If you’re one to buy the new pill, cream, powder, or superfood promising to make you look and feel younger, healthier, or able to operate at peak performance, you’re not alone. The anti-aging industry is enormous. While many remedies offer results, they often work as a band-aid to cover up symptoms rather than addressing the root cause of the condition.
But recent research is pointing to a potential root cause of age-related disease. A decline of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) may be responsible for a number of diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack as well as the physiological and psychological symptoms of aging. Furthermore, restoring NAD+ to optimal levels is proving to protect against disease and aging by weakening multiple disease pathways that damage DNA, induce or reduce mitochondrial decline, increase or decrease oxidative stress, and also by increasing the efficacy of certain cellular enzymes that maintain and prolong life.
NAD+ is critical to energy production and can work to ignite the mitochondria, which act as the brain and battery of cells. It optimizes the many roles of the cell in overall bodily function such as moving electrolytes in and out of cells and is critical for proper cognition, digestion, and mental clarity. Without NAD+, we simply could not function. In fact, one study showed that NAD+ purposefully suppressed by researchers resulted in the death of cells.
What all this means is that preserving and supplementing NAD+ could prevent or mitigate age-related disease and decline by addressing the root cause, which means a longer, healthier life for you. You might be thinking…how do I get started? While intravenous NAD+ has been used since the late 1960s to treat withdrawal from drugs and alcohol, there are several ways to increase your NAD+ levels:
- Take NAD + Supplements — Supplements exist in capsule form and are widely available. When purchasing supplements, look for NAD+ precursors such as nicotinamide riboside (NR), a form of vitamin B3. NAD+ cannot survive digestion, but it’s precursors can and are later converted to NAD+, thus encouraging the body’s natural function rather than short circuiting it by adding the end product.
- Fasting — Calorie restriction and fasting increases levels in your body. For long-term results, practice intermittent fasting.
- Food — While diet may not be enough to maintain healthy NAD +, these foods contain NAD + producing precursors:
- Fish (Salmon, sardines)
- Green Vegetables
- Mushrooms (Crimini mushrooms)
- Whole Grains
- Exercise — Regular exercise naturally boosts NAD+ by stimulating muscles to produce mitochondria.
- High Fat/Low Carb Ketogenic Diet — The ketogenic diet, where your body burns fat instead of sugar for energy, increases NAD+ in the body.
- Cut down on alcohol
If you want to stay young, vibrant, and healthy, even as you age, you can use these natural methods to support your body’s NAD+ levels.