule.
AlphaFit claims their supplement promotes longevity, NAD+ production, energy metabolism, brain function, and other benefits, all of which decline with age. AlphaFit also claims their supplement boosts NAD+ production through DNA repair and sirtuin support – similar to the claims made by other NAD+ supplements.
Price: $40 (30 Servings)
Now Foods NADH
Now Foods NADH claims to support cellular energy production, neurotransmitters, and more using 200mg of D-ribose, which purportedly turns into NAD in the body. NOW Foods is the longest-running supplement manufacturer on this list: the company has been making supplements since 1968.
Each serving also contains 10mg of NADH, which is a reduced form of beta-NAD. All ingredients are packaged into a vegetable cell. You take one capsule daily on an empty stomach, ideally 30 minutes before a meal.
The biggest advantage of NOW Foods NADH is the price. At around $0.50 per serving, it’s one of the most cost-effective NAD supplements on our list. However, it may be less effective because of the unique ingredients used.
Price: $28 (60 Servings)
Absonutrix NMN NAD+ Complex
Absonutrix’x NMN NAD+ Complex contains 300mg of a proprietary blend containing nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and pterostilbene. There’s also 5mg of niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3.
Unlike most NAD boosters here, Absonutrix packages the ingredients into a liquid formula – not a capsule or tablet. Each serving consists of 30 drops, and there are 120 servings (4 fl oz) in each bottle. Other inactive ingredients in the liquid include water, alcohol, and potassium sorbate. There’s also stevia and peppermint oil for flavor.
Price: $33 (120 Servings)
Biom Pharmaceuticals Sublingual NAD+
Biom Pharmaceuticals makes two core NAD+ supplements, including NAD+ Sublingual Powder and NAD+ Sublingual Spray. You apply either supplement underneath your tongue, allowing the ingredients to bypass the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, delivering NAD+ directly to the blood.
Like other sublingual supplements, Sublingual NAD+ claims to cross the blood brain barrier to quickly raise NAD+ levels in the hypothalamus. There’s 6g of NAD+ in each bottle, and each 0.6mL serving (three sprays) delivers 125mg of NAD+.
The supplement provides a pure dose of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) instead of a precursor like NR or NMN.
Price: $80 (30 Servings)
True NAD is a nicotinamide “rejuvenator” supplement that claims to offer anti-aging support by delivering 260mg of straight NAD in each serving.
Most other supplements on this list use precursors to NAD because these precursors are proven to raise NAD levels in the body. Few NAD supplements contain pure nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), as there’s limited evidence it gets absorbed by the body.
Nevertheless, if you believe in the power of NAD (which is a vitamin B3 derivative) to raise NAD levels, then True NAD may be the right choice for you. There’s some evidence that pure NAD is effective for providing anti-aging benefits, although other research is less conclusive.
Price: $50 (30 Servings)
UltraNMN uses NMN to raise NAD+ levels in the body, which they claim can promote healthy aging, increase energy levels, and support cognitive function, among other benefits.
By taking UltraNMN daily, you can support brain function and metabolism, look and feel younger, and enjoy other potential benefits. Each capsule contains 130mg of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and there’s one capsule per serving. Like with other NMN supplements, this supplement purportedly delivers more NAD+ even at a lower dose than the NR supplements above.
Price: $40 (30 Servings)
How We Ranked
All NAD+ supplements make similar claims. They all claim to reverse certain symptoms of aging and help you feel young again. Some supplements achieve these goals, while others don’t. Here’s how we ranked the NAD+ supplements above:
Method of Action: NAD supplements raise NAD in different ways. Some supplements boost NAD using nicotinamide riboside (NR), while others use nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Some also use pure nicotinamide adenosine (NAD), while others use other derivatives of vitamin B3. We listed supplements with all different methods of action, although we preferred the most proven method (NR).
NAD+ Dosage: Dosages vary widely between NAD+ supplements. You’re taking an NAD supplement to maximize the dose of nicotinamide riboside, so we emphasized supplements with higher, more bioavailable dosages.
