To put it simply, there is an extremely important coenzyme in your body and it plays a key role in your cellular metabolism and turns nutrients into cellular energy. It is vital to your health and also plays an important role in DNA repair. The coenzyme is called NAD+ and stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. As you age, the amount of NAD+ in your body declines greatly as it is thought to be a contributor to the underlying physiology of aging. It is also thought to decline in those dealing with certain health conditions. There are numerous supplements available today that can be taken in order to increase levels of NAD+ in the body. Also, there have been numerous studies related to these precursors and they have had demonstrated benefits through supplementation.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) and Precursors
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a form of B3 and it is a precursor molecule for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). The precursors to NAD+ include:
- Nicotinamide (NAM)
- Nicotinic Acid (NA)
- nicotinamide riboside (NR)
- Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)
A precursor is a process that occurs when one chemical is transformed into another compound. Precursors often vary in their methods of transformation into the other compound, in this case, NAD+. For this post, I want to focus on NR and why it’s important in relation to creating higher amounts of NAD+ in the human body. I will write more about NMN in the near future, as it’s also a popular supplement to take to help increase levels of NAD+.
NAD+ is vitally important to multiple biological processes in the body & helps convert food into energy, thereby improving metabolism efficiency. It also aids in the repair of damaged DNA, fortifying the cellular defense systems and helping with setting the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythm, among other things.
Anti-Aging, NAD+, NR & Longevity
Supplementation with NAD+ precursors can increase overall levels of NAD+ and according to emerging data – can help slow down, delay or even reverse some aspects of aging and age-related illnesses and diseases. The depletion of levels of NAD+ coincide with the aging process – the older you get, the lower the levels are. So, it makes sense that if you can raise the levels of NAD+, some of the typical hallmarks of aging can be slowed down.
There are nine widely accepted hallmarks of aging which include: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient-sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication.
In addition, low NAD+ levels have been linked to many chronic conditions, such as: diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and vision loss.
For mitochondrial health – there have been studies in mice that were very successful. The depletion of NAD+ levels in mice contributed to marked mitochondrial damage as well as muscle atrophy. When the mice were given supplements of NR, mitochondrial biogenesis was increased (biogenesis is the production of new living organisms), it reversed mitochondrial damage and muscular atrophy.
Nicotinamide Riboside & Brain Health, Alzheimer’s & Neuroplasticity
In addition, studies have shown that supplementing with NR can increase neurogenesis (development of new neurons), can decrease cognitive deterioration and amyloid-beta production (the main component of the amyloid plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s) as well as increase synaptic plasticity (synaptic plasticity is the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time). There have been multiple tests done on animals and some on humans as well. But, it’s still in the early stages of testing.
Diabetes, NAD+ & NR
There was a study involving people with type 2 diabetes who took a NAD+ precursor (nicotinic acid derivative) and they showed marked improvements in mitochrondrial function in their skeletal muscle as well as increased NAD+ levels in the muscles. Some findings suggest that for mitochrondrial improvement, NR may be the preferred precursor to supplement with.
Supplements, Safety & Dosing & Temperature Stability
Nicotinamide Riboside supplementation has been shown and proven to greatly increase levels of NAD+ in whole blood as well as white blood cell levels. It has been shown to improve metabolic health, especially when taken in combination with pterostilbene. It also has been shown to be safe, even if taken in high doses.
Nicotinamide Riboside is sold over-the-counter and can be purchased online. In addition to taking this NAD+ precursor, many also find it helpful to supplement with pterostilbene or resveratrol. People have also raised concerns about altering methylation levels when taking a NAD+ precursor. To try to avoid this issue, some people take TMG in addition to Nicotinamide Riboside. And, some people also take Methylcobalamin (B12) as well as some people taking it a step further and taking L-Methylfolate as well.
By the way, it is said that the supplement is shelf stable and fine at room temperature but its shelf life may extend if kept in a cold environment like your fridge.
The NR Supplement I Prefer
Personally, I have been taking the Thorne Labs brand of NR, called ResveraCel. I have heard experts in the anti-aging or longevity field also state that this is a reputable, trustworthy brand. I know they do extensive safety testing on their products. In addition, I appreciate that the supplement is formulated with cofactors to help with methylation and its efficacy. The ingredients in two capsules from this supplement include:
Two Capsules Contain: Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride† 300 mg Quercetin Phytosome (Sophora japonica extract (flower) / Phospholipid complex from Sunflower) 250 mg Trans-Resveratrol 150 mg Betaine Anhydrous (Trimethyglycine, aka TMG) 50 mg Other Ingredients: Leucine, High and low viscosity hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Magnesium Citrate, and Calcium Laurate (Time- Sorb®††), Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, Silicon Dioxide.
The Way I Take NR
I will explain the whole experience I’ve had in a separate post. But, basically as of 12-18-19, I’m taking one pill capsule a day, split into two doses. Updated: as of 6-2020, I’ve been taking two capsules per day, every-other-day usually. I personally do have some concerns about altering methylation, but I am glad that ResveraCel has a lot of what is needed to help circumvent problems. To be extra safe, I was also taking methylcobalamin B12 in a liquid form (I ran out and need to repurchase) as well as taking a very small dose of methylfolate (a folic acid supplement) as well as taking a little TMG. I already owned a TMG supplement. I don’t always take these extra supplements and I’ve been fine just taking this on its own. Though I skip days, I still feel the benefits from it when taking it every other day and I find it useful to take breaks from most supplements.
Why It Took Me A While to Start taking NMN
For the past year, I had issues in finding a reputable brand that does extensive safety testing on their NMN. I wanted to find a company that was well established and had been in business for a while. I just started taking NMN (as of 8-22-2020) and the products are by a company called Renue By Science. They sell a large variety of NMN products & the products are triple independent lab tested & company is innovative in their approach to creating these supplements. They also sell some skincare that has me extremely intrigued (called Renue) – and I will be testing it out as well for an upcoming video.
Important Update! Sometime after writing this post and spending some trying out their products, I was hired by Renue By Science. So, I now work for them (I forgot about this post, so I am updating it on 4-2023 so you know that I work for them, but I did not at the time of writing this post). I disclose that any time I mention their products.
Some of the supplements are sublingual, which means they are taken under the tongue, for hopefully faster or better absorption. Some people say that this method can produce stronger results with less product & this is something that is being studied. Besides that, the company had been selling regular supplements for about a decade before they exclusively began selling longevity-related supplements. Basically, it’s a legit, established company. In the future I will do an update video and update posts to share my honest thoughts, feelings and experiences with their NMN supplements.
- Science Direct: Nicotinamide Riboside
- Loss of NAD Homeostasis Leads to Progressive and Reversible Degeneration of Skeletal Muscle
- Repeat dose NRPT (nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene) increases NAD+ levels in humans safely and sustainably: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
- Evidence for a Direct Effect of the NAD+ Precursor Acipimox on Muscle Mitochondrial Function in Humans
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