Cellular health is the platform for WELLNESS - Why is the co-enzyme NAD+ important?

Energy Levels, October 22, 2020

Nicotinamide Riboside(NR) is a supplement utilized to increase NAD+ in the body. NAD+ has been described as 'the single most important co-enzyme in the body'. Keep reading to fully understand why NAD + is imperative for long term well-being, vitality, and energy.

Cells are the building blocks of life. They are the smallest form of life capable of replicating themselves and carrying out essential functions within a more complex living organism - our amazing bodies! ALL of our energy, our immunity, our well-being is literally build on our cells.

Most of us don't think of our tiny cells health and function until we start to fatigue, have issues with sleep, and general function. More research is showing us that getting older doesn't have to feel that way. Getting the big blocks sorted in our walls of wellness is the first step - eating more plant based whole foods, drinking water, prioritising sleep, downshifting to keep stress at bay, and exercising daily (strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility/mobility) will help nudge our wellbeing in the health direction but we can add more to our wellness wall with cellular care. 

Important 'free' ways to boost cellular robustness is lifestyle habits as listed above and also through fasting and some cold therapy. These simple “fringe” habits have being shown with good research to help with cellular health utilising apoptosis (programming old and damaged cells to die) and autophagy promotion (recycling components of dead and dying cells).  Ways to decrease cellular health is excessive sun exposure, excessive food intake, eating close to sleep time, and alcohol consumption. 

Another way to help our cells is with supplementing the body with a co-enzyme called NAD. This little molecule is well known within the scientific community to "supercharge" our cells. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleiotide (NAD) was discovered over 100 years ago by scientists studying fermentation. It performs two essential functions within a cell
  1. Aids in the process of turning nutrients into energy (very important part of metabolism and the start of every energy driven process in our bodies)
  2. Boosts the activity of an essential protein used by the cell -  sirtuins. This protein is credited as the key to longivity as they support healthy DNA.

NAD lowers as we age and our mitochondria function decreases as a result. Mitochondria are the 'power stations' within our cells. Each cell has a varying number of them, 1000 in a muscle cell, and  up to 15,000 in each brain cell. There is over a quadrillion (1 with 15 zero's) in our body in total  (read my article on mitochondria https://everfit.co.nz/articles/mitochondria-look-after-your-life-force ). Producing NAD is aided by giving our bodies the precursors (a collaborator and catalyst that is part of the end formed product) that aid its formation. These precursors include


B3 vitamins - there are 3 different forms of the B3 vitamin and each help produce NAD 

  • Niacin (nicotinic acid or NA) - is only a NAD precursor in some tissue not all of them
  • Nicotinamide (niacinamide or NAM) - it doesn't cause a skin flush like niacin but it can react negatively with sirtuins (longevity genes) causing them to slow down their life enhancing role.
  • Nicotinamide Rioside (NR) - this is the best B3 vitamin form as it is a NAD precursor in EVERY cell it encounters + it boosts the sirtuins! 


NAD fuels the activity of sirtuins including SIRT1 (resveratrol revs up this type of sirtuin) which helps form new mitochondria, and SIRT3 which is thought to help keep the mitochondria running smoothly.

The longevity science is becoming clear - NAD levels are vitally important to long term health by improving cellular health with intra-cellular mitochondria support. This can be aided by lifestyle choices and supplementing our system with the working blueprint of NAD - NR is one of the missing pebbles in our wellness wall when we have the large rocks - our daily habits as the framework - nutritious eating habits, sleep, water, good relationships, purpose, downshifting, exercise & limiting alcohol, excessive sun, smoking, and stress. It's time to redefine how we age. 



1) The Drive Podcast - Peter Attia Episode #27 – David Sinclair, Ph.D (prof in the department of genetics in the Harvard Medical school).: Slowing aging – sirtuins, NAD, and the epigenetics of aging


2) Found My Fitness podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick episode Nov 2019 - Dr. David Sinclair on informational theory of aging, Nicotinamide, Resveratrol and more


3) Gomes AP, Price NL, Ling AJ, Moslehi JJ, Montgomery MK, Rajman L, White JP, Teodoro JS, Wrann CD, Hubbard BP, Mercken EM, Palmeira CM, de Cabo R, Rolo AP, Turner N, Bell EL, Sinclair DA. Declining NAD(+) induces a pseudohypoxic state disrupting nuclear-mitochondrial communication during aging. Cell. 2013 Dec 19;155(7):1624-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.11.037. PMID: 24360282; PMCID: PMC4076149.


*About Health is a NZ company that sells LifeMax NR. Check out their site www.abouthealth.co.nz and use CRP0820EVFP as a discount on any purchase. 

Mitochondria - The powerhouse within the cell . Credit : Getty Images