nicotinamide riboside

Everything About Nicotinamide Riboside (aka Vitamin B3)

People from all age-groups and gender are conscious about their looks. However, women are notorious for their age-hiding tactics since times unknown. Aging is a reality and an inevitable phenomenon, yet everyone desires to look young and keep away from their age, reflecting from their skin.

That has led to the growth of the make-over and skincare industry at massive levels. Several beauty creams, lotions, and therapies have been introduced to protect the skin and body from aging. Various companies aim to formulate products that claim to reverse the signs of aging. Every year, millions of dollars are invested in producing such products sold for remarkable revenue.

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) (Vitamin B3) is something that has emerged fruitful as an anti-aging supplement having a tremendous influence on the anti-aging industry. NR is the miraculous agent that forms the main active ingredient of the anti-aging products and helps them reverse the signs of aging, making age indecipherable.

Here’s an ultimate guide about nicotinamide riboside, how it works, its potential benefits and side effects on your body, and the recommended dosage and contraindication. You will also find the natural sources rich in NR to add to your diet.


What is Nicotinamide Riboside? 

Nicotinamide Riboside is a vitamin. Also known as niagen, it is the alternative form of Vitamin B3, aka niacin. This molecule is converted into a co-enzyme called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ is used to carry out essential biological functions of the body. Some of the most critical functions include producing energy from food, repairing damaged DNA, strengthening the immune system, and managing its circadian rhythm.

It can be quite rightly said that the amount of NAD+ is inversely proportional to a person’s age. As the age of a person increases, the levels of NAD+ reduce. That leads to improper regulation of the physiological processes of the body. A decreased amount of NAD+ is associated with chronic illnesses, including diabetes mellitus, cardiac malfunctions, Alzheimer’s disease, and poor vision.

Researchers pondered over the notion that if low NAD+ can deteriorate a human being’s overall health, then raising the amount of NAD+ should principally reverse the undesirable effects. Companies selling anti-aging products spend millions of dollars on relevant research. One research conducted on animals concluded that it is possible to increase NAD+ level to minimize chronic illnesses.

Upon identifying the significance of Nicotinamide Riboside, its supplements were soon made available in the market. In no time, these supplements were known for their effects, increasing the NAD+ level in the body that tapers down aging to nil. Nicotinamide Riboside is also found in a reasonable amount in cow’s milk, yeast, and beer, which from its natural sources.


How does Nicotinamide Riboside work?

Nicotinamide Riboside and few other precursors follow multiple pathways to form the end product: Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+). Although NAD+’s actual mechanism in youth and old age is unknown, studies show a decline in NAD+ with the increase of age. It is hypothesized that NAD+ is destroyed due to its hyperactivity in the process of consuming enzymes. These sets of enzymes use most of the NAD+ extracted from dietary sources. 

NAD+ is used for various other biological processes like mitochondrial functioning, smooth functioning of brain cells, muscle growth and functioning, aiding hearing and visual senses, etc. At a young age, the body can extract NAD+ from natural resources, so there is a sufficient amount available. But as the age increases, the body is unable to remove an adequate amount of NAD+. 

With the depleting levels of NAD+, the signs of aging appear. Thus, to compensate for NAD+ loss, nutritionists claim that using nicotinamide riboside supplements can artificially elevate the NAD+ level in the body. That leads to the reversal of the signs surfaced by aging. The user thereby feels fresh and young, and the effect on psychological and physical well-being becomes evident.

NR not only makes the age indecipherable, but it also has plenty of other health benefits, as discussed below. 


Potential benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)

1. Promotes healthy aging 



Since nicotinamide riboside is the precursor of NAD+, it is responsible for increasing the level of NAD+ in the human body. Even though the levels of NAD+ have a profound effect on aging and specific activities of NAD+ result in healthy aging, which includes the activation of certain enzymes. One such group is sirtuins, which functions to reduce inflammation, enhance stress resistance, and repair damaged DNA. All these events collectively result in extending lifespan and healthy aging. 

Similar to sirtuins is another biological group called Poly ADP-Ribose Polymerases (PARPs). This group, activated by NAD+, contributes to the repair of damaged DNA, extending lifespan.


2. Protects brain cells

As the human body ages, the brain cells also age simultaneously. NAD+ serves to protect the aging brain cells from oxidative stress. It efficiently activates a protein called PGC-1-alpha

This protein emphasizes on improving mitochondrial functioning and protection of brain cells against oxidative stress. In case of no involvement of NAD+, the oxidative stress and impaired mitochondrial functioning lead to age-related brain disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.