Clinical Trials: Most supplement companies do not invest in clinical trials. Instead, they reference third party scientific research. We prefer supplements backed by clinical trials and other scientific evidence.
Price & Value: NAD+ is a trendy supplement ingredient. Some companies take advantage of this surging popularity to charge higher prices. We featured NAD+ supplements at all prices, although we emphasized good value at every price range.
Label Transparency: The best supplements have transparent labels where all dosages are disclosed. We don’t like proprietary labels, as they hide dosages, making it difficult to compare the supplement to studies, trials, or other supplements.
Manufacturer Reputation: Does the manufacturer use an FDA certified facility? Is the supplement NSF Certified for Sport? Does the manufacturer make other well-rated, effective supplements? We considered the reputation of the manufacturer in our rankings.
Formulated by Experts: Some NAD supplements claim to be formulated by experts. Some companies even have genuine medical doctors (MDs) on a medical advisory board.
Inactive Ingredients: Most NAD+ supplements contain just one or two active ingredients. The best NAD supplements contain few inactive ingredients, fillers, or binders, although some cheaper-quality supplements seem to contain too many fillers.
Advertised Health Benefits: Supplement companies cannot advertise their products as a cure, treatment, or preventative measure. A company can’t claim that their supplement “cures aging” for example, or “prevents age-related disease”. Some NAD+ supplements make absurd, unproven claims with their marketing, while others are more transparent about their benefits.
Who Should Use NAD+?
NAD+ supplements are popular among older adults who want to reverse or control symptoms of aging. Who doesn’t want to feel physically and mentally younger again? That’s the promise made by certain NAD supplement companies.
NAD+ supplement companies claim to improve your body’s health at the molecular level. They claim to do things most other supplements would never claim to do – like repair your DNA.
Some people take NAD supplements in their 50s, 60s, and older.
Others, however, take NAD supplements at age 25 or 30. There’s no rule stating you have to be old to take an NAD+ supplement!
As NAD supplements have become more popular, they’re attaining the same level of popularity as other supplements for older adults, including fish oil, vitamin B12, and eye vitamin supplements, among other formulas. Older adults make take these supplements to limit symptoms of aging or reverse the effects of aging.
No matter why you take an NAD+ supplement, the supplement works in a similar way: it raises levels of NAD+ within the body. Some supplements work by giving your body a precursor to NAD+, allowing your body to synthesize NAD+ on its own. Other supplements give your body pure NAD+, directly raising levels of NAD+ within your body.
Some studies have shown that NAD+ supplements have similar anti-aging effects to intermittent fasting and caloric restriction, two of the most popular anti-aging strategies available today. In fact, researchers believe these strategies may work because they raise NAD levels.
Other studies have connected higher NAD levels to other benefits. Some people raise NAD levels to resist weight gain, avoid hearing loss, prevent peripheral nerve damage from diabetes, or even boost stem cell activity with age.
In terms of weight loss, one study found that mice following a high fat diet gained less weight when levels of NAD+ were high. In other words, NAD+ appears to inhibit weight gain even when you should be gaining weight – like on a high fat diet.
NAD+ supplements make big claims about their anti-aging benefits. But are any of these benefits proven by science? Let’s take a closer look at some of the clinical trails and published scientific studies behind NAD+ supplements.
Benefits of NAD+
NAD+ is a new and exciting area of anti-aging supplementation. Over the last few years, scientists have published dozens of studies on NAD+. Multiple studies have shown that certain ingredients raise NAD+ levels in the body. And, other studies have shown that higher NAD+ levels are linked to powerful health benefits.
Researchers have found that higher levels of NAD+ could protect your brain from degenerative diseases. NAD+ could even inhibit some of the harmful effects of cholesterol.
In 2016, for example, researchers published a study in Nature Communications that found mice taking an NAD+ supplement while following a high fat diet avoided certain negative effects of that high fat diet. Mice in the NAD+ supplement group resisted weight gain, avoided hearing loss, prevented peripheral nerve damage from diabetes, and sustained stem cell function with age, for example, among other benefits.
