What Are NAD Boosters and Do They Help?Most cells in your body use NAD as a coenzyme in the production of energy from glucose. The thinking behind supplements that boost NAD levels is that they can, therefore, boost energy and have other positive effects in the body. Conditions for which they have been tried in small studies include chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), improving cognitive function, dementia, Parkinson's disease, depression, cholesterol-lowering, and blood sugar control. However, there is no good clinical evidence (based on the studies reviewed in this report) to support these uses despite some interesting laboratory findings. It is not even clear that taking these supplements will increase NAD in cells in organs such as the brain, even though they raise NAD levels in the blood and blood cells. Furthermore, if you have adequate intake of vitamin B3 (as niacin, niacinamide, or nicotinamide), you are already getting the basic building block for NAD, which is nicotinamide. (See What It Is).
What Did ConsumerLab's Tests Show?We purchased and tested the quality of several types of NAD boosting supplements: NAD, NADH, nicotinamide riboside, and NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) supplements. While we found each to provide its listed amount of key ingredient, and none was contaminated with lead, arsenic, or cadmium, we found many of these products to be relatively expensive, although you can save a lot (as much as 67%) by carefully comparing products to choose the right brand. (See What CL Found)
In addition, it's important to know that the amount of nicotinamide riboside in a supplement is typically not shown on the label and is greatly affected by the chemical form (e.g., chloride or hydrogen malate) used. In this report, we've made it easy to compare actual amounts of nicotinamide riboside across products.
Which NAD Boosters Are CL's Top Pick?In each category of NAD booster, NAD/ NADH, nicotinamide riboside, and NMN, we chose a Top Pick, based on high quality and low cost.
Concerns with NAD Boosters?In addition to the strong possibility that these supplements will not provide a benefit and tend to be expensive, be aware that some provide amounts of vitamin B-3 above the established daily upper tolerable intake level. There is also a theoretical safety concern that compounds that raise NAD+ levels like, nicotinamide riboside, as well as NAD, NADH, and possibly NMN, may promote the growth of existing cancers. (See Concerns and Cautions)