Inflammation Makes You Gain Weight. Peptide Therapy Can Help You Lose Weight.

Weight loss is one of the most common health concerns among my clients.

Men struggle with weight loss even though they do all the right things: they go to the gym regularly, they eat a clean diet, they take what they think are the right supplements… but something just isn’t right. 

Losing weight seems like it should be easy if you’ve straightened out your diet and exercise… So, why is it so hard to lose that stubborn fat?

First off, the body is complex.There are a ton of factors beyond diet and exercise that matter for losing weight. Of course, sleep is really important, your hormones and testosterone matter, and stress plays a huge factor. Your microbiome and gut health almost certainly play a role, too. 

And, of course, your genes matter. Not just your actual genetic makeup, but also epigeneticswhich genes are turned on or off at a given time. 

In order to understand weight loss, and men’s health in general, we have to think about the body as a sophisticated system. If you want to lose weight, get more energy, and feel younger, there’s a constellation of factors that matter.

And here’s a big one that people often miss: inflammation. 

In this article, I want to explain the connection between your body’s inflammatory response and the difficulty you may have shedding those extra pounds. And then I’ll tell you how you can address your inflammation with targeted peptides to help you finally lose weight. 

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s general immune response. There are two main types that we’re concerned with:

  • Acute inflammation is a localized response. It’s what you get when you sprain your ankle and it swells up, gets red, and gets warm. Or when you get an infected cut. Acute inflammation is your body sending in the “good guys” to repair tissue or get rid of toxins. 
  • Chronic inflammation is a longer term, generalized response. It happens when your body’s own white blood cells stick around longer than they need to and start attacking your own body. It’s a deep-rooted, systemic problem. 

Chronic inflammation can have serious health consequences, including increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, prostate disorders, and more.

But in addition to all those severe health issues, inflammation can also just affect how we feel day to day. It could be what’s sapping your energy and making you feel lethargic.

And, most central to this article, chronic inflammation can make it hard for you to lose weight. 

What are the signs and symptoms of chronic inflammation?

How do you know if you have chronic inflammation? It can be difficult to know, but some of the symptoms include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Heartburn, nausea, gas, and other gut problems
  • Fatigue and chronic feelings of being tired
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Prostate problems
  • Stress
  • Mental fog or emotional instability
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pains or weakness in the muscles that don’t have a clear cause

Chronic inflammation often simply looks like a general feeling of being unwell without a clear cause. 

What causes inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is caused by the regular suspects that are related to poor health: a poor diet that’s high in sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats; obesity; stress; and smoking. It can also be caused by periodontal disease, an imbalance of hormones, and inadequate sleep. 

How does inflammation contribute to weight gain?

Inflammation and weight gain go together. 

First, the research suggests that fatty tissue can trigger inflammation. One study found that adipose tissue actually stimulates your body to release inflammatory mediators like interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α. Other research has suggested that overeating can lead to inflammation. So being overweight can contribute to inflammation.

But it works the other way, too: inflammation can cause you to gain weight—and keep it. One way inflammation does that is by changing how we absorb and use the food we eat. Inflammation can actually affect our gut health: it can influence the bacteria that make up our microbiome and even affect how nutrients and energy are extracted from the food we eat. 

For another thing, inflammation may cause us to feel more hungry and to choose to eat foods that are worse for us. And to make matters worse, it also may be one cause of insulin resistance, which makes it more difficult to turn blood glucose into energy.

So being overweight can contribute to chronic inflammation. And inflammation contributes to weight gain. It can turn into a vicious cycle. 

The good news is that you can reverse it: losing weight helps reduce inflammation… and reducing inflammation will help you lose weight. 

How to reduce inflammation

Adopting a generally healthy lifestyle can help reduce inflammation. That means eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet; avoiding processed foods, sugary, and fried foods; exercising enough; managing your stress; sleeping enough; and quitting smoking. Those are the basics. 

