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NADH’s Possible Benefit for CFS and FMS

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Supplementing with NADH is known to improve cellular energy safely by increasing production of the cellular fuel ATP. NADH also plays a vital role in creation of the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – important for mood, memory, alertness, and concentration.

Not All NADH is the Same
The brand of NADH you select can make a difference in the quality you receive. It is important to know that some forms of NADH are very unstable, and that NADH can be rendered ineffective if it dissolves in the stomach, where stomach acid destroys it. It must therefore be absorbed in the intestinal tract to be effective.

The ENADA® brand of NADH is a unique patented form of NADH that is both stable over time and in a form that is bio-available to the body. That means it has been formulated to be able to deliver itself to the body in the optimum way.

How does ENADA® do that? Quite simply, the ENADA® brand of NADH is blended in a unique stabilizing formula, and the tablet is coated so that it will not dissolve in the stomach, but rather stays intact until it reaches the intestine where it quickly dissolves. Not all NADH products can offer these functions.

The unique form and manufacturing process that makes ENADA® NADH so effective was developed by Professor Jorg Birkmayer, MD, PhD, of Austria and is covered by U.S. patents. What follows is an introduction to NADH – what it is, what it’s good for, and additional explanations of how NADH functions in the body from Professor Birkmayer.

What is NADH?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is a coenzyme that can be found in most living systems. It is found in high concentrations in the mitochondria (energy producing part of all cells) and throughout the rest of cells.

It is synthesized from adenylic acid and nicotinamide, and plays a role in thousands of chemical reactions that occur in the body. NADH is essential in the creation of cellular energy through the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), in a process known as oxidative phosphorylation. NADH is a key component in the production of energy for the whole body.

NADH is the activated form of niacin (vitamin B3) in the body, and without this key nutrient, energy production doesn’t take place.

The side effects of taking NADH are considered nonsignificant, and it has no drug interactions, making it an extremely safe supplement with the potential for great benefits.

What is NADH Good For?
Supplementing with NADH has been shown to have two key functions in the body. First, it improves cellular energy by increasing production of the cellular fuel ATP. This makes NADH essential in conditions where there is a lack of energy or fatigue, or even for athletic performance.

NADH also plays a vital role in the creation of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are important for mood, memory, alertness and concentration. Taking NADH can help people who want to improve mental performance.

The use of NADH in various conditions – and related studies to date – are summarized in the following table, and detailed below.

Condition/Purpose Comment
n Dopamine Production The nutrient has been well-studied for both effectiveness and safety issues and can be recommended for these conditions on the basis of scientific support.
n Low Energy or Fatigue
n Mood Support
n Jet Lag
The nutrient has at least some good clinical studies in humans to support its use, and/or a long history of traditional use. It can be recommended for these conditions on the basis of its traditional use and its relative safety.
n Cognitive Function The nutrient lacks the support of good clinical studies in humans, but has been used traditionally, and a few studies suggest it might be effective. It can be recommended for use for these conditions with the caution that it is not well-supported by research.

NADH and Low Energy or Recurring Fatigue. The cause of recurring fatigue is unknown, but is marked by low cellular energy production (low cellular ATP). Supplementing with NADH is known to increase the production of ATP. Two trials have supported the use of NADH as a dietary supplement for lifestyle support in recurring fatigue.
n The first trial was conducted for 12 weeks and showed a dramatic improvement of 30 percent in the energy levels of people taking the supplement.
n The second trial followed patients who were taking NADH for 2 years. Following 3 months of treatment, the patients showed dramatic improvement in their lifestyle comfort scores.

NADH and Dopamine Production. Supplementing with NADH has been shown to increase dopamine in several large, well-controlled trials. The increase in dopamine was measured by urinary homovanillic acid (a byproduct of dopamine metabolism).

While the vast majority of these studies have been conducted using intravenous (into a vein) and intramuscular (into a muscle) injections of NADH, a few studies have been done with oral NADH, and have shown the oral form to be just as effective. NADH seems to work better in individuals who are younger and those who have nearly-normal dopamine levels.

NADH and Cognitive Function. Two small open (non-blinded; non-randomized) and one small double-blind randomized trial have been performed on the use of NADH as a dietary supplement to support cognitive function.
n The double-blind randomized trial showed no loss of cognitive function after 6 months and improvement over placebo in areas of verbal fluency and visual-constructional ability. No differences between the groups were noted for attention or memory.
n The other trial results have been mixed. Of the open trials, one demonstrated improvement, while the other showed no improvement in cognitive functioning at all.

