Benefits and Risks of Nicotinamide Riboside
Nicotinamide Riboside is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which has a lot of health benefits. It activates sirtuins, which means it is anti-aging and can help support a healthy circadian rhythm. It can also help generate energy in mitochondrial-dense tissues like muscle, brain, and liver. Read more below to learn about its properties.
What is Nicotinamide Riboside?
My Experience With Nicotinamide Riboside
When I take NR, I feel a noticeable increase in energy. I need to take about 6 pills to notice it unequivocally. However, 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.
Note: Circadian rhythm amplitude describes the fluctuations of cellular production that coordinate with the day-night cycle. Poor circadian rhythm will lower the NAMPT enzyme, which results in lower NAD+ levels.
How Nicotinamide Riboside Derives Its Beneficial Health Effects
1) Nicotinamide Riboside Gets Readily Converted to NAD+
By carrying and letting go of electrons, NAD+ is necessary for energy creation in the mitochondria. (Watch this 2-minute video to learn how this works.) Therefore, NAD+ is important for mitochondria health.
2) NAD+ Activates Sirtuins, PARPs, and CD38
NR supplementation increases NAD+, which then activates several enzymes that are important for health, including (R):
- Sirtuins, which are anti-aging enzymes
- PARPs, which repair damaged DNA
- CD38, a receptor in the immune system which is involved in glucose-induced insulin secretion
Because Sirt1 activates PGC-1alpha, NR supplementation stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and improves mitochondrial health (R). Therefore, NR supplementation can support tissues that heavily rely on the mitochondria for energy, including the nervous system, the liver, the heart, and the muscles.
3) Nicotinamide Riboside Helps Restore Circadian Rhythm
NR can increase NAD+ regardless of NAMPT activity, which helps mitigate the aging effects of poor circadian rhythm entrainment (R).
Testing Your Nicotinamide Levels
You can request that your doctor test your nicotinamide. Conventional doctors will look at high or low nicotinamide levels and not mention anything. Sometimes, a lab result may be in the reference range, but not actually be in the optimal range. Reference ranges are not the same as optimal ranges. This is why even nicotinamide in the ‘normal’ range can be unhealthy and indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal. Lab Test Analyzer will let you know if your nicotinamide levels are optimal and what you can do to get them there if they aren’t.
Health Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside
1) Nicotinamide Riboside Helps Muscle Function
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
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 (R, R2).
4) Nicotinamide Riboside Protects the Brain
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).
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).
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 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.
These pathways boost mitochondrial function.
Genetics and Nicotinamide Riboside
Nicotinamide levels are influenced by your genes. If you’ve gotten your genes sequenced, SelfDecode can help you determine if your levels are high or low as a result of your genes, and then pinpoint what you can do about it.
If you’re sick and tired of guessing about your health, SelfDecode can help you find specific answers that conventional doctors/diagnostics may never uncover.
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 the $99 plan for 23andme ):
Food Sources of Nicotinamide Riboside
Caution / Side Effect
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).