Articles

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH)

Introduction

Originally discovered in 1905, scientists now know that NADH is necessary to transform the nutrients from food into energy for the body. NADH is also involved in cellular repair and the restoration of DNA that has been damaged by radiation, sunlight, ozone, and chemical toxins. NADH may also function as an antioxidant while stimulating the production of dopamine and other neurotransmitters that control our moods, memory, and physical performance.

NADH occurs in many foods, including red meats, poultry, fish, and products with yeast (such as bread).

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

2.5-15mg once daily to once every other day. Take on an empty stomach, either one-half hour before meals or one hour after.

Most Common Dosage

Nutrition and Energy Enhancement: 2.5–5mg every other day to daily, depending upon individual requirements.

Therapeutic Support (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue): 10-15mg every other day to daily.

Dosage Forms

Tablet.

Reported Uses

Because NADH can positively influence the production and availability of important neurotransmitters, it may be able to improve cognitive function for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists think these neurotransmitters are reduced in certain areas of the brain, and NADH may enhance their activity. (1)

NADH may be beneficial in other types of mental disorders. In the case of Parkinson’s disease for instance, NADH may improve walking ability, posture and speech. (2) NADH has also been studied for its use in mild to moderate depression. (3) Again, scientists think NADH’s ability to stimulate critical neurotransmitters that control moods and sense of well-being may explain its potential benefit in treating depression.

NADH has seen use in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Because NADH can enhance energy production in the body, it may be able to treat the flu-like symptoms of the disorder, which includes fatigue, deep tissue pain, impairment of short term memory, sleep disturbances, mild fever, and sore throat. (4)

There have been recent findings about the benefit of NADH in improving jet-lag. A recent study compared NADH to a placebo in subjects taking a "red-eye" flight spanning four time zones. The subjects who used NADH performed better on measurements of mental function and sleepiness compared to subjects taking placebo. No side effects were observed. (5)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

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General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Pregnancy / Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Reinikainen KJ, et al. Neurotransmitter changes in Alzheimer’s disease: implications to diagnostics and therapy. Neurosci Res. 1990;27:576-86.
  2. View Abstract: Birkmayer JG, et al. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) – a new therapeutic approach to Parkinson’s Disease, Comparison of Oral and Parenteral Application. Acta Neurol. Scan. 1993;87(Suppl146):32-35.
  3. View Abstract: Birkmayer JG. Coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide: New therapeutic approach for improving dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1996;26(1):1-9.
  4. View Abstract: Forsyth LM, et al. Therapeutic effects of oral NADH on the symptoms of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Feb1999;82(2):185-91.
  5. Kay GG, Virre E, Clark J. Stabilized NADH as a countermeasure for jet lag. 48th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine. Rio de Janeiro. Sep2000.