NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen) is an essential coenzyme found in all living cells. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to eliminate free radicals and remove lactic acid build up in our muscles. When we are young, we produce a lot of NADH in our cells; however, as we age, we cease to produce as much, and in some cases, we stop all together. When our ability to make the needed amount decreases, or ceases altogether, the body starts to break down and develop disease.

Free radicals are extremely reactive molecules which interact with many compounds in our cells. Once formed in our cells, a type of reaction builds that knocks out electrons from a normal molecule. Our electrons speak to one another and if they are not reacting to one another, a gap is created causing a breakdown. NADH helps that transfer function of communication. This is one of NADH’s main functions.

So many things can cause free radicals to build within our cell membrane. X-rays, radiation, medications (including antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs), smog, industrial pollution, chemicals, smoking, as well as heavy metals found in food and water are all building blocks for free radicals to contaminate our body.

NADH’s ability to eliminate free radicals makes it a powerful antioxidant. Our bodies are constantly regenerating its cells. It is believed that under normal conditions, every cell in the body will be replaced within 7 years unless a cell completely dies. Free radicals damage cells and cell’s genes (our DNA code) in destructive ways by knocking out the needed electrons from normal molecules. NADH has proven to protect cells from dying due to free radical build-up, thus breaking down the effect of aging.

NADH has many other benefits as well. In athletes, it can help alleviate soreness of overworked muscles by eliminating lactic acid build-up. Due to the elimination of lactic acid, people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue can also greatly benefit from this effective natural supplement. NADH’s effect on serotonin and dopamine also make it a supplement of choice for depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

In my practice, I have recommended NADH – along with change in diet and exercise – for many different health conditions. The results have been very positive due, I believe, to the fact that if we replace this essential enzyme with which we are born, the body responds and helps to heal disease.

You can buy NADH in any health food store; make sure you are choosing a quality brand with no other chemical additives in the product (usually listed under “other ingredients”). A dose of 5mg is the recommended amount. If you are clinically depressed, then 10mg may work well. Take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, wait 30 minutes, and then eat your breakfast. Lastly, do not expect NADH to work well if you continue to eat all the incorrect foods which caused poor health in the first place.

In my practice and in much research, I have found no complications or side effects from using NADH supplementation; however, I do recommend that you speak to your doctor or health care professional before starting any supplementation.

Dr. Beckner is the owner of Your Body Code personalized nutrition and wellness programs in Palm Desert and can be reached at (760) 341.BODY(2639). For free recipes and more information visit her on Facebook and on the web at www.yourbodycode.com

Sources: 1) Amanda Beckner CN, HHP, PhD, Your Body Code, copyright 2009; 2) Understanding Nutrition 7th Edition by Eleanor Noss Whitney & Sharon Rady Rolfes, copyright 1977/1996; 3) NADH- the energizing coenzyme by Georg Birkmayer, copyright 1998. 4.) Human Life – its philosophy and Laws part1/part2 by Herbert M. Shelton.

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