But even after doing all those things, you may find that you need a bit of a boost to lower your inflammation. 

That’s where the strategic use of peptide therapies comes in. 

Peptides can help disrupt chronic inflammation and help you lose weight

The scientific and medical community is only really just becoming aware of how important peptides can be in helping people age well.

Peptides are small chains of amino acids—like proteins, but shorter. 

What do peptides do? Well, there are now thousands of different peptides known to scientists, and there’s a huge variety in the effect that they have. But they often work as chemical signals, helping our body to regulate itself. 

For instance, some boost your immune system; others, like BPC-157, help your body repair tissues; others, like tesamorelin, stimulate growth hormone and help you put on muscle; and yet others, like amlexanox, can reduce inflammation and help burn fat. 

If peptides are made naturally, how does peptide therapy help?

Our body naturally makes peptides, but production of these essential chemical regulators tend to decrease with age. That’s one of the reasons that our body stops functioning properly as we get older.

Peptide therapies and supplements help restore key peptides back to the level you had in your early 20s. And they can bring back the benefits of a younger body: faster healing, faster metabolism, and improved weight loss, among others. 

Amlexanox and weight loss

Amlexanox is one peptide that plays a role in reducing inflammation. That’s why it’s one of the best peptides for weight loss and fat loss

Amlexanox has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Traditionally, it’s actually been used to treat stomach ulcers because it reduces healing time and pain. It works in several ways, including by inhibiting the release of histamine and leukotrienes.

But it also has been found to promote weight loss. 

Some research has found that Amlexanox inhibits the TBK1 enzyme, which may enhance the body’s ability to burn fat. It also seems to inhibit IKK-ε, which is an inflammatory mediator. By inhibiting it, Amlexanox improves the metabolism of glucose and improves energy. 

Finally—and this brings us back to epigenetics—Amlexanox seems to “turn off” the expression of “fat genes”

While the research on Amlexanox is still in its infancy, the existing literature does suggest that Amlexanox can have some powerful effects: fighting weight loss and reducing inflammation so you feel your best.

Amlexanox plus TTA give fat a one-two punch

When Amlexanox is used to combat weight gain, it’s usually combined with Tetradecylthioacetic Acid, or TTA. 

TTA is a fatty acid that’s given as a nutritional supplement. When you hear “fatty acid”, you might think that’s a bad thing. But don’t worry—it doesn’t get used by the body for fuel. Instead, it actually helps regulate how the body stores fat.

TTA helps decrease hunger and upregulate metabolism of fat. That means it helps you burn through fat quicker. 

Together, Amlexanox and TTA are an effective fat-fighting duo. 

The men’s health takeaway: Target inflammation to lose weight

The body works together in one big system. That’s why it’s not enough for many people to use a simple equation like, “calories in, calories out”. If it were, weight-loss diets would work and it would be easier to slim down.

To really lose weight and feel healthy, you need a systems approach.

It turns out that a very significant contributor to gaining weight from fat is inflammation. That means that if you’re trying to lose weight, you want to do what you can to minimize inflammation. Some things you can do yourself, like eating well and getting enough sleep. 


But you might also want to power-up your own efforts with a tailor-made plan from an expert in peptide therapies. A personalized medicine plan that includes the strategic use of peptides like Amlexanox may be exactly what you need to get your body working at its best.  

Schedule a consultation to learn how  peptides can help you lose weight. 

Ready to take the next steps?

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In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

Anti-Aging Tips For Men


anti aging tips for menClose-up shot of a handsome young man with towel in his neck admiring looking at his face in the bathroom mirror.

Traditional doctors approach aging as something that is imminent, unavoidable, and uncontrollable. Their goal is to merely treat your age-related symptoms as they pop up, like a medical version of whack-a-mole. 

But I view aging VERY differently. 

Science has shown us that there’s a lot we can do to slow, and actually reverse, the course of your aging process. That’s because healthy aging is NOT about hitting the genetic jackpot. Instead, it’s about adopting preventative strategies that slow the cellular processes associated with aging, improve your immune system, prevent disease, and ultimately boost your sense of youth and vitality.