3. Minimizes risk of cardiac diseases

Heart pain


The risk of cardiac diseases increases with age and is the most common cause of death. With age, the aortic walls become stiff, thick and lose their flexibility, risking hypertension, and increased heart load. 

Research has shown that the supplements of NAD+ promote the reduction of aortic stiffness, facilitating blood flow through the heart. That reduces the risk of high blood pressure and cardiac conditions.


4. Facilitates weight loss

Studies on mice have shown that NR aims to increase metabolic activity, which can tremendously reduce weight loss. However, similar effects on humans are still unclear.

There are other potential benefits that the versatile supplements of NR hold for you, including minimization of the risk of cancer, treatment of jet lag by regulation of the internal biological clock of the body, Improving muscle function and strength.


5. Reduces the risk of hearing loss

In a study conducted on mice, it was concluded that nicotinamide riboside prevents noise-induced hearing loss. Continuous exposure to noise causes degeneration of the nerve cells and causes hearing loss. With the help of nicotinamide riboside, hearing loss can be prevented.


Side effects of Nicotinamide Riboside supplements?

Nicotinamide Riboside is safe for use and has very minimal side effects. Animal studies have shown that taking 300mg/kg/day of nicotinamide riboside for 90 days does not have any harmful effects. Short term studies on humans demonstrate no side effects for a dose of 1000-2000 mg/day. However, some of the side effects include mild to moderate nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, and indigestion.


When not to use Nicotinamide Riboside supplements?

Nicotinamide riboside and its supplements are safe for human use; its supplements should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation as claims of its safety during pregnancy are not proven. Therefore, pregnant women must not take nicotinamide riboside supplementation. 

Similarly, no study has claimed its safe use during the period of lactation. Lactating women must not use the tablets and capsules of nicotinamide riboside.



Nicotinamide Riboside


Nicotinamide ribose is available for purchase in the form of a tablet or capsule, commonly referred to as Niagen. These supplements exclusively contain nicotinamide riboside purely. 

Besides, some companies prefer mixing nicotinamide riboside with a polyphenol called Pterostilbene. It is an antioxidant that has a chemistry similar to resveratrol. 

The commonly prescribed dose of nicotinamide riboside is 250 to 300 mg per day.

Bonus video: Nicotinamide riboside, a hidden vitamin with a high potential


What is nicotinamide riboside used for?

Nicotinamide riboside, or niagen, is an alternative form of vitamin B3. It is promoted as an anti-aging supplement because it boosts your body’s levels of NAD+, which acts as fuel for many critical biological processes.

What foods contain nicotinamide riboside?

Some of them include:
  • Dairy Milk
  • Fish
  • Mushrooms

How can I increase my NAD naturally?

Because we need the energy to exercise, establishing a regular fitness routine stimulates mitochondria production and naturally boosts NAD+ levels.

  • Fast for Faster Metabolism.
  • Protect Your Body From Too Much Sunlight.
  • Take NAD-Infused Supplements.
  • Eat Right.
  • Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep.

What are the benefits of nicotinamide?

Nicotinamide used as medicine may benefit the skin in several different ways. Nicotinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, which may be used for the treatment of bullous (blistering) diseases. It may improve acne by its anti-inflammatory action and by reducing sebum. It can also help with weight loss.

Can NAD+ reverse aging?

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential cofactor in all living cells involved in fundamental biological processes. Emerging evidence implicates that elevation of NAD+ levels may slow or even reverse the aspects of aging and also delay the progression of age-related diseases.

What are the symptoms of a lack of vitamin b3?

Deficiency symptoms:

  • Pigmented rash on the skin
  • Rough appearance to the skin.
  • Bright red tongue.
  • Fatigue or apathy.
  • Vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
  • Circulatory problems.
  • Depression.
  • Headache.

Does nicotinamide riboside lower cholesterol?

Nicotinamide riboside may be a useful nutrient for certain metabolic disorders, possibly as an alternative to niacin for cholesterol-lowering, the researchers suggest.

What is the difference between niacin and nicotinamide?

Niacin is the generic name for nicotinic acid (pyridine-3-carboxylic acid), nicotinamide (niacinamide, or pyridine-3-carboxamide), and related derivatives, such as nicotinamide riboside [1-3]. Niacin is naturally present in many foods, added to some food products and available as a dietary supplement.

At what age do NAD levels decline?

NAD levels decline by up to 50% in human skin tissue between the ages of 40–60. NAD depletion may play an essential role in the aging process. Preclinical studies show a correlation between lower NAD levels and some age-related health conditions.

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