Can Nicotinamide Riboside help you live longer? Have you ever thought about living longer? Ever seen those dodgy adverts for “pills” that supposedly “help”, and think do they really work? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We all want to know the secret to living a long, healthy, and happy life. Of course, some people are naturally born with the genes to live long, without putting in much effort, while others (many others), need to keep an eye on things, so that we can keep up. One of the things we can do is exercise, eat healthy foods, and try not to get too stressed, but that’s not always easy. Sometimes, we need a little help. That’s where Nicotinamide Riboside comes in. Ever heard of it? No? Don’t worry, i’ll tell you everything you need to know about it.
What is Nicotinamide Riboside?
Essentially, nicotinamide riboside (NR) is an alternative form of Vitamin B3 or niacin. It’s also called niagen. Since it’s another form of Vitamin B3, it reacts like the rest of its other forms, when in the body. It breaks down into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), or a coenzyme or a helper molecule (Healthline, 2018).
NAD+ is very useful in a lot of metabolic processes, such as digestion, removing oxidated cells from the body and reducing cholesterol (National Library of Medicine, 2020). For the most part, the body relies on other Vitamin B3 forms to create NAD+, but like many other vitamins and minerals, we’re not taking in the right amount we need, to create NAD+. Thanks, in part, to all those snacks, junk food and pre-made foods that makes eating much more convenient.
Where Can You Find NR Naturally?
Like with all other vitamins and minerals, you’ll naturally find NR in lots of natural products, like fruits, vegetables, meats and sometimes even in milk (WebMD). So, you won’t find NR anywhere in all those candies, potato chips, or junk foods, or those filled with preservatives, chemicals and other synthetic products that make them last longer. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, along with drinking milk and eating sustainably sourced meats will help you find all those precious vitamins and minerals, including NR.
What Are The Benefits of NR?
As mentioned before, Vitamin B3 and its many forms break down into NAD+, which helps with lots of metabolic processes, from digestion to high cholesterol. It also helps with anti-ageing processes, by repairing damaged DNA, aiding your immune system, and even helping maintain your body’s circadian rhythm.
But over time, those NAD+ molecules will decrease. So, eventually, you’ll need to take those extra supplements to help your metabolism out (National Library of Medicine, 2012). That’s where NR comes in.
Unlike many other Vitamin B3 forms, NR is one of the faster precursors to NAD+, with only two or three steps in its breakdown pathway. So, it’s one of the better options as a supplement for replenishing your NAD+ levels.
Another reason why NR can be considered a good supplement is that there aren’t too many adverse side effects. Even in the long run, there haven’t been many reports of latent reactions to taking doses of NR, even at 1,000mg or even 2,000mg (National Library of Medicine, 2018).
Of course, there are other benefits to NR as well, such as treatment of chronic inflammation, which affect the repair of injuries. A study, by Yasir S.E. et al, showed that even a 1,000mg dose of NR (500mg in the morning and 500mg in the evening) improved the metabolism of energy in men ages between 70 and 80 (Gilmore Health News, 2022).
Other studies have shown that taking NR supplements have also a great impact on cardiovascular conditions, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Thanks to the increase in NAD+, the 120 participants of the study showed signs of reduced diastolic blood pressure and lower levels of alanine aminotransferase, an enzyme that indicates some liver damage (Found My Fitness).
Are There Any Side Effects?
So far, there haven’t been any real problems with taking NR supplements. For the most part, every study, particularly on humans have shown very little harmful or adverse effects, and only very mild symptoms like headaches, nausea, bloating and some skin problems have been noted (WebMD), especially in doses that are 300mg or higher.
Should I Start Taking NR Supplements?
Before you do start taking NR supplements, consult your doctor. These supplements are mostly for those that are experiencing lower NAD+ levels than others, and these mostly occur in older generations or those with a more sedentary lifestyle. So, make sure you ask your doctor whether it’s suitable for you to take them.
Also, only take the recommended dosage. While there have been no reports of major harmful effects, there is always that risk you could develop them. So, don’t take more than what you’ve been recommended to take. If you’re unsure, again, ask your doctor. They should be able to tell you what the best dose for the supplement is.
Is Nicotinamide Riboside A Good Supplement?
Overall, the outlook on taking NR supplements seems pretty positive, and despite the mild side effects that some people may experience, it is still highly recommended by many in the medical field. So, if you do want to start taking them, you can, without worrying about any detrimental effects that you may have later. After all, it is a form of Vitamin B3, which is one of the most important vitamins, for your body. Not only will it help with your metabolism, but it’ll also help you live longer and healthier, if taken correctly.
Although, you will need to remember that the studies on NR are fairly new, and scientists are only just discovering the benefits of the vitamin. There is still a long way to go to prove its effectiveness.
However, with results like these, so far, it looks like it’ll be on the green list for doctors and medical professionals. One thing is for sure though, you can find NR supplements nearly everywhere, from Amazon, to your local pharmacy, so you’ll never be in short supply.