How Inflammation Impacts Aging

There’s one factor that dramatically speeds up the process of aging – inflammation. In fact, chronic inflammation underlies nearly every disease associated with aging, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dementia, arthritis, cancer and diabetes, just to name a few.[1]

Chronic inflammation may not directly cause aging per se. Rather, it acts like gasoline, turning the normally smoldering embers of cellular degeneration into a raging fire that causes destruction throughout the body and brain. Inflammation wreaks havoc on your immune system, your gut health, your brain health and your mental wellbeing.

Unfortunately, our modern routines are riddled with factors that increase inflammation—from highly processed diets to a sedentary lifestyle to environmental toxins. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few tweaks to your daily regimen, you can smother the flames of inflammation and be on your way to living a long, energetic, disease-free life.

How to Reduce Inflammation and Promote Healthy Aging


1. Eat for Life

If you are like most people, your major source of inflammation comes served on your dinner plate. Eating a typical American diet high in omega-6 poly-unsaturated fats (think canola oil, safflower oil, etc.) , highly-processed oils (think ‘partially hydrogenated’ anything), and refined sugars all directly promote inflammation and increases your risk of disease. Conversely, eating a healthy diet reduces inflammation, boosts your immune system, and protects you against both infectious and chronic diseases.

Let’s break down the three key pillars that form the basis of a healthy, anti-aging diet.

The first pillar involves choosing complex carbohydrates over simple ones.

Simple carbs are found in anything made with sugar, but they are also found in things we don’t consider sweet, like white bread, potatoes, pasta, white rice, pizza dough and pasta.

What makes simple (or refined) carbohydrates unique is that they’ve been stripped of all their fiber, bran, and nutrients. As a result, your body is able to quickly break them down into sugars, which sounds like a good thing but it isn’t. Eating simple carbs floods your system with sugar, resulting in body-wide inflammation

This sugar spike also triggers your pancreas to create a surge in insulin in order to clear the sugar from your bloodstream. But all that insulin makes you feel hungry again, which is why we tend to crave simple carbs rather than vegetables. 

Over time, this dramatic rise and fall in blood sugar causes you to overeat, gain weight (especially dangerous belly fat), and develop insulin resistance (i.e., type-2 diabetes). It also causes unhealthy fluctuations in your mood and energy levels. And if that isn’t bad enough, a diet high in simple carbs puts you at greater risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, depression and bipolar disorder.[2, 3]

Simple carbs are also dangerous because they produce a particularly nasty substance called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs are toxic molecules that form when protein or fat combines with the sugar in our bloodstream.[4

When AGEs accumulate, they form a sticky, inflexible substance that clogs our blood vessels and coats our major organs, sometimes resulting in organ failure. AGEs promote oxidative stress, which is a fancy way of saying they make our cells old before their time. Scientists are just starting to discover the ways in which AGEs drive age-related illnesses, but what is clear is that consuming a healthy diet is the main way to keep these toxic molecule levels low.[5]

Now trying to quit anything cold turkey is hard, so instead of just cutting out sugars and simple carbs, think about replacing them with complex carbs. 

  • Swap out sugary desserts with fresh fruit like strawberries or apples. 
  • Switch white bread with wheat or even better, a lettuce leaf. 
  • Opt for brown rice, lentils, or an ancient grain like amaranth or quinoa versus white rice.
  • Switch from regular pizza dough to a cauliflower crust. With a few creative tweaks to your diet, you are less likely to feel deprived and more likely to stick with your new eating habits.

The second pillar in an anti-aging diet is eliminating bad fats and incorporating good fats. In the 1980s, fat got a bad rap. Doctors argued that eating a diet high in fat skyrocketed cholesterol and caused heart disease. 

But experts now recognize this assumption was wrong. In truth, there are good fats and bad fats and a key to anti-aging is knowing the difference.

