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NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide + Hydrogen) or Coenzyme 1, as its name implies, is derived from vitamin B3.

It is found in all living cells but is concentrated within the brain, heart and nervous system, where it is a key player in energy production.

Heart cells contain approximately 90 mcg of NADH per gram of tissue. Brain cells about half as much (50 mcg).

Method of Action

NADH is a cofactor for numerous enzymes, including those in the cell mitochondria where energy is produced.

One of these enzymes, Tyrosine Hydroxylase, converts the amino acid Tyrosine into dopamine. Hence NADH has been tried, with reported success, in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

NADH also increases serotonin and noradrenaline production in the brain. One reason Parkinson's inflicts such a great burden is that dopamine is responsible for short-term memory, involuntary movements, emotional drive and spontaneous reactions. Serotonin has a calming influence, both on emotions and in directing the body to sleep. Noradrenaline is stimulating, which is good for alertness and concentration.

Therapeutic Approaches

NADH is the first and most energetic factor producing cell energy. Hence it is being tried for a range of conditions, including chronic fatigue and depression.

Some scientists are also hoping that boosting brain cell energy prophylactically, may prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and even memory loss.

Consequently, NADH may have a large role to play in age-related brain diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Generally, it may be useful for: chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and other degenerative diseases.

Even healthy people may experience increased concentration, energy and stamina.

Toxicity Factors

NADH is available over-the-counter as a nutritional supplement.

Sensitive patients, who take too high a dosage, report restlessness and insomnia. Once dosage is reduced, these symptoms disappear.

Clinical trials have not reported any negative side-effects. Toxicology tests indicate that NADH is safe at up to 500 mg per kg of body weight (almost 7,000 times greater than recommended levels).

Recommended levels tend to be in the range of 5 - 10 mg daily.



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