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Therapeutic perspective of nicotinamide riboside (NR) in age-related diseases 

If you are current with the latest anti-aging research, you have probably heard of an alternative form of vitamin B3, namely nicotinamide riboside (NR). Credible research indicates that NR may protect brain cells, lower the risk of heart disease, and have a rejuvenating effect from the inside. This article presents the latest anti-aging findings, ensuring you are informed and confident in our information.  

Table of Contents

What are NR and NAD+? 

Nicotinamide riboside, also known as niagen or NR, is a form of vitamin B3. When consumed, it gets converted into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in the body. NAD+ is a coenzyme that plays a vital role in many biological processes. It helps repair damaged DNA, strengthens cells’ defense system, regulates your circadian rhythm, and converts food into energy at the cellular level. NAD+ also acts as a co-substrate for enzymes like sirtuins, which are involved in important signaling pathways. Therefore, NAD+ is critical for several biological functions, such as cellular bioenergetics, DNA repair, metabolic homeostasis, genomic stability, mitochondrial biogenesis, and cell survival. 

Read more: NAD + biosynthesis, aging, and disease

Association between NAD + levels and age-related diseases 

Association between NAD + levels and age-related diseases

NAD+ is a natural substance found in the human body that decreases as we age. Studies have shown that NAD+ levels decline in blood, plasma, skeletal muscle, brain, and cerebrospinal fluid with age. This decline can impair cellular processes that rely on NAD+ and is strongly associated with age-related chronic illnesses like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. To combat this, animal research and human studies have shown that increasing NAD+ levels may lower the risk of these chronic diseases. Numerous clinical trials are underway to examine the efficacy of NAD+ precursor. 

The therapeutic efficacy of NAD+ precursors: From clinical proof to yesterday’s scientific results 

Supplementing with NAD+ precursors like NA (nicotinic acid), NAM (nicotinamide), NR (nicotinamide riboside), or NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) can be beneficial in maintaining cellular metabolism regulated by NAD+ and NAD+-dependent enzymes. Preclinical studies have shown that NAD+ precursors have effectively stopped the progression of diseases. Ongoing clinical trials suggest supplementing with NAD+ intermediates may help combat these diseases. 

NR supplementation has gained popularity as it is particularly effective in increasing NAD+ levels compared to other NAD+ precursors. Multiple studies have reported that there are no serious adverse effects after taking NR. Based on these investigations, the highest safe dose of NR is 2000 mg per day. 

The therapeutic potential of NAD+ precursor replenishment therapy against age-related pathologies has been demonstrated in numerous rodent studies. Obesity affects approximately 30% of the global population and poses a hazard to various metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. It impairs insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Oral intervention with NR may successfully combat obesity. Recent findings suggest a possible link between the gut microbiome and NAD+ levels in the body, highlighting the significance of maintaining a healthy gut microbiome against obesity. The studies found that orally administered NAD+ intermediates interact with the gut microbiome. 

Read more: The therapeutic perspective of NAD+ precursors in age-related diseases

Research published last week revealed that NR is protective in various neurological and cardiovascular disorders, such as myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Pretreatment with NR significantly reduced the myocardial infarct area in rats. 

Read more: Nicotinamide riboside attenuates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury via regulating SIRT3/SOD2 signaling pathway

The latest scientific study, published just a few days ago, suggests that NR may be effective in reversing ovarian aging. Animal studies conducted on middle-aged female rats showed that the NR group had a higher ovarian index, along with more corpus luteum and antral follicles compared to the control group. Additionally, NR was found to rebalance the LH/FSH (Luteinizing Hormone/Follicle-stimulating hormone) ratio, potentially restoring fertility. 

Read more: Nicotinamide Mononucleotide and Nicotinamide Riboside Reverse Ovarian Aging in Rats Via Rebalancing Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion Mechanisms

Conclusions 

Nicotinamide riboside (NR), also known as Niagen, is an alternative form of vitamin B3. It is an anti-aging supplement, as it increases the levels of NAD+ in the body, fueling many essential biological processes and showing potential health benefits related to aging, brain health, heart disease risk, and more. 

Our pro tips 

Lifestyle choices can also positively influence our NAD+ level. Some of these choices include consuming alcohol only in moderation, eating foods that are rich in B vitamins, opting for a higher electrolyte intake, choosing foods that contain flavonoids like resveratrol, quercetin, rutin, and anthocyanins, avoiding ultra-processed foods, introducing longer time periods between meals, and engaging in balanced movement. All of these factors help with the regeneration of mitochondria, the fascinating structures that create energy to run our cells.