Generally, fats fall into these broad categories:

  • Trans fats: Trans fats are the worst kind of fats because they raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and lower your HDL (good cholesterol). For this reason, the FDA started banning trans fats in 2018, but they can still be found in some food sources, including vegetable shortening, fried fast foods, and some brands of microwave popcorn.
  • Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats: These are the fats found in oils such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and most other oils that are used for cooking. Unfortunately, when you eat out at a restaurant, almost ALL of the foods are cooked using these oils. These fats stimulate your fat cells to produce cytokines, which are proteins that cause low-level, chronic inflammation. They have been linked to a number of age-related, inflammatory-based illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats: These are considered to be “heart-healthy” fats because they raise your HDL and lower your LDL, thereby protecting you against vascular diseases. These fats are found in fish, vegetables such as avocados, and healthy nuts.
  • Monounsaturated fats: These are also considered to be the most “heart-healthy” fats. They reduce inflammation, promote cellular efficiency, and protect you from vascular disease. These fats are found mostly in olive oil, and healthy nuts such as almonds and macadamia nuts.
  • Saturated fats: A diet high in saturated fats can increase your risk for developing heart disease and vascular disease, which is why most nutritionists recommend limiting saturated fats to no more than 10% of your daily fat intake.[6] Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods such as red meat, cheese, and dairy, as well as plant-based oils like coconut and palm oil. These oils are also commonly used in commercially produced baked goods like boxed cookies and crackers.

Both are types of the polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6) are considered “essential fats” which means the body requires them for normal functioning. Our body doesn’t naturally produce these fats, which means the only way to get them is through our diet. But an important distinction is that omega-6s are pro-inflammatory and omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.

Omega-6 fats, like soybean oil, are far cheaper which means they are more likely to appear in processed foods. And since processed foods make up a significant proportion of the American diet, we as a nation are consuming too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s. 

The recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in 4:1, but the Western diet ratio is more like 10:1 or even 50:1![8] This imbalance increases body-wide inflammation and negatively alters cell-membrane health.

To correct this imbalance, try to reduce the amount of omega-6s in your diet and boost the omega-3s. An excellent way to do this is to follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation to consume two servings of oily fish per week. 

In fact, research shows people who eat seafood 1-4 times per week are less likely to die of heart disease or strokes.[9] You can also stock up on flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, avocados, and grass-fed beef, which are all high in omega-3s.

Excessive saturated fats also promote inflammation, weight gain, and ultimately aging. Depending on your genetics (remember how important ‘epigenetics’ is?), some people can tolerate more saturated fats than others. But for some, consuming more than 10% of your fat intake as saturated fat can dramatically increase your risk for early ALzheimer’s Disease and cardiovascular disease.

But here is the good news—the negative impact of these fats can easily and quickly be reversed. One study found that after just two weeks of swapping out saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, cytokines were reduced and as a result, brain functioning was significantly improved.[7] So by making just a few simple swaps to your diet, you can quickly reduce inflammation, prevent disease, and enable your body and brain to age healthier.

The third pillar of an anti-aging diet is to “eat the rainbow,” which means eating a wide range of vegetables and fruits to ensure a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Focus on incorporating dark greens (broccoli, watercress, kale) and brightly colored vegetables and fruits (red bell peppers, carrots, blueberries).

Supplements can also help you incorporate important nutrients into your diet. Research supports the use of several anti-aging supplements, including CoQ10 and Vitamin C (to learn more, check out my article on the 7 supplements every man should be taking).

2.Keep Moving

What you put into your body is only half of the anti-aging equation; just as important is what you do with your body. Exercise isn’t just a solution for weight loss. It actually equips your body with the tools it needs to successfully navigate the aging process.

With the rise of wearable tech, there has been an emphasis on counting the number of daily steps to improve health, but there is no scientific evidence to support the well-known “10,000 steps a day” rule. Instead, what you should be focusing on are the minutes you spend each day in your target heart rate. 

