RAISE YOUR NAD LEVELS INEXPENSIVELY – PART 2

This article is copyright © Nils Osmar 2019.

    • It’s intended solely for informational purposes. It is not meant to be taken as, and should not be construed, as medical advice.
    • Any changes to your lifestyle or diet should be done in consultation with your doctor or health care professional.     
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In PART 1, I included a list of SUPPLEMENTS that can raise our levels of NAD, and keep them high as we age.  I’ll be talking more about them below.

But let’s get right to the point, in this section. You can also raise your body’s NAD+ levels for FREE, by:

  1. Doing HIIT exercise (exercising vigorously enough to create a temporary oxygen deficit) (at least three times per week)
  2. Doing Intermittent fasting (leaving a space of at least 12 hours, preferably 16 hours, between your last meal at night and your first meal the next day). (Your NAD levels will start creeping up as the fast moves along.)
  3. Doing a four or five day water fast (also promote autophagy and apoptosis). (It’s also fine to drink coffee or tea, particularly teas like chamomile and Pau D’Arco, which in themselves increase NAD levels in the body).
  4. Doing a four or five day fasting mimicking diet (which also promotes autophagy and apoptosis)
  5. Cold exposure (cold baths or showers)
  6. Heat exposure (saunas)
  7. Alternating very hot and very cold stretches in the same shower
  8. NOTE: If you do intermittent fasting, it’s recommended that you avoid eating in the last 3 or 4 hours before you go to bed (i.e., stop eating by 6 or 7, so that you’ll go to bed a little hungry. The hunger at night is what triggers your body to produce more NAD+)

BACK TO THE SUPPLEMENTS

NIACIN (also known as nicotinic acid and NA) (a form of vitamin B3)

On the plus side, niacin is very affordable (just a few cents for a 500 mg capsule). And it’s well-researched. It’s been known to increase NAD+ levels for decades. Many people take it for things unrelated to NAD+, such as lowering LDL, raising HDL, and lowering triglycerides, which it reportedly does more effectively than many statin drugs.

On the down side, it causes flushing, which some people find uncomfortable. Many women have compared this to a hot flash. In the flush, your blood vessels dilate, making your skin turn red,  and sometimes a little itchy, for a half hour or so after taking it. After you’ve been taking it for a few days, the flush effect stops happening. Some people actually like the niacin flush, and miss it when it stops occurring.

A bigger concern is that large doses of niacin taken over a long stretch of time increase insulin resistance and raise blood glucose. In my own case, I’ve found I can avoid the blood glucose problem by taking it with some chromium or berberine, both of which promote insulin sensitivity).

If you research niacin you’ll run across discussion of possible liver damage. It’s true that some time-release and slow-release versions of niacin have been shown to cause liver damage if taken in large doses. But I’m not aware of any studies showing that regular (non-time release) niacin causes liver damage.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn has said that it’s safe to take up to 3 grams of non-timed release niacin, but that you should take TMG (a supplement that replenishes methyl molecules) along with it if you do because all NAD boosters deplete methyl groups.


NIACINAMIDE (also known as nicotinamide and NAM) (another form of B3)

Niacinamide is also very affordable (around a nickel for a 500 mg capsule). But like niacin, it can cause insulin resistance and raise blood glucose levels if taken in large doses.  It does not cause flushing. 

One problem with NAM is that it has been found to dampen sirtuin functions in the body. But some recent research clarifies that this may be true only when used in vitro. So it may not really be the bad guy some folks think it is. See this abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28417163


NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide)

  • NMN also increases NAD+ levels.
  • Like NR, NMN does so without raising blood glucose levels or increase insulin resistance.
  • Like NR, it’s expensive.
  • NMN is the NAD+ booster that David Sinclair takes, and has used in his studies aimed at understanding, slowing and reversing aging at Harvard University.

NR (nicotinamide riboside)

  • Sometimes sold under the brand name NIAGEN.
  • NR increases NAD+, but is very pricey.
  • Unlike niacin and niacinamide, NR does not raise blood glucose or increase insulin resistance.
  • Like niacin and niacinamide, NR is a form of vitamin B3.

