HomenewsNAD vs. NADH: Understanding Key Differences

NAD vs. NADH: Understanding Key Differences

Do you know the difference between NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADH (with hydrogen)? Both are important molecules in the body, but there are key differences between them. Understanding these differences is essential for good health and nutrition. Keep reading to learn more about NAD vs. NADH and how they work together in the body.



NAD and NADH are two coenzymes that play a vital role in the metabolism of cells. Both coenzymes belong to the family of dinucleotides, which is composed of molecules made up of two nucleotide subunits joined together by a phosphodiester bond. The major difference between NAD and NADH lies in their structure. While both comprise adenosine monophosphate (AMP) and nicotinamide, NADH also contains an additional phosphate group. This makes it much more reactive than its counterpart, allowing it to transfer electrons at higher rates during metabolic reactions. NAD+ is primarily involved in oxidation-reduction processes within the cell’s mitochondria, where it acts as an electron carrier that shuttles hydrogen atoms from food sources into energy-generating pathways such as glycolysis or Krebs cycle. As electrons flow through this system they combine with oxygen to form water, releasing energy for use throughout the body. What sets apart NAD+ from other similar electron carriers is its high affinity for certain substrates such as acetyl CoA and fatty acids—meaning it can accept more electrons than any other pair before forming a compound with them known as “reduced” or “oxidized” forms respectively.

On the other hand, NADH does not partake directly in oxidative phosphorylation like its parent molecule. Instead, it serves mainly as a source of reducing power within cells helping catalyze redox reactions involving alcohols or ketones leading to the formation of various new compounds used by organisms for growth and development purposes, such as energy production, storage, and more. In addition, due to its extra phosphate group making it far more electronegative, these molecules often serve as important players during cellular respiration. This enables efficient transport across mitochondrial membranes without significant loss.

Cost Comparison and Availability


When comparing the cost and availability of NAD and NADH, it is important to take into account the different sources each compound can be sourced from and how their prices vary depending on where they are purchased. While both compounds are widely available, NAD is often more affordable due to its higher production rates. As such, many dietary supplements featuring either compound will likely list NAD as being a primary ingredient over NADH. When looking for a quality source of either supplement, consumers should look out for reputable vendors who use third-party testing to guarantee potency and freshness in their products.

In terms of price comparison between the two compounds, there are some notable differences that need to be taken into consideration. Generally speaking, pure forms of both NAD and NADH tend to cost about twice as much per milligram when compared to one another; however, this cost difference may not always hold true across all suppliers or vendors offering these supplements. This is due to variations in production costs or other factors like shipping fees which might play an impactful role in overall pricing strategies. Additionally, many manufacturers offer pre-formulated combinations of both molecules at discounted prices. So, buyers may want to consider this option if they’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative but still wish to reap the benefits associated with both compounds.

Overall, NAD and NADH play a critical role in energy metabolism and transferring electrons in the cells. NAD is the oxidized form of NADH and is used to accept electrons from other molecules, whereas NADH is the reduced form of NAD and is used to donate electrons. NAD is used in energy-generating pathways, while NADH is used in energy-consuming pathways.


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