New Form of Vitamin B3 Is Safe & Increases Levels of NAD+, a Compound Associated with Health Benefits and Possible Anti-Aging Effects, Small Clinical Study Shows

In the first controlled clinical trial of nicotinamide riboside (NR) (image), a newly discovered form of Vitamin B3, researchers have shown that the compound is safe for humans and increases levels of a cell metabolite that is critical for cellular energy production and protection against stress and DNA damage. Studies in mice have shown that boosting the levels of this cell metabolite--known as NAD+--can produce multiple health benefits, including resistance to weight gain, improved control of blood sugar and cholesterol, reduced nerve damage, and longer lifespan. Levels of NAD+ diminish with age, and it has been suggested that loss of this metabolite may play a role in age-related health decline. These findings in animal studies have spurred people to take commercially available NR supplements designed to boost NAD+. However, these over-the-counter supplements have not undergone clinical trials to see if they work in people. The new research, reported on October 10, 2016 in the journal Nature Communications, 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. (NASDAQ: CDXC), which supplied the NR used in the trial. Dr. Brenner is a consultant for ChromaDex. He is also co-founder and Chief Scientific Adviser of ProHealthspan, which sells NR supplements under the trade name Tru NIAGEN®. The open-access Nature Communications article is titled “Nicotinamide Riboside Is Uniquely and Orally Bioavailable in Mice and Humans.”
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