Should You Boost NAD+ Directly or Use Precursors (NMN, NR, & NMNH)?
Updated: Apr 30
Key Points We’ll Discuss in This Post:
The importance of NAD+
NAD+ Precursors (NMN, NR, or NMNH) are not pure NAD+, however, they can convert into NAD+ after consumption
When to use pure NAD+ or in combination with NAD+ Precursors
Why is NAD+ Important?
As leading longevity expert, Dr. David Sinclair, put it in Time Magazine, “...without it, you’re dead in 30 seconds.” NAD+ is involved in fundamental biological processes, including metabolism, cell signaling, gene expression, DNA repair, and more (1). Simply put, without NAD+, all life would cease to exist.
With that said, NAD+ levels decrease across multiple types of tissues with age, as demonstrated by James Clement (2). NAD+ decline is one of the fundamental molecular events that negatively impacts the process of aging, potentially limiting lifespan (3). This is why it is important to replenish and sustain your NAD+ levels.
You can boost NAD+ directly, use NAD+ precursors, or a combination of the two. Below, we’ll introduce you to the various methods, as well as provide suggestions for usage.
What are NAD+ Precursors and Why Use Them?
A common way to supplement NAD+ is by using NAD+ precursors, such as Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), or Reduced Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMNH). For example, Tru Niagen is a famous brand that sells a popular NMN supplement. Elysium is a well-known brand that produces Basis, a popular NR Supplement. Precursor simply means that the compound is not actual NAD+, but is expected to convert into NAD at some point after consumption.
So, why take a precursor pill (such as NMN) instead of a pill made up of pure NAD+? This is because NAD+ in pill form will not survive the body’s digestive process, and will get destroyed by stomach acid. NAD+ precursors, on the other hand, can survive digestion and can be converted to NAD+ via their respective pathways. Supplementing NAD+ in pill form with NR has been shown to increase NAD+ levels by 40%.
Methods to Administer Pure NAD+
There are alternative ways to directly boost NAD+ with pure products that do not require the reliance on a precursor or pill converting to NAD+. These alternatives include: NAD+ Intravenous applications (IV), NAD+ Iontophoresis Patches, and NAD+ Subcutaneous Injections. All three methods effectively deliver NAD+ straight to the bloodstream—bypassing the stomach.
NAD+ IV: NAD+ IV is an exceptionally effective way to boost your NAD+ levels. However, as noted by VICE News, it is invasive, expensive (hundreds of dollars per infusion), and relatively inconvenient. Sitting at the IV center for hours could be equated to renewing your driver's license at the DMV.
NAD+ Patches and NAD+ Subcutaneous Injections are two other effective ways to boost your NAD+ levels—at a fraction of the cost—and without the inconveniences of the NAD+ IV.
NAD+ Patches: NAD+ Patches are a newer technology that utilizes a special iontophoresis patch to administer NAD+ directly into the bloodstream via skin absorption. James Clement, founder of Betterhumans, has demonstrated that wearing NAD+ patches once a week for four hours at a time can increase NAD+ levels by up to 5x.
NAD+ Subcutaneous Injections: NAD+ subcutaneous injections can be self administered, just like an insulin injection. Users can adjust to the dose that works best. While this approach may not be for everyone, some users who have experienced the benefits of NAD+ supplementation find the injections to be a good way of boosting and maintaining their NAD+ levels.
AgelessRx has serviced numerous clients who have tried NAD+ IV, witnessed benefits (ranging from better energy, better sleep, less anxiety, less depression, faster recovery after a workout or injury), and then chose NAD+ Patches or NAD+ injections to maintain their NAD+ levels.
Combining NAD+ With Precursors
It is certainly possible to benefit from administering both NAD+ Patches or Injections weekly and supplementing with NAD+ precursors, such as NMN, NR, or NMNH, daily. While many patients follow this regime, most of our patients report that they find it to be redundant and unnecessary; instead, they report better results and benefits simply by using the NAD+ Patch or Injection on a regular basis.
Users also report more cost savings when compared to the combination costs when using both direct NAD+ administered products and precursors.
Other NAD+ Resources
James Clement’s expertise in the longevity field has led to multiple speaking engagements on the subject of NAD+, such as this great interview on Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee. He has expanded on the importance of NAD+ in another recent interview, stating: “...By the time you’re 60, it’s [NAD+ levels] maybe 50% of what it was when you were in your 20’s and 30’s, and then by the time you’re 70, it’s 10% and then at 80, there’s almost none--you can see how this huge build-up of damaged DNA in every cell of your body is potentially one of the driving forces of these morbidities that you see with aging, heart disease, cancer [and] Alzheimer’s”.
Putting It All Together
NAD+ is required for energy production through metabolism, and helps turn nutrients into energy--without it, life would cease to exist.
NAD+ promotes DNA repair, while NAD+ decline is associated with accumulation of DNA damage
Most take precursors (NMN, NR, or NMNH) to help NAD+ pills better survive in the stomach
NAD+ Patches, Injections, and Infusions are all alternative options to boost NAD+ (with or without use of precursors)
It is possible to benefit from being on both NAD+ Patches or Injections weekly and precursors daily.
NAD+ IV’s are a powerful way to boost NAD+ levels, but can be expensive and inconvenient.
NAD+ patches and subcutaneous injections provide a cheaper and a more convenient alternative to boost NAD+ levels from the comfort of home.
Until next time!