Niagen is a specialized supplement that contains a particular form of B3 to increase NAD levels. The company claims that increasing NAD levels helps to slow the aging process. They promise that Niagen is the best way to get extra B3. However, you can improve your B3 vitamin levels by taking niacin or nicotinamide.
Our research team weighed the pros and cons of niacin, nicotinamide, and Niagen to see if their claims are true. Here’s what our team of experts found out.
Niagen is a commercially-available brand of vitamin B3, nicotinamide riboside (NR), which is absorbed by the body as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).
The importance of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide in the body is multi-faceted, and a supplement is needed to replenish the quantity the body produces.
Niagen boosts food metabolism and energy utilization in every living cell in the human body. Niagen also serves as an intermediary signal between the core part of the cell, the nucleus, and the mitochondria, the control center and powerhouse of the cell.
By aiding the production of NAD+, Niagen ensures that the cellular structure of the body functions optimally, with the mitochondria working in perfect order to produce energy.
Research into nicotinamide riboside, the primary ingredient in Niagen, has shown some beneficial uses when administered to humans.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is available in tiny quantities in food sources, and as such, a need for supplements develops. The body has its reserve of NAD+, peaking at birth and progressively diminishing with age.
Nicotinamide riboside replenishes the body’s supply of NAD+ and has been shown to have the following benefits during research:
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How Did Niagen Start?
In 1944, while studying the blood bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, the effect of NR was discovered; it promoted the growth of the bacterium’s cells. It was considered a core piece of “Factor V,” rapidly accelerating the growth of Haemophilus influenzae, along with NAD+ and NMN.
Dartmouth College, Washington University, and Cornell University all had comprehensive studies into the development, growth, effects, and composition of nicotinamide riboside in both humans and animal studies.
The rarity of NR was observed by scientists as it was found in minute quantities in the natural sources of vitamins.
One benefit of NR is the stimulation of growth in nutrient-deprived cells in plants.
The proprietary rights to studies nicotinamide riboside were purchased from Cornell University, Washington University, and Dartmouth College by the manufacturer Chromadex in 2013.
Niagen was then produced and distributed into the market as a brand name for NR.
The product was granted a standard of approval in the form of the New Dietary Ingredient status by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States in 2015.
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Niagen and Weight Loss
Due to the relatively recent introduction and recognition of Niagen nicotinamide riboside as a viable, effective vitamin supplement, insufficient data and research are linking the medication to weight loss.
There is no FDA-approved listing of weight loss as a proven use of Niagen NR, and as such, any claims by manufacturers of weight loss are unverified.
Studies on Niagen:
Title: Chronic nicotinamide riboside supplementation is well-tolerated and elevates NAD+ in healthy middle-aged and older adults.
Summary: In this study, the authors examined the effects of a long-term nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) precursor — nicotinamide riboside — dosage scheme on middle-age and old-age adults. The research sought to understand two different questions. Does long-term NR dosage induce tolerance or adverse side effects, and can NR improve cardiovascular processes in these adults? The researchers found that long-term dosage was fine for the adults and that it had significant promise as a health-improving and anti-aging agent.
Summary: Nicotinamide riboside has not been shown to have any direct side effects in humans, but this study showed a marked side effect in a rat model. Here, rats dosed with nicotinamide riboside performed 35% worse than the non-dosed control group in physical activity. This was not the result researchers were expecting, as NR is thought to increase cell activity. However, this result has not been demonstrated in humans yet.
Summary: This review focuses on the vital role NAD+ plays in aging, along with its role in cell metabolism. The authors mention that NAD+ levels and sirtuin levels decline with age, and with this decline, cells begin to accelerate mitochondrial function defects — which in turn decreases sirtuin levels more. Supplementing NAD+ with precursors is one way to reinstate proper levels of NAD+. According to one study cited in the review article, Niagen’s active ingredient improves cell activity by up to 66% in a mouse cell line.
Title: Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase
Summary:Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, more commonly known as PARP, is a family of proteins. These proteins are grouped together as they all are involved with critical cellular processes. PARP processes include single-stranded DNA repair. There are seventeen known PARP proteins.
Title: DNA damage theory of aging
Summary: This theory proposes that aging in all organisms is due to nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage that occurs naturally. DNA repair is not a perfect process and can lead to breaks or incorrect strand linkages, which can build up over time. This can lead to premature aging or pathologies, as demonstrated in mouse models. This theory is actively researched, with multiple mammalian systems under intensive study to understand the role DNA damage plays in aging.
What the Science Says:
While some companies are producing anti-aging dietary supplements that have little to no scientific research to support their claims, ChromaDex has made it a point to continuously support independent research efforts that detail the effects of their nicotinamide riboside formulation on humans. As of writing, Niagen has undergone three human clinical trials, all with published results available for viewing in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. It’s also been a part of more than 100 preclinical studies — studies supporting the positive effects of the drug in non-human model systems to move it to clinical studies.
