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NAD+ and viral infections

Raising NAD+ levels in Covid-19 patients could assist the immune system’s antiviral response.

An article in prominent scientific journal Nature has described viral infection as “an NAD+ battlefield” and outlined some existing research that suggests boosting NAD+ levels could help patients fight off the virus.

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme that helps convert nutrients into ATP, the molecule that produces energy in every cell in our bodies. It also works with a range of proteins to carry out essential processes including DNA repair and supporting the mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cell. It also has an antioxidant function, removing damaging free radicals.

Coronavirus infection depletes NAD+ levels, as the immune system attempts to fight off the virus. When the virus enters a cell, inflammatory cytokines are released as part of the innate immune response. The cytokines from the infected cell stimulate neighbouring cells to respond as well.

The cytokine response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is particularly strong, using lots of energy and depleting the body’s stocks of NAD+.

Research suggests that NAD+ is the fuel that drives the body’s antiviral defence. Prolonged infection uses up that fuel, so trials are under way to determine whether topping up NAD+ levels could be supportive.

In a double-blind phase 3 trial involving Covid-19 patients, those who received nutritional supplements including NAD+ precursors had an average time to recovery of 5.2 days, while those who received a placebo took 9.2 days to recover on average.

At PIM we have a particular interest in nutritional supplementation including NAD+. Contact us to learn more.

Click here to read the Nature article.

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