Nicotinamide Riboside: What is It and How Does it Benefit You?
Growing older is a gift. Aging? Not so much.
Fortunately, aging is optional these days. Scientists have discovered a key nutrient that actually prompts the body to regenerate on a cellular level. This nutrient also prevents aging by deactivating so-called aging genes.
So, what exactly is this anti-aging nutrient? It’s called nicotinamide riboside (NR). Let’s learn more.
What is Nicotinamide Riboside?
Nicotinamide riboside is a form of vitamin B3, also known as niacin or niacinamide.
Vitamin B3 is instrumental in converting food into energy. You can find vitamin B3 naturally occurring in many foods, including beans, green vegetables, eggs, fish, milk, and yeast. It’s an essential nutrient that helps to manage energy within each cell of the body.
NR is a patented form of vitamin B3 that acts as a precursor to NAD+. It actually boosts NAD+ levels, which helps to stop and reverse the signs of aging.
Nicotinamide riboside actually turns off the genes that are responsible for aging. It improves metabolism and increases longevity, on a cellular level.
How Does Nicotinamide Riboside Protect Against Aging?
Aging is the result of a breakdown in communication at the cellular level. Within each cell is the nucleus, which is the “brain” of the cell, and the mitochondria, which creates the cellular health level necessary to help the cell function properly.
The mitochondria can be considered the “batteries” of the cell. The mitochondria have a huge impact on the body’s rate of aging. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to several age-associated disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This is because mitochondrial dysfunction affects the organs with the highest energy demands, including the brain, liver, lung, heart, and kidneys. It also has a negative impact on the muscles and gastrointestinal tract.
As the body ages, the communication between the nucleus and the mitochondria simply break down. Nicotinamide riboside is instrumental in boosting NAD+ levels, which helps to improve the functionality of the mitochondria.
The Role of NAD+
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD+ for short, is found in every human cell. This essential coenzyme is an electron carrier and helps to convert nutritional energy by giving and receiving electrons.
NAD+ helps to transfer energy from glucose to the mitochondria, where it will then be converted into fuel used to power the cell. However, not having enough NAD+ will dramatically slow down the cell’s ability to convert nutrition into energy. This leads to diminished cell function as a whole, which results in aging and welcomes disease and distress in the body.
As you can see, NAD+ and mitochondria are inextricably connected. When levels of the NAD+ coenzyme decrease, the efficiency of the mitochondria also diminishes.
NAD+ has been proven to increase efficiency in mitochondrial function. As we discussed above, damage to the mitochondrial DNA will encourage rapid aging.
Nicotinamide riboside effectively boosts the co-enzyme NAD+. Why is this important?
Preliminary research with mice suggests that nicotinamide riboside helps to repair the degenerative signs of aging and actually prevent it from occurring. By administering nicotinamide ribosode to mice, researchers observed that muscles regenerated on a cellular level.
Research also shows that NR lowers the amount of glucose in the blood, which can benefit those suffering with diabetes.
While NAD+ is the active agent in preventing aging, nicotinamide riboside is the key agent in producing NAD+. To produce NAD+, scientists use several complex biological processes. However, NR is easier to produce and, after introducing it into the body, it is extremely efficient in boosting NAD+ levels.