What Is Nad+ & What Is Its Role In Cellular Respiration?

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Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is transformed in your body into NAD+, a helper molecule found in all of your cells and essential for a prolonged and active life. What is NAD+, and what is its role in your body?

RELATED: Carnosine – miracle supplement?


What Is NAD+ and Things You Should Know

What is NAD+?

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is referred to as NAD in medical terminology. It’s found in everything from bacteria to primates and plays a critical role in cellular metabolism. In fact, we couldn’t live without NAD+. The chemical is crucial to the mitochondria’s ability to generate energy.

While NAD+ aids in food conversion to energy, it also plays a crucial function in DNA integrity maintenance. NAD+ ensures that our body’s defense genes are working correctly and protects us from illness and aging.


What Is NAD+ Function in the Body?

NAD+ functions as a shuttle bus, transporting electrons from one biological molecule to the next. Along with its chemical counterpart, NADH, it participates in a variety of metabolic processes involving electron exchange. These metabolic processes produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s “energy” molecule. ATP synthesis may be inhibited if NAD+ levels are insufficient.

NAD+ also regulates the sleep/wake cycle, among other things. NAD+ activates sirtuins, which control metabolism and keep chromosomes stable. The molecule also aids in the repair of damaged DNA.


What Is NAD+ Connection with Age?

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As humans age, their NAD+ levels decrease, which has significant consequences for metabolic function and age-related illnesses

(it would be helpful to put a graph here of how NAD decreases with age)


Correlation between NAD+ levels and Age in (A) Males (B) Female
Correlation between NAD+ levels and Age in (A) Males (B) Female

Credit: Age-Associated Changes In Oxidative Stress and NAD+ Metabolism In Human Tissue

DNA damage accumulates as individuals age. PARP, an enzyme, is activated when DNA is damaged. PARP relies on NAD+ to carry out its DNA repair functions. In this mechanism, PARP degrades NAD+.

Immune system enzymes also use NAD+. The enzyme uses more NAD+ when the immune system becomes more active. As we age, the number of enzymes in our immune system rises, depleting NAD+ levels in the body.


What Is NAD+ Role in Cellular Respiration

NAD+ is an electron carrier that picks up electrons during cellular respiration. When NAD+ accepts an electron, it is reduced and forms NADH. NADH transports electrons all the way to the Electron Transport Chain, where they are dropped off. This will allow protons to be pushed over a concentration gradient, allowing ATP Synthase to churn and produce ATP in the end.

Fermentation happens only in anaerobic circumstances, which means it occurs when cellular respiration is not feasible. However, both fermentation and cellular respiration need glycolysis, an anaerobic process that converts 1 Glucose into 2 Pyruvates.

What happens afterward is what distinguishes them. After glycolysis for fermentation, either two lactates (in lactic acid fermentation) or two ethanols can be produced (in Alcohol Fermentation). The main goal of fermentation is to replenish NAD+ in the absence of oxygen.


What is NAD+ Supplement?

As we become older, our bodies generate fewer NAD+, which is why more individuals are turning to modern-day means of restoring their body’s healthy NAD+ levels. Other variables, such as poor sleeping patterns, prolonged stress, and drug usage, have an influence on our body’s synthesis of NAD+.

NAD+ may be supplemented in your body in two ways: NAD+ oral supplements NR or NMN (Nicotinamide mononucleotide), or via NAD IV infusions.

There are some  differences between NAD+ supplement (or NAD supplement) and NAD IV infusion:



If your job requires you to move about all day, you may prefer the simplicity of taking a daily tablet.

On the other hand, NAD IV infusion needs quite some time, from one to even four hours, to finish a session.  Most people will experience a “flushing” sensation that can be quite uncomfortable at the beginning.  This goes away by slowing down the rate of the IV infusion



NAD+ oral supplements are not fully absorbed by your digestive system, which dilutes any possible advantages. The effectiveness of the NAD+ oral supplements also differs from person to person, depending on your circulatory system, stomach emptying time, and bodily response to the supplement.  As mentioned above, NAD+ supplements are given as NR or NMN which breaks down into NAD+ in your body.

Unlike NAD+ oral supplement dietary pills, which have a poor absorption rate and are ineffective, IV therapy treatments give 100% absorption. Infusion treatment distributes NAD+ and other beneficial vitamins directly into your circulation, where it is instantly available for utilization by your cells.


If you have questions about NAD+ or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more.

At Peak Human, our team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to helping you reach your ‘peak’ health with a custom whole-person approach. Using the most cutting-edge, science-backed biohacking and aesthetic tools, technologies, and treatments available today, we help you achieve the highest physical/cognitive performance state, leading to an improved overall quality of life.

For questions or to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us. Get personalized support and insight from expert physicians.


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