Every living cell, starting with bacteria all the way up to the human organism, contains NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride). NADH, also referred to as coenzyme 1, is the biological hydrogen that reacts with the oxygen in the cell and produces water and ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is stored in the mitochondria of the cell and is essential for all cellular processes. This means that the more NADH a cell has available, the more energy it can produce. Especially the brain, heart and muscle cells need an extraordinary amount of energy, which is also why they contain the most NADH.
NADH is also present in our food, such as red meat, poultry and fish, and to a lesser extent in vegetables. When preparing our food, the natural NADH supply is often reduced or destroyed.
NADH’s energy boosting effects are not only known to have positive outcomes when suffering from depression, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and chronic fatigue, but are also beneficial in healthy and athletic individuals.
In a study conducted by Prof. George Birkmayer and Dr. Vank (1) involving 17 well-trained cyclists and marathon runners, the following was observed after these athletes had taken 1 tablet containing 20 mg NADH each morning before breakfast for a period of 4 weeks:
– Quicker reaction time – Improved concentration capacity – A significant reduction in lactate levels – Increase in physical performance and oxygen intake – The spiro-ergometric parameters improved while using NADH
Reasons for this improvement could include the following:
1. A possible pre-existing NADH deficiency. 2. An increase in the concentration of dopamine in certain areas of the brain and consequently stimulated muscle growth, given that dopamine stimulates growth hormone (GH) biosynthesis. As a result, the athletes have more strength and more endurance. 3. A stimulation of the cellular ATP energy production caused by NADH, on account of the fact that NADH enters the cell directly.
In another study conducted with 4 top athletes, Dr. Bill Missner (2) from the USA revealed the following:
– All athletes improved their sprint performance with NADH (5 minutes cycling, 1 mile running) – Better values from all athletes, also in terms of endurance
These findings were verified in a controlled double-blind study at the Institute for Sports Medicine at the University of Freiburg in Germany (3). For the athletes, the practical consequence of this study meant that through regular NADH intake they could train in the aerobic phase for prolonged periods and thereby achieve increased endurance. Creatine kinase (CK), which normally increases during endurance training, indicates that there is damage to the muscle cells. NADH rapidly returns the increased CK activity back to normal again in a very short period of time.
Prof. Komi (4) also confirmed these exceptional results in Finland based on his studies involving high-performance athletes.
Finally, an important question remains: IS NADH CONSIDERED DOPING?
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) as well as the NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) were very clear in their answers:
The substance nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride (NADH) does NOT constitute a doping violation.
For further information on this topic, please visit www.nada-bonn.de or www.nadamed.de.
NADH is the method of choice for people who want to increase their physical energy, vitality and mental capacity with the help of this coenzyme that is produced naturally in the body. It should also be mentioned that no side effects have been observed when consuming higher doses of NADH (200 mg/day).
You will find further study results and information regarding NADH preparations at www.birkmayer-nadh.com and in the book “NADH: The Biological Hydrogen: The Secret of Our Life Energy” by Prof. George Birkmayer.
1. Georg D. Birkmayer, M.D., Ph.D., Pavel Vank, M.D., Birkmayer Institute for Parkinson Therapy, Research Division, Vienna, AUSTRIA: REDUCED COENZYME I (NADH) IMPROVES PSYCHOMOTORIC AND PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE IN ATHLETES; International Journal of Sports Medicine April, 1996
2. Bill Misner, Ph.D.(Washington, USA), George D. Birkmayer(Vienna, Austria), H. Schlachter (Munich, Germany), and A. Berg (Freiburg, Germany): THE COENZYMEN NICOTINAMIDE ADENINE DINUCLEOTIDE(NADH) AS A BIOLOGICAL ERGOGENIC FACTOR IN SHORT-TERM AND PROLONGED EXERCISE
3. Grathwohl D, Klann M, Müller HM, Schlachter H, Berg A.: Einfluss einer NADH Supplementation auf die muskuläre Energiebereitstellung beim Menschen (Influence of NADH supplementation for the muscular energy supply in humans) Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin, 11/2000
4. Antti A. Mero, Riikka T. Raitanen, George D. Birkmayer and Paavo V. Komi: EFFECTS OF NICOTINAMIDE ADENINE DINUCLEOTIDE HYDRIDE ON PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PERFORMANCE; Manuscript / Journal of Sports Sciences 19.9. 2006