What is Niagen?
Aging can do a lot of things your body as you get older, but some of the most important things are what we don’t see, at the cellular level. This is where Niagen kicks in.
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 and Live Cell Research 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 minor issues like increased sunburn to major issues like cardiovascular impact.
Research on Niagen
Charles Brenner, Ph.D., professor and Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, led one clinical trial that is the base of what we know about Niagen’s potential.
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 NAD+.
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 said. “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’s Personal Trials
Prior to this trial, he performed a pilot study on himself using Niagen. This dates back to 2004, where he discovered that that NR is a natural product found in milk and that there is a pathway to convert NR to NAD+ in people. To test this, he took 1 gram of Niagen once a day for seven days, while having his blood and urine samples tested.
The experiment showed that Brenner’s blood NAD+ increased by about 2.7 times. What does this mean? “While this was unexpected, I thought it might be useful,” Brenner says. “NAD+ is an abundant metabolite and it is sometimes hard to see the needle move on levels of abundant metabolites. But when you can look at a low-abundance metabolite that goes from undetectable to easily detectable, there is a great signal to noise ratio, meaning that NAAD levels could be a useful biomarker for tracking increases in NAD+ in human trials.”2 His later work and the work of others would verify this.
When it comes to Niagen, all signs point to the best being 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. This isn’t necessarily a precursor, but it gives reason to hope that Niagen can support the body in other ways.
Adding Niagen To Your Own Life
Read to try Niagen yourself? 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.4
People are seeing great results with Niagen, including noticeable increased stamina and physical energy. However, Live Cell Research, parent company for Chromadex and creators of Niagen, stand by their product. If you aren’t happy after trying it for 90 days, simply return what you purchased for a complete refund, with no questions asked.