NAC vs NR vs NAD vs NAD+? What are the Differences?
NAC vs NR vs NAD vs NAD+? Due to the small alphabetical difference, these supplements are often mixed up and confused by most consumers. We will cover the essentials and explain about each of these supplements below.
NAD is derived from Nicotinamide Riboside (NR). The levels of NAD in our body determine the speed of aging process. In younger cells and tissues, the levels of NAD are higher. As a result, younger people tend to have better physical activity, cognitive function and potential for cell repair and regeneration. As we grow, the levels of NAD in our body start to decline. This is reflected in the form of slowed cognitive response, loss of memory and reduced agility.
NAD is a linchpin of energy metabolism, among other roles, and its diminishing level with age has been implicated in mitochondrial deterioration. Supplements containing nicotinamide riboside, or NR, a precursor to NAD that's found in trace amounts in milk, might be able to boost NAD levels. In support of that idea, half a dozen Nobel laureates and other prominent scientists are working with two small companies offering NR supplements.
The NAD story took off toward the end of 2013 with a high-profile paper by Harvard's David Sinclair and colleagues. Sinclair, recall, achieved fame in the mid-2000s for research on yeast and mice that suggested the red wine ingredient resveratrol mimics anti-aging effects of calorie restriction. This time his lab made headlines by reporting that the mitochondria in muscles of elderly mice were restored to a youthful state after just a week of injections with NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), a molecule that naturally occurs in cells and, like NR, boosts levels of NAD.
NAD boosters might work synergistically with supplements like resveratrol to help reinvigorate mitochondria and ward off diseases of aging. Elysium is banking on this potential synergy—its NR-containing supplement includes a resveratrol-like substance called pterostilbene (pronounced tero-STILL-bean), which is found in blueberries and grapes.
While resveratrol has hogged the anti-aging spotlight over the past decade, unsung researchers in places like Oxford, Miss., have quietly shown that pterostilbene is a kind of extra-potent version of resveratrol. The pterostilbene molecule is nearly identical to resveratrol's except for a couple of differences that make it more "bioavailable" (animal studies indicate that about four times as much ingested pterostilbene gets into the bloodstream as resveratrol). Test-tube and rodent studies also suggest that pterostilbene is more potent than resveratrol when it comes to improving brain function, warding off various kinds of cancer and preventing heart disease.
How excited should we be about all this? If I were a middle-aged mouse, I'd be ready to spend some of the nickels and dimes I'd dragged off the sidewalk to try NR supplements. Even before Sinclair's paper, researchers had shown in 2012 that when given doses of NR, mice on high-fat diets gained 60 percent less weight than they did on the same diets without NR. Further, none of the mice on NR showed signs of diabetes, and their energy levels improved. The scientists reportedly characterized NR's effects on metabolism as "nothing short of astonishing."
But the paucity of human data gives me pause. Nobel laureates notwithstanding, I plan to wait until more is known before jumping up from the supper table to run out for some NR. Besides, it probably won’t be long before more data come out given the growing buzz about NAD.
Read more: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/beyond-resveratrol-the-anti-aging-nad-fad/
Naturally Boosting NAD Levels
But there is good news. If you want to remain youthful and enjoy a long and healthy life, then there are ways in which you can naturally enhance the levels of NAD in your body. Continue reading to find out how:
Fasting is practiced in many religions throughout the world. In addition to its spiritual benefits, it turns out that fasting is also beneficial for our health. Fasting, or reducing your calorie intake is an excellent method for indirectly boosting the body’s NAD levels. Fasting has been shown to increase the levels of NAD+ and surtuins; the proteins which have been found to slow the aging process. While fasting is effective in increasing NAD+ levels, drastic reduction in calorie intake or fasting can have a counterproductive effect. There is also some speculation that intermittent fasting or adopting a low carb-ketogenic diet may also provide similar positive results.
- Nicotinamide Riboside Dietary Supplements
Nicotinamide Riboside has recently been discovered in Vitamin B3. No one really paid attention to this molecule until research showed that our bodies can use NR to metabolise NAD+! After this discovery, several NR supplements became available in the markets. Various studies have shown that NR supplements are beneficial in boosting the levels of NAD+ in the body.
Exercise is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods for boosting NAD+ levels. When we exercise, our bodies need energy, which comes from NAD+. Basically, exercise forces our body muscles to produce more mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of cells. The increased production of mitochondria results in a natural boost in NAD+ levels in the body.
- Too Much Sunlight May not be Good!
Research has shown that too much direct sunlight exposure can deplete the body of NAD+ levels. This is because our body uses NAD+ to repair cells which get damaged as a result of direct UV ray exposure from the sunlight. In case you feel that excessive sunlight exposure is inevitable for you, then you should wear sunblock, sunscreen or sunglasses.