Researchers published a similar study in 2012, finding that mice following a high fat diet while taking an NAD supplement were protected from the negative metabolic effects of that diet. In the paper published in Cell Metabolism, researchers gave mice a nicotinamide riboside (NR) supplement and found mice largely resisted the metabolic effects of a high fat diet.
Scientists know that raising NAD+ levels is linked with benefits, but they struggled to figure out how to raise NAD levels. Yes, you could take NAD directly, although research shows your body doesn’t process it effectively.
That’s why the best NAD+ supplements above use molecular precursors to NAD+. They give your body the ingredients it needs to make NAD+, then lets the body synthesize NAD+ itself by combining all ingredients.
Molecular precursors to NAD include tryptophan, nicotinamide riboside (NR), nicotinic acid riboside, niacin (also known as vitamin B3), and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). All of these compounds are related – but slightly different. They all serve as precursors to NAD+.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) may be the most proven NAD+ booster available today. This is the version of NAD+ found in the two top-ranked supplements on our list, including Tru Niagen and Elysium Basis. NR has been shown to raise NR levels by 40% on average in clinical trials, which is a much more significant boost than other NAD+ boosters on our list.
Other studies have shown that NR can boost levels of NAD+ as high as 170% above normal levels within just 12 hours.
Studies have also shown that you don’t need a huge dose of NR to raise NAD+ levels. Researchers found that 100mg, 300mg, and 1,000mg of NR performed equally well at boosting NAD+ in the bloodstream. That means you may not need to splurge on a high-dose NR formula. A cheaper, lower-dose formula may be equally as effective.
Other evidence shows that NAD+ in the brain can protect you from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Researchers have found that lower NAD+ levels in rats was linked with oxidative damage: NAD+ levels in rats dropped with age, and lower NAD+ levels were associated with damage to the central nervous system. Based on these results, researchers believe lower NAD levels are linked with cognitive decline with age.
Another study in mice with Alzheimer’s showed that mitochondrial dysfunction was linked with degenerative diseases in the central nervous system, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. Mitochondria dysfunction is another term for cell damage, and many NAD+ boosting supplements specifically claim to fight cell damage or repair DNA.
Some NAD+ booster supplements use nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which is another NAD+ precursor. Like NR, NMN provides your body with the ingredients it needs to produce NAD+ on its own. Studies have shown that NMN is linked with higher NAD+ levels in the bloodstream.
Research on NMN isn’t as advanced as research on NR, although early trials on animal models are promising.
There’s some evidence that boosting NAD+ levels could improve heart function and cardiovascular health, which is increasingly important with age. Your heart tissue has an extremely high concentration of mitochondria, which means NAD+ boosters have a particularly powerful effect on your heart tissue.
Research reinforces the idea that NAD+ boosters can improve heart function. This study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology in 2017, for example, found that NAD+ supplementation could improve cardiovascular function in animal models of heart failure.
There’s some evidence that NAD+ boosters impact stem cell activity. Good stem cell activity is linked with youthfulness and vitality. In fact, some researchers believe that the apparent health effects of NAD+ come from its ability to impact stem cells.
This study published in Science in 2016 found that NAD+ could improve muscle function and extend lifespan. The animal model study found that nicotinamide riboside (NR) boosted NAD+ levels in aging mice.
Other studies have found similar benefits, finding that aging mice significantly improved muscle function with NAD+ supplementation. Researchers also found that mice given and+ supplements lived significantly longer than mice on a control group.
Again, researchers believe these effects may be linked to stem cells. NAD+ seems to impact stem cells, and stem cells increase the body’s ability to repair itself. As the body ages, the ability to repair itself becomes increasingly important, yet stem cell activity declines with age. It’s possible an NAD+ booster reverses this effect.
So far, most of the studies cited above have involved rats, mice, or other animals – not humans. So is there significant evidence that NAD+ boosters can impact humans?
