Why I Increased “My NAD+ Levels” By Doubling My Dose of Nictotinamide Riboside

NAD+ levels can be boosted, says a rare human trial that tested the NAD+ precursor, Basis. NAD+ levels decline precipitously with age, and is thought to contribute to the degeneration that is aging. Read, watch and find out how to get Basis.

Increase your NAD+ levelsFOR MORE than two years now I’ve been supplementing with Nictotinamide Riboside combined with Pterostilbene. These two nutraceuticals are in a supplement product called Basis, made by a company advised by a stable full of Nobel Laureates called Elysium Health.

Yesterday, I doubled my dose for some very good reasons, such as attempting to increase my healthspan, if not my lifespan.

I’m simply following the science, which in this case includes the results of one of the very few human trails done to test the effectiveness of a nutritional supplement.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is NAD+ and why you should care about it;
  • What human trials have shown;
  • What animal studies have shown; and
  • How to buy Basis, the NAD+ precursor.

Let’s dig in…


I’m not going to get into background information about Elysium Health and Basis, because that’s been covered in my article, Can Elysium’s “Basis” Pill Really Make You Younger?If you’ve never heard of either Elysium Health or Basis, you may want to take a minute and read it.

This promo video by Elysium Health will also get you warmed up:


The intent of this piece is to explain why I’ve doubled my intake of Basis, the NAD+ precursor highlighted in the video, which can be answered quite simply:

I want to increase my NAD+ levels.


What Is NAD+ and Why Should You Care About It?

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 that functions as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, typically referred to as  NAD+.

NAD+ is an important metabolite found in all human cells because it restores mitochondria functionality and vitality. 1

Mitochondria are specialized structures found in nearly any organism whose cells have a cell nucleus and other organelles enclosed within membranes, such as the cells of animals, plants and fungi.

In effect, mitochondria serve as batteries, powering various functions of the cell and the organism as a whole. They produce about 90% of the chemical energy that cells (and you) need to survive.

But something happens to NAD+ levels as we age.


NAD+ levels decline over time

Image from: http://aboutnad.com/what-is-nad/

Dr. David Sinclair's research focuses on the mitochonria.

Dr. David Sinclair


NAD+ levels tend to drop by as much as 50% as we get older, says Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard University. 1

Dr. Sinclair’s research showed that the cellular age of mice could decrease from two years to six months after being given molecules of NAD+. He concluded that higher NAD+ levels promote cells to behave younger and more vibrant.

Yes, I know you’re not a mouse.

And yet if all we had to go on regarding the potential effectiveness of Nicotinamide riboside (NR) to increase NAD+ were mouse studies, I’d still be encouraged. Mice are used as models in medical testing because their genetic, biological and behavior characteristics closely resemble those of humans. 2

As is summarized in the table below, there’s a lot of animal research that suggests if we increase our NAD + levels with NR, it might improve:

  • Blood sugar,
  • Lean muscle mass,
  • Neuropathy issues,
  • Liver problems,
  • Inflammation,
  • Metabolism, and
  • The progression of Alzheimer’s.

Yes, those were outcomes using mostly rodents, but now we have more than mice studies on NR and NAD+ — we have a human study!


The Human Trial on NAD+ Levels

NAD rebuilds Mitochondria

Illustration by Elysium Health

Elysium Health conducted its first clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Basis, the results of which were published in Nature Partner Journals: Aging and Mechanisms of Disease. (Read the full study here.)

How the study was conducted:
  • It was a placebo-controlled, randomized, and double-blind, evaluated the safety and efficacy of Basis.
  • The cohort was 120 participants ages 60-80 participating over an eight-week period.
  • They received either:
    • the recommended dose (250 mg NR and 50 mg pterostilbene),
    • double the recommended dose or
    • a placebo daily for the eight-week trial.
The results of the study:
  • Participants taking the recommended dose of Basis (250 mg), saw their NAD+ levels increased from baseline by an average of 40% at four weeks and maintained that increase for the duration of the trial (eight weeks).
  • Those taking double the recommended daily dose saw their NAD+ levels increase approximately 90% at four weeks, and a significantly higher level of NAD+ (compared to the recommended dose of Basis) was maintained for the duration of the trial.
Four important outcomes of the study:
  1. Basis is safe — no one experienced serious adverse effects.
  2. The study demonstrated that NAD+ levels can be increased and sustained over a period of time.
  3. This first-in-humans study demonstrates that Basis can increase NAD+ levels in the blood safely and sustainably.
  4. More might be better, as reflected by those taking double doses (500 vs 250 mg) improved NAD+ levels by 90%, as opposed to 40% at the regular dose (250 mg).

