NADH Energizes Mental and Physical Performance
By Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D.
Like Co-Q10, NADH is involved in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s primary intracellular energy source.2 When NADH is oxidized in cellular energy-producing organelles called mitochondria, and it forms water and energy. This energy is preserved as ATP. Every energy-consuming reaction requires ATP, so the more NADH a cell has available, the more energy it can produce. To keep up with the cellular demand for energy, the body continuously synthesizes NADH (a process that involves
niacin, a B-complex vitamin).
Mental and Physical Function
Scientific research increasingly suggests that supplemental NADH can improve mental and physical health. For instance, studies show that NADH dramatically boosts the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical messenger vital for short-term memory, involuntary movements, muscle tone, and spontaneous physical -reactions. It also mediates the release of growth hormone and dictates muscular movement. Without enough dopamine, muscles stiffen. The reaction is exemplified by the effects of Parkinson’s disease-a disorder caused, in part, by the destruction of the brain cells that synthesize dopamine.
NADH and Athletic Performance
From the changes observed after taking NADH for four weeks, it seems justified to perform a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with a larger number of athletes.
Safety and Continued Research
NADH is now available as a dietary supplement for people whose lifestyle demands increased energy, vitality, and mental activity. Even in high concentrations, NADH has demonstrated no toxicity or adverse effects.10 Current studies and clinical trials both in the United States and abroad are exploring NADH’s full potential for improved health and athletic performance, Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D., is an associate professor of biology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, as well as the co-author of Training Nutrition and author of the recen6y released book, Pyruvate (Keats, 1997). Burke is also director of sports sciences for the U. S, Cycling Team.
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