Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, or NAD, is a coenzyme found in all living cells and involved in various cellular processes. Decreased cellular NAD levels have been linked to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other mood disorders because of the brain’s reduced ability to function normally without them.

NAD effectively improves mood and reverses negative emotions like depression and anxiety. Fortunately, NAD supplements can slow down the aging process and improve mental, and overall health.

While NAD offers various benefits, here, we’ll focus on its use for anxiety and depression. Let’s explore the science behind NAD supplements and how they affect our mental health.

What is the Science Behind NAD Supplements?

NAD plays an important role in energy metabolism, DNA repair, and cell signaling. It is involved in different enzymatic reactions in the body. Thus, it’s essential for every single bodily process. Our survival depends on it, and we can’t live without it.

If we increase its production, we can further enhance cellular functions and energy output. NAD levels drop naturally with age, contributing to age-related health and function declines. Supplements containing NAD were developed to increase the amount of NAD already present in the blood.

Increasing NAD levels reset the brain to its normal balance, which in turn regulates our moods by restoring cellular energy levels, brain chemical levels, and proper levels of neuro receptors and neurotransmitters.

Can NAD Cause Anxiety?

No. NAD does not cause anxiety. Instead, it is thought to help alleviate anxiety by restoring the brain to its normal balance, making it a useful management for anxiety and depression.

NAD Supplements Benefits

People with extremely low NAD levels are more likely to experience difficulties associated with addiction, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Here are some of its benefits.

1. Improved Cognitive Function

NAD levels are lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. [1] NAD plays a role in the production of energy in the brain and is involved in the metabolism of fats and proteins.

Without enough NAD, your brain cells will run out of energy because they won’t be able to convert glucose into enough cellular energy. NAD injections are one method for increasing neural plasticity, decreasing neuroinflammation (an inflammatory response within the brain or spinal cord), and improving mental focus.

2. Improves Mood

NAD increases serotonin, the brain’s feel-good chemical. Serotonin deficiency can be managed with NAD, which may have a beneficial effect on the negative effects of depression and anxiety.

3. Combats Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom of both anxiety and depression. NAD injections have been found to improve fatigue in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. [2] . Aside from that, NAD can also improve your energy level, mental clarity, muscle endurance, and reflexes.

NAD Supplements for Anxiety

NAD is a natural supplement that has shown promising results for the management of anxiety. It can be done with intravenous therapy by restoring depleted NAD levels, decreasing oxidative stress, and increasing cellular activity.

Insufficient levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain are associated with increased anxiety. The sirtuin SIRT1 needs NAD to carry out its function of regulating various cellular processes. This also helps increase serotonin levels, which raises one’s mood, and in turn, helps with anxiety. [3]

Anxiety disorders may also be linked to oxidative stress, leading to inflammation and neurotoxicity in the brain. NAD has been shown to protect cells from free radicals and boost repair mechanisms within the body. [4]

NAD Supplements for Depression

Depression is a complex mood disorder characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest even in the things you used to enjoy doing. It affects how you think, feel, and act as a result. Depression has serious consequences for one’s health and social life if it is not treated.

NAD infusions are useful for depression symptom management. It does this by restoring the chemical balance in the brain, which helps alleviate the symptoms of depression. Additionally, it helps reverse the effects of oxidative stress by attracting free radicals and aiding in the process of flushing them out of the body.

How Do I Take NAD Supplements?

NAD can be taken in supplement form or through an IV. NAD supplements are available in pill, capsule, or powder form.

Oral NAD Supplements

Taking NAD by mouth is also an effective way of boosting NAD levels in your body. You can find NAD supplements in capsule form, which are widely available. Vitamin supplements containing nicotinamide riboside, such as niagen, can increase NAD by being converted into the molecule. [5]

Typically, the daily dosage of a NAD supplement is between one and two tablets, or 250 to 300 milligrams (mg). It can be taken all at once or divided into two doses, one in the morning and one in the evening. It is best to start with a lower dose and increase it gradually as needed.

NAD Injections

Though there are several routes of taking NAD, taking it intravenously is the most effective way as it goes straight to the bloodstream, avoiding the digestive process. Intravenous (IV) infusion of NAD delivers the compound quickly to the brain, where it can start exerting its beneficial effects almost immediately.

You can take NAD intravenously (IV) by a doctor or licensed provider. The intravenous sessions last anywhere from two to six hours, and the dispensing times decrease in duration after the initial few days. Most people feel the benefits of a NAD injection for around three to five days. However, the NAD supplement’s positive biological influence on your health will last for some time.

NAD Side Effects

Supplemental NAD use appears to be risk-free, with few if any, reported adverse effects. Daily doses at 10 mg are safe and effective for most people. However, studies are still in their infancy, and it remains unclear whether or not NAD supplements have any side effects.

Bottomline: NAD Supplements for Mental Health

The use of NAD supplements is relatively new. Some research supports the idea that these supplements are helpful for your health. On the other hand, many of these studies are conducted on animals or only test the short-term effects. More study is required to determine the long-term effects of NAD boosters.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Hou Y, Lautrup S, Cordonnier S, Wang Y, Croteau DL, Zavala E, Zhang Y, Moritoh K, O’Connell JF, Baptiste BA, Stevnsner TV, Mattson MP, Bohr VA. NAD+ supplementation normalizes key Alzheimer’s features and DNA damage responses in a new AD mouse model with introduced DNA repair deficiency. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 20;115(8):E1876-E1885. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1718819115. Epub 2018 Feb 5. PMID: 29432159; PMCID: PMC5828618.
  • Castro-Marrero J, Cordero MD, Segundo MJ, Sáez-Francàs N, Calvo N, Román-Malo L, Aliste L, Fernández de Sevilla T, Alegre J. Does oral coenzyme Q10 plus NADH supplementation improve fatigue and biochemical parameters in chronic fatigue syndrome? Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Mar 10;22(8):679-85. doi: 10.1089/ars.2014.6181. Epub 2014 Dec 18. PMID: 25386668; PMCID: PMC4346380.
  • Song J, Kim J. Role of Sirtuins in Linking Metabolic Syndrome with Depression. Front Cell Neurosci. 2016 Mar 31;10:86. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00086. PMID: 27065808; PMCID: PMC4814520.
  • Fedoce ADG, Ferreira F, Bota RG, Bonet-Costa V, Sun PY, Davies KJA. The role of oxidative stress in anxiety disorder: cause or consequence? Free Radic Res. 2018 Jul;52(7):737-750. doi: 10.1080/10715762.2018.1475733. Epub 2018 Jun 4. PMID: 29742940; PMCID: PMC6218334.
  • Okabe K, Yaku K, Uchida Y, Fukamizu Y, Sato T, Sakurai T, Tobe K, Nakagawa T. Oral Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Is Safe and Efficiently Increases Blood Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Levels in Healthy Subjects. Front Nutr. 2022 Apr 11;9:868640. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.868640. PMID: 35479740; PMCID: PMC9036060.


  • Shaira Urbano, Licensed Pharmacist

    Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.


Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.