Key Takeaways

  • Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential compound for optimal function of all systems in the body
  • Aging is accompanied by a universal decrease in NAD+ levels in the body despite the body’s need for NAD+ increasing with age
  • Many age-related conditions have been linked to NAD+ deficiency
  • Improving NAD+ production and replenishing NAD+ levels in the body may promote health and longevity

Actions to Consider

  • You can replenish your NAD+ levels by taking a supplement like nicotinamide riboside (NR) or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)
  • The amino acid tryptophan is another natural precursor of NAD+. You can get it as a supplement or just eat tryptophan-rich products like meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, spinach, seeds, and nuts. In general, any protein-rich food is a good source of tryptophan.

Is NAD+ one of your body’s universal anti-aging molecules? Studies suggest it might be

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a vital compound in the human body, it’s needed for nearly every important molecular process. It takes part in regulating energy metabolism, works as a messenger molecule, regulates gene expression by tweaking sirtuin activity, and much more.

Yet to our detriment, the body’s levels of NAD+ go down with aging, and this tendency triggers a wide range of age-related issues.

What is this study about?

This study is a detailed overview of the production, cellular functions, therapeutic potential, and possible anti-aging applications of NAD+. Published in 2018 in the F1000 Research journal, it contains data from the majority NAD-related studies available to date.

What is NAD+, and why is it so important?

NAD+ is a cofactor–a compound that’s necessary for enzymes to work properly. Without NAD+, some enzymes work much slower while others can’t work at all.

NAD+ is essential for many vital processes in the body, including

  • Anaerobic (oxygen-independent) breakdown of glucose for energy
  • Aerobic (oxygen-dependent) usage of glucose
  • Oxidizing fatty acids
  • Regulating the function of sirtuins, proteins that take part in many aging-related changes, stress response, circadian rhythms, and other aspects of optimal cell functioning
  • Working as a neurotransmitter (signaling molecule) between neurons and other cells

Where is our NAD+ when we need it most?

As we age, the body becomes less efficient in producing NAD+, and this leads to a significant decline in its levels. At the same time, the body’s need for NAD+ goes up with the years. Not great for our longevity goals. 

As NAD+ levels decline, the enzymes that it regulates function worse and worse, increasing one’s risk of developing all sorts of health conditions, for example:

  • Diabetes
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Degradation of the eye’s retina
  • Depression

Luckily, studies have reported that supplementing with NAD+ precursors like nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is effective in reducing the signs of age-related NAD+ decline.

All in all, it seems that NAD+ is an effective anti-aging compound, and that’s why its precursors work so well in this matter.


Although the problem of aging is huge and multi-faceted, we already know the solutions to some of its aspects. Supporting one’s NAD+ levels is one of them, and studies suggest this approach is fairly effective both for health and for longevity.

Link to the study:


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