NADH Supplements and Information

NADH is a natural substance found in most life forms and is necessary for energy production. NADH is located both in the mitochondria and cytosol of cells. It is a dinucleotide comprised of the nucleotide adenylic acid and a second nucleotide in which nicotinamide, a B vitamin, is the nitrogenous base. NADH is a key member of the electron transfer chain in mitochondria. The nicotinamide moiety is the portion of the dinucleotide that undergoes reversible reduction. NADH is the reduced form of the dinucleotide. The passage of electrons along the electron transport chain is coupled to the formation of ATP by the process known as oxidative phosphorylation.

NADH is synthesized by the body and thus is not an essential nutrient. It does require the essential nutrient nicotinamide for its synthesis, and its role in energy production is certainly an essential one. In addition to its role in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, NADH is produced in the cytosol. The mitochondrial membrane is impermeable to NADH, and this permeability barrier effectively separates the cytoplasmic from the mitochondrial NADH pools. However, cytoplasmic NADH can be used for biologic energy production. This occurs when the malate-aspartate shuttle introduces reducing equivalents from NADH in the cytosol to the electron transport chain of the mitochondria. This shuttle mainly occurs in the liver and heart.

Dosage and Administration

Those who use NADH typically take either 5 milligrams once daily or 5 milligrams twice a day. Enteric-coated preparations are claimed to have better stability.

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