8 Surprising Ways Your Body Uses NAD+
NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a naturally produced molecule essential for the function of all 37.2 trillion cells in your body. It helps activate mechanisms that help generate over 90% of your body’s energy!
Here are some of the ways we know NAD+ is involved in our body’s functions:
1. NAD+ and aging.
A published study in PLOS One provides quantitative evidence that the depletion of NAD+ may play a significant role in the aging process by regulating cellular energy production, DNA repair, and genomic signaling.
2. NAD+ and alcohol.
A short communication published by Hugo Theorell and Roger Bonnichsen shows NAD+ is involved in two ways when processing alcohol: (1) detoxifying alcohol into sugar, and (2) helping turn that sugar into energy.
3. NAD+ and fat.
NAD+ creation and consumption in cells are linked to adipogenesis, also known as the process of creating fat tissue in the body. NAD+ helps regulate fat metabolism in the cell.
4. NAD+ and carbs.
NAD+ also helps convert carbs into energy. This is because it plays an important role in glycolysis, the cycle by which our bodies convert sugars into energy.
5. NAD+ and sleep.
Misaligned circadian rhythms lead to things like jet lag and sleep deprivation. NAD+ helps regulate circadian rhythms, helping keep energy metabolism, hormone regulation, and body temperature variations all in sync and working at their best.
6. NAD+ and sunlight.
Overexposure to the sun can damage your DNA, but your body can bounce back from this kind of damage by making repairs. NAD+ is a coenzyme required by repair enzymes that help mend these broken DNA strands.
7. NAD+ and muscles.
Exercise alone requires a lot of energy, utilizing NAD+ to help fuel your muscles’ ability to contract and expand. But your cells are also tasked with repairing any cellular damage caused by your hard-earned workout, requiring NAD+.
8. NAD+ and breathing.
The metabolism of oxygen can sometimes affect other parts of a cell through an imbalance known as oxidative stress. According to a review published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, NADPH (a form of NAD+) is an important part of the body’s defense against oxidative stress.