The FDA has reviewed its safety twice, once successfully in the new dietary ingredient notification program and once in the generally recognized as a safe program. ChromaDex has also successfully applied and received twenty patents for Niagen and has more than 140 research collaborations either happening currently or in the works for future studies. As a relatively new product, Niagen is weathering the rigorous set of tests necessary to become a proven supplement.
Chromadex, the manufacturer of Niagen, claims the product is as pure as possible, absent of contaminants and synthetic additives. The only ingredient in Niagen is nicotinamide riboside, a precursor of NAD+ (according to Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care).
One of the metabolites of Vitamin B3 is nicotinamide riboside (NR), and it serves as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.
In essence, NR is broken down by chemicals in the body and transformed into NAD+, which is then absorbed entirely by the body.
NR in its original form cannot be wholly absorbed by the body and is therefore useless, which is why the enzymes in the body convert it.
NAD+ is a crucial chemical in the maintenance of cell health.
The mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, provide the energy needed for the optimal performances of each living cell in the body. A depleted or damaged mitochondrion may lead to a drop in cell function, with the results multiplying across every damaged cell until it becomes a serious problem on a systemic level, explains the Cleveland Clinic.
NAD+ ensures that the mitochondria remain recharged and functioning, which boosts the individual performance of each cell contained in the body. A compromised mitochondrion is the root of dipping energy levels as an individual ages.
Since the entire body is comprised of cells, the following are a result of falling mitochondrial levels:
Fatigue and tiredness
Lack of motivation
Loss of muscle definition or weakened muscles
Niagen is a supplement that boosts the progressively-declining levels of NAD+ present in the body and limits and reverses the effects of such depleted levels of NAD+.
The natural level of NAD+ will slowly degrade over the entire course of a person’s life, which is what causes the progressive weakness that is noticeable in people as they get older.
Replenishing the NAD+ levels goes a long way in trying to keep the adverse effects of aging under control.
Detailed Look at Niagen Inactive Ingredients:
Though Niagen on its own is a single ingredient product, most retail versions of Niagen contain some inactive ingredients. These ingredients have a few different functions, which we’ll dive into here.
The most prominent inactive ingredient found in Niagen is microcrystalline cellulose. Microcrystalline cellulose, or MCC, is used in food items and pharmaceuticals quite commonly. This inactive ingredient is derived from refined wood pulp and is a naturally occurring biological compound. Essentially, microcrystalline cellulose is used as both a filler and a binding agent to keep the nicotinamide riboside dose contained in a small, defined space. It’s also used for texture — though this is more common in foods, as you’re not chewing a Niagen tablet.
The other primary inactive ingredient found in Niagen products is natural cellulose. If you look at most encapsulated products (any pill that comes in capsule form), you’ll find they usually contain gelatin. Gelatin is derived from animals, while cellulose is not. Niagen capsules use cellulose to be preservative-free and animal product-free. The cellulose used in Niagen’s vegetable capsules is obtained from a variety of plants.
Nicotinamide riboside is the final ingredient in Niagen, but this is the active ingredient. NR is an NAD+ precursor and primarily acts as an NAD+ booster. It is not considered an inactive ingredient.
The benefits of Niagen NR are related to that of nicotinamide dinucleotide (NAD+), a derivative of its major ingredient, nicotinamide riboside.
Research into the benefits of Niagen, including pieces published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging, is of a relatively recent variety, as it has only recently been acclaimed as an effective precursor to NAD+.
The potential benefits discovered in Niagen trials and research include the following:
Preventing Hearing Loss:
Tests show that Niagen NR may be able to prevent deafness triggered by high noise levels. The tests on test rats were relatively successful, and it remains to be seen if humans will experience the same effects.
There is some research showing positive results with regards to the link between Niagen and weight loss.
Improving Cognitive Function:
A dosage of Niagen was shown to have boosted the cognitive abilities of trial rats, improving both the memory and focus of the test subjects.
Treating Mitochondrial Myopathies:
The symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies are as follows:
Loss of Vision
Research into Niagen has shown a significant effect on the state of the mitochondria, as the aging process of the mitochondria is slowed and the health remains optimal.
Niagen targets some of the symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies.
Reviews of Niagen online have shown an improvement in energy levels in users after just a few Niagen dosages.
Pros & Cons
Niagen Pros and Cons:
Niagen, or nicotinamide riboside, is a uniquely shaped molecule that is a form of the well-known vitamin B3. This vitamin B3 form is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. If that name brings back memories from high school or college, that’s because it’s more commonly known as NAD+ — an essential coenzyme that helps with specific critical reactions in each an every cell.
Nicotinamide riboside was brought into the pharmaceutical industry under the name Niagen as a component of dietary supplements. In supplements and medicines, Niagen purportedly increases cell to cell contact and communication. In turn, this communication leads to various anti-aging effects, with some Niagen-containing supplements claiming up to a 66% reduction in apparent cell age and an increase in critical cell functioning. This claim is relatively well-supported, with multiple studies showing slower cell aging. Some users claim that Niagen acts as a nootropic agent, increasing thinking clarity and focus.
