NADH & Jet Lag

posted in: Jet Lag | 0

Current remedies for jet lag (phototherapy, melatonin, stimulant, and sedative medications) are limited in efficacy and practicality. The efficacy of a stabilized, sublingual form of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH, ENADAlert®, Menuco Corp.) as a countermeasure for jet lag was examined.

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Stabilized NADH as a Countermeasure for Jet Lag


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Stabilized NADH as a countermeasure for Jet lag
Gary G. Kay Ph.D., Georgetown University & Washington Neuropsychological Institute, Washington, DC Erik Viirre M.D. Ph. D., University of California San Diego, CA Jonathan Clark M.D., NADA, Houston, TX


Background: Jet lag is becoming a common malady affecting cognitive functioning, mood, and alertness of travelers crossing time zones. The remedies for this condition, such as phototherapy, melatonin, stimulants (e.g., caffeine) and sedative medications (e.g., antihistamines), have proven to be of limited efficacy and of dubious practicality for the modern traveler. We conducted a study to measure the effects of jet lag on sleepiness and on cognitive functioning. In addition, we investigated the efficacy of a stabilized, sublingual form of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH, ENADAlert®) as a potential countermeasure for jet lag.

Hypothesis: Because NADH increases cellular production of ATP and facilities dopamine synthesis it may counteract the effects of jet lag on cognitive functioning and sleepiness.

Methods: In this double-blind placebo-controlled study, 36 healthy, employed subjects (17 females, 19 males) volunteered for the study. One male subject dropped out of the study prior to the test sessions. Training and baseline testing were conducted on the West coast of the United States (San Diego, CA). Subjects then took an overnight (“red-eye”) flight to the East coast of the United States (Washington, D.C.), a flight spanning four time zones. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 20 mg of sublingual stabilized NADH (ENADAlert®, MENUCO Corp.; n=18) or identical placebo tablets (n=17) on the morning of arrival (at 0800 hours). Ninety minutes after dosing subjects completed a battery of computer-administered tests (including CogScreen®, a test used for medical certification of pilots) to assess changes in cognitive functioning, mood and sleepiness. Testing was repeated five hours later.

Results: As expected, jet lag resulted in increased sleepiness for more than half of the subjects, and deterioration of cognitive functioning for about one third of the subjects. The morning following the flight, subjects were particularly prone to lapses of attention (errors of omission). Jet lag also had significant effects on working memory, divided attention, and visual perceptual speed. Subjects who received sublingual NADH significantly outperformed subjects who received placebo on measures of cognition and sleepiness. No adverse effects were observed for subjects receiving NADH.

Conclusions: Results of this study are consistent with the self-report literature associating cognitive deficits and sleepiness with jet lag. The marked deterioration in vigilance and divided attention and the increase in sleepiness suggest that the traveler experiencing jet lag is particularly at risk when alertness, concentration or multi-tasking are needed. Stabilized NADH was found to significantly reduce the cognitive effects and sleepiness induced by jet lag. Furthermore, NADH is easily administered and was found to have no side effects.
Keywords: jet lag, cognitive testing, fatigue countermeasures, NADH

Please send Correspondence to:
Gary G. Kay, Ph. D., Director Washington Neuropsychological Institute 4910 Massachusetts Ave., NW Suite 100
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 686 7520 E-mail:

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