What Is NAD+? The Anti-Aging Supplement Celebs Take Daily

People often comment that the Kardashians are aging in reverse. While we may never know all their beauty secrets—especially in terms of the full extent of exactly what they do every day to stay healthy and prevent aging—we got a glimpse into their supplement routine on an episode of Hulu’s The Kardashians.

During season 1, episode 5, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber cited that they often get IV treatments that include NAD+, a compound that has been shown to reduce the physical effects of aging. Although Kendall and Hailey take NAD+ intravenously, you can also get NAD+ from foods like sardines, salmon, whole cow’s milk, yeast, and crimini mushrooms. In fact, the molecule itself is so large that it cannot enter cells directly.

Let’s dive into this trendy treatment and exactly what you can do to preserve your health as you age. Then, for more healthy eating tips to help you retain your youthful vibrance, be sure to check out Healthy Snack Ideas to Slow Aging.

What is NAD+?

Celebrities and the general public alike are beginning to open up to the benefits of NAD+ treatments. This compound has been linked to boosted energy levels as well as improved brain function, mood, and exercise recovery. While these benefits sound encouraging, more research is needed to understand the full scope of how NAD+ works.

“Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme for redox reactions, making it central to energy metabolism,” according to a study published in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. In other words, it’s an organic molecule that impacts metabolic function through chemical reactions that involve the transfer of electrons between two substrates.

NAD+ IVs & the average person’s access

In the U.S. and other Westernized countries, we may have a long lifespan—but we do not always have great health as we age. Thus, research around NAD+ specifically aims to understand if we can continue to improve or preserve our health—mentally and physically—as we age.

While NAD+ is becoming the new kid on the block for aging, it’s not exactly accessible to the average person. It takes time, a financial commitment, and it’s not exactly pleasant to receive this type of treatment. In fact, many people cite that it is a painful, incredibly uncomfortable sensation to receive an NAD+ IV. Not to mention the hours each visit that you have to sit in the chair to receive this treatment; it can take a minimum of four hours to receive a full dose.

Knowing that NAD+ is likely an unrealistic treatment option for the average American, it begs the question, what other options are there? NAD+ is a coenzyme to which there is a precursor that people can take as a supplement. For example, Tru Niagen offers a product that is a great example of a precursor to NAD+ — also known as nicotinamide riboside (NR). In one study, NR significantly increased NAD+ levels by 60%! Other research has found that supplementing with NR improved blood pressure, energy levels, and inflammation markers.

While Kendall and Hailey take NAD+ through IV treatment, it’s very expensive and can be painful. This is because NAD+ IV infusions and supplements are not as efficient as NR due to NAD+ being a larger molecule. Thus, it must be broken down into a NAD+ precursor, like NR, before it’s able to enter the cell, whereas NR is able to cross directly. Because of this, NR is more efficient than NAD+ at increasing NAD+ levels.

Other anti-aging best practices

While this new research is exciting, we can’t forget the basics when it comes to healthy aging. We know that certain healthy habits have a huge impact on health and longevity. Don’t wait until you’re over 60 to begin focusing on healthy aging. Consider these “big rocks” as the foundation of healthy aging first:

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