Six months ago I had no idea what Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) was. Today I realize you can’t live without it and optimizing my levels can significantly improve cellular function, stave off aging, cure brain fog, cure chronic fatigue, eliminate compulsive behavior (a cognitive malfunction), and reset mood. All these benefits I have experienced personally.
NAD is a coenzyme in many cellular functions. It basically makes chemical reactions work better and cells function better. Whatever kind of cell it is. Brain cell, improved cognitive function, mood and decision making. Muscle cell, more cardio capacity, and better workouts. While most of the research and treatments with NAD have been focused on restoring levels in severely depleted individuals like addicts and those with major depressive disorders, my experience with NAD has been as a major performance enhancer in a generally healthy person (me). It is one of those things that I didn’t know I needed until I got it, now I understand how important and fundamental it is to all cellular function.
While there are many natural ways to increase NAD levels (exercise, etc.), if you want significant improvement you need to supplement in some way. Measuring NAD levels in the blood is very tricky requiring a complex process which is prone to error, so there is not really an efficient way to figure out your NAD levels. But if you are deficient and you supplement, you will/should notice a difference. There are three main ways to supplement NAD, here is my experience with each.
- Oral NAD NR (a precursor to NAD+). Take about 500mg per day and the studies show an increase in NAD+ production in your body of up to 40%. The most popular pills are Elysium Basis and TruNiagen. The business model of these companies is a standard continuity model where you are on subscription for $50 a month for the rest of your life. I have taken both of these for about a year on and off. I don’t feel any difference in mood, cognitive function or underlying cellular function, but I do believe the studies that my NAD levels have risen. The problem is how much and what did it do? My recommendation is to go ahead and take one of these, it is cheap insurance.
- NAD+ injections subq (in the stomach) of 100-200mg. This promises to provide an immediate increase in cell function. I have done 100MG multiple times and have seen a significant short-term improvement in brain function that lasts 8-9 hours. Here is the protocol I did recently:
I did 100MG NAD from College pharmacy subq at 9:30am. I tested cognitive function using the BrainCheck app at four times:8:30am before injection9:45, 15 minutes after injection1:00, 3:30 after injection7:00pm, 9:30 after injection.Results are attached. Basically, it felt like taking a couple Modafinil. A massive increase in focus and ability to get work done. It lasted about 7-8 hours then back to baseline. Most pronounced effects were increases in coordination, delayed recall, immediate recall and executive function. In specific sub cognitive functions:Coordination: Basically a 200-400% increase then back to baseline. I started very low, went up to average, then back to low.Cognitive Processing: largely unaffectedReaction time: largely unaffectedExecutive Function: about a 25% increase, then back a bit below the baseline.Visual Attention: Largely unaffected, the massive dip at end I think is a testing errorImmediate recall: About 30-40% immediate increase, then fall off below baseline at end which I think is a testing error.Delayed recall: 150-200% immediate increase then back to baseline.Summary: This is an amazing upgrade when you need or want to have the most productive day ever.
3. NAD+ IV. Typically 750-1500mg in an IV that takes between 3-8 hours. The IV takes a long time because there is flushing and nausea. I have done about 20 of these IVs and the effects are not immediately noticeable like the SubQ injection, but last for longer. For me about 3 months per IV. I have done probably way more than is needed to reset the levels, but there is no documented overdose side affects, and I have not felt any. I expect to continue doing 2-3 ivs every 2 months or so to keep my levels high. When they are high I simply feel and function better. Hard to quantify, but “better”. I recommend everyone does it.
Summary: Get more NAD into your system. Everyone can benefit.
Everything you ever wanted to know about NAD on Selfhacked.
How Coenzymes work (NAD is a coenzyme).
How NAD IV therapy works to cure addictions.
How the Krebs cycle works (NAD is a coenzyme in Krebs).
How NAD cured one guy’s brain fog.
Also published on Medium.