If you become one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2014, you know you’ve done something important. In the world of science, this means making a discovery or innovation that has ramifications across the world. This was just the case when Harvard Medical School’s Professor of Genetics, Dr. David Sinclair, made a groundbreaking discovery about aging, and a potential way to fight it in 2013. The key solution? A wonderful little product called Niagen.
What Is Niagen?
Niagen, also known as nicotinamide riboside, is a natural version of vitamin B3 found in milk as a trace element. Until this point, it was considered too difficult or expensive to mass produce. Now, with Chromadex creating Niagen and adding it to their lineup of products, everyone can take advantage of its benefits. Part of this was proven before Sinclair’s study ever took place. We know that vitamin B3 supports many different health functions, but Niagen is special, especially when it comes to aging.1 Unlike alternatives, Niagen actually targets this at the cellular level. The mechanisms how this took place weren’t clear at first until Sinclair took a closer look.
What Sinclair discovered about Niagen compared to other forms of Vitamin B3 is that it supports levels of NAD+, also known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. This helps transfer energy from food to cells. The final result? Higher levels of a central block of our cellular function. However, we produce less and less of it as we age. It’s not clear exactly how this happens, but it does have consequences. When it gets to low levels, this can lead to:
- Increased sunburn
- Increased visceral fat storage (increased belly fat)
- Increased blood sugar levels and metabolic syndrome
- Worsening cardiovascular diseases
- Increased fat storage in the liver
- Other effects of aging and health conditions
How can one cell do so much? What Sinclair and his team found is that NAD+ seems to be responsible for effective communication between the nucleus and the mitochondria in our cells. It’s clear that this communication is essential for normal cellular function. Think of it as the quality control of our cells. The nucleus and mitochondria have not only our genetic instructions. They also generate energy in our cells and fuel cell activities.3 As a result, it makes sense that they need to communicate properly.
More Science from Niagen
Previous studies have shown 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,” said the author of one clinical trial on the subject. “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.”2
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.
If you are ready to try Niagen yourself, you have many options to choose from. A good starting point is either Chromadex’s Barology bars or the Tru Niagen supplement.
Dosage varies based on weight and age. In general, the older and heavier you are, the more Niagen you will need to see proper results. One clinical study shows that there are no adverse effects at 300 mg/kg/day.4
Affordability is also key, but Niagen is a strong contender in this area as well. If you’re looking to buy some, Live Cell Research offers three different purchasing options.
- 1 Bottle (30-day supply): $46.99
- 3 Bottles: $117
- 6 bottles: $214.27
If you have a bit of uncertainty, note that the company does offer a 90-day money-back guarantee on any purchase.
Aging has a number of consequences, some of which are hard to see at first. However, to help yourself along, consider using Niagen. If you are simply getting up in age, or finding yourself listless or dealing with “brain fog” you may be a good candidate to try things out. As with any dietary supplement, consider talking to your doctor first for guidance and support.