The Truth About NAD and Anti-ageing Supplements

What is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, and is it anything other than an anti-ageing fad?

6 Minute ReadEducation


NAD, or Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide has drummed up more hype than a Hollywood blockbuster. But what is NAD, and is it anything other than an anti-ageing fad?

NAD 1 gemma portrait

Separating hype from reality when it comes to the holy grail of anti-ageing has become almost impossible when prominent Harvard scientists shout a host of unproven interventions, NAD included, specifically as a cure for Covid-19 in the elderly.

NAD antiageing supplements may have benefits, and NAD diet and NAD-rich foods may prove beneficial to the metabolism. But until we know for sure, and until we have the scientific evidence to back it up, we will not be including NAD in the LYMA formula. So what’s the truth behind NAD, and could it be the miracle anti-ager we’re all hoping it is?


What is NAD?

NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a molecule used to power metabolism found in human cells by enabling the mitochondria to convert food into energy and turn off genes connected with accelerating the ageing process.


How does NAD affect the ageing process?

Human cells contain NAD, however as we age our levels of NAD in our bodies starts to decrease. This increases our risk for health degeneration and slows our body’s natural defence and resilience. By raising levels of NAD in our body as we age, we are able to trick the body into thinking it’s younger. This helps to increase our energy, physical strength, focus and serenity.


How does NAD power our cells?

NAD accelerates the transfer of energy to our cells from our diet, through a process called ‘oxidation’. Our cells operate by requesting energy from plasma, found through fatty acids and glucose. NAD plays the part of obtaining these energy sources from blood to the cells that require it. The result. Increased levels of mental and physical energy, making cells appear and behave younger.


Can NAD levels be boosted through diet and lifestyle?

  1. Exercise is one of the easiest ways of boosting NAD. When we train, the energy our body requires forces our muscles into producing more mitochondria.
  2. Fasting not only has spiritual benefits, it’s also beneficial for health. Cutting back on what we eat and practising intermittent fasting has also been proven to boost levels of NAD.
  3. Certain foods boost levels of NAD. Drink yourself younger with a pint of cow’s milk. If you enjoy fish, opt for salmon, sardines and tuna which are rich in NAD. Mushrooms (especially the crimini variety) naturally boost NAD levels. Whole Grains and yeast aren’t just great for immunity, they contain riboside nicotinamide (RN) which is a precursor to NAD. Green vegetables are all rich in nutrients, but it’s recently been shown that green vegetables including peas and asparagus are also a good source of NAD.

The lack of research around NAD supplements

Yes, there are studies that show boosting NAD levels through supplementation can extend life span and rejuvenate mitochondria in yeast, worms and mice. But the research to support its effect in humans is mixed and preliminary. Our network of scientists unanimously recommend waiting for peer-reviewed research to prove that NAD can improve human health safely on a long-term basis before making NAD part of your daily supplement regime.

NAD lady holding hair

Are there any side effects of NAD supplements?

NAD as an anti-ageing supplement may be clouded by its potential role in promoting cancer-cell growth. Recent studies suggest that cancer cells depend on NAD to sustain their rapid growth and that cutting off the NAD supply could be a more effective way of killing certain cancers.

“It might still slow down the ageing part, but it might fuel the cancer part,” says Versha Banerji , a clinician-scientist at the University of Manitoba. “We just need to figure out more about the biology of both of those processes, to figure out how we can make people age well and also not get cancer.

Should patients be put on a NAD drip to fight COVID-19?

There have been suggestions that elderly coronavirus patients should be given NAD boosters to make their immune systems ‘younger’ and to help them fight the virus faster. However, the Harvard scientists who are suggesting this not only stand to financially gain from their recommendations, the suggestion is also lacking in peer-reviewed supporting evidence.

“If you say you’re a terrific scientist and you have a treatment for ageing, it gets a lot of attention,” said Jeffrey Flier, a former Harvard Medical School dean who has been critical of the hype. “There is financial incentive and inducement to over-promise before all the research is in.”

Instead, LYMA contains our Wellmune® Blend, a clinically-backed, highly specialized 1,3 1,6 beta glucan that has been scientifically proven to boost our innate, rapid fire immune system while priming white blood cells' neutrophils and macrophages to engage with foreign pathogens and fend them off.

Why we don’t include NAD in the LYMA formula

LYMA was created to upgrade people’s lives, offering a balance of the best ingredients to people who want to look and feel their absolute best. However, the element we will never compromise is safety. Until an ingredient is proven as safe to use daily by adults of all ages, we will not include it in our formula. NAD hasn’t reached that status yet, and our formula is PROVEN to anti-age in other ways that are proven as safe.

LYMA uses the latest patented technology to deliver Cynatine® HNS, a stable and clinically proven form of natural keratin peptides, directly to the relevant cells. Cynatine® HNS naturally protects, repairs and increases the health of skin, hair and nails and helps you keep your glow.


In addition, Lycored Lycopene™, which is formulated at a clinical dose of 30mg in LYMA, is a powerful anti-ager and antioxidant; oxidation plays a central role in the ageing process and the presence of free radicals is responsible for the break-down of cells as you age. Supplementing with Lycored Lycopene™ can help to slow the ageing of the skin by inhibiting ‘collagenases’ - the enzymatic breakdown of the skin’s natural collagen. This helps to keep your skin looking plump and allows the skin to retain elasticity and moisture, keeping you looking younger for longer.

Expert opinion on NAD from LYMA’s Director of Science, Prof. Paul Clayton, PhD.

“I'm not against NAD. I believe that NAD will prove to be a useful addition to the ranks of pharmaco-nutritional tools, with inter alia anti-ageing properties. There is an odd connection to the inflammation story. Chronic inflammation depletes NAD levels, and it is therefore likely that LYMA (via its anti-inflammatory actions) leads to an increase in endogenous NAD. This suggests that NAD supplements may not be so relevant or effective in those whose lifestyle, diet and supplement regime is anti-inflammatory.

The sirtuins may be NAD sensors, translating metabolic cues into enzymatic and translational adaptations; and sirtuin activation is associated with health benefits.

There are possible downsides with NAD, one of which is enhanced tumorigenesis. This is a theoretical issue, as nobody has actually tested it AFAIK, in fact I am not aware of any long-term studies at all. Another possible issue which has been raised (but again, not tested) is the acceleration of cellular senescence. If these turn out to be real problems, in my view they could be mitigated with polyphenols such as HydroCurc, the turmeric extract in LYMA. And the polyphenols also activate sirtuins, possibly providing another reason to combine NAD with polyphenols. This is all theoretical at this point, but the NAD / polyphenol / sirtuin nexus does appear to be real, and definitely involves inflammation and reducing inflammation.

I suspect that a nuanced picture will eventually emerge where small doses of NAD do more good than harm, especially when administered in appropriately designed pharmaco-nutritional programs; but large doses of NAD alone will be avoided due to health issues.

So, our best line may be to say that NAD is a candidate compound, but we are considering very carefully how to deploy the best NAD supplement in a safe and responsible way. We’re not there yet.”

Whilst NAD remains undesignated as safe for use, LYMA stands by its formula. Regular supplementation with LYMA will slow cognitive decline , improve your immunity and keep your skin wrinkle and fine line-free for longer, without risking your health.

The quest
for better.

Sign up to our mailing list to discover the future of beauty and wellness.

Which areas of your life are you ready to improve?