For our Fact Friday, we are answering more of your questions!

Q. How does my energy depend on NADH? 
A. The billions of cells that form tissue and organs and ultimately the human body have an 
important assignment: to produce energy. If our cells slow down or decline in their energy 
production, the most visible result is that we are tired and can increasingly experience greater 
overall fatigue. NADH is part of every living cell. Inside each cell a process known as the Krebs cycle combines NADH with Hydrogen to form ATP, your body’s own energy. 

Q. How does the body produce energy? 
A. Bringing hydrogen and oxygen together is one of the most efficient ways to produce energy. A rocket launched into outer space is an example of energy production. All cells in our bodies use the same principle of energy production, but they do so in a sophisticated way to conserve the energy produced. NADH is the biological form of hydrogen that reacts with the oxygen we breathe in to form energy and water. The energy‐ producing process in cells is achieved by a cascade of reactions, which lead to the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy‐containing compound in cells. One molecule of NADH will form three times the amount of ATP. Therefore, NADH is an extremely efficient and effective energy producer. 

Q. How does the body store energy?  
A. Living cells have the capability to store energy in the form of chemical compounds. When these compounds are metabolized, energy is released and used for all cellular processes. Only a few biological substances display all the features of energy‐rich compounds. The most important of these are adenosine triphosphate (ATP), creatine phosphate (CP), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride (NADH), and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydride (NADPH). 

Q. How does NADH help my body? 
A. NADH has energy stored in its chemical structure. When it is absorbed and taken up by the body cells, NADH produces energy. NADH can be compared to a turbine in an electric power plant. Water at a higher level has more energy than water at a lower level. If you insert a turbine (wheel) in this waterfall, you can produce electrical energy. Hence, the more NADH a cell has available, the more energy can be produced. The amount of NADH a cell contains depends on the amount of energy the cell requires. Heart muscle cells have the highest NADH content because the heart is the organ that needs the most energy in the body. Cells in the brain and muscles contain 60 percent of the NADH content of those in the heart 

Q. Does NADH enhance the immune system?  
A. Yes, it does. NADH is directly involved in the cellular immune defense system. Special white 
blood cells, called macrophages, are responsible for direct elimination of foreign bodies such as bacteria, viruses, and molds. They literally capture these foreign bodies and then degrade and eliminate them. During this process, a markedly increased metabolic activity including oxygen consumption takes place. Most of the oxygen is converted to superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, which are able to destroy viruses or bacteria. This phenomenon is known as “metabolic burst” and appears to be the first and most critical step leading to the destruction of the foreign invader. Large amounts of NADH are required for this process. Hence, the more NADH your body has available, the more protection your immune system can provide.

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