Nicotinamide Riboside Benefits, Supplement Uses & Side Effects

Explore the nicotinamide riboside benefits for energy, aging, and brain health, learn complementary supplements to enhance its effects and known side effects.


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What is Nicotinamide Riboside?

Nicotinamide Riboside, or NR for short, is a form of vitamin B3. It’s found in tiny amounts in some foods and is used by our bodies to help turn food into energy.

NR is special because it also helps our cells work better. It does this by boosting a substance in our cells called NAD+, which is super important for many cell functions.

Scientists are studying NR because it might help keep our bodies healthy as we get older. It’s not just a simple vitamin; it has the potential to support our cells in ways we’re just beginning to understand.

What is Nicotinamide Riboside good for?

Supporting Cellular Health

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is believed to enhance cellular health by boosting NAD+ levels, a vital molecule that declines with age. Higher NAD+ levels support cellular repair processes, which may contribute to the maintenance of healthy cells throughout the body.

NR supplementation could potentially delay cellular aging by promoting the activity of sirtuins, a group of proteins linked to longevity.

Enhancing Energy Metabolism

NR plays a role in energy metabolism by helping convert food into energy. This process is crucial for maintaining the health and function of our muscles and organs. By increasing NAD+ levels, NR ensures that our cells have the energy they need to perform their functions effectively, which may be beneficial for individuals looking to optimize their physical performance or combat fatigue.

Brain Health and Function

The brain is a high-energy demanding organ, and NR might support cognitive health by fostering the production of NAD+. Adequate NAD+ levels are essential for maintaining neuronal health and function, which could translate to improved memory and cognitive functions.

NR’s potential neuroprotective effects are of particular interest in the context of age-related cognitive decline.

Cardiovascular Well-being

Heart health may benefit from NR supplementation due to its role in cellular metabolism and repair. By boosting NAD+ levels, NR supports the health of blood vessels and heart muscle cells. This support could help maintain cardiovascular function, which is especially important as we age and our risk for heart-related issues increases.

Age-Specific Considerations

While NR is generally considered safe, the specific nicotinamide riboside dosage and its effects can vary depending on age and individual health status. Younger individuals may require less NR, while older adults could benefit from higher doses due to the natural decline in NAD+ levels.

It’s important to consult a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage. Always check with your primary care provider before making any changes to your supplements.

Nicotinamide Riboside benefits

  1. Boosts NAD+ Levels
    Nicotinamide riboside benefits cellular function by increasing the levels of NAD+, a coenzyme essential for energy metabolism, DNA repair, and sirtuin activity. Elevated NAD+ levels support the body’s resilience against physiological stress and aging processes.
  2. Enhances Mitochondrial Function
    By raising NAD+ levels, nicotinamide riboside improves mitochondrial efficiency, leading to better energy production. Healthy mitochondria are crucial for muscle function, brain activity, and overall metabolic health.
  3. Promotes Cellular Repair
    Nicotinamide riboside benefits include facilitating the activation of enzymes involved in cellular repair mechanisms. This can help mitigate the effects of oxidative stress and DNA damage, which are linked to aging and various diseases.
  4. Supports Brain Health
    NR supplementation can lead to increased NAD+ in the brain, supporting neuronal health and cognitive function. This may offer neuroprotective effects, potentially slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative conditions.
  5. Improves Muscle Endurance
    By optimizing mitochondrial function, NR enhances muscle stamina and recovery. This is particularly beneficial for athletes or those seeking to improve their physical performance and resilience.
  6. Regulates Circadian Rhythm
    Nicotinamide riboside can influence the body’s internal clock by impacting NAD+ levels, which play a role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. Proper circadian rhythm is linked to better sleep quality and overall health.
  7. Supports Heart Health
    NR’s ability to boost NAD+ helps maintain the health of cardiac cells, supporting cardiovascular function. This can be especially important for heart health as we age and face increased risks of cardiovascular diseases.
  8. Potentially Reduces Inflammation
    Preliminary studies suggest that increased NAD+ levels from NR supplementation may help reduce inflammation, a common underlying factor in many chronic health conditions.

3 Ingredients to Combine with Nicotinamide Riboside

Combining Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) with other supplement ingredients can enhance its benefits. Popular pairings include NR with resveratrol, pterostilbene, and quercetin, which are often chosen for their synergistic effects on cellular health and aging. Other common combinations involve pairing NR with omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, and green tea extract, targeting overall wellness and anti-inflammatory properties. These combinations are ranked based on their widespread use and potential to address notable health concerns.

Resveratrol with Nicotinamide Riboside Supplement

Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, is often combined with NR to amplify anti-aging effects. Resveratrol activates sirtuins, which work synergistically with the NAD+ produced from NR to enhance cellular repair and longevity. This combination is particularly popular among those looking to support cardiovascular health and slow aging processes. However, it’s important to note that pregnant women should avoid high doses of resveratrol, and interactions with blood-thinning medications should be considered.

