Researchers are calling nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) the next longevity enzyme for its role in energy production, DNA repair, immune function, and so much more.
Our bodies make NAD+, but unfortunately, the older we get, the more our NAD+ levels start to decline. Because low levels of NAD+ are associated with fatigue, muscle and bone loss, cognitive decline, and a greater risk of age-related chronic disease, you can see why it is considered essential to longevity.
But there’s good news! Findings from a study recently published in the journal Frontiers in Aging show promise for supplements that can boost NAD+ and help combat the effects of “inflammaging” (that’s the inflammation associated with aging).
Today I’m walking you through this groundbreaking study and giving you supplement and lifestyle tips for how you can boost your NAD+ levels naturally so you can stay younger longer.
Let’s jump right in.
Researchers set out to measure the impact of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), an NAD+ precursor that can be converted into NAD+, on several markers of aging in a group of 66 healthy adults. Participants were randomly assigned to either take two 150 mg capsules of NMN, or a placebo once a day for 60 days.
*Science Note: Supplemental NAD+ is poorly absorbed by the body, so NAD+ precursors are often used instead because they’re more bioavailable.
What It Found
At the end of the trial, the NMN group experienced a 38 percent increase in NAD+ compared to a mere 14 percent in the placebo group. They also reported a 6.5 percent improvement in well-being and walking endurance.
But here’s the real kicker: the placebo group experienced a huge increase in their HOMA-IR score while the NMN group did not. For those of you who don’t know, HOMA-IR is a test used to measure insulin resistance, and higher levels are a sign of a decline in insulin sensitivity.
This study could point to evidence that shows yet another way NAD+ protects us from aging—by combatting insulin resistance!
And if you listen to my podcast or read my newsletters regularly, you probably know that insulin resistance is a major driver of inflammation and the many chronic diseases associated with it.
What does this mean for you? What this study and many others are showing is that taking steps toward keeping your NAD+ levels high can help combat insulin resistance and the many other factors that lead to accelerated aging.
How do we boost our NAD+ levels? Our lifestyle plays a huge part and can either promote or deplete our NAD+ stores. Here are my top suggestions for how to boost your NAD+ levels naturally.
Make movement a core part of your life. If we could put all the benefits of exercise into a pill, it would be the biggest blockbuster drug of all time. Studies show that people who exercise often have higher levels of NAD+, which could explain the link between physical activity and longevity.
If you are new to exercise, remember that a little movement goes a long way. You can start low and slow and as you gain strength and stamina aim for what longevity experts recommend: at least 150 minutes per week.
Practice a fasting routine that works best for you. Fasting and caloric restriction boost NAD+ and turn on anti-aging genes. As a healthy guy about to turn 40, I practice intermittent fasting where I pick a day each week to limit my calorie intake, usually in the form of only eating one meal that day. That is a lot more manageable with my busy schedule than trying to do a full fast and has still been shown to increase NAD+ levels.
Women’s needs are different, though, especially for those in their reproductive years. Fasting for longer periods of time or restricting calories too much could have a negative impact on their hormones. Instead, practice the 12-hour window. This is a form of time-restricted eating where you keep your eating window to 12 hours a day without restricting your calories. It may not provide the same benefits of boosting NAD+ as fasting, but it serves other benefits for longevity like better blood sugar control and weight management.
Optimize your diet and lifestyle. Even if you eat a relatively healthy whole-foods diet low in processed carbs and sugar, insulin resistance can slowly creep up on us as we get older. Things like chronic stress, lack of sleep and movement, pesticide exposure, alcohol, fruit juice, and diet soda can crush our insulin sensitivity over time.
Cut back on processed carbs, clean up your diet, and try your best to manage stress in a healthy way. Practices like yoga nidra are fantastic for those looking for guided meditations.
For those who have been here since the beginning, you might remember the Splurge section we included in our earlier protocols with supplement and product recommendations. Well, we’re bringing it back for this newsletter because supplements, in general, are a splurge item.
But know they’re definitely not necessary for optimal health—you can’t supplement your way out of a bad diet. That being said, supplements can give us an extra little boost on top of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Here’s the NMN supplement I take:
- NOVOS Boost. I’ve been taking this NMN supplement by NOVOS for a few months now as an investment in my longevity. It’s formulated to support energy, DNA repair, metabolism, and cognition as you age by boosting your NAD+ levels.
- Fast Dissolve NMN Tablets. When I asked my friend and business partner, Dr. Mark Hyman, what his favorite NMN supplement was, he sent me this photo of Renue by Science NMN tablets:
Keeping your NAD+ levels high ensures our bodies are primed to power countless biological processes, and it is one tool we can use to combat the aging process.
What did you think about this week’s newsletter? Let me know below, and feel free to ask any questions about the study or my protocol.
Here’s to living a happy, healthy life!