NADH and Mood Support. One open trial has demonstrated improvement in mood support with supplemental NADH in 204 patients. Further double blind, randomized studies are needed in order to assess the ability of NADH to promote normal mood. NADH has been shown in other trials to increase dopamine and it is logical to conclude that NADH increases other brain neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, norepinephrine) that are thought to play a role in promoting normal mood.

NADH and Jet Lag. One small randomized, double blind study demonstrated improvement in cognitive symptoms of jet lag and sleepiness in patients taking supplemental NADH.

Further, larger, studies are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of NADH in jet lag. But NADH performed well in this first small trial, and its use may well prove to be very effective. Taking NADH on arrival to the new time zone is a good therapy to try.

How Much to Take?
Most studies use 5 to 10 mg per day of NADH.

Side Effects or Interactions?

Side Effects: Supplementing with NADH appears to be very safe with no significant reported side effects.

Drug Interactions: There are no reported drug interactions.

Excerpts from Q&A Session With ENADA® NADH Developer Professor Jorg Birkmayer, MD, PhD

Professor Birkmayer: All we need is energy. Every living cell needs energy to stay alive. But exactly how is this energy for life produced? Hydrogen and oxygen react to form water and energy. The biological form of hydrogen is NADH.

Q: How does a deficiency in NADH cause problems with energy levels?

Professor Birkmayer: NADH is the fuel for cellular energy production. All living cells require energy to stay alive. Without energy a cell dies because energy production represents the essential prerequisite for every living cell.

NADH reacts with oxygen, present in every living cell, to produce in a cascade of reactions both water (H2O) and energy. This energy is stored in the form of the chemical compound adenosine triphosphate, abbreviated ATP. Scientific studies have shown that a loss of NADH leads to an ATP depletion, which in turn leads to cell death.

Simply put, the more NADH a cell has available, the more energy it can produce. Most recent scientific studies have discovered that the energy level in a cell can actually be increased by NADH.

Q: How does NADH help enhance mental clarity? What is the process through which NADH affects cognitive function?

Professor Birkmayer: One third of all the energy we produce in our body is used up by our brain. Due to this, an energy deficiency is first realized in the brain with symptoms such as lack of concentration and alertness, or mental fog. With more NADH the brain cells function better.

This has been demonstrated in a study performed at Cornell University in New York. When you suffer from sleep deprivation your cognitive performance goes down. Nearly a third of the U.S. adults manage less than seven hours of sleep each night according to the National Sleep Foundation, and 69 percent complain of frequent sleep problems.

A further mechanism by which NADH affects cognitive function is by stimulating the production of adrenaline and dopamine. Both of these substances are essential for our cognitive performance and our memory.

Q: How is NADH different from chemical stimulants (like caffeine) and how is it better?

Professor Birkmayer: NADH is by all means much better than caffeine or other stimulants for various reasons. Caffeine and the other stimulants release adrenaline (also called epinephrine) from the nerve cells. This triggers a quick boost in adrenaline. You are less tired and more alert. However, it is only for a very short time. The next coffee will not give you the same boost as the first one because your adrenaline pool in the nerve cells has been emptied.

NADH on the other hand stimulates the biosynthesis of adrenaline and due to this fills the pool of adrenaline in the central nervous system. This is the essential prerequisite for caffeine to become active.

In addition, NADH increases the real ATP energy in the cells. With more energy the nerve cells produce not only more adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, but also other components necessary for good performance.

NADH is the only substance which has been shown to increase cellular energy. Coffee, and all of the so-called ‘energy drinks’, do not increase cellular energy. In fact they do nothing but release adrenaline from nerve cells and are therefore mere stimulants. Too much and too high stimulation can cause considerable side effects or adverse reactions such as irregular heart beat.

Q: How is NADH different from Coenzyme Q10?

Professor Birkmayer: Both support cellular energy production. Coenzyme Q10 is involved in cellular energy production, however, at a much lower level than NADH. Coenzyme Q10 needs NADH to be transformed into its reduced form. Only in its reduced form is CoQ10 active and can transport electrons from NADH to oxygen which then leads to energy production in the form of ATP.

NADH, however, has many more functions in the body in addition to producing energy. It does repair cell and DNA damage, it stimulates the immune system, it stimulates the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. It stimulates the production of NO (Nitric Oxide), which induces relaxation of blood vessels in many organs such as the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys.

NADH holds great promise for those seeking support for their energy needs. But not all NADH is the same. It is important to understand how a brand such as ENADA® NADH is uniquely formulated to enhance energy naturally, improve cellular energy, elevate mental clarity, and improve alertness and concentration optimally.

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Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you never make a change in your healthcare plan or regimen without reviewing and discussing it in consultation with your professional healthcare team.

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