An anti-aging secret conjures images of the Fountain of Youth or some ancient herb, but in reality, what plays a massive role in our aging is something we can’t see: our cells. A hot new supplement called Niagen promises to help our cells develop to help us as we age. There is already solid backup for these major claims.
What Is Niagen Hiding?
Niagen, also known as nicotinamide riboside, was hiding in plain sight for quite a while. This 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, hence the lack of interest. Now, thanks to Niagen, everyone can take advantage of its benefits. We know that vitamin B3 supports many different health functions, but Niagen is special in terms of 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 a variety of issues. Some of these are minor, like increased sunburn. Others are potentially deadly, like cardiovascular problems and cognitive decline. This discovery led the geneticist who found it to be named one of Time Magazine’s most important people of 2014.
The Science Behind Niagen
One major clinical trial to date was published in Nature Communications. This was 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.
“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 prior, and found similar results.
What Does it Do?
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.
It’s also important to note that science is still marching on, and the most important tests on Niagen may still be yet to come. A collaboration between Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo and Washington University School of Medicine is going to be the first long-term clinical trial for Niagen in humans. This is going to be checking for:
- Change in insulin sensitivity
- Change in beta-cell function
- Works to control blood sugar
- Blood vessels dilate
- Effects of NMN on blood lipids
- Effects of NMN on body fat
- Markers of cardiovascular and metabolic health3
Similar tests in rodents have shown positive results in many of these areas. At the anecdotal level, many people who take Niagen report that they have more energy and stamina, along with better skin and better quality of sleep.
Secret No More
If you are ready to try Niagen yourself, you have many options to choose from. A good starting point Chromadex’s Barology bars or the Tru Niagen supplement. Other products use Niagen, even though Chromadex is the only supplier. A good example is Elysium’s Basis Product. The Elysium product is the item used in the study on elderly people earlier.
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.4
It’s understandable that you may have some concerns, but Live Cell Research, parent company to Chromadex and makers of Niagen, take great attention to assuage them. All of the company’s products are made in strict accordance with industry standards and backed by solid scientific evidence, as seen before. However, all our bodies are different. Live Cell Research offers a no-questions-asked, full return policy for anyone who is not satisfied within the first 90 days after purchase.