PAU D’ARCO

  • The herb Pau D’Arco, made from the bark of a tree, has also been reported to raise NAD+ levels. People often drink it as a tea or take it as a supplement. 
  • Like many herbs,  it can be toxic to the body in large doses  So if you take it, read up on its possible side effects first.
  • According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, you can increase the amount of NAD+ in Pau D’Arco by fermenting it overnight. Just put some Pau D’Arco powder in a glass of water, put it it in a warm place like the oven (with just the oven light on),  leave it there overnight,  and it will begin fermenting, greatly increasing the level of NAD+. Then strain and drink it in the morning.

TRYPTOPHAN

  • Tryptophan, which is available naturally in many foods, doesn’t increase NAD+ directly, but is converted into niacin by the body, which then uses it to create NAD+. So eating foods high in this amino acid should add a little NAD+ in the body. It can also be taken as a supplement.
  • It takes a 60 milligram of tryptophan to make a single milligram of niacin, so is not an easy way to get niacin or NAD+ into your body.

VITAMIN D also reportedly raises NAD+ levels.


MALIC ACID – please see this link


LEUCINE – an amino acid found naturally in many foods –

    1. Article 1 – Leucine supplementation increases SIRT1 expression and prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic disorders in high-fat diet-induced obese mice  –
    2. Article 2: Targeting NAD+ in Metabolic Disease: New Insights Into an Old Molecule

APEGENIN 

    • For those wanting to BOOST NAD LEVELS inexpensively: One little known NAD booster is APIGENIN.
    • Natural food sources of apigenin include parsley, celery, grapefruit, and chamomile tea.
    • DRIED (not fresh) parsley is the richest natural source of apigenin; it has 13,000 mg per 100 grams.
    • One teaspoon of organic dried parsley would give you about 600 mg of apigenin. (Fresh parsley would just give you about 10 mg or apigenin.)
    • NOTE: If cooking with parsley, don’t overcook it; lower the heat, then add the parsley in the last couple of minutes of cooking, as apigenin is destroyed by heat.
  • Apigenin has also been shown to be anti-carcinogenic. No one is claiming that it CURES cancer, but it has been shown to be effective in slowing the spread of some types of cancer.
  • You can buy apigenin as a supplement… it’s very inexpensive, about 10 cents for a 50-mg capsule. But it’s far more economical to just use dried parsley. And there is some concern that taking it as an isolated supplement could be problematic (but no downside that I’m aware of to eating lots of parsley, which is rich in both apigenin and in other important and protective phytonutrients)
  • An article about apigenin

NAD+ needs an activator!


The supplements above all increase NAD+ levels. But having a lot of NAD+ in your body doesn’t accomplish much without the ability to activate it. Common activators for NAD+ include:

  • resveratrol
  • quercetin
  • fisetin

You don’t need all three; any one will work. But it’s fine to take them together if you want to. You should take them whenever you take a NAD booster. David Sinclair compares NAD+ to the fuel in your car’s gas tank, and the activator (whichever one you choose) to a gas pedal.

People often ask which one’s better. The answer is, no one knows, really.  The claims that one has been “proven” to be better than the others are based on limited research, which is often misunderstood or misrepresented by those making the claims, who may have a financial interest in selling one product or another.

Another question is how the best delivery method.  If your choice is to take NMN (for example), should you take it as a sublingual? Or just swallow a capsule? Or take it an an IV, or an injection?

All of these methods have adherents. Most lab tests have been done with the capsule method; the others are less proven, but could still turn out to be viable or even better than swallowing a capsule full of NMN. David Sinclair, the Harvard Professor who is one of the world’s leading authorities on NMN, says all of them could turn out to work, but anyone claiming (for example) that the science has proven that sublingual is best, is not being accurate.

Some people claim that NR is better than NMN. Others, that NMN is far superior to NR. Some say that both are overhyped and that you can take niacin or nicotinamide (niacinamide) and get good (or good enough) results. One authority was claiming for a while that you could make your own nicotinamide riboside by just taking niacin with a supplement called D-ribose.


