Top 9 Health Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside

Nicotinamide Riboside is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which has a lot of health benefits. It can help muscle, brain, and liver function. Read more below to learn about its properties.



Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a nucleoside made out of niacinamide and ribose. It is similar to Vitamin B3 (R).

It can be found in cow’s milk, Brewer’s yeast (R), and whey protein (R, R).

Nicotinamide riboside is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which means it is needed to make NAD. Most of NR’s health benefits is a result of its formation of NAD (R).

My Experience With Nicotinamide Riboside

When I take NR, I feel a noticable increase in energy.  I need to take about 6 pills to notice it unequivocally. I like to take two pills a day for the long term and cycle it (take breaks).

I take it to improve mitochondrial function and to increase the amplitude of my circadian rhythm.

The Nicotinamide Riboside That I Recommend

Health Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside

1) Nicotinamide Riboside Helps Muscle Function


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is needed for energy use cells (R).

NR administration rapidly restored muscle mass. Additionally, it preserved muscle NAD levels and exercise capacity in older mice, helping maintain muscle mass and function (R).

Mitochondrial myopathy is a disease where the mitochondria in muscle cells are damaged. It can cause muscle weakness and other problems (R).

Oral administration of NR in mice delayed myopathy progression by preventing mitochondrial abnormalities. NR supplementation reduced NAD+ consumption, which improved mitochondrial function (R).

NR also stimulated mitochondrial unfolded protein response, which protects against mitochondrial disease (R).

2) Nicotinamide Riboside Helps Fight Against Cancer

NR can be used to generally limit tumor growth in mice with high levels of oxidative stress (R).

Low levels of NAD+ synthesis can cause DNA damage. NR supplementation increases NAD+ levels, which can help protect against DNA damage, oxidative damage, and tumor progression (R).

3) Nicotinamide Riboside Reduces Diabetic Symptoms

In prediabetic mice, NR supplementation improved glucose tolerance, reduced weight gain, and reduced liver damage. In Type 2 diabetic mice, NR greatly reduced blood glucose and protected against diabetic nerve problems (RR2).

4) Nicotinamide Riboside Protects the Brain


Proper NAD metabolism can help protect the brain. NR protects the nerve cells in the brain by activating the SIRT3 (R) and PGC1a (R) pathways.

NR can also delay axonal degeneration, which can preserve nerve cells. Supplementation stimulates the NAD pathways and helps prevent degeneration in the brain (R).

NR improved cognitive function, and slowed progression of Alzheimer’s disease in mice given NR for 3 months (R).

5) Nicotinamide Riboside Protects the Liver

Oral administration of NR naturally increases NAD in the body, which helps protect the liver (R).

NR stopped fat accumulation, lowered oxidative stress, prevented inflammation, and improved insulin sensitivity in the liver of mice (R).

6) Nicotinamide Riboside Prevents Hearing Loss


Administration of NR, even after noise exposure, prevents noise-induced hearing loss in mice. It reduces degeneration of nerve cells caused by noise exposure (R).

SIRT3 mediates these effects (R).

7) Nicotinamide Riboside Increases Metabolism

In mice, supplementation of NR (400mg/kg) increased NAD+ levels in muscles, which increased their energy use and metabolism (R).

8) Nicotinamide Riboside May Help with Weight Loss

NR may increase enzymes involved in burning fat (sirtuin enzymes), and energy expenditure thus helping with weight loss (R).

9) Nicotinamide Riboside Increases Longevity


NR increases the amount of NAD in the body, which can help reprogram dysfunctional cells. These combined effects can help increase longevity in mammals (R).

NR induced the mitochondrial unfolded protein response and synthesis of prohibitin proteins, and this rejuvenated stem cells in aged mice (R).

Nicotinamide Riboside Protects The Mitochondria


The nucleus and mitochondria can both metabolize NR.

Its supplementation raises the nuclear and mitochondrial NAD+ levels, thereby activating nuclear SIRT1 and mitochondrial SIRT3 respectively (R).

These pathways boost mitochondrial function.

Genetics and Nicotinamide Riboside

SelfDecode has the NAMPT gene, which controls NAD+ levels.  If your genes are not producing NAMPT as well, that would suggest that you’ll have a higher need for NR.

Check out your SNPs (need 23andme or other genetic service to then sign up):

  1. RS1319501 (NAMPT)
  2. RS9770242 (NAMPT)

NAD(+) level decrease in aged mice and humans, which is a result of lower NAMPT (R).




In mice, NR supplementation worsens exercise performance. They had a lower physical performance compared to the control group (R).

“The NR group showed a tendency towards worse physical performance by 35% compared to the control group at the final 10% load (P = 0.071)”(R).


Nicotinamide riboside is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3. There was no risk of death at an oral dose of 5000 mg/kg (R).

The lowest adverse effect level on organs for NR was 1000 mg/kg/day, and the no adverse effect level was 300 mg/kg/day (R).

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  1. Robert Miller

    Joe when you say performance decrease are they not talking about a phenomena we see with those on NAD+ boosters and protective diets where the anaerobic threshold kicks in at a far higher HR because the ETC stalls far later due to better oxygenation and later signalling of pseudo hypoxia? Initially we too thought that performance was being impeded until we realised that we were basing that on when anaerobic functionality kicked in and that was actually happening far later meaning we were actually performing better, not worse.

    • Jane

      Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a precursor to NAD+, then NADH…the even more reduced form. I personally take NADH successfully, 50 mg daily. But for NR, I’ve seen recommended doses based on limited studies at 300mg a day. A study showed that whether 300 mg or 1000 mg, they both raised our NAD+ levels by 50%.

  2. I’ve heard Dr. Mercola on Ben Greenfield’s Podcast talking about cheap DIY approach to get nicotinamide riboside effects by combining niacin with d-ribose. What do you think about that Joe?

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