Chronic Health Conditions and NAD+ Levels in Young Populations

While NAD+ deficiency is a well known complication of aging, alarming new research suggests that it is not just a concern for older adults.

Younger generations are increasingly experiencing chronic conditions associated with NAD+ depletion, raising concerns about their long-term health prospects.

In 2019, more than half (53.8%) of adults aged 18-34 years reported having at least one chronic condition, and 22.3% struggled with multiple conditions. (1)

The balance between NAD+ synthesis and breakdown determines its overall abundance in the body. Alterations in NAD+ metabolism, as seen in increasing chronic conditions in young adults, can result in NAD+ deficiency and its adverse health effects.

A growing body of research suggests that restoring NAD+ levels holds significant promise as a therapeutic strategy for various chronic conditions.

Key Points

  • One in four adults aged 18-24 are overweight or obese
  • A modeling study projected a 700% increase in diabetes by 2060
  • The prevalence of autoimmune diseases tripled in young people from 1988-2012
  • Chronic fatigue is associated with low NADH levels
  • Cardiovascular disease is prevalent among young adults
  • Lifestyle factors, including poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption contribute to health concerns
  • Maintaining NAD+ levels may be a promising therapeutic approach for young people


The 2019 CDC study found that obesity was the most prevalent chronic condition among adults aged 18-34, affecting 25% of this population.

Obesity interferes with NAD+ metabolism, leading to lower NAD+ levels, which has been shown to impair glucose and fat metabolism. (2)

Supplementation with the NAD+ precursor, NMN, in overweight or obese adults corrected NAD+ levels and improved metabolism. (3)

Autoimmune Diseases

An analysis of information from a large U.S. survey found that the rate of autoimmune diseases in adolescents nearly tripled between 1988 and 2012. Increases in autoimmunity were seen in all age groups, but adolescents aged 12-19 were the most significant.

Studies have shown reduced levels of NAD+ in patients with autoimmune diseases, including Gouty Arthritis, Lupus, and Psoriasis.

Dysregulated NAD+ metabolism is seen in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).(4) Animal studies have shown that supplementation with NAD+ precursors can ameliorate intestinal inflammation and symptoms of disease. (5, 6)


A recent modeling study predicted a rapid surge in the number of adolescents under age 20 with diabetes in the United States over the coming decades. The number of young people with diabetes is expected to increase by an alarming 700% by 2060. (7)

“This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be” (CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, MD, MPH)

Diabetes alters NAD+ metabolism, leading to its depletion and compromised cellular function. (8)

Restoring NAD+ levels through supplementation has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy for diabetes and its complications. Supplementation with the NAD+ precursor, NMN, enhanced muscle insulin sensitivity in a clinical trial with prediabetic women.

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a debilitating condition that severely diminishes the quality of life of those affected, afflicts approximately 1% of the population. (9)

Women are disproportionately affected by CFS, with a prevalence four times higher than that of men. (10)

While the exact cause of CFS remains unknown, research suggests that inflammation, neurological dysregulation, and NADH deficiency may play contributing roles.  (11)

Notably, studies have shown that NADH supplementation can alleviate CFS symptoms, offering a promising therapeutic avenue. (12)

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular health issues among adults aged 18-34 year olds are prevalent:

  • 10.7% had high blood pressure and 9.8% had high cholesterol in 2019 (13)
  • From 2003 to 2012, there was a 32% increase in strokes among women and 15% among men (14)

NAD+ plays a pivotal role in heart health, regulating metabolism, and modulating inflammation. (15)

NAD+ deficiency, marked by lower NAD+ levels in the blood, is associated with high blood pressure. Replenishing NAD+ with NMN supplementation, along with lifestyle modifications, has shown to be more effective in lowering blood pressure compared to lifestyle changes alone. (16)

Additionally, NMN supplementation improved blood vessel health and blood cholesterol levels in adults. (17)

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors such as a poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption play a significant role in the development of chronic diseases in young adults. (18)

“Adults aged 18–34 years with a chronic condition were more likely than those without one to report binge drinking, smoking, or physical inactivity.” (19)

A study found that alcohol consumption significantly lowered NADH levels in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), while a clinical trial demonstrated that a high-fat diet for 56 days resulted in a substantial reduction in muscle NAD+ levels compared to baseline.

These findings underscore the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyle habits to preserve NAD+ levels and promote overall well-being.


NAD+ deficiency is not just a concern of aging; it also plays a significant role in the development of various chronic diseases that are on the rise among younger generations.

“These findings highlight the importance of increasing the availability of evidence-based strategies tailored to young adults to improve the prevention, treatment, and management of chronic conditions.” (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *