A secret anti-aging ingredient may sound like an item of myth or fable, but there is a good chance that there may be one on your health store shelf right now. This ingredient is Niagen, and it takes a unique approach to the rigors of aging, helping the cells that keep your healthy rather than focusing on what’s on the outside.
Niagen’s Key Purpose
Niagen, also known as nicotinamide riboside, is a natural version of vitamin B3. Naturally, it is found in milk as a trace element. This led to past issues, as it was considered too expensive and difficult 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:
- Increased visceral fat storage (increased belly fat)
- Increased blood sugar levels and metabolic syndrome
- Worsening cardiovascular diseases
- Increased fat storage in the liver
If you’re getting a bit of déjà vu, it’s likely because many of these sound like common things that happen when we age. Aging is a complex process, but many of us neglect the cellular aspects of aging, which is what separates Niagen apart from exercise routines or cosmetic products.
What Niagen Can Do
Much of what we have to know about Niagen’s potential comes from various research. It started with a Harvard geneticist who found the potential for NAD+ in the first place. This was followed up by a key clinical trial that showed that Niagen may be the means to get more of it.
The research, reported in the journal Nature Communications, 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. which supplied Niagen for the trial.
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 a cell metabolite, 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 says. “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. However, there are some differences when it comes to this area.
This is Niagen’s biggest secret, but that’s only for now. Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo and Washington University School of Medicine are currently undergoing 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
Expect results for the 2-year trial in 2018.
How You Can Use Niagen
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. Note that while Chromadex is the only supplier of Niagen, other products use it, like Elysium’s Basis Product. The Elysium product is the item used in the study on elderly people. This means you can enjoy the same quality of potential health benefits as you can with a Chromadex product.
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. Niagen is also quite affordable, with a no-questions asked return policy if you’re not satisfied within the first 90 days.3