Harmful Effects of Low NAD+

low-nad-levelsWe’ve all been told about the benefits of having high NAD+ levels in the body. From regulated aging enhanced metabolism, the gains are of crucial importance to healthy living. But what are some of the effects of having low NAD+ levels? Knowing why low NAD+ is a problem is very helpful. It will give you the right motivation to increase this molecule.

Here are five potential effects of Low NAD+…

Aging Quickly

In younger persons, NADH found in mitochondria can donate its electrons more readily to become NAD+. The process of aging is associated with increased DNA damage. The damages in effect reduce NAD+ count. Reduced NAD+ levels will in turn reduce the activities of Sirtuins as well as hamper mitochondrial functions.

Therefore, low NAD+ will lessen Sirt1 activity, hence aging the body. Yet again, the function of circadian rhythm control genes declines during aging. This can also reduce NAD+ levels.

Hypoxia – Cell Suffocation

Low levels of NAD+ can suffocate your cells. When you have low oxygen levels, your mitochondria will not work as expected. The presence of oxygen is crucial in accepting electrons in your mitochondria. Low oxygen will definitely slow down mitochondrial function, because electrons will not be accepted.

The body often responds to hypoxia by slowing down the transformation of NADH to NAD+, meaning less oxidation. The body then ends up with more NADH and less NAD+. Low NAD+ level is known as pseudohypoxia. This is because the body reacts by initiating similar responses to low NAD+ resulting from low oxygen, even when you have adequate oxygen levels.

Increased Chances to Get Sunburn and Skin Cancer

Unknown to most people, NAD+ and its NADH counterpart play a crucial role in protecting you from damaging rays of the sun. NAD+ guards against sun burns by absorbing UVB spectrum rays, while NADH protects against skin cancer by absorbing UVA spectrum rays.
At their lower levels, your skin is left unprotected. This explains why people with low NAD+ levels will easily burn from the sun.


Studies have shown that fatigue and low physical plus mental energy is a sign of low NAD+. This also means low levels of SIRT1. To begin with, low NAD+ will hamper electron chain activities that result in energy production. Your body will feel fatigued without the required energy to drive it. Mental energy also comes from the electron chain activities which will be halted with low NAD+.

Since NAD+ has a high affinity for electrons, its levels in the body largely control redox potential. When a cell has higher redox potential, it means the mitochondria working better. This means the cell can protect itself from infections, and function the way it is expected to. Those who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia can supplementation of NAD+, NADH or either of its cofactors.

Unhealthy Weight Gain

NAD+ is responsible for activating Sirtuins. Sirtuins on their part will turn on genes that enhance metabolism, aid in weight loss, as well as decrease LDL cholesterol. Studies are ongoing on the effectiveness of NAD+ precursors to treat cardiovascular disease.