With these claims and facts in mind, it’s important to know the pros and cons of this almost too good to be true supplement before taking it. Understanding all the effects of any medication or vitamin is essential for taking care of your body. Here’s a short list of the pros and cons of taking Niagen.
Pros of Niagen:
Niagen is the only NAD+ supplement on the market. Since NAD+ (and therefore NADH) levels decrease as humans age, this supplement is currently the only way to keep NAD+ levels at an optimal level throughout your lifetime — especially once you start getting older.
Lack of side effects. In both mouse studies and human clinical studies, there were no side effects correlated with the increase in NAD+. This is somewhat remarkable for any supplement or medication, as there are usually some side effects at least marginally associated with the intake of a supplement or drug.
There is only one manufacturer. ChromaDex, the company that initially patented a pharmaceutical-grade version of nicotinamide riboside, is the only company that can legally manufacture the product. If any other company wants to develop and sell Niagen products, they must buy Niagen from ChromaDex and license user rights. This single-manufacturer process means that batch to batch consistency of Niagen is more uniform and high-quality than if developed by multiple manufacturers. You’ll be sure that the product you’re getting was developed the same way every single time you purchase it.
It can be used with other products. Niagen works via an entirely separate metabolic pathway than any other pharmaceutical agent on the market. There are very few known interactions between Niagen and other medications, so you’ll most likely be able to take it no matter the other medications you may be taking. That said, it’s still important to consult with your doctor if you’re interested in taking Niagen to be completely safe.
Fantastic results in early studies. A study involving dosing mice with Niagen for a week showed some incredible results — cell function in these 2-year-old mice was restored to levels equivalent to that of healthy 6-month-old mice. Clinical studies had some participants reporting considerable increases in daily activity levels as well as better sleep cycles and increased overall health.
Single ingredient. Niagen in its primary form only consists of one active ingredient – the nicotinamide riboside itself. There are no fillers, preservatives, or activating agents in base Niagen. Products created by companies that license Niagen usage most likely contain some fillers and inactive to make pills and other delivery systems, but the main supplement only consists of a single molecule.
Cons of Niagen:
Peer-reviewed research is not as fleshed out as it should be. Though Niagen has passed multiple clinical studies to ensure safety and efficacy in humans, there is still very little research on the product that has not been sponsored by ChromaDex (the company that manufactures Niagen). Remember that mouse study mentioned earlier? The amount of Niagen, the mice, were dosed with was near twice the recommended dosage for humans. For this dosage to be equivalent in humans, an adult would need to take over 3,000 times the Niagen amount contained in a regular pill. The lack of conflict-free research can mostly be attributed to time — since the product was only approved in late 2013, long-term studies are still underway and have not been able to collect enough data to publish at this time.
Variability in results. In clinical studies, effects were quite varied. Reports ranged from feeling nothing to a marked increase in brain function and clarity, better sleep, and more energy during the daytime. This variability seems to have carried over into the real world as well. Reviews on Niagen-based products range in perceived efficacy, with some users reporting no effects and some reporting amazing effects. There is no current explanation for why there is this Niagen review variation so you may be unexpectedly underwhelmed when taking Niagen.
As of right now, the pros of Niagen and nicotinamide riboside in general far outweigh the cons. Though there is not a significant body of research on the effects of Niagen yet, what exists generally shows the same data regardless of the study system (though human studies show far less dramatic results than in mouse studies). Its manufacturing process is quite rigid, and ChromaDex is very stringent in who it licenses the use of Niagen to. This ensures that all Niagen products maintain a high level of quality. The Niagen benefits promised by ChromaDex are astounding and are probably not something to be ignored.
What are Energy Sparks?
What are Energy Sparks:
Energy sparks are a perfect way to describe the process by which nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) transfers electrons during a cell’s energy production process. To understand why electron transfer and the molecules involved in this process can be thought of as energy sparks, it’s critical to understand what electrons are and why they’re biologically significant.
Electrons are negatively charged subatomic particles. The negative charge is essential as it keeps electrons continually spinning around the central part of an atom. They have no mass but have tons of energy. Electrons play a critical role in cells via the electron transport chain and in redox reactions, both of which will be covered below.
The electron transport chain is a process that allows for energy taken in by the body to be freed up for use. If a sugar molecule like glucose enters your body, cells can’t directly use the glucose in its original form. They must first break down the glucose into smaller parts that are then used for energy. This is done via the electron transport chain, a multi-step process that repeatedly takes electrons away from the atoms in glucose and delivers them to various other parts of the cell. This process releases energy (and eventually water and oxygen), which in turn is used to produce ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is the primary energy source of all cells. It’s critical to remember that electrons get passed to different parts of the cell during this process via electron carriers, as these carriers are what we can refer to as energy sparks.
In redox reactions, electrons are directly transferred from one molecule to another to oxidize or reduce them. This transfer is essential for cellular metabolism — i.e., how the cell can process energy to keep functioning correctly. Molecules referred to as oxidized are ones that can accept an electron and molecules referred to as reduced ability to lose an electron.
Remember NAD+, the molecule that Niagen is a precursor for? NAD+ plays a critical role in the electron transport chain by being a part of a redox reaction. NAD+ is one of the electron carriers, meaning it can quickly cycle between its reduced state (NAD+) and an oxidized state (NADH) to shuttle electrons quickly and efficiently.
So where does the “energy spark” fit into all of this? There’s another common reaction that involves the transfer of electrons: static electricity. Static electricity is the attempts of two materials to equalize the number of electrons between them. When one substance can attract more electrons, it becomes negatively charged. The other material may also lose electrons. When the two are separated and then brought into contact, a static shock may occur. This static shock is a burst of electrons (energy) leaping (sparking) to the positively charged source to redistribute as many electrons as possible. Now think about the processes mentioned above — an oxidized molecule (one with more negative charges) can pass its electrons to a reduced molecule (one that has more positive charges). This transfer is an energy spark!
More specifically, NAD+ and NADH rapidly cycle back and forth from donating electrons to accepting electrons during the electron transport chain. ATP is produced during this cycle, as is a significant amount of energy. The transfer of electrons is causing this energy to be produced, sparking each time NAD+ cycles into NADH and NADH into NAD+.
How Does Niagen Work?
How Does Niagen Work?
Proper cell function is predicated on effective communication between the cell’s nucleus and mitochondria (the control center), where all the relevant genetic markers and data are contained, and the powerhouse, where the energy needed for cell functions is produced. The nucleus and mitochondria must work in tandem to reach optimal performance.
Age has a regressive effect on this connection as it begins to weaken over time. The result of this depletion is a progressively noticeable loss of energy and fatigue setting in with age.
NAD+ levels are responsible for keeping the connection between the cell’s nucleus and mitochondria secure and effective. A reduction, either naturally, in the natural reservoir of NAD+ will lead to a compromised cellular level.
Aging plays a fundamental role in the depletion of the levels of NAD+ in the body, and a supplement to the body’s natural supply may serve an essential purpose in reversing adverse effects.
Niagen is believed to be able to activate sirtuin, meaning it can release enzymes that can reverse or prevent ailments that are triggered by the aging of an organism.
Nicotinamide riboside is the crucial ingredient in this role, helping the body refill on its quota of the all-important NAD+.
There is evidence that a single Niagen dosage can increase the available NAD+ levels in the body by as much as 30%.
This significant increase is why Niagen is such a useful supplement if the goal is to limit the adverse effects of aging.
How to Use Niagen
Niagen can be safely taken by persons with no risk of overdosing unless reckless levels are consumed. The optimal Niagen dosage is a dose of 250 mg of Niagen nicotinamide riboside per day.
There are Niagen reviews on Amazon showing safe consumption of up to a 1000mg of the supplement without any reactions or side effects.
However, ensure that only your recommended Niagen dosage is consumed. Niagen should be consumed on an empty stomach for faster absorption of nutrients.
Types of Niagen
Types of Niagen
Niagen is an intellectual property purchased by Chromadex from the researchers and scientists at Washington University, Dartmouth College, and Cornell University.
As a result of laws on use of intellectual property, Niagen can be purchased for use by third parties with a payment of a royalty to the owners, Chromadex.
The use of Niagen nicotinamide riboside as a significant ingredient in the development of different brands of supplements is subject to approval from Chromadex.
Popular brands of Niagen derivatives in the drug and supplement market currently are:
Tru Niagen by ProHealthSpan
ProHealthSpan is a contractual partner with Chromadex, and as such, they have the license to produce this Niagen supplement without a case of patent infringement.
You can purchase this Niagen on Amazon or Costco depending on your convenience.
Extra Strength Nicotinamide Riboside by Evolved Organics
Evolved Economics manufactures this brand of Niagen nicotinamide riboside. This Niagen dosage is 275mg per capsule.
You can purchase this brand of Niagen at Costco or browse Amazon for Niagen supplements.
Basis by Elysium
This is a blend of Niagen NR and Pterostilbene. This brand of Niagen nicotinamide riboside can be shipped directly to your preferred location.
Niagen Nicotinamide Riboside 250 mg by Nectar 7
Supplement producers, Nectar 7 manufacture this brand of Niagen NR. Nectar 7’s Niagen reviews on Amazon are mostly encouraging and positive, praising the efficacy of the product.
Midogen by Live Cell Research
This brand of Niagen of Live Cell Research is proven and a mainstay in the market for supplements. Claims of Live Cell Research Niagen being a scam are unfounded as the product is produced with the same patented Niagen formula by Chromadex.
Niagen Side Effects
Because the only Niagen ingredient is a naturally-produced nutrient, there is virtually no recorded side effect directly linked to the consumption of Niagen.
Compared to Niacin, which is a similar compound, Niagen is a relatively safe substance that has none of the adverse reactions of the aforementioned Niacin.
The side effects of Niacin can include the following:
• A reduction in appetite • Serious abdominal pains • Yellowing of eyes and skin • Coughing • Feeling of warmth • Flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck • Headache • Nausea or vomiting • Rash or itching • Runny nose • Sneezing • Stuffy nose • Hypersensitivity • Dizziness or faintness • Dryness of the skin • Fever • Frequent urination • Joint pain • Muscle aching or cramping • Side, lower back, or stomach pain • Swelling of the feet or lower legs • Unusual thirst • Unusual tiredness or weakness • Unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
As with all other medication and supplements, your Niagen dosage must not exceed that which has been recommended by your healthcare practitioner.
Niagen Product Warnings
Niagen is a Vitamin B3 precursor, and as such, the general warnings that apply to the administration of such supplements and medications should apply.
Do not consume Niagen NR at the same time as alcohol to prevent fatal interactions between the two.
There is a risk of dangerous interactions with some other medications or supplements, and care should be taken to ensure your healthcare professional has full knowledge of your current and past medications, as well as a comprehensive medical history.
Niagen has no addictive agents or potential, but it should still be administered sparsely to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers to prevent the medication from transmitting to the fetus or feeding child through blood or breastmilk.
There have been no Niagen reviews claiming, reactions, allergies, or poisoning, so it is factual to admit that it is one of the safest supplements available for use.
What Happens When You Take Niagen?
Niagen is gaining traction as a viable anti-aging medication, but most people are still unclear on exactly how it works. The process described above in which NAD+ and NADH cycle to produce energy is well-documented, but how precursors like nicotinamide riboside to NAD+ turn into NAD+ is less clear. Here, we’ll follow the steps that nicotinamide riboside takes from the moment of ingestion to the mechanism of action as stated from Quantitative Biology. One important detail to note is that some steps mentioned here may differ depending on the Niagen product you’re using. The mechanism of action that Niagen uses once in the body is the same, but different products might use different delivery modes to make it release over more extended periods or even short bursts of time.
The primary method of intake for Niagen is oral. Usually taken in pill form, Niagen traverses the digestive tract and dissolves over time, releasing nicotinamide riboside into the gut before absorption into the bloodstream. Once nicotinamide riboside is delivered to cells (somewhat randomly it seems, though the mechanism of cell delivery has not been fully explored), two pathways can be utilized to transform the precursor into NAD+. The first uses particular molecules called kinases, which transfer part of ATP to the nicotinamide riboside. These kinases are specially shaped to fit the molecule. After adding the phosphate group from ATP, a process called phosphorylation occurs as does another process called adenylation. These two processes are transformative, finalizing the conversion of nicotinamide riboside to NAD+.
The other mechanism works in a process almost opposite that of the kinase mechanism. In the kinase mechanism, more atoms are added to the nicotinamide riboside before the final reducing step. In the second mechanism, nicotinamide riboside is immediately reduced to NAD+ via phosphorylation. It’s unclear why there are two distinct pathways to turn nicotinamide riboside into NAD+ and which is preferred at this time. Like all supplements and medications, Niagen has a half-life in the human body. Though it’s a reasonably stable molecule before deposition in the cell and subsequent conversion to NAD+, Niagen still is removed from the body relatively quickly if not taken up. At the standard dose, nicotinamide riboside plasma half-life is between 30 minutes and one hour. According to the American Diabetes Association, in high doses, the half-life expands to between 2.5 and 4.5 hours. Because of this relatively fast half-life, your doctor may recommend splitting dosage to two times per day, though most still suggest sticking with only one-time point per day.
Conditions Treated with Niagen
The benefits of Niagen in treating ailments on a cellular level is well-documented by research.
The use of Niagen has also recently extended to the treatment of autoimmune conditions, where the body develops antibodies that attack healthy cells.
The following conditions can be controlled or mitigated with the use of Niagen:
Chronic joint pain
Dry, scaly skin
High blood sugar
20 Quick Facts on Niagen:
Nicotinamide riboside boosts mitochondrial functioning. It enhances the electron transport chain effectiveness by increasing NAD+ levels throughout the cell.
Niagen is considered a nootropic agent by some. Many Niagen reviews include a mention of at least perceived increased cognitive activity along with cardiovascular health increases. There is a chance that Niagen increases overall brain health due to its general mode of action, but this has not been shown in scientific studies yet.
Nicotinamide riboside reduces oxidative stress. It acts as an electron carrier, sequestering electrons from free radicals and reducing stress in damaged cells.
Niagen has a range of effects in those who take it, but those effects can be variable. For example, some people report highly increased focus while others do not see an increase in concentration.
Niagen is a manufactured version of a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3.
As a precursor to NAD+, nicotinamide riboside has two different synthesis pathways for conversion to the useful compound.
