Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme found in all living cells. The compound is a dinucleotide, because it consists of two nucleotides joined through their phosphate groups. One nucleotide contains an adenine base and the other nicotinamide. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide exists in two forms, an oxidized and reduced form abbreviated as NAD+ and NADH respectively.
NAD+ is found in every cell in the body and is essential to life. NAD+ enables the transfer of energy from the foods we eat to vital cell functions. It is also required to “turn off” genes that accelerate degenerative aging processes. NADH stands for “nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H).” This chemical occurs naturally in the body and plays a role in the chemical process that generates energy.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential metabolite in all human cells. It plays a key role in cellular metabolism within the “powerhouses of the cell”, the mitochondria. Mitochondria have long been known to perform important cellular functions related to converting nutrients such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. NAD+ plays an important role in transferring energy released from glucose and fatty acids to the mitochondria so that it can be converted into cellular energy. Without sufficient NAD+, energy transfer in the cells breaks down, resulting in age-accelerating mitochondrial dysfunction. NAD+ facilitates communication between the cell’s nucleus and its mitochondria, thereby maintaining mitochondrial efficiency and function.
Aging – as well as a sedentary lifestyle and overeating – causes a decline in the levels of NAD+ that is essential to mitochondrial health. With a decline in NAD+ levels, the number and density of the mitochondria are reduced, with the result that they become less efficient, or even dysfunctional. As NAD+ levels decline, mitochondrial function is impaired, resulting in fewer mitochondria surviving. This vicious cycle of mitochondrial depletion results in many of the physical symptoms of aging, including slower metabolism.