Heart Rate Matters

Your target heart rate varies depending on your age. First, you need to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR), which is 220 minus your age. So a 40-year old man would have a MHR of 180.

The key to heart-benefiting exercise is to work out at the proper intensity and duration. In terms of intensity, you want to exercise hard enough to raise your heart rate, but not so much that it reaches all the way up to your MHR. 

Moderate aerobic activity is generally defined as 50-70 percent of your MHR. So in the case of our 40-year old man, that would be a heart rate range of 90-126. 

Vigorous aerobic activity is defined as 70-85 percent of your MHR, which for a 40-year old man would be 126-153. Either way, you should always avoid going over the 85 percent upper limit since it offers no health benefits and can actually strain your heart.

In terms of duration, the Mayo clinic recommends you strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity—brisk walking, swimming, yard work and household chores—per week, but you could go all the way up to 300 minutes for maximum benefit.[10] If instead you prefer vigorous aerobic activity—running, aerobic dancing—strive for at least 75 minutes per week.

Keep in mind that exercise doesn’t just keep your heart young, it keeps your brain young too. Once study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that a lack of exercise in older adults raised their risk of developing dementia to a level that was equivalent to people who were genetically predisposed to the disease.[11]  

Studies like this prove that despite what your genes say, you have a great amount of control over your aging process. This is just one reason why I’m so passionate about epigenetics—the idea that your external environment affects the way our genes behave. And to clarify, your environment is not just chemicals or toxins in your environment, but also what you eat, how you move, how you breathe, how you sleep, etc.. 

In addition to aerobic exercise, the other essential component to an anti-aging workout is strength training. As we age, muscles lose their flexibility and shrink. 

In fact, after the age of 30, you lose 3-5 percent of your muscle mass every decade, and men on average lose 30 percent of their muscle mass over their lifetime.[12] On top of that, ligaments, tendons and connective tissues dehydrate and degrade as we age, further reducing our mobility and increasing risk of injury. 

But as exercise physiologist Dr. Thomas Storer makes clear, “Older men can indeed increase muscle mass lost as a consequence of aging. It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.”[12]

To kick start muscle gain, focus on high rep workouts rather than heavy weights. A typical program might include 8-10 different exercises that target all major muscle groups, with 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps, performed 2-3 times per week. Once this program is established, you can increase the weights, drop the number of reps down to 10, then eventually work your way up to 15 and repeat the process. 

And don’t forget that muscle building requires protein. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, men engaging in strength training should consume 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.[13] That means a 165-pound man generally needs around 80-135 grams per day, although remember that your genetics direct specifically how much protein your body needs (epigenetics!!).

Lastly, consider supplementing with things known to prevent muscle loss, including fish oil, vitamin D, and hormone replacement therapy. And don’t forget to fortify your bones too, with calcium and vitamin D (take these together for maximum absorption), as well as vitamin C, B12, and magnesium.[14]

3. Build a Better Brain

Our body isn’t the only thing that degrades as we age. The older we get, the longer our brains have been exposed to inflammatory triggers like toxins, chronic stress, and unhealthy foods. Only now are scientists discovering that conditions we assumed were inevitable as we age, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, are actually caused by brain-wide inflammation.[15]

The good news is that most of the things we’ve discussed that prevent the body from age-based decline benefit the brain as well. Exercising, avoiding sugar, keeping your cholesterol in check and maintaining a healthy diet are all excellent ways to protect your brain against aging. Additional strategies include getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, and reducing stress.

Certain supplements have also been shown to preserve cognitive functioning and prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s disease.[16] For example, vitamin D and B12 play vital roles in memory formation and cognitive functioning, which is why a deficiency in these vitamin has been linked to cognitive impairments, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.

Fat is another important factor when it comes to brain health. Omega-3s account for 40 percent of the fatty acids found in our brains cells and they are especially concentrated at the synaptic connections where all communication between brains cells occurs.[17] Research shows higher intake of omega-3s is associated with larger brain volume and a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, so consider adding a fish oil supplement to your daily routine.

