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NAD+ Research & Development

Introducing NAD+, the molecule that’s essential for life. On this page, you will find NAD+ research and articles that highlight the various benefits of NAD+ and how it works within our cells


NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme found in all living cells, and it’s required for the fundamental biological processes that make life possible. These processes include turning nutrients into energy, maintaining the health of DNA, and regulating circadian rhythms.

Preclinical and clinical NAD+ research suggests that there is huge potential to improve health by increasing NAD+ levels. We’ve demonstrated that our daily supplement, Basis, increases NAD+ levels in humans safely and sustainably.

If you’re new to the science of NAD+, here are a few facts to get you started

Research and Development

The Discovery

Open any biology textbook and you’ll learn about NAD+. It was first discovered more than 110 years ago by scientists studying fermentation. Originally called “cozymase,” NAD+ is now known as a coenzyme with two very significant sets of roles in the body.

One is in oxidation-reduction (or “redox”) reactions, multi-step chemical reactions in cells that turn nutrients into energy we can use to eat, think, and walk. This is a part of metabolism, and you can think of NAD+ as a courier in this process, taking important information between molecules so they can react with each other. In this role, NAD+ is a foundation for life itself.

In the other category of roles, NAD+ works with different sets of proteins to preserve health, especially under conditions of stress (internal or external). This includes maintaining the health of DNA, regulating circadian rhythms (which control many aspects of health beyond sleep), and acting as a quality control mechanism when new proteins are made.

The Resurgence

So why is everyone talking about a molecule we’ve known about for more than a century? The short answer is that many important discoveries about NAD+ have emerged since then. One of the most important is the observation that NAD+ levels decline steadily with age — meaning that all the processes requiring NAD+ may not be able to function properly as we get older.

Another discovery was the second set of roles we described in the previous section: NAD+ as a partner for proteins that preserve health. This observation happened at MIT, when Dr. Leonard Guarente and Dr. Shin-ichiro Imai discovered that sirtuins — a family of proteins that keep the cell in homeostasis under conditions of stress and govern longevity in lower organisms — only function in the presence of NAD+. This meant changes in NAD+ levels could make or break other vital functions in the body.

These discoveries, combined with a deep understanding of how NAD+ is made in the body (the “biosynthetic pathway”), led to the idea that increasing NAD+ levels could be a potential way to maintain long-term health. This is now the subject of many preclinical and clinical trials.

Here’s a quick visual guide to some of the roles NAD+ plays in the body.

How NAD+ Works

  • DNA Health

    We have several built-in systems for fixing errors in our DNA, and these systems need NAD+.

  • Sirtuins

    This family of proteins, which requires NAD+, keeps the cell in homeostasis under conditions of stress and governs longevity in lower organisms

  • Liver Health

    The liver does a lot of important metabolic work, like breaking down fats for energy and keeping blood sugar in balance, all of which requires NAD+

  • Circadian Rhythm

    Our sleep and wake cycle, and everything it entails, depends on NAD+.

  • Calcium Signaling

    A form of communication in the cell — needed for muscle contraction, cell growth, and neurotransmission — that depends on the coenzyme NAD+

  • Energy Creation

    NAD+ is a key player in making ATP, the source of energy in the cell

  • Stem Cell Maintenance

    Organs depend on stem cells for regular maintenance, and NAD+ is necessary for having a healthy number of functioning stem cells

  • Unfolded Protein Response

    The shape of a protein determines its function. NAD+ helps to make sure the proteins are ‘folded’ into the correct shape

  • Gene Expression

    Our genes get turned on and off (a process called “expression”) constantly in response to conditions like nutrition and stress. This requires NAD+

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