What Is Niagen And How Does It Help You?

Fitness & Nutrition

The Fountain of Youth. This may conjure up the idea of myths and legends, but the fact of the matter is that it is related to a very real concern: aging. Many of us are concerned about aging’s effects, whether they are cosmetic or subtler, and go through great efforts to do it.

However, when it comes to aging, there’s the matter of looking beyond wrinkles, all the way to our cells. Much of the issues that we associate with aging go down to the cellular level. It’s this approach that sets Niagen apart from the rest of the anti-aging category.

Niagen Explained

Niagen, also known as nicotinamide riboside, is a natural version of vitamin B3 found in milk as a trace element. Up until now, it was considered too difficult or expensive to mass produce. Now, with Chromadex creating Niagen and adding it to their lineup of products, everyone can take advantage of its benefits. We know that vitamin B3 supports many different health functions, but Niagen is special, especially when it comes to aging.1

What’s key about Niagen compared to other forms of Vitamin B3 is that it supports levels of NAD+. (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). By helping transfer energy from food to cells, this co-enzyme is a central block of our cellular function. However, we produce less and less of it as we age. When it gets to low levels, this can lead to:

  • Increased sunburn 
  • Increased visceral fat storage (increased belly fat) 
  • Increased blood sugar levels and metabolic syndrome 
  • Worsening cardiovascular diseases 
  • Increased fat storage in the liver 
  • Other effects of aging and health conditions

The Proof Behind Niagen

If there’s any doubt whether Niagen can deliver in this regard, look no further than hard scientific fact. The research, reported in the journal Nature Communications, led by Charles Brenner, Ph.D., professor and Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in collaboration with colleagues at Queens University Belfast and ChromaDex Corp. which supplied Niagen for the trial.

Six men and six women, all healthy, took part in the trial. Each participant received single oral doses of 100 mg, 300 mg, or 1,000 mg of NR. This took place in different sequences with a seven-day gap between doses. Following each dose, blood and urine samples were collected and analyzed to show measured levels of a cell metabolite—known as NAD+. As levels of NAD+ decrease with age, some believe that they may play a role in cellular decline.

The end results showed that using nicotinamide riboside increased NAD+ metabolism by amounts directly related to the dose. In addition, there were no major side effects.

“This trial shows that oral NR safely boosts human NAD+ metabolism,” Brenner says. “We are excited because everything we are learning from animal systems indicates that the effectiveness of NR depends on preserving and/or boosting NAD+ and related compounds in the face of metabolic stresses. Because the levels of supplementation in mice that produce beneficial effects are achievable in people, it appears that health benefits of NR will be translatable to humans safely.” Brenner also ran a smaller trial on himself, and found similar results.2

Other studies on Niagen in other products have shown positive effects on NAD+ levels. One larger study in elderly people showed that a single 250 mg dose of Niagen increased blood NAD+ levels by 40%. These elevated levels were maintained throughout the 8 weeks of the trial. The findings showed that a sweet spot for Niagen supplementation was between 250-500 mg per day. However, there are some differences when it comes to this area.

Adding Niagen To Your Own Life

If you are ready to try Niagen yourself, you have many options to choose from. A good starting point is either Chromadex’s Barology bars or the Tru Niagen supplement. Note that while Chromadex is the only supplier of Niagen, other products use it, like Elysium’s Basis Product. The Elysium product is the item used in the study on elderly people, so there is some scientific backing for the ingredient when used outside of Chromadex products.

Sounding good? If you are looking to get started, note that dosage will vary based on weight and age. In general, the older and heavier you are, the more Niagen you will need to see results. One clinical study shows that there are no adverse effects at 300 mg/kg/day. Best practice is following the recommendation on the label for the product you use, as well as consulting with a medical professional if you have any questions.3

Aging is a puzzle we’re still trying to unravel. But, by doing your due diligence and combining Niagen with good lifestyle practices like staying active and eating well, you’re raising your chances that much higher of sliding aging gracefully and healthily. 

  1. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b3-niacin 
  2. https://medcom.uiowa.edu/theloop/news/first-human-clinical-trial-for-nicotinamide-riboside 
  3. https://owlcation.com/stem/Does-Niagen-Nicotinamide-Riboside-Work-Against-Aging