Putting it All Together

Aging isn’t something you have to take lying down. With just a few tweaks to your routine and the addition of a few foods and supplements, you can actively slow down or even reverse the effects of aging. 

To see the power of lifestyle changes in action, look no further than a study published in The Lancet Oncology.[18] In this study, researchers had a group of men start a plant-focused diet, exercise for 30 minutes six days a week, and practice yoga or meditation for three months. After the three months, the researchers examined the men’s telomeres. 

Telomeres are a lot like those plastic endcaps on shoelaces that stop the laces from fraying and falling apart. In each of our cells, we have telomeres that cap off the ends of our chromosomes and keep the DNA strands intact. 

Cells replenish by copying themselves and each time they do, these telomeres get shorter and shorter. Eventually, they become too short to do their job, the DNA becomes damaged and the cell stops working. 

For this reason, the length of our telomeres is considered an indicator of our biological (rather than chronically) age. The shorter our telomeres, the “older” our cells are and the more likely we are to succumb to age-related illnesses.

So what did the study find? After just twelve weeks of adopting these simple lifestyle changes, the men’s telomeres grew by a whopping 10 percent. As lead researcher Dr. Dean Ornish stated, “This study is the first of its kind that scientifically proves you can reverse aging at a cellular level through lifestyle changes.”[19

With some adjustments in your lifestyle, you can turn the clock back on your cells too. If you want to take control of the aging process and feel better, schedule a consultation.  You’ll learn how a personalized health strategy can let you live your life to the fullest.

In 10 Secrets to High Performance Health!, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death. 

Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is 10 Secrets to High Performance Health!!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

Men’s Health: Reverse Aging with NAD+

Aging is inevitable – but there’s a whole new frontier for optimizing our health through the latest genetic science and biohacking that can help you to slow down the aging process and maybe even reverse aging with NAD+.  NAD (short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and also known as NAD+) has recently been getting a lot of attention as a cutting-edge tool to promote longevity.  

We’re taking it all the way down the cellular level here.

Properly functioning cellular metabolism is essential to health. The sum of every chemical reaction that happens inside the body, along with its molecular interactions, keeps the body in a state of balance. This is all made possible by coenzymes (“helper molecules”) and specific proteins acting as metabolic sensors that respond to conditions in the cells and body. NAD is a tiny coenzyme that plays an important role in this delicate dance. As you age, NAD+ decreases and with it goes cellular function that prevents disease and maintains vitality.

What is NAD+ and why is it important?

NAD+ is vital to cellular metabolism because it turns nutrients into cellular energy. It also activates a set of proteins called sirtuins that regulate cellular health. NAD+ creates the cellular energy that helps us to retain our youthful function, muscle strength, and physical stamina. When sirtuins were discovered they were quickly nicknamed “the longevity genes.” 

A fascinating aspect of NAD+ is its dual role in protecting against the factors that age us. This includes inflammation, DNA damage, and failing mitochondria (cell respiration). NAD+ promotes longevity by facilitating DNA repair and protecting mitochondria from early death. As a result, NAD lowers the risks for age-related brain diseases like Alzheimers or Parkinson’s and cardiovascular diseases (a leading cause of death for men). 

NAD is the building block for ALL of our systems such as the lymphatic, cardiovascular and nervous systems. It is responsible for our immune function, insulin regulation, and fatty acid oxidation. Without it, we would literally die!

Improving Health Through NAD+ Boosting Photo Credit: The Sinclair Lab

NAD+ and Aging

A NAD+ molecule isn’t consumed alone to create energy like fuel in a car. Instead, it works with proteins to carry out essential biological processes like cellular energy creation and maintaining healthy DNA. Sirtuins are some of the proteins that play a key role in these processes. They only function in the presence of NAD+ and this means that the body needs to constantly synthesize it to maintain cellular function. However, NAD levels markedly decline with age, creating an energy deficit that decreases the body’s ability to retain optimal health.

