Nicotinamide Riboside Benefits for Anti-Aging

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a variant of vitamin B3, also known as niacin, that has been gaining attention for its role in boosting levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a vital coenzyme present in all cells and involved in many critical biological processes. Although structurally and biochemically distinct from other forms of vitamin B3, like niacin and nicotinamide, NR is an essential micronutrient found naturally in trace amounts in milk. Boosting NAD+ is vitally important because NAD+ declines significantly as we age (declines at least 50%), which is why NR is a prime anti-aging supplement.

NR is relatively new to the scientific community but has already been associated with potential health benefits, particularly in aging and metabolism. It is considered an anti-aging vitamin due to its capacity to increase NAD+ levels (hence the term NAD booster).

While the data suggests that NR is a topic of ongoing research, it is acknowledged for its unique role in human nutrition and potential therapeutic benefits.

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Nicotinamide Riboside Benefits for Anti-Aging

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is gaining attention for its potential in promoting healthy aging. Often marketed for its anti-aging properties, nicotinamide riboside’s ability to increase nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels in the body is vital to its effectiveness in various biological processes related to healthy aging. As we age, our NAD levels decrease dramatically and as a NAD booster, nicotinamide riboside helps it stay at higher more youthful levels.

Specifically, nicotinamide riboside is believed to play a significant role in the context of anti-aging. For instance, it’s suggested to be particularly effective in anti-aging therapies for the skin, indicating its potential in cosmetic and dermatological applications. Additionally, studies have shown that nicotinamide riboside can enhance the NAD+ metabolome in aged human skeletal muscle, including an increase in acetylcarnitine concentrations. This augmentation activates transcriptomic and anti-inflammatory signatures, offering significant benefits in the fight against aging.

These findings underscore nicotinamide riboside’s growing significance in anti-aging research, although further studies are needed to understand its efficacy and potential applications fully.

Other Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside

Here are some critical insights about NR’s benefits:

Metabolic and Cellular Benefits: NR is particularly noted for boosting NAD+ levels in the body. NAD+ plays essential roles in various metabolic pathways, and increasing its content is seen as a valuable strategy for improving metabolic health. Elevated NAD+ levels can support multiple bodily functions, from energy metabolism to cellular repair processes.

Improved Body Composition: NR supplementation has been observed to improve body composition and skeletal muscle acetylcarnitine concentrations in healthy, obese humans. This indicates potential metabolic changes and improvements in muscle health.

Potential Applications: While people use nicotinamide riboside for various purposes, such as anti-aging effects, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and more, it’s essential to understand that the scientific evidence is still evolving. Thus, while NR is promising, definitive claims about its efficacy for these conditions await further research.

Potential Lifespan Extension: In animal studies, NR has shown the ability to increase cellular NAD+ and extend lifespan by about 5%. This finding is particularly significant as it points towards the role of NAD+ in longevity and cellular health.

Broad Spectrum of Diseases: 

The beneficial effects of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)-mediated NAD+ elevation, as indicated by current literature, span a diverse range of diseases, suggesting its potential as a therapeutic agent for various pathological conditions. This broad spectrum includes:

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases: Particularly Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  • Diabetes and Neuropathy: Showing opposing effects in models of type 2 diabetes.
  • Hearing Loss: NR may offer protective effects against hearing loss.
  • Glaucoma: Potential prevention of glaucoma in older adults.
  • Cardiac Conditions: Benefits in preserving cardiac function, especially in dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Neurological Conditions: Protection against excitotoxicity-induced axonal degeneration.

In addition to these specific diseases, nicotinamide riboside is believed to offer diverse health benefits for conditions like obesity and body weight loss, inflammation, asthma, and acne. These benefits are attributed to the general properties of nicotinamide riboside (and increased NAD+) in the body. However, to fully substantiate these claims, more specific and more robust human studies are necessary. The current evidence, mainly from animal models, provides a promising foundation but does not yet offer conclusive results for human applications.

Overall, nicotinamide riboside emerges as a promising supplement with potential in various health domains, especially concerning metabolic health and aging.

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How does Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) Supplement Work for Anti-Aging

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), Operates in the anti-aging process by being converted into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in the body. NAD+ is an essential coenzyme that plays a critical role in many key biological processes and that also declines dramatically as we age. One of the key aspects of how NR contributes to anti-aging is through its unique pathway to produce NAD+ and its activation of sirtuins. Sirtuins are proteins that promote cellular repair and help maintain cell strength during aging.

Nicotinamide riboside supplementation operates in the anti-aging process by converting to NAD+ in the body, critical in many key biological processes. This conversion and sirtuin activation are central to NR’s role in healthy aging. NR’s capacity to bolster NAD+ levels is vital in enhancing metabolism, cardiovascular health, and brain function, all integral to healthy aging.

The current research and therapeutic uses of NR include its impact on aging, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and cancer, among other conditions. By acting as a precursor to NAD+, NR plays a key role in various cellular processes, highlighting its importance in overall cellular health and function. Additionally, NR is thought to support mitochondrial function, which is crucial since NAD+ levels decline significantly with age. This decline in NAD+ levels is associated with the aging process, particularly affecting the mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells responsible for converting food and oxygen into energy.

NR’s supplementation supports mitochondrial function, crucial as NAD+ levels decline with age, impacting cellular energy production. This aspect is particularly relevant for healthy aging.

