As we age, we realize we are not as active or efficient as we were when we were young. People do many things in order to maintain their youth, be it working out daily, following diets, or spending a lot of money on anti-aging products like expensive skincare, treatments or supplements.
Supplements for vitamins like B3 vitamin are popular. Nicotinamideriboside, or niacin, is one such alternative form of the B3 vitamin. It is promoted as an anti-aging supplement because it boosts the body’s NAD+ levels, which is responsible for powering the body’s key biological processes.
Nicotinamideriboside chloride, also known as nicotinamideriboside (NR), is said to be a new form of pyridine-nucleoside of Vitamin B3. It is a recently discovered precursor or a helper molecule of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide i.e. NAD+. NR is used for anti-aging effects, managing cholesterol and obesity and other conditions, but there is no solid scientific evidence behind its use. It is also known as NIAGEN.
- Chemical formula – C11H15CIN2O5
- Molar mass – 290.7 g/mol
- Synonyms – Nicotinamideriboside chloride
Nicotinamide ribose chloride
Nicotinamideriboside was termed ‘Factor V’ in 1944. It was identified as a growth factor for a bacterium called ‘Haemophilus influenza’ which lives in and depends on the blood. This Factor V, when purified from blood, was found in three forms viz. NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) and NR (nicotinamideriboside). NR was the compound that helped the bacterium grow the most rapidly. NR is also naturally found in cow’s milk.
Although NR is a type of B3 vitamin, it displays a unique property and makes it different from other B3 vitamins – niacin and nicotinamide. In various experiments conducted, it was seen that administering NR led to the greatest increase in NAD+.
NAD+ is the fuel for many key biological processes like repairing DNA, converting food into energy, strengthening the cells’ defense systems, and setting the circadian rhythm or the body’s internal clock. It also helps in anti-aging the body from within. But the levels of NAD+ present in the body as you age. Low levels of NAD+ have been linked to early aging and health problems like chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and loss of vision.
What’s interesting is that in a clinical testing on animals, it was found that increased levels of NAD+ actually reversed the signs of ageing internally and lowered the risk of chronic diseases.
This is why various supplements like nicotinamideriboside are being tested by scientists because of their ability to efficiently increase levels of NAD+. Because most of the studies related to NR are conducted on animals, no solid conclusions can be given on its effectiveness on the human body.
Health benefits of NR:
- Easily converted to NAD+.
- Activates enzymes that help in healthy aging.
- May help in protecting brain cells.
- May reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- Aid in weight loss.
Although NR has mostly positive effects, it also has mild side effects like nausea, fatigue, diarrhea on some people.