Imagine being able to put ageing on pause with a pill. Until quite recently, the idea of a credible anti-ageing tablet was dismissed as science fiction. But now there’s a buzz around boosting your NAD+ levels (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) with a supplement to rejuvenate you from the inside. That’s because NAD+ is a powerhouse molecule that repairs and fuels every single cell in your body. So, what exactly is NAD+? How does it work? And should you be taking it?

What is NAD+ and why is it important?

NAD+ is the central catalyst of metabolism, which means you depend on it for converting food into biological energy so your body can perform basic functions, such as thinking, moving muscles, and circulating blood. And it’s essential for DNA repair. So, you literally can’t live without NAD+. But the problem is that levels decline as you age, with levels halving for every 20 years of life. So by our mid 40s, the symptoms of lower NAD+ levels are definitely something we are feeling. This downwards spiral of NAD+ correlates with the onset of many of the complaints associated with ageing including wrinkles, memory loss, heart problems, dementia, Parkinson’s, vision loss, and more. NAD+ decline is seen as one of the nine main hallmarks of ageing. Your body’s ability to self-repair declines with age and being under metabolic stress. NAD+ comes under attack by stressors, such as over-exposure to sunlight, which damages DNA, and excess food and alcohol, which stress the NAD+ system.

Should you be maintaining your NAD+ levels with a supplement?

When it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle into your 40’s and beyond, supporting your body’s energy, stamina, and cellular health mechanisms becomes important. NAD+ supplementation can help you do this.

Not only does NAD+ help boost cellular energy and collagen production to fight the visible effects of ageing, but it also improves symptoms of menopause. Menopause causes a huge increase in cellular ageing in a short space of time, turning off the energy and repair mechanisms that you so desperately need right at this time of life. NAD+ is effective at mopping up DNA damage and oxidative stress, so may help off-set this lack of repair. It may also support memory and cognition, which means it could help with the dreaded ‘brain fog’.

What is the best supplement?

According to several studies, it is believed that supplementing NAD+ can counteract its natural decline. One study proposes that NAD+ supplementation could trigger the protection and stabilisation of telomeres, which can prevent cell death and decrease the likelihood of developing chronic diseases, enhancing your health span.

I am a big fan of Nuchido TIME+ which restores youthful NAD+ production by enhancing the cells own ability to make NAD+ as well as promoting cellular salvage and recycling of NAD+. A daily dose of this provides 500mg of NAD+ precursor nicotinamide (niacin) alongside a raft of cell-repairing botanical extracts. It was created by Dr Nichola Conlon, who believes a good NAD+ supplement needs to provide a blend of nutrients that help repair and maintain your cells, alongside providing the fuel for making NAD+.