Niagen is the first product to contain synthesized nicotinamide riboside. Naturally, NR is found in a couple of food sources, including milk, whey, and even brewer’s yeast.
Direct side effects of Niagen intake have not been found. The only current potential side effect is a decrease in physical activity, but this has not been shown in human studies — nicotinamide riboside intake has only been linked to a decline in physical activity in a rat model system, from research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
TRU Niagen, ChromaDex’s own fully developed Niagen product, has no known interactions with other medications.
TRU Niagen and pure Niagen are vegetarian and gluten-free. The capsules used for TRU Niagen are made using plant-derived cellulose rather than animal-derived gelatin. Because of this strict cellulose encapsulation, Niagen is also caffeine-free and dairy-free.
Though nicotinamide riboside may sound like it’s related to nicotine, the only similarity is that both molecules contain nitrogen. The processes that Niagen uses in the human body have no relationship with those used by nicotine.
Niagen in its pure form is free of additives and preservatives. The only two ingredients added to TRU Niagen are microcrystalline cellulose to keep the nicotinamide riboside contained and the vegetable cellulose capsule.
There has been no evidence that tolerance to Niagen is built up over time. In a study of Niagen dosing on middle-aged and elderly people, long-term repeated doses did not dampen the cell activity effects. There has not been a similar study on younger people, but if this is shown in the elderly, it is presumed to be similar in those who are younger.
The first GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for food-safe nicotinamide riboside was just recently granted by the FDA in 2016. It was granted as safe to use in a range of products, including enhanced waters, gum, and nutrition bars.
The first major mammalian system used for testing new supplements is rats. In rats, the lowest dose that a rat started showing signs of adverse effects was approximately 1000 mg/kg/day. In humans, the treatment is 25% of that — there’s no chance of coming close to experiencing adverse effects.
The first significant studies describing nicotinamide riboside’s role in cell growth and activity were performed at Dartmouth College. Here, the researchers removed the cell machinery that allowed NAD+ to be made and substituted nicotinamide riboside instead. They showed that cells were still able to grow since the NR could be processed to NAD+.
NAD+, for which Niagen is a precursor, is a coenzyme. Coenzymes are also known as cofactors — molecules that are necessary for an enzyme to work correctly. If you don’t have enough NAD+, then specific cell processes will not work efficiently as enzymes can’t function.
The first time nicotinamide riboside was described was in 1944. It was actually discovered as a growth factor for the bacteria that causes bacterial influenza.
Nicotinamide riboside can be considered a derivative of niacin. Niacin is a standard organic compound found in many foods and medications and can act as a unique precursor to NAD and NADP.
There is a similar NAD+ precursor to nicotinamide riboside that is also derived from niacin: nicotinamide mononucleotide. It’s marketed as having related health and anti-aging benefits as Niagen, according to STAT, but unlike Niagen does not have clinical research to support its benefits.
Top All Natural Ingredients to Help with Anti-Aging Effects:
There are plenty of ingredients and products that claim to be helpful in preventing aging. These products range from those like Niagen that help at the cellular level to those that work on the topical level, seemingly reducing outward signs of aging like wrinkles and skin texture, based on research published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmacy. While many of these items do work, there are some that work better for specific groups of people and even some that don’t work well at all. There are also highly manufactured products that work, but some people may be wary of using a non-natural product. It’s important to know what the best all-natural ingredients are that actually produce some anti-aging effects.
If you’re looking for an all-natural wrinkle smoother, then perhaps the best option is a pomegranate seed oil. Most people only know how annoying the seed removal process is for pomegranates and how tasty the seeds are — but it turns out the oil can be extracted. Research has shown that pomegranate seed oil has potent effects on health, particularly in help with skin lesions and sores and in reducing wrinkles, according to Lipid Technology.
One of the most common ingredients you’ll see in anti-aging products is retinol. Retinol (also known as Vitamin A1) is a beneficial anti-aging ingredient, with effects like the reduction of small lines and wrinkles and size reduction of pores as the main advertised reasons to buy these products. Though retinol is a naturally occurring biological compound in our bodies, almost all retinol is synthesized in labs before addition to various products. If you’re looking to go all natural for retinol, find products that are rich in beta-carotene, a pigment that helps plants with photosynthesis. Two products that you’ll be able to find reasonably easily that contain all-natural retinol are chicory root and sunflower seed oil.
Another anti-aging agent that’s entirely natural is the elderberry. Though the name sounds like it comes from some fantasy world, elderberries have been documented throughout history as flu and cold treatments. You can make elderberry syrup, elderberry sauces for entrees, and even wine with the right equipment. The reason that elderberries are considered a potent anti-aging ingredient is due to a set of compounds found in the elderberry known as anthocyanins. According to The Journal of Nutrition, anthocyanins are known for their high antioxidant abilities. Antioxidants are good for overall health due to their uptake of free radicals — elements that have become uncoupled from other molecules or have been produced as a dangerous byproduct of some reaction that can cause harm to nearby cells. Free radicals are commonly found after a sunburn or other skin damage from the sun, as the damage induces the radicalization of multiple different molecules. Consuming antioxidants can help mitigate the free radical damage, as an antioxidant can bind to a free radical and inactivate it. Through this antioxidants can act as anti-aging molecules, as they can stop wrinkling caused by sun damage. They can also help in various other areas of the body, including the heart and liver. Several studies examining the anthocyanins in elderberries have shown high uptake and absorption levels in people of varying ages and health statuses, indicating that they’re useful in combating aging effects. Many antioxidants pass through the body or are not absorbed readily, but this does not seem to be the case for elderberry anthocyanins.