 


What I’m doing

  • I do HIIT EXERCISE (stair running) three or four times a week
  • I take 750 mg of NMN in the morning, along with 450 mg of resveratrol and 1 gram of trimethylglycine. (I’m still experimenting to find the right amount of NMN to take. It’s pricey. I may lower it to 500 next week to see if I notice a difference.)
  • I take between 500 milligrams and 1 gram of NIACIN at night, along with 1000 mg of resveratrol and 1 gram of trimethylglycine (and some calcium, magnesium and vitamin D).
  • I take CONTRAST SHOWERS every morning: 3 minutes hot; 2 minutes cold; 3 minutes hot; 3 minutes cold.
  • After showering, I get RED LIGHT EXPOSURE for 10-12 minutes, standing between panels of 660 nm and 630 nm lights, with lights also shining up on me from above and below.
  • I do intermittent fasting (timed eating); i.e., I stop eating at 7 p.m. and fast until at least 7 a.m.  I sometimes fast until noon or 1 p.m.
  • I do either a 4 or 5 day water/green tea/coffee fast, or a 4 or 5 day fasting mimicking diet, a few times a year. (These days I usually opt for the fasting mimicking diet.)
  • In addition to the supplements I take to keep my NAD+ levels high, I take several supplements aimed at increasing testosterone levels in my body and keeping my body and brain clear of plaque and senescent cells.

Which supplement is best?

You might actually ask first, do we really need to take a supplement if we’re doing other things to increase NAD+. I’m taking NAD+ boosters experimentally, but it’s possible that they’re just a waste of money, since I do so many other things to keep my levels high.But if you do take them, which one makes the most sense to buy?Of the forms of B3 that are commonly available without a prescription, only niacin has been shown to not only raise NAD+, but to lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and improve the HDL/triglycerides balance. So niacin has many benefits that NR and the other products that raise NAD+ levels don’t have. Plus, it’s cheap… only a few cents per capsule. It may not make as much NAD+ per milligram, but you can buy a lot more milligrams for your money.My blood glucose dropped  significantly, going from prediabetic into normal range, when I took niacin along with this regimen. And since niacin is so cheap, I can afford to take much more of it than I can NR. 


My experience taking Niacin

I’ve been taking niacin off and on for years. Currently I take it when I’m going to bed, because I sleep better when I do. The flush is a little uncomfortable but no big deal, and usually passes in a few minutes. I take resveratrol and TMG and chromium along with it, and also take some calcium and magnesium because, along with niacin, they promote the formation of melatonin.


My experience taking NR

I started taking NR a few months ago, hoping it would raise my NAD+ levels. I had high hopes based on the articles I’d read about it. But the first time I took it, I felt a little sick, woozy and lightheaded.

The next time, I even worse: sick, woody, dizzy and lightheaded.  I assumed this was because Niagen decreases blood pressure, and mine is already a little low. 

The longer I took it, the worse I felt. Not just dizziness –– I felt down, depressed, low energy, and deeply fatigued. After two weeks of taking it, I almost couldn’t get out of bed during the day to get things done. I needed four or five naps a day. I didn’t realize at the time that the NR/niagen was causing this. When I stopped taking it, I felt better within a few hours.

I learned later that one reason for my negative reaction may have been because NR depletes methyl groups. When I stopped taking it and started taking TMG (trimethyl glycine), I felt better almost immediately. Based on those experiences, I decided that when taking any form of B3 in the future, I would take some TMG along with it. (I tried NR a few months later along with TMG, but I still felt cruddy, so gave the rest of the bottle to a friend.)


My experience taking NMN

My experiences taking NMN have been better, so far.

  • When I take it, I don’t feel fatigued. I have slightly more energy than usual, and feel a slight elevation of my alertness.
  • When I take a big dose (700 + mg) most days, along with 450 mg of resveratrol and some TMG, I (sometimes) experience a boost to my libido. 
  • It’s hard to know though if the libido boost is caused by the NMN, as I usually take it along with some L. Reuteri 6475, which is also known to increase testosterone and crank up sexual energy in males.

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