- Foods which Boost NAD Levels
There are certain foods which can boost NAD levels in the body. Some of them include:
- Dairy Milk – research has indicated that cow’s milk is a good source of Riboside Nicotinamide (RN). A litre of fresh cow’s milk contains about 3.9µmol of NAD+. So while you’re enjoying a refreshing glass of milk, you’re actually getting younger and healthier!
- Fish – here’s another reason for you to enjoy fish! some varieties of fish like tuna, salmons and sardines are rich sources of NAD+ for the body.
- Mushrooms – many people like mushrooms and them as a regular food item in their regular diet. But did you know that mushrooms, especially the crimini mushrooms, also help in naturally boosting NAD levels? Yes, that’s true. So, enjoy eating the mushrooms and continue to look and younger and more youthful!
- Yeast – yeast is an ingredient which is used for making bread and other bakery products. Yeast contains Riboside Nicotinamide (RN), which is a precursor of NAD. Here’s another reason for you to enjoy your favorite pastries or buns whenever you visit the bakery! Enjoy your favorite food while boosting NAD levels at the same time. How cool is that!
- Green Vegetables – green vegetables contain all sorts of nutrients in them which are beneficial in a variety of ways. Recently, it has come to light that green vegetables are also a good source of NAD for the body. Some of these vegetables include peas and asparagus.
- Whole Grains – as discussed earlier, Vitamin B3 also contains RN, the precursor for NAD. However, when vegetables, food items or grains are cooked or processed, they lose their nutrition as well as the vitamin source. Therefore, it is recommended that you should also eat raw vegetables and take whole grains instead of processed foods.
- Cut Down on Alcoholic Beverages – NAD is responsible for maintaining the overall metabolic processes of the body. Alcohol tends to interfere with these processes and reduce the efficacy of NAD. Therefore, you should avoid excessive intake of alcoholic drinks since they are also not good for your health.
What is the difference between NAD and NAD+?
If you have done any research on aging and health recently, you have likely stumbled across the so-called anti-aging molecule, NAD. You have probably also seen it called NAD+ and maybe even as NADH. So, what is the difference, if there is any?
The short answer is that there is a difference, at least between NAD and NADH. Generally speaking, when NAD is used NAD is being talked about generally. And often when using “NAD” it is referring to the specific chemical forms of NAD, NAD+ and NADH, interchangeably.
NAD exists in two forms: NAD+ and NADH. Its ability to switch between these two forms is what allows NAD to carry out its main function—carrying electrons from one reaction to another in the process of metabolism and energy production.
As an electron carrier, NAD+ and NADH help to convert the nutrients in your food into a form of energy your cells can use.
NR or Nicotinamide Riboside
While most anti-aging products try to reverse signs of aging on your skin, nicotinamide riboside — also called niagen — aims to reverse signs of aging from inside your body.
Within your body, nicotinamide riboside is converted into NAD+, a helper molecule that exists inside each of your cells and supports many aspects of healthy aging.
Nicotinamide riboside, or niagen, is an alternative form of vitamin B3, also called niacin.
Like other forms of vitamin B3, nicotinamide riboside is converted by your body into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme or helper molecule.
NAD+ acts as fuel for many key biological processes, such as (Trusted Source, Trusted Source):
- Converting food into energy
- Repairing damaged DNA
- Fortifying cells’ defense systems
- Setting your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm
Low NAD+ levels have been linked to health concerns like aging and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and vision loss (Trusted Source).
Interestingly, animal research has found that raising NAD+ levels may help reverse signs of aging and lower the risk of many chronic diseases (Trusted Source, Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
Nicotinamide riboside supplements — such as niagen — have quickly become popular because they appear to be especially effective at raising NAD+ levels (Trusted Source). Nicotinamide riboside is also found in trace amounts in cows’ milk, yeast and beer (Trusted Source).
Read more: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nicotinamide-riboside
Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid. It’s considered semi-essential because your body can produce it from other amino acids, namely methionine and serine. It becomes essential only when the dietary intake of methionine and serine is low.
Cysteine is found in most high-protein foods, such as chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds and legumes.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a supplement form of cysteine. NAC is valued primarily for its role in antioxidant production.
Along with two other amino acids — glutamine and glycine — NAC is needed to make and replenish glutathione.
Glutathione is one of the body’s most important antioxidants, which helps neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in your body.
A related literature analysis linked glutathione deficiency to COVID-19 disease severity, leading the author to conclude that NAC may be useful both for prevention and treatment. NAC may also combat the abnormal blood clotting seen in many cases, and helps loosen thick mucus in the lungs.
At present, seven studies involving NAC for COVID-19 are listed on Clinicaltrials.gov.