Dosage and Protocols

The recommended dosage of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) varies, but it is generally considered safe with few or no side effects. According to different sources:

Dosage Tolerance: NR supplements have been well-tolerated in clinical trials at doses as high as 1,000 mg daily, indicating it’s likely safe for most people.

Study on Dosage and Efficacy: A study reported that chronic oral supplementation with 1,000 mg per day of NR is well-tolerated and effective for stimulating NAD+ metabolism in healthy middle-aged and older humans.

Safety and Metabolism: In an 8-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the consumption of 100, 300, and 1000 mg of NR significantly increased whole blood NAD+ levels (i.e., 22%, 51%, and 142%, respectively) in healthy overweight adults. CITE The study showed that once-a-day doses of NR up to 1 gram daily are safe and orally available without significant adverse events or elevations in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or dysregulated 1-carbon metabolism. 

It is essential to consider that the optimal dosage may vary based on individual factors such as age, health status, and the specific health goals one aims to achieve with NR supplementation. As always, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

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Side effects

  1. Diarrhea, Nausea, and Skin Rashes: NR supplements may cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and skin rashes.
  2. Other Side Effects: Some people have reported experiencing mild to moderate side effects, including fatigue, headaches, stomach upset, and indigestion.

Precautions

Nicotinamide Riboside is generally considered safe for most people, but certain groups should be cautious or avoid taking it:

  1. Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: There is limited research on the effects of NR in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Therefore, it’s recommended that they avoid using NR supplements.
  2. Children: Since there is insufficient research on the effects of NR in children, it’s generally advised that they should not take it.
  3. People with Medical Conditions: Individuals with certain medical conditions, especially those related to liver, kidney, or heart health, should consult a healthcare provider before taking NR.
  4. Those on Medications: People taking medications, particularly those for blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, should consult a healthcare professional before starting NR, as it may interact with them.
  5. Individuals with Cancer: Given that NAD+ can affect cell growth, individuals with a current or past diagnosis of cancer should discuss with their healthcare provider before taking NR to prevent serious adverse effects.
  6. People who are sensitive to other forms of vitamin B3, like niacin or nicotinamide, should avoid NR to prevent a similar reaction.

While NR is considered safe and effective, it is essential to approach its use cautiously, especially regarding dosage and the specific health goals one aims to achieve. Consulting with healthcare providers is recommended before starting NR supplementation.

Brief History

The history of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) begins with its identification as a precursor to (NAD+), essential in salvage NAD synthesis in both bacteria and eukaryotes. In 1944, NR was first described as a necessary growth factor for the culture of Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium that required NAD+ for growth. NR led to the most rapid growth of this bacterium compared to other forms of NAD+.

NR’s connection to eukaryotes emerged from the study of pellagra, the first disease associated with NAD+ deficiency. Pellagra, linked to niacin deficiency, is a severe, chronic depletion of NAD+. Joseph Goldberger and Conrad Elvehjem’s research in the early 20th century established the importance of niacin and nicotinamide as molecular precursors in rebuilding NAD+ levels.

Further studies on NAD+ metabolism identified various regulatory pathways cells use to maintain NAD+ availability. NR was identified in 2004 as an additional NAD+ precursor in eukaryotes, marking a significant advancement in understanding NAD+ biosynthesis. NR is now recognized as a form of vitamin B3 found in cow and human milk. Once inside a cell, NR is phosphorylated by nicotinamide riboside kinase enzymes to form nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which then converts to NAD+.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 that has gained significant interest as a precursor to NAD+, an essential coenzyme involved in various biological processes. NR is recognized for its potential in anti-aging, improving metabolic health, and other therapeutic benefits. It is generally considered safe with minimal side effects, and the recommended dosage ranges from 250–500 milligrams per day. It was dosed up to 1,000–2,000 mg per day in some studies. The history of NR dates back to its identification in the 1940s as a growth factor for bacteria, with its role in human health becoming more evident over time, especially since its identification as a vitamin B3 form in 2004.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is vitamin b3 the same as nicotinamide riboside?

No, although they are related, vitamin B3 and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) are not the same. Vitamin B3 is a broad term encompassing several forms of niacin, including nicotinic acid, nicotinamide (also known as niacinamide), and Nicotinamide Riboside. Each of these compounds has different properties and effects on the body but they are all forms of vitamin B3.

What is the difference between NAD and nicotinamide riboside?

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (or NAD+) and dNR are different substances. NR is a precursor of NAD+ and can change to NAD+ in the body through enzyme reactions. NAD+ is a coenzyme that acts as a cellular metabolic enzyme for various biological functions. Unfortunately, as we age, our levels of NAD+ decline.

How does NR affect systolic blood pressure?

NR supplementation can lower systolic blood pressure, particularly in adults with elevated blood pressure or mild hypertension.

Can nicotinamide riboside impact metabolic health in obese individuals?

Yes, preclinical studies suggest that NR supplementation can have profound metabolic health effects, including potential improvements in insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function in overweight and obese individuals. 1

Does nicotinamide riboside supplementation have any impact on muscle metabolism?

In a 6-week study with overweight or obese individuals, NR supplementation resulted in increased skeletal muscle NAD+ metabolites and affected skeletal muscle acetylcarnitine metabolism, indicating some influence on muscle function. 2

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Citations

  1. Nicotinamide riboside supplementation alters body composition and skeletal muscle acetylcarnitine concentrations in healthy obese humans ↩ī¸Ž