NAD+ and Your Brain: Boosting Cognitive Function and Fighting Neurodegenerative Diseases
NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a molecule found in every cell in the body that plays a critical role in many biological processes, including energy metabolism, DNA repair, and gene expression. Recent studies have shown that NAD+ can also have a significant positive impact on cognitive function and may even help fight neurodegenerative diseases.
NAD+ is crucial for the proper functioning of neurons in the brain1. It helps produce energy for brain cells and is involved in DNA repair and gene expression, both of which are important for maintaining brain health. As we age, NAD+ levels in the brain tend to decline, which can lead to a variety of cognitive problems, including memory loss, decreased focus, and slower mental processing.
Research2 has shown that increasing NAD+ levels in the brain can help improve cognitive function and even protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s2. NAD+ is important in making a molecule called cADPR2, which helps regulate the amount of calcium in the brain. If there’s too much or too little calcium in the brain, it can lead to brain diseases.
There are many ways to increase NAD+ levels in the brain. Exercise has been shown to increase NAD+ levels in the brain3, especially high-intensity exercise. Diet can also play a role, with foods such as dairy, fish, and meat containing high levels of NAD+ precursors.By increasing NAD+ levels, you can improve your brain health maintain cognitive function, protect against neurodegenerative diseases, and potentially reduce your risk of developing debilitating conditions.
- W. Ying. NAD+ and NADH in brain functions, brain diseases and brain aging. Frontiers in Bioscience 12, 1863-1888, January 1, 2007.
- N. Xie. NAD+ metabolism: pathophysiologic mechanisms and therapeutic potential. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy (2020) 5:227.
- D. Walzik. Tissue-specific effects of exercise as NAD+-boosting strategy: Current knowledge and future perspectives. Acta Physiologica. 2023;00:e13921.