New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University


White Plains, N.Y. Researchers in the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, tested the ability of oral stabilized NADH* (ENADAlert) to improve alertness, mood, and performance on cognitive (thinking) tasks in 25 healthy middle-aged adults after one night of total sleep deprivation. In previously published clinical studies, NADH has been shown to increase energy and alertness and to reduce the effects of jet lag on cognitive performance and sleepiness.

Sleep deprivation is a common problem affecting most people during adulthood. It impacts otherwise healthy individuals who cross time zones, work during evening or nighttime hours, or have infant children, as well as patients with sleep disorders, certain psychiatric disorders, and medical conditions such as those that produce chronic pain. Sleep deprivation can lead to declines in cognitive performance, impacting the quality of waking time and, if severe enough, can lead to vehicle collisions and occupational consequences.

In this double-blind crossover study, subjects performed significantly better on some measures of cognitive performance following one night of total sleep deprivation when they received the NADH supplement compared to placebo. In particular, overall performance efficiency (number of correct answers per minute) measured one hour after consuming 20 mg lozenge NADH was significantly higher than after placebo. In a second analysis, math throughput and visual sequence comparison speed and throughput were themselves significantly better following NADH. Self-reported alertness, sleepiness (both self-reported and objectively quantified), and mood did not differ when the subjects consumed NADH or placebo. Although several subjects reported typical effects of total sleep deprivation, no adverse effects were attributed to NADH.

This study is among the first to rigorously evaluate a non-prescription substance other than stimulants, like caffeine, for alleviating the effects of sleep deprivation. Dr. Margaret Moline, the lead researcher and Director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Westchester Division of New York-Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, states, “NADH is the first non-stimulant, non-herbal product to show signs of improved cognitive performance, despite normally reported increased sleepiness and fatigue following sleep deprivation. These results suggest that NADH may have an important role to play in mitigating some of the effects of unavoidable sleep deprivation.”

References: *Coenzyme; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen

1. Forsyth LM, Preuss HG, MacDowell AL, Chiazze L, B GD, Bellanti JA. Therapeutic effects of oral NADH on the symptoms of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Annals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology 1999, 82:185-191.

2. Kay GG, Viirre E, Clark J. Stabilized NADH as a countermeasure for jet lag: Abstract presented and published in the proceedings of the 48th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine, September 2000.

This study was sponsored by MENUCO Corporation.

For Release December 18, 2001


Jonathan Weil
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Camille Tibaldeo
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