Should You Boost NAD+ Directly or Use Precursors?

NAD+ precursor pills laid next to NAD+ solution and subcutaneous injections, showing the dilemma between 2 popular forms of NAD+ supplementation.

Key Points We’ll Discuss in This Post:

  • The importance of NAD+
  • NAD+ precursors are not pure NAD+, but convert into NAD+ after consumption
  • NAD+ IVs, NAD+ Patches, & NAD+ Injections are all methods to administer pure NAD+
  • When to use pure NAD+ or in combination with NAD+ precursors

Why Is NAD+ Important?

NAD+ is involved in fundamental biological processes, including metabolism, cell signaling, gene expression, DNA repair, and more (1). As leading longevity expert Dr. David Sinclair explained in Time Magazine, “…without it, you’re dead in 30 seconds.” Simply put, without NAD+, all life would cease to exist.

But our NAD+ levels decrease with age, as demonstrated by James Clement (2). 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”.

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. For example, Tru Niagen and Elysium are well-known brands that produce popular NAD+ precursors. But precursors aren’t pure NAD+—they convert into NAD+ after consumption.

So, why take a NAD+ precursor instead of a pill made up of pure NAD+? 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.

It’s helpful to think of precursors as a supplement to be used in conjunction with pure NAD+. Using precursors on their own may not provide enough bioavailable NAD+ to noticeably improve your NAD+ levels. But when used with pure NAD+, precursors can help boost your NAD+ levels to even greater levels. So, what methods are available for to directly boost your levels with pure NAD+?

Methods to Administer Pure NAD+

Pure NAD+ products or medications are those that do not need to be converted into NAD+ after consumption. These alternatives include Intravenous (IV) NAD+, NAD+ Iontophoresis Patches, and NAD+ Subcutaneous Injections. All three methods effectively deliver NAD+ straight to the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach.

NAD+ IV is an exceptionally effective way to boost your NAD+ levels. However, as noted by VICE News, this process is invasive, expensive (hundreds of dollars per infusion), and relatively inconvenient.

NAD+ Patches and NAD+ Subcutaneous Injections are two other effective ways to boost your NAD+ levels. They’re available at a fraction of the cost of NAD+ IVs, and can be done in the comfort and safety of your home.

NAD+ Patches are a newer technology that utilize a special iontophoresis patch to administer NAD+ directly into the bloodstream by 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 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 find injections to be a good way of boosting and maintaining their NAD+ levels.

If you’re used to NAD+ IVs, you may find that NAD+ Patches or NAD+ injections will help maintain your levels without going through the expensive hassle of regular IV appointment. Plus, you’ll still see the same range of benefits like better energy, better sleep, less anxiety, less depression, and faster recovery.

Combining NAD+ with Precursors

You can use both NAD+ Patches or Injections weekly while also supplementing with NAD+ precursors daily. Doing so may improve your NAD+ levels even more than using any of these alone, but you may not notice amplified benefits. If you’re looking for better results and benefits, sticking to either NAD+ Patches or NAD+ Injections are your most efficient options.

That’s not to mention the cost of combined NAD+ therapy. NAD+ IVs are too expensive for most, while OTC NAD+ precursors don’t always provide the boost you need. NAD+ Patches and Injections meet that perfect middle ground of cost and efficiency. Just one of these options give most users the results they’re looking for without needing to spend extra on NAD+ precursors or IVs.

Before you consider which option is best for you, meet with a US-licensed prescriber to better understand your NAD+ needs. Let your doctor know what you’re looking for, and they’ll let you know which method will best achieve your desired results. From there, it becomes less a question of how much NAD+ you’re taking, and more a question of how often you’re taking it.

Until next time!

Dr. Z

Note: The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.