Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a similar molecule to vitamin B3 with some unique properties.NR is a combination of niacinamide and ribose which can be found in small amounts in yeast and cow’s milk
The interest in Nicotinamide riboside is because it is precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide otherwise known as NAD+. It has been reported that human blood NAD+can rise as much as 2.7-fold with a single oral dose of NR in a pilot study of one individual.
There is an activation of several important enzymes for health caused by the increase in NAD+ from taking NR supplements, these include.The Anti-aging enzymes known as Sirtuins. PARPs, which repair damaged DNA. A receptor in the immune system called CD38 involved in glucose-induced insulin secretion
Nicotinamide riboside supplements are beneficial to mitochondrial health and stimulate their increased production. This means Tissues which depend heavily on the mitochondria for energy such as the skeletal muscles, the heart, liver and nervous system can be helped by NR supplementation.
Some benefits of Nicotinamide riboside
Improves muscle function
NR has been shown to quickly restore Muscle mass as well as maintain NAD levels and exercise capacity supporting the retention of muscle mass and function.
Recent research has shown that nicotinamide riboside supplementation slowed down disease progression in mice. To quote a researcher “effectively delayed early- and late-stage disease progression, by robustly inducing mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue, preventing mitochondrial ultrastructure abnormalities and [mitochondrial DNA] deletion formation.”
Researchers also said that “NR further stimulated mitochondrial unfolded protein response, suggesting its protective role in mitochondrial disease.”
Help with Diabetes
Supplementation of NR improved glucose tolerance, decreased weight gain, and slowed down liver damage in prediabetic mice. Nicotinamide riboside supplementation was observed to drastically reduce blood glucose and defend against nerve problems in mice with type 2 diabetes.
Protects the Brain
NR activates the SIRT3 and PGC1a pathways in the Brain protecting the nerve cells of the brain. NAD pathways in the brain are stimulated helping prevent degeneration, preserving nerve cells and delaying axonal degeneration. Nicotinamide riboside increased cognitive function, and slowed progression of Alzheimer’s disease in mice given NR for 3 months.
NR protects the liver
NR taken orally naturally increases levels of NAD in the Body which helps protect the liver. In studies on mice Nicotinamide riboside halted the accumulation of fat, improved insulin sensitivity and lowered oxidative stress on their livers.
Prevent hearing loss
Mice who were given NR experienced reduced noise-induced hearing loss.The NR protected their nerve cells from the degeneration caused by noise exposure.
What are the side effects of NR?
To date, there have been few side effects associated with NR however as with any supplement there may be other compound risks associated with it
Physical performance was reduced by 35% after NR supplementation according to one animal study, although this may not translate into humans it is something to take into consideration especially for athletes.
Other than that, there are few side effects associated with nicotinamide riboside. The compound is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3 suggesting it’s generally safe. Even at high doses of 5000 mg / kg, there weren’t adverse effects.