Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a supplement that boosts Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+). Keeping NAD+ levels up while we age promotes health at the mitochondrial level. It improves energy generation in mitochondria and gene regulation through the same pathway as for example caloric restriction. In the last couple years several studies seem to confirm this is the case and very recent studies also show that NR raises NAD+ in humans. More research findings are listed next to the article.
NAD+ is basically found in every cell in the body and is essential to life. NAD+ enables the transfer of energy from the foods we eat to vital cell functions. It is also required to “turn off/on” genes that accelerate degenerative aging processes by supporting the activity of Sirtuins amongs others. Studies have shown that as we age NAD+ levels decline and mitochondrial function is impaired, resulting in fewer mitochondria surviving. It is a downward cycle of mitochondrial depletion which appears to contribute to many of the physical symptoms of aging. Exactly why it starts to decline is not clear. That also means that NR supplementation is not as such a cure for aging but a way to compensate for the decline and keep the mitochondria in shape.
The compound Nicotinamide Riboside is naturally found in small amounts in milk. It is a special form of vitamin B3 with, importantly, good bioavailabity. In summary it offers many health benefits, including endurance, performance, weight management, cardiovascular health, anti-aging, cognitive function and neuroprotection. NR also appears to be the only available oral supplement precursor to NAD+ that is commercially available for consumers today. Supplement products can be bought in several major online health stores typically carrying the Niagen label which is so far the only safe GRAS labeled version of NR. Next to scientific results there is also a growing choir of NR users reporting that with supplementation, meaningful improvements in health and well-being have been achieved. Also please take note of this recently released side effects and safety study.