Top 5 Anti-Aging Supplements:
The anti-aging supplement market is consistently expanding, with many new supplements and even new formulations of already existing products being pushed out to capitalize on this futuristic trend. With the list of anti-aging supplements growing ever larger, knowing which ones work and which ones provide the best results for what you purchase is essential. Here are the top five anti-aging supplements, why they work, and how they work.
CoQ10: Coenzyme Q10, often shortened to just CoQ10, is an essential coenzyme for mitochondria that acts as an antioxidant as well. According to Molecular Cell, as humans age, mitochondrial activity declines semi-linearly. Multiple aspects of the cellular aging process are at least somewhat associated with mitochondria, including cellular senescence (specific deterioration in a cell over time), loss of stem cell activity (the cells that are able to turn into specialized cell types), and even with chronic inflammation. There is a significant body of research suggesting that maintaining mitochondrial activity can reduce the effects of aging. CoQ10 has been subjected to rigorous testing, giving evidence that it supports healthy mitochondrial activity and supports renal function and increases cardiovascular health, as per BMC Nephrology and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Most people have healthy levels of CoQ10 already, but a poor diet or too much exercise can lead to coenzyme Q10 depletion. It’s sold as a supplement in most health stores and online.
Niagen: Nicotinamide riboside, the precursor to NAD+, has been demonstrated to increase overall cell functioning in both mice and humans since its debut in 2013. The brand name is Niagen, and only the original company to patent the product has the rights to manufacture it. Like coenzyme Q10, Niagen is a single ingredient. There are no extraneous filler materials unless added by a company downstream. Though research is not as robust as with CoQ10, Niagen’s studies published in Cell Metabolism have shown some outstanding de-aging effects in human and mice cells, enhancing cell metabolism and protecting against the over-uptake of fats in a high-fat diet.
Carnosine: This molecule is found exclusively in animal tissues, with the highest concentrations found in highly-used muscles and in brain tissues. In the body, carnosine reduces the synthesis and formation rates of specific molecules. The overall health benefits of carnosine intake, as detailed in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, are fantastic, and the added potential bonus of aging effect reduction is quite nice.
Green tea extract: One of the world’s most ancient health products, green tea extract is known for its multiple uses. Some cultures used it as a cure-all for colds and flu while others used it as a weight loss medication. Recent research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has demonstrated its potent antioxidant effects due to the high concentration of catechins, molecules that fall into the polyphenol group. The extract also has been shown to increase metabolic activity to some extent in healthy individuals. Green tea extract is genuinely a health workhorse, providing multiple benefits at the same time.
Whey protein: You may be surprised at the inclusion of whey protein on this list, as whey is mostly known as a supplement for powerlifters and gym goers. It’s gaining more attention as an anti-aging supplement, as some studies in the Clinical and Investigative Medicine have been published supporting the idea that they can increase cell longevity like caloric restriction. Researchers have found that reducing caloric intake can increase cell health and lifespan significantly through a variety of mechanisms (both known and unknown), and it seems as if whey protein works through similar mechanisms to achieve the same result. Moderate exercise should always be a part of an anti-aging regimen and adding whey protein as a supplement could be a good idea for both your overall health and your recovery from workouts.
Top 10 Trustworthy Brands:
When you first enter a health store or even the health item aisle at the local supermarket’s pharmacy, the number of different brands can be overwhelming. Searching online for great anti-aging supplements can be just as difficult if not more since every brand you could order from is available at your fingertips. Having a baseline amount of knowledge on the most trustworthy brands to purchase from is essential if you’re going to use their products over an extended period. You need to know precisely which brands will maintain product consistency. For example, a trustworthy brand should ensure that the ingredient concentration and formulation of a supplement will stay consistent over time. The brand should also make all consumers aware of the product changing, no matter how big or small the change is. Finally, a trustworthy brand should be on the cutting edge of research, making your supplements safe and useful instead of selling filter material. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten most trustworthy supplement brands in no particular order that you can look for wherever you purchase supplements.
Pure Encapsulations: This company’s namesake is its pride and joy, providing ultra-pure supplements that have little to no filler material. Their product line encompasses a range of supplements, meaning you should be able to find any supplement you need. The reason that Pure Encapsulations is on this list is that of their rigorous quality inspection and manufacturing processes. Their FDA-inspected facility consistently performs manufacturing tests, making sure that their products do not have any trace contaminants. They have a standardized list of ingredients and a transparent process for the creation of their supplements. They’re also one of the most commonly sourced supplement manufacturers for health professionals, as their manufacturing process is so well-oiled that quality is assured.