Alas, number 4 above is why I’ve doubled my dose of Basis.

Simply put, I want to increase my NAD+ levels by 90%.

I want to help ensure that my mitochondria — those energy factories contained in our cells — keeps me topped up with vital energy.

And to the extent that we humans react similarly to Nicotinamide riboside (NR) as do the animals tested, I want to improve my blood sugar, lean muscle mass, liver, inflammation, metabolism and, if needed, slow the progression of any potential Alzheimer’s as I enter the Golden Years.


Go learn more about Basis.


Animal Studies Show Extensive Benefits from Nicotinamide riboside

Human studies are hard to do. They’re expensive and costly, which is why so few are done to study the effectiveness of nutritional supplements.

The good news is that, as described above, we can learn a lot from animal studies, like with rodents, because heir genetic, biological and behavior characteristics closely resemble those of humans.

Here is a quick overview provided by AliveByNature.com of numerous NAD+ studies they’ve examined:


Study Title Type Of Study Results
Nicotinamide riboside is uniquely and orally bioavailable in mice and humans. Human study – 1 man only NR raises NAD levels.
Effective treatment of mitochondrial myopathy by nicotinamide riboside, a vitamin B3 Mouse study NR increased mitochondria growth (400 mg /kg)
The NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside decreases exercise performance in rats, Rat study Exercise performance of rats getting NR was worse than those getting placebo (300 mg/kg)
Nicotinamide riboside restores cognition through an upregulation of proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α regulated β-secretase 1 degradation and mitochondrial gene expression in Alzheimer’s mouse models, Mouse study NR slowed Alzheimers progression in mice (250 mg/ kg)
Nicotinamide Riboside Opposes Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy in Mice Mouse study NR improves blood sugar, weight loss,neuropathy and liver problems in mice with type II diabetes (3g per kg)
Hepatic NAD(+) deficiency as a therapeutic target for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in ageing Mouse study NR improves non-alcholic fatty liver disease.
Nicotinamide Riboside Ameliorates Hepatic Metaflammation by Modulating NLRP3 Inflammasome in a Rodent Model of Type 2 Diabetes Mouse study NR reduces liver inflammation in mice with type II diabetes (100 mg/kg)
The NAD(+) precursor nicotinamide riboside enhances oxidative metabolism and protects against high-fat diet-induced obesity Mouse and test tube study NR increases fat burning enzymes. No change in body weight (400 mg/ kg)
Loss of NAD homeostasis leads to progressive and reversible degeneration of skeletal muscle Mouse study NR improves exercise capacity in older mice (200 mg/kg).
Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 and NAD+ precursor, relieves the nociceptive and aversive dimensions of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in female rats. Rat study NR reduces tactile hypersensitivity
Effects of a wide range of dietary nicotinamide riboside (NR) concentrations on metabolic flexibility and white adipose tissue (WAT) of mice fed a mildly obesogenic diet. Mouse study No weight loss but might help “metabolic flexibility”


How You Can Buy Basis

Basis is sold individually or, as I’m doing, on an annual subscription which reduces the per unit price from $60 to $40 for a one month’s supply at 250 mg per day.

Frankly, don’t bother buying a one month’s supply (one bottle), as I doubt you’ll notice anything that quickly.

If what you’ve read here or on Elysium’s website convinces you it’s worth trying, then you need to give it time — go for the annual subscription.

Since I’m doubling up on the typical dose — which puts my daily intake at 500 mg — I subscribed to two bottles of Basis per month.

In closing, I suggest that you evaluate Basis in line with everything else you’re doing to slow down the aging process and extend your healthspan (or livespan), and if there’s room for improvement, try it.

Disclaimer: I’m an Elysium affiliate, which means if you buy Basis from any of the links herein, I get a commission. This doesn’t affect what you pay whatsoever.

Last Updated on February 26, 2021 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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