Sirtuins and NAD+ work together to help promote overall health.

For example, at age 50 a typical person may have only half the NAD+ they did in their younger years but by age 80, NAD+ levels drop to only 1-10 percent of the levels measured in youth. But recent studies have now shown that increasing NAD+ in the body can restore the body’s cellular function as though turning back time – actually slowing down the aging process. Essentially, men can reverse aging by restoring healthy levels of NAD+.

One study done on mice, showed an average 5 percent increase in their lifespan —even though supplementation did not begin until the mice were nearing the end of their natural lifespan of 24 months. That would be the equivalent of gaining nearly an additional four years of life to today’s average human expectancy of 79 years!

Another side effect of decreased NAD+ is that muscles begin to shrivel and grow weaker due to vascular aging (thinning and aging of blood vessels, reducing cellular health). Vascular aging is responsible for many disorders for men.  These may include cardiac and neurologic conditions, muscle loss, and impaired wound healing. The process can be slowed down with regular exercise, but gradually even exercise becomes less effective at holding off this weakening.  In further research findings, mice with NAD+ supplementation showed between 56 and 80 percent greater exercise capacity. This points to a reversal in vascular aging and an ability to maintain a youthful physical stamina. 

Furthermore, in two different animal models of neurodegenerative disease, increasing cellular NAD+ reduced the severity of the disorder, normalized neuromuscular function, and delayed memory loss.  Most studies started on mice, but more recently clinical studies have shown positive effects on humans. You can begin to see how crucial NAD+ is to a vital life – and how its depletion can rob you of this vitality as you age.

Reversing Aging with NAD+ Precursors

Most of the ways of increasing NAD+ do not include supplementing with NAD+ itself, but rather precursors to NAD+. There are 5 precursors to NAD+:

  • tryptophan
  • nicotinic acid (pyridine-3-carboxylic acid)
  • nicotinamide (nicotinic acid amide)
  • nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)
  • and nicotinamide riboside (NR).

We can get NAD+ in our bodies through diet.  This is done by consuming foods with NAD+ precursors in them – like fish, crimini mushrooms, and raw green vegetables. However, you can’t really eat enough of anything to significantly boost NAD+ levels. Taking a NAD+ precursor supplement can help mitigate the decline, improve cellular health, and even mitigate loss of telomeres.

NMN and NR are the most popular precursors found in the latest anti-aging supplements. However, NR (a unique member of the vitamin B3 family) has been found to be the most efficient. If you’re a wine fan, you may be familiar with another famous anti-aging compound: resveratrol. NR is 4x more bioavailable than resveratrol, quickly kicking the red-wine derivative to the curb.

It has a positive impact on Metabolism

NR doesn’t just have anti-aging effects, it has a positive impact on metabolism. Mice on high-fat diets with NR supplementation gained 60 percent less weight than they did on the same diet without NR. In addition, none of the mice on NR showed signs of diabetes. Instead, their energy levels improved. 

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an important target to extend lifespan and health span.

NAD+ Supplements

Renowned Harvard University geneticist David Sinclair is the pioneer in the supplementation business of NAD+ with Elysium Health. Although his anti-aging claims were first met with controversy because most studies had been done on mice (, the study arena has since been expanded to human trials done at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Washington.  Gaining support of researchers at the top of their field, these human studies point to the same benefits found in our small furry friends.

Dr. Sinclair has conducted a study to show the effectiveness of his supported supplement, Basis.  Previous studies had shown an increase in NAD+ over a 24 hour period. His study sought to determine whether cellular NAD+ levels could be sustained over the entire study period of eight weeks, and it did.

In a placebo-controlled trial of 120 healthy adults between the ages of 60-80, participants taking the recommended dose of Basis saw cellular NAD+ levels increase by an average of 40 percent over baseline after 30 days, sustained at this number to 60 days. Participants taking twice the recommended dose saw those levels increase by 90 percent after 30 days and 55 percent at 60 days. 

