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Photo of site author, Shelly Albaum

Shelly Albaum

Editor, Science of NAD

Important Disclosures

1. This is my personal website

All opinions are my own. Nobody writes here but me.

2. Supplements Are Not Medicines

Health Supplements like nicotinamide riboside are not intended to cure or treat any disease, condition, or illness.

3. No Medical Advice

I am a lawyer and a journalist, not a doctor, and I offer no medical advice. But I do follow the science, and I can bring to your attention

some interesting studies. You can read more about me here. And check with your physician -- your physician can look at this research, too.

4. Commercial Affiliations

I am a ChromaDex shareholder, and a marketing affiliate for Amazon and Rakuten. As a result, I will sometimes mention or recommend products that I endorse, like Tru Niagen, which I take every day. I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you were referred directly from this site and completed a purchase. [Thank you!] You can read more about our advertising, privacy, and data collection policies here

  • Shelly Albaum

If I Supplement My NAD, Will My Body Stop Producing Its Own?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

No, your body knows how to produce NAD and won't stop doing it. However, as you get older, your body will need more NAD and/or produce less.


Some time back there was a rodent study in which they measured NAD levels, supplemented with an NAD precursor, and then measured NAD levels again post-supplementation. Because rodents age quickly, and NAD levels lower with age, you would expect that the post-supplementation NAD levels would be lower than the pre-supplementation NAD levels, but that would be due to age, not to supplementation, and that is exactly what they found. [I can't find the study, so if you know it, please send me a link!]


Nonetheless, people worry that once their bodies begin to rely on vitamins to produce NAD, they will stop producing their own NAD and essentially be hooked on the vitamin.


That's not how vitamins work, though.


We need vitamin C to avoid scurvy, and Vitamin A to avoid night-blindness, and Vitamin B3 to avoid Pellagra. We aren't addicted to those vitamins, and our body doesn't respond to their presence except by using or excreting them.


Human studies show that after supplementation ends, NAD levels drop to what they were before -- they are not further depressed:


Following oral administration of NMN or placebo, NAD+ levels were significantly increased in the NMN-treated group at 4-, 8-, 12 weeks, and then returned to basal levels after 16 weeks

-- Frontiers in Nutrition, April 11, 2022

Conclusion


Our bodies do not become increasingly dependent on any other vitamin when we supplement, and there is no reason to think it is true with NAD precursors. It is true that NAD levels drop over time, but that is not caused by supplementation, and indeed occurs regardless of whether you supplement.


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