Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, otherwise known as NAD, gets the superlative vote for most popular in the wellness world … at least in the past year. This naturally occurring coenzyme of niacin (aka vitamin B3) plays a significant role in bodily processes that affect aging, like metabolism, DNA repair, and the assimilation of protein. The reduction of NAD is also tied to metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, and even some types of cancers. So yeah, it’s important stuff.
But if our bodies make it, why are we concerned with it? Well, like many things in the body, NAD decreases with age. This is natural, of course, but our modern lifestyles expedite this in a major way. Because a rapid decrease in NAD plays such a major role in aging, we took our inquiries about it straight to naturopathic doctor, Dr. Nigma Talib, to help clear some things up.
Dr. Talib shared that “NAD is thought to slow down the aging process, boost our energy, and also, I find it clinically improves mood and hormone balance. However, both prescription and recreational drugs can speed up the loss of NAD in our bodies.”
This includes alcohol, nicotine, and other harmful ingredients in cigarettes. Ongoing chronic stress also depletes our NAD production.
“NAD is required to make energy, and when this is low, we reduce our ability to support our mitochondrial function. The good news is that if you sleep eight hours a day, manage your anxiety levels, have a diet rich in fruit and colorful vegetables, and eat enough healthy protein sources, you can keep from depleting your NAD stores as you age,” Dr. Talib explains.
“We also know some studies have shown intermittent fasting, moderate exercise, vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and selenium help boost NAD levels naturally.” So if we eat a bountiful, dynamic, colorful diet and be mindful of our macros, exercise, and rest, we can support our NAD levels as we age. However, habitual drinking and drug use, prescription or not, will have an effect on our NAD levels despite these best efforts.
IV therapy has been garnering a lot of attention in the wellness world because we are always obsessed with being optimally healthy. At Poosh, we’re no stranger to this feeling, but we accept life in balance. There are yin and yang, there are fun (albeit damaging or unhealthy) things in moderation, and there is self-forgiveness.
This is because hyper-vigilance around what we put in our bodies creates another form of stress or anxiety, and that’s counterproductive to our cause. While IV therapy—think a daily dose of vitamins or glutathione—is powerful, it’s not accessible to all, and that’s OK.
We like to think of IV therapy after a trip when we’ve depleted ourselves and are feeling dehydrated. Or after a big celebration and our hangover could use a little professional help. NAD therapy is no different unless those substance abuse occurrences are on the more frequent side … aka addiction.
“NAD IV treatment is great for individuals who suffer from extreme fatigue due to ongoing physical stress or mental stress, and individuals who drink more often than not,” Dr. Talib shares.
“We know that consuming stimulants and depressants can wreak havoc on our bodies’ natural reserves of NAD. And some studies even show those most susceptible to low NAD stores are even more inclined or susceptible to alcoholism and drug addiction, so it’s a double whammy. NAD can help increase energy levels and metabolism, improve mood and libido, reduce alcohol and sugar cravings, and mitigate the side effects of alcohol and drug withdrawals, but this should be supervised with each treatment as everyone metabolizes differently—there’s no cookie-cutter approach.”
Because NAD+ IV therapy comes at no small price tag (up to $1,000 or more per session), it’s not a necessary step in optimizing our health unless we really need it. It’s a great way to jumpstart our metabolic processes, however, if we are looking to commit to a major lifestyle change like weight loss or dropping addiction.
IV therapy is treated more casually these days, but it’s still a medical procedure and should be treated like one. If you or someone you know is considering NAD+ IV therapy for addiction or weight loss, you should first consult a professional.
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