Pterostilbene with Nicotinamide Riboside Supplement

Pterostilbene, similar to resveratrol but with potentially better bioavailability, is another favorite pairing with NR. This duo is thought to support cognitive function and brain health, with pterostilbene providing antioxidant benefits that complement the NAD+ boosting properties of NR. While generally safe, it’s wise to consult a healthcare provider before combining these supplements, especially for those on cholesterol-lowering drugs, as pterostilbene may have similar effects.

Quercetin with Nicotinamide Riboside Supplement

Quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties, is often taken with NR to combat oxidative stress and support immune health. The combination is believed to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms against cellular damage and support healthy aging. Quercetin can also influence how certain medications are metabolized, so individuals taking prescription drugs should seek medical advice before starting this supplement regimen.

Advocates for Nicotinamide Riboside

Nicotinamide riboside is a supplement that’s caught the attention of many health experts. It’s known for its potential to boost energy, support healthy aging, and improve brain health. Some health providers have even written books about it. Let’s look at what they have to say.

Dr. David Sinclair for Anti-Aging

Dr. David Sinclair, a professor of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School, is a leading expert on aging. In his book Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To, he discusses the role of NAD+ in aging and how nicotinamide riboside can help maintain NAD+ levels. He believes that boosting NAD+ can help slow down the aging process.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick for Cellular Health

Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who runs a popular health podcast, often discusses the importance of cellular metabolism and the impact of NAD+ on cellular function. She has highlighted nicotinamide riboside as a supplement that can support mitochondrial health, which is crucial for energy production in the body.

Dr. Peter Attia for Longevity

Dr. Peter Attia is known for his focus on the science of longevity. He explores strategies for extending life and improving the quality of life, including the use of supplements like nicotinamide riboside. Through his podcast and various interviews, he has discussed how maintaining NAD+ levels is vital for metabolic health and longevity.

Dr. Joseph Mercola for Metabolic Health

Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known alternative medicine proponent, has written extensively about the ketogenic diet and metabolic health. In his work, he has mentioned the benefits of nicotinamide riboside in supporting metabolism and energy levels, especially in the context of a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Dr. Brenna Hill for Brain Function

Dr. Brenna Hill, a naturopathic doctor with a focus on cognitive health, recommends nicotinamide riboside for its potential to protect neurons and support brain function. She cites studies that suggest NR might help improve memory and cognitive ability, especially in older adults.

10 Habits that Support Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation

To maximize the benefits of nicotinamide riboside, incorporating certain lifestyle habits can be crucial. Here’s a list of activities that are synergistic with its use:

  1. Balanced Diet
    Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains ensures your body gets a spectrum of nutrients that support cellular health. This diet complements the cell-boosting effects of nicotinamide riboside.
  2. Regular Exercise
    Engaging in regular physical activity, such as aerobic exercises and strength training, can enhance mitochondrial function. This pairs well with nicotinamide riboside’s role in improving energy production at the cellular level.
  3. Hydration
    Adequate water intake is essential for all bodily functions, including the health of cells. Staying hydrated helps ensure that nicotinamide riboside and other nutrients are efficiently transported to cells where they are needed.
  4. Sleep Quality
    Prioritizing good sleep hygiene supports the body’s natural repair processes. Nicotinamide riboside’s potential to aid in cellular repair is thus supported by a consistent, restful sleep pattern.
  5. Stress Management
    Techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises can reduce the impact of stress on the body. Lower stress levels may enhance the effectiveness of nicotinamide riboside in cellular maintenance and repair.
  6. Limiting Alcohol
    Reducing alcohol consumption can help maintain liver health and overall cellular function. This is beneficial as nicotinamide riboside is thought to support cellular health and longevity.
  7. Avoiding Smoking
    Smoking cessation is critical for mitochondrial health. Nicotinamide riboside’s potential benefits for energy production and cellular health are better realized when not undermined by the harmful effects of smoking.
  8. Sun Protection
    Protecting skin from excessive UV radiation helps prevent DNA damage. Nicotinamide riboside’s role in DNA repair can be more effectively leveraged when combined with good sun protection habits.
  9. Mindful Eating
    Paying attention to hunger cues and eating mindfully can prevent overnutrition, which is associated with metabolic issues. Nicotinamide riboside may work more effectively in a body that is not overloaded with excessive nutrients.
  10. Social Engagement
    Maintaining strong social connections can improve mental health and reduce stress. This positive psychological state can complement its cellular health benefits.

Nicotinamide Riboside Side Effects

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. However, as with any supplement, there can be side effects, although they are typically mild.

Some individuals may experience mild to moderate side effects such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, or indigestion. These side effects are not common and often resolve on their own.

There have been rare reports of more significant effects, such as flushing or changes in blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes or those on blood sugar-lowering medications should monitor their blood sugar closely when taking NR.

If you notice any unusual symptoms after starting NR, such as a rash or dizziness, it’s important to stop taking the supplement and consult a healthcare provider. It’s also advisable to start with a lower dose of NR to assess tolerance before increasing to the recommended dosage.

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