Yes, new and exciting research shows that NAD+ boosters may lead to similar benefits in humans – not just mice and rats. Elysium, for example, has published a human study showing that their formula increased NAD+ levels by an average of 40%, safely and sustainably. You can find some of this science here.
The first clinical trial on NR, humans, and NAD+ was published in Nature in 2016. In that study, researchers found that doses of 100mg, 300mg, and 1,000mg of NR produced an increase in blood NAD levels. In that study, 140 healthy adults were chosen at random to take one of the three daily doses of Niagen (nicotinamide riboside) or a placebo for eight weeks. Those in the NR group experienced an average NAD+ level increase of 40 to 50%.
In January 2020, Elysium announced a clinical trial to further study NAD+ in humans in partnership with researchers from Duke University. That study will involve 111 healthy adults between ages 18 and 70. The adults will receive either two doses of Basis or a placebo over a 26-week treatment period. Results of that landmark study, which you can view at ClinicalTrials.gov here, are expected to be released in May 2020.
Tru Niagen is also leading the charge on NR research. In fact, the Chief Scientific Advisor of Tru, Dr. Charles Brenner, first discovered the nutrition value of this unique form of vitamin B3 in 2004.
However, there’s less evidence that NMN can raise NAD levels in humans – even though it’s been shown to do so in mice. The latest study from Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, a professor of developmental biology at Washington University in St. Louis, identified a transporter that allowed NMN to get into the cell without converting to NR. The problem? The transporter is only on cells located in the gut of mice, and it only works in the presence of sodium ions. NR, meanwhile, has been shown to enter cells in the liver, muscle, and brain tissue of mice models.
Ultimately, most of the research on NR and NAD to date has been done on mice and rats – not humans. Scientists started studying the effects of NAD supplements in humans in 2016 and found early promising results (including average increases of 40% to 50% NAD levels with NR supplementation). However, the study only involved 100 participants, and few other human trials have been performed.
Early research on NAD+ supplements are promising, and we know NAD+ is linked with aging. More largescale human research is needed. However, new trials are already being published in 2020, and we’ll know more about NAD+ supplements soon.
Typically, dosage matters with nutritional supplements. With NAD+ supplements, however, that may not be the case. The biggest and most important study on NAD+ supplements found that participants raised NAD+ levels by 40 to 50% at any of the three doses, including 100mg, 300mg, and 1,000mg.
Another study from 2019 found that dose does matter. The study on Niagen, published in Scientific Reports, involved 132 healthy, overweight adults. Participants took 100mg, 300mg, or 1,000mg of an NAD+ boosting NR supplement or a placebo. Researchers found that participants raised NAD+ levels in the blood by 22%, 51%, or 142%, respectively, within two weeks.
There’s limited other research in humans demonstrating the effects of NAD+ supplementation. Early research shows that a dosage of 100mg to 1,000mg of a NAD+ precursor like NR is effective, although more research is needed.
Generally, it’s best to follow the recommended dosing instructions on your NAD+ supplement.
If you follow the recommended dosage instructions on your NAD+ supplements, then you’re unlikely to experience side effects. After all, NAD+ is a molecule that occurs naturally in the human body, and vitamin B3 is a crucial vitamin found in many foods.
Unless you’re allergic or sensitive to vitamin B3, you’re unlikely to be allergic or sensitive to NAD+ supplements.
There have been few human studies on NAD+ supplements. In the 2016 human study on NR, participants reported some minor side effects, although none of these effects were linked with NAD+ supplements.
A randomized study published in Scientific Reports in 2019 found that one NAD+ boosting NR supplement was safe to take at doses of 100mg, 300mg, or 1,000mg for eight weeks.
Of course, that doesn’t mean NAD+ supplements have no side effects: it just means there’s insufficient research.
Frequently Asked Questions About NAD+
Users might still have a number of questions about this type of anti-aging supplement, even considering the information we provided above about side effects, usages, and benefits. This section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about NAD+.
Q: What is NAD?
