Some of our favorite things to do during the summer like travel, enjoy a cold beer or a frozen drink, or spend too much time in the sun can wreak havoc on our levels of an incredibly important coenzyme for our cells and for our health—nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD. As we get older, NAD naturally declines. But there are some physiological stressors that also contribute to dwindling levels of NAD. The good news is, we can restore NAD levels.
*Thank you to TRU NIAGEN for providing the article*
We use NAD for everything we do, from sleeping to eating to breathing. The molecule ensures that our cells have proper energy metabolism, which includes converting the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates we eat into energy; producing hormones like estrogen and testosterone; and detoxifying free radicals. It also activates our sirtuins, which are genes that play a major role in our longevity and help to regulate cellular aging. In other words, NAD helps regulate the chemical and biological processes that keep us healthy.
As we get older, NAD naturally declines. But there are some physiological stressors that also contribute to dwindling levels of NAD. Some involve just making the most out of your summer, like sipping too many drinks at happy hour, and sitting out in the sun for too long.
Crossing Time Zones
Whether you’re traveling to another continent or within the states, your circadian rhythm starts to succumb to jet lag once you cross time zones. Though we tend to think of sleep in regard to circadian rhythms, there are plenty of processes that depend on circadian rhythm like eating, hormone regulation, and body temperature. Those rhythms are thrown off when they’re in an environment that’s out of whack with their usual patterns. That can prompt us to experience jet lag and sleep deprivation, among other things. But NAD helps to regulate circadian rhythms to help keep them in sync.
Long Days in the Sun
Lounging by the pool and long outdoor excursions are no doubt beneficial to the body in many ways, but it’s no surprise that overexposure to the sun isn’t the best for your skin. Staying in the sun for too long also depletes your NAD resources. That’s because our cells use NAD to stay healthy, help activate sirtuin proteins, and create the cellular energy needed for supporting those long days under the sun.
To relax, many of us reach to our favorite alcoholic beverage—especially during vacation. Too much alcohol stimulates liver metabolism that requires NAD, causing it to wane. That’s because the enzymes that detoxify alcohol require NAD to function.
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How to Restore NAD Levels
Our body can salvage the NAD used in energy production, but, NAD has other vital roles within the body that result in its loss. When we’re putting our NAD use into overdrive, supplementation with one of the B3 vitamins can help to restore NAD. While there are a few forms of vitamin B3 that can increase your NAD levels, nicotinamide riboside (NR) stands out from the bunch. One of the B3s, Niacin (NA), spikes NAD levels, but can cause uncomfortable flushing. Another, nicotinamide (also known as NAM), can have an adverse effect on sirtuins—which are incredibly important proteins that are related to life longevity and anti-aging. NR has been shown to be a more efficient activator of NAD-related activities in the cell when compared to NA and NAM.
The nutraceutical company ChromaDex created an anti-aging supplement with the key ingredient NR: TRU NIAGEN®. It’s backed by more than a decade’s worth of research, with six complete human trials and 11 more underway. As such, it’s been clinically proven to increase NAD levels safely and efficiently. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of higher NAD levels and optimize your cellular health—whether or not you maximize your fun in the sun or sip a glass of wine or two.
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Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.