Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is the active coenzyme form of vitamin B3. It plays an essential role in the energy production of every human cell.
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3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
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1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
10 mg daily
Supplementing with NADH may help your body produce more energy.
NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) helps make ATP, the energy source the body runs on. In a double-blind trial, people with CFS received 10 mg of NADH or a placebo each day for four weeks.1 Of those receiving NADH, 31% reported improvements in fatigue, decreases in other symptoms, and improved overall quality of life, compared with only 8% of those in the placebo group. Further double-blind research is needed to confirm these findings.
5 mg twice per day
NADH—the active form of vitamin B3 in the body—has been shown to reduce symptoms and improve brain function in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Drug therapy for Parkinson’s disease has been reported to deplete vitamin B3 in humans.2 Vitamin B3 may be needed to decrease SAMe levels, and in so doing, may possibly help people with Parkinson’s disease. However, the two main forms of vitamin B3, niacin and niacinamide, when taken in combination with L-dopa, have demonstrated no benefit for people with Parkinson’s disease.3 Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)—the active form of vitamin B3 in the body—effectively raises the level of dopamine in the brain, making it potentially useful in the treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease. In preliminary research, NADH supplementation reduced symptoms and improved brain function in people with Parkinson’s disease.4 , 5 One researcher has recommended 5 mg taken twice per day for people with Parkinson’s disease.6 However, one small, double-blind, short-term trial using injections of NADH found no significant effects.7
10 mg per day
A small, preliminary trial showed that oral NADH improved mental function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
A small, preliminary trial showed that oral NADH (10 mg per day) improved mental function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.8 Further studies are necessary to confirm these early results.
Refer to label instructions
One study suggested that supplementing with NADH may help people with depression.
An isolated preliminary trial suggests the supplement NADH may help people with depression.9 Controlled trials are needed, however, before any conclusions can be drawn.
How It Works
How to Use It
Researchers have used 10 mg per day, taken with water only, on an empty stomach.
Where to Find It
NADH is found in the muscle tissue of fish and poultry and cattle, as well as in food products made with yeast. However, it is not known whether the NADH from these sources can be efficiently absorbed or utilized by the body. It is also available as a nutritional supplement.
Best Form to Take
NADH appears to be a chemically unstable molecule that decomposes rapidly. For this reason, techniques have been developed to stabilize the NADH sold in tablet form. At the present time, it is not known which commercially available NADH products are most effective.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
1. Forsyth LM, Preuss HG, MacDowell AL, et al. Therapeutic effects of oral NADH on the symptoms of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1999;82:185-91.
2. Bender DA, Earl CJ, Lees AJ. Niacin depletion in Parkinsonian patients treated with L-dopa, benserizide and carbidopa. Clin Sci 1979;56:89-93.
3. Cotzias GC, Lawrence WH, Papavasiliou PS, Duby SE. Nicotinamide ineffective in parkinsonism. N Engl J Med 1972;287:147.
4. Birkmayer JGD, Vrecko C, Volc D, et al. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). A new therapeutic approach to Parkinson's disease. Comparison of oral and parenteral application. Neurol Scand 1993;87(Suppl 146):32-5.
5. Birkmayer JGD. Coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide: New therapeutic approach for improving dementia of the Alzheimer type. Ann Clin Lab Sci 1996;26:1-9.
6. Wright JV. Interview: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, NADH research. Jorg Birkmayer, M.D. Nutr Healing 1997;May:5-6.
7. Dizdar N, Kagedal B, Lindvall B. Treatment of Parkinson's disease with NADH. Acta Neurologica Scand 1994;90:345-7.
8. Birkmayer JGD. Coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide: New therapeutic approach for improving dementia of the Alzheimer type. Ann Clin Lab Sci 1996;26:1-9.
9. Birkmayer JGD, Birkmayer W. The coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) as biological antidepressive agent: Experience with 205 patients. New Trends Clin Neuropharmacol 1991;5:19-25.
Last Review: 01-20-2015
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.