A: NAD is a coenzyme found in all cells and intimately linked with cell metabolism. It exists in two main forms: NAD+ (the form of NAD available to serve all its functions) and NADH (the form occupied by electrons and unable to work as needed).
Q: What does NAD stand for?
A: NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. The term “NAD” is usually used to describe supplements in the wellness industry that include this chemical. In addition to its anti-aging properties, NAD is also prized for its ability to promote heart function, skin health, and more.
Q: What does NAD do?
A: NAD+ helps turn the nutrients we eat into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is what cells use to exchange and produce energy. When used in supplements, this compound might help to address common signs of aging and improve the general health of advanced age users.
Q: How does NAD work?
A: NAD is found in every cell of all living things. There is much more NAD in the bodies of babies and growing adults. As the body ages, our production of NAD declines. Our cells fail to recycle NAD or synthesize NAD. This appears to be linked with physical aging, cognitive aging, and loss of vitality, among other effects of aging.
Q: How do NAD supplements work?
A: NAD supplements all work in a similar way: they give your body the ingredients it needs to produce NAD. They give your body precursors to NAD – like nicotinamide riboside (NR). Your body gathers these precursors together, then creates NAD.
Q: How does NAD repair the body and reverse aging effects?
A: NAD works by encouraging new connections in the brain, resulting in heightened senses and clarity of thought. Scientists at Harvard have found a way to use NAD to reverse accumulated DNA damage: NAD activates the enzyme responsible for DNA repair.
Q: Can you inject NAD?
A: Some wellness clinics provide intravenous NAD infusions that claim to be effective for reversing the effects of aging, although more research is needed to verify these benefits. We recommend that most consumers stick with orally ingested versions of the supplement until sufficient research is available to support the benefits of intravenous usage.
Q: What are sirtuins?
A: NAD supplements frequently mention sirtuins, which are a family of proteins that play a role in aging by regulating cellular health. Sirtuins are responsible for critical biological functions like DNA expression and other aspects of aging. NAD activates sirtuins enzymes, which could provide anti-aging effects.
Q: Do NAD supplements actually work?
A: Multiple studies have shown that the ingredients in NAD supplements seem to genuinely raise NAD+ levels within the bloodstream. Human trials have been performed on 250+ participants since 2016. More research is needed, but early studies have been extremely promising. We advise that consumers do their due research, but it is fair to say that these supplements come with a number of substantiated benefits.
Q: Do NAD supplements only work on mice and rats?
A: Early research on NAD supplements took place mostly on rats and mice, leading some to conclude that NAD supplements were only effective on rats and mice. Since 2016, however, researchers have studied NAD in humans and found similar effects. One study on 100+ human subjects found that NAD supplements raised NAD+ levels in the blood by 40 to 50% on average. More large scale human research is needed, but early research is promising.
Q: How do you take NAD?
A: There are multiple ways to take a NAD supplement. Some take it intravenously, for example, which bypasses the digestive system and may contribute to better absorption in the body. Others take it sublingually (under the tongue) for similar reasons. You can also find plenty of NAD capsules and tablets, which are the most user-friendly and simple way to ingest the supplement.
Q: Who discovered NAD?
A: NAD was originally discovered by scientists in 1906, although its potential health effects weren’t recognized until the early 2000s. Researchers in the 2000s started analyzing its anti-aging benefits, and subsequent studies have continued to establish these potential anti-aging effects.
Q: Is NAD safe?
A: And has not been linked to significant side effects in any major trials to date, although more wide-scale human research is needed to verify its safety and efficacy. NAD supplements use vitamin B3 derivatives as a precursor, and NAD is a natural substance produced within the human body, which means unusual reactions to NAD are rare.
Q: How do anti-aging supplements target cells?
A: Anti-aging supplements – including NAD supplements – target cells, claiming to repair DNA and improve cellular health. That’s because oxidation, which occurs naturally as we age, leads to cell damage. Unstable compounds known as free radicals damage cells and interact with other compounds to produce harmful chemicals, according to some researchers. These chemicals attach themselves to cell components through a process called glycation, which damages mitochondria, proteins, and DNA. Over time, this can impact cell regeneration and overall cell health. This may sound scary, but it’s all a normal part of aging.