ChromaDex, another leading anti-aging company has taken the running lead in scientific support for their supplement TruNiagen. With over 100 preclinical trials, 5 published studies and 3 FDA safety reviews, the evidence surrounding NAD+ supplementation is overwhelming.

It was previously thought that NAD+ could not be given in oral form and only intravenously due to poor bioavailability and low intestinal absorption.  Newer research shows that oral forms of NAD+ supplementation do have positive effects.  NADOVIM is one of the first and earliest supplements on the market to contain actual NAD+ instead of NAD+ precursors in its formulation.

Researchers are still willing to explore the value of IV infusions of NAD+. This is a new area for further, detailed study and could potentially be an effective delivery method in some ways. Preliminary animal study evidence suggests that intravenously administered NAD+ may hold some interesting promise. Currently, there are no pre-clinical or clinical human studies, but this is a fast-moving advancement in what we are learning about the way NAD+ and NAD+ precursors are processed in tissues and across the blood-brain barrier. Stay tuned.

How to Increase NAD+ Levels Naturally

Before you go out and buy a Vitamin B3 or NR supplement, remember that reversing aging requires a systems-based, holistic approach. There is no such thing as a magic anti-aging pill. NAD+ treatment in addition to other lifestyle changes and structures is what ultimately adds more years to your life. It is important to take a high quality NAD+ supplement.  Also, here are additional recommendations to ensure you increase NAD+ and its anti-aging effects.


Fasting, or reducing your calorie intake for extended periods, is an excellent method for indirectly boosting the body’s NAD+ levels. It has been shown that, fasting is effective in increasing NAD+ levels.  However, a drastic reduction in calorie intake or fasting long term can have a counterproductive effect. Consider intermittent fasting or adopting a low carb-ketogenic diet to provide similar positive results.


Exercise is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods for boosting NAD+ levels. In a nutshell, exercise forces our body muscles to produce more mitochondria. The increased production of mitochondria results in a natural boost in NAD+ levels in the body.


Research has shown that too much direct sunlight exposure can deplete the body of NAD+ because our body uses NAD+ to repair sun damaged cells from over exposure to UV rays. Reduce exposure to strong sunlight and wear sunscreen.

Healthy Diet

Eating a well balanced whole foods diet full of NAD+ precursor rich foods is a one-way ticket to reversing aging. Be sure to add more of the following into your diet: 

  • Fish – Varieties of fish like tuna, salmon and sardines are rich sources of NAD+ for the body. Be sure to source your fish from sustainable, wild-caught sources.
  • Green Vegetables – green vegetables contain all sorts of nutrients in them which are beneficial in a variety of ways including NAD+ precursors. Of these vegetables peas and asparagus have the highest amount.
  • Whole Grains – high in Vitamin B3 which also contains RN. Remember that vegetables and grains that are cooked or processed lose their nutrition as well as the vitamin source. Therefore, it is recommended that you should also eat raw vegetables and choose whole grains (rice, quinoa, etc) over processed foods such as chips and cereals.
Reduce Alcohol Intake

Alcohol interferes with healthy cellular processes and reduces the efficacy of NAD+. In fact, alcohol consumption has been shown to directly reduce levels of NAD+ (and testosterone) in the body. 

NAD+ precursors, exercise and caloric restriction can increase NAD+ levels.
NAD+ helps you get energy out of the food you eat, it protects cells from stress, it maintains healthy sleep cycles and it helps your cells repair damaged DNA.


If you are looking for supplements that reverse aging, the NAD+ research is very promising.  It should be considered as a part of a holistic health plan for every aging male.  Without exercise and a whole foods diet, NAD+ supplementation will have minimal effects. For men who are looking to take their performance and health to the next level, NAD+ can give you that extra edge.

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In Male 2.0, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death. A man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either. A man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist, Men’s Health Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.