NAD+ and Immune Support: How NAD+ Strengthens Your Body's Defenses

Finny Lee

2/24/20243 min read

a woman cutting lemons on a cutting board
a woman cutting lemons on a cutting board

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role of NAD+ in supporting the immune system. NAD+, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a coenzyme found in all living cells. It plays a crucial role in various biological processes, including energy production, DNA repair, and gene expression. But how does NAD+ strengthen your body's defenses and support your immune system? Let's explore the fascinating connection between NAD+ and immune support.

The Role of NAD+ in Immune Function

Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body against harmful pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It consists of a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to identify and eliminate these invaders. NAD+ is involved in several key aspects of immune function:

1. Regulation of Immune Cell Activation

Immune cells, such as T cells and B cells, play a crucial role in the immune response. NAD+ helps regulate the activation and proliferation of these cells. Studies have shown that NAD+ levels decline with age, which may contribute to a decline in immune function. By replenishing NAD+ levels, it may be possible to enhance immune cell function and support a robust immune response.

2. Modulation of Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to infection or injury. However, chronic inflammation can be harmful and contribute to the development of various diseases. NAD+ has been found to regulate the activity of certain proteins involved in inflammation. By modulating inflammation, NAD+ may help maintain a balanced immune response and prevent excessive inflammation.

3. DNA Repair and Genomic Stability

DNA damage can occur as a result of exposure to environmental toxins, radiation, or normal cellular processes. NAD+ is involved in DNA repair mechanisms, helping to maintain genomic stability. By preserving the integrity of your DNA, NAD+ may help prevent mutations that can lead to immune dysfunction or the development of cancer.

NAD+ and Age-Related Immune Decline

As we age, our immune system undergoes changes that can impair its function. This age-related decline in immune function, known as immunosenescence, contributes to increased susceptibility to infections and a reduced ability to mount an effective immune response. NAD+ levels have been found to decline with age, and this decline may play a role in immunosenescence.

Research has shown that boosting NAD+ levels in older animals can improve immune function and increase their resistance to infections. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms involved, these findings suggest that NAD+ supplementation may be a promising strategy for mitigating age-related immune decline in humans.

Ways to Boost NAD+ Levels

There are several ways to increase NAD+ levels in your body:

1. NAD+ Precursors

NAD+ precursors are compounds that your body can convert into NAD+. The most well-known NAD+ precursor is nicotinamide riboside (NR). NR has been shown to effectively raise NAD+ levels in various tissues. Other NAD+ precursors include nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and tryptophan.

2. Caloric Restriction and Fasting

Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting have been shown to increase NAD+ levels. These dietary interventions activate a cellular pathway called sirtuins, which play a role in NAD+ metabolism. By limiting your calorie intake or practicing intermittent fasting, you may be able to boost your NAD+ levels naturally.

3. NAD+ Supplements

There are also NAD+ supplements available on the market. These supplements contain NAD+ or NAD+ precursors and are designed to increase NAD+ levels in the body. However, it's important to choose a reputable brand and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.


NAD+ plays a crucial role in supporting immune function. By regulating immune cell activation, modulating inflammation, and promoting DNA repair, NAD+ helps strengthen your body's defenses against pathogens. Age-related decline in NAD+ levels may contribute to immunosenescence, but research suggests that boosting NAD+ levels may help mitigate this decline. Whether through NAD+ precursors, dietary interventions, or supplements, there are various ways to increase NAD+ levels in your body. As always, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your healthcare regimen.

By understanding the connection between NAD+ and immune support, we can explore new avenues for enhancing our immune system and maintaining overall health and well-being.