Q: What’s the difference between NAD and NADH?
A: There are two main forms of NAD, including NAD+ (the form of NAD available to serve all its functions) and NADH, (the form occupied by electrons and unable to work as needed).
Q: Can the body run out of NAD?
A: Once NAD+ interacts with sirtuins to ensure cell health, it gains electrons and cannot continue providing additional benefits. This means that the body must continuously produce NAD to continue multiple cell processes and avoid cell deterioration. Unfortunately, as the body ages, we produce less and less NAD. We don’t technically have a finite supply of NAD, but the production does drop with age. Using NAD supplements can help to address this reduction in production and bring the body back to the supply of NAD it had in its youth.
Q: Why are lower NAD levels a bad thing?
A: Researchers have found a connection between lower NAD levels and a variety of conditions. Researchers have found people with age-related illnesses like osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, for example, have lower NAD levels.
Q: What is a NAD booster?
A: An NAD booster is a nutritional supplement that claims to raise NAD+ levels in the bloodstream. They’re typically advertised as anti-aging supplements.
Q: What’s the difference between NR and NMN?
A: Nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are the two most popular NAD+ boosting ingredients commonly available today. Both have shown some ability to raise NAD+ levels in the body, although it seems NR is more effective than NMN.
Q: Is NR or NMN better for boosting NAD?
A: NR is backed by more research in human subjects, although NMN has shown promising early evidence as well. Ultimately, we need more research on both to determine which is most effective. Most research on this subject so far has been on rats/mice, which means that its benefits might not always translate to humans.
Q: How do you increase your NAD levels?
A: You can increase your NAD levels by taking an NAD+ supplement, adjusting your diet, or practicing intermittent fasting, among other strategies. In fact, some studies show that intermittent fasting and caloric restriction are linked to anti-aging benefits because they raise NAD+ levels, just like an NAD+ supplement.
Q: Does a keto diet raise NAD+ levels?
A: Studies show that a diet high in fats and low in carbs (like a keto or Atkins-style diet) promotes the state of ketosis, which is when your body uses fat for energy instead of glucose. This technique increases the ratio of NAD+ to NADH, which could protect your body from certain effects of aging.
Q: What’s the best NAD supplement?
A: The best-rated NAD supplements available today include Elysium Basis and Tru Niagen, both of which use NR to raise NAD+ levels in the body. However, you can find well-rated NAD+ supplements available on Amazon for a cheaper price.
Q: Can NAD treat diseases?
A: NAD supplements cannot be advertised as a treatment, cure, or preventative measure for any disease. However, there’s some evidence that NAD can target Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, ALS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, and more.
Q: What are the five precursors to NAD?
A: The five best-known precursors to NAD include nicotinamide riboside (NR), nicotinic acid (NA), nicotinamide (Nam), nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and tryptophan (Trp).
Q: What are the benefits of vitamin B3?
A: Vitamin B3 is a popular supplement ingredient critical for its role in the body’s metabolism. Vitamin B3 is also a precursor to NAD+, a critical coenzyme found in every cell in the body.
Q: What is pterostilbene?
A: Pterostilbene is a polyphenol that is similar to resveratrol with one small but crucial structural difference: it has one hydroxyl group instead of the three hydroxyl groups on resveratrol. It could be more bioavailable than pterostilbene, which means it has more significant effects on the body.
NAD+ is a critical coenzyme found in every cell in the body. It’s responsible for hundreds of processes. Research has shown that NAD+ levels drop with age, and lower NAD+ levels are associated with less energy and increased physical and cognitive effects of aging.
Today, NAD+ supplements claim to reverse these effects, acting as powerful anti-aging solutions. The supplements above raise NAD+ levels using ingredients like nicotinamide riboside (NR) or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), both of which seem to raise NAD+ levels within the body.
More research on NAD+ gets released every year, and it increasingly looks like NAD+ supplements are a genuine anti-aging breakthrough.