Carlson Labs: One of the oldest brands on this list, Carlson Labs is a well-known nutritional supplement company that has been creating and selling these products since 1965. This longevity is nearly unparalleled in the supplement industry, and it shows in their product line. Omega-3 fish oils and vitamin E supplements are what Carlson is known for, but they do actively pursue research in new supplement lines.
AOR: AOR is a Canada-based supplement company. Their name is an acronym for Advanced Orthomolecular Research, and as their name implies they focus on highly specialized molecular delivery systems for their supplements. Their production management was one of the best before their 2018 revamp, and the revamp only made their production even better. AOR improved the labeling of their products, making the ingredients clearer and easier to understand. Their excipients, or agents within the supplements that are not active ingredients are now entirely manufactured with natural materials rather than the traditional synthetic materials used by other companies.
Thorne Research: Thorne is a manufacturer and supplier of supplements at both the consumer and pharmaceutical levels. They have long-term collaborations with established health groups like The Mayo Clinic and some ties to other health centers in the United States. Their products include nearly every supplement on the market and some that are only available to medical professionals. Perhaps the aspect of Thorne Research that makes this company so trustworthy is their work with the FDA to develop laws and regulations to make supplements safer and more uniform throughout the industry nutrigenomics.
Metagenics: A somewhat unique brand on this list is Metagenics. Instead of focusing on broad-spectrum supplements — ones that should work similarly for everybody — Metagenics focuses on a process they call nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics centers around the idea that each person’s genetic identity is unique and specific supplements will work more for people with specific genetic factors than for those without those factors. Because of this, Metagenics’s product line is somewhat more streamlined but is equally effective. They have over 200 patents and publish multiple papers a year detailing scientific findings on their products. This high level of scientific output means that Metagenics is always making sure its products are safe and of a high enough quality to be trusted.
Life Extension:Though Life Extension is not mentioned often among experienced supplement takers, the brand produces high-quality supplement products at reasonable prices. Their branding is not the strongest of the top ten mentioned here, but their quality and prices make up for it. Life Extension’s primary focus is on the health and welfare of their customers rather than expanding their bottom line, meaning that they generally include more product per order than other companies. Their clinical study output has been consistently ramping up recently, with more studies using their products published each year.
Optimum Nutrition: This brand focuses on supplements for athletes, enhancing athletic performance and overall health in every aspect that supplements possibly can. Optimum Nutrition is included on this list due to their pre-manufacturing ingredient selection. Their team focuses on acquiring premium raw ingredients at whatever cost is necessary, rather than sacrificing quality by reducing prices on ingredients. They also perform rigorous quality assurance tests and daily inspections of their three manufacturing facilities to maintain consistency in their products.
NOW Foods:NOW Foods is nearly as old as Carlson Labs, with its first products manufactured in 1968. As a brand, NOW flies somewhat under the radar — but this does not mean they don’t assure high-quality products. Every aspect of the manufacturing process at NOW Foods’ Nevada facility is designed to ensure there is no contamination or loss of quality, from the ingredient receiving area to the manufacturing space itself. Their facility also hosts to a large and active research laboratory, where NOW employees search for new formulations and supplement combinations to pursue further.
Jarrow Formulas: Like Thorne Research, Jarrow Formulas actively participates in regulatory affairs with the government, creating and maintaining proper safety standards for the supplement industry. As a brand Jarrow is known for its active role in academic research, partnering with multiple R1 research universities in the United States to sponsor research using their supplements. They focus on formulas using CoQ10, but their extensive supplement range also includes products like probiotics and enzymes.
Biotics Research: This brand takes a different route for their supplements, focusing on multi-ingredient formulas that allow the main ingredients to be taken up in the body more readily. Because of this focus, many of their products contain a more significant number of ingredients but be more effective due to the assisting molecules. Like the other brands on this list, Biotics Research maintains current good manufacturing practices and each product ingredient is subjected to rigorous quality assurance testing before use. One significant difference between Biotics Research and the majority of other brands on this list is the availability of their products. Most of their supplements are not available for over-the-counter purchase and must instead be purchased from licensed professionals who deem them necessary for your health.
Each of the brands mentioned here deserves a place in the top ten most trustworthy brands due to their outstanding quality assurance processes. Though these companies may have different focuses and approaches to their supplement creation process, they have the same end goal: make the overall quality of life better for those taking their supplements. If you’re heading into the store, make sure these brands stay at the top of your list.
Niagen NR is a supplement that has been proven to be almost completely safe for human consumption without any risk of adverse reactions.
It is for this reason that there are no legal issues regarding the medical uses of the product.
There are no questions on whether Niagen is a scam because the ingredients are stated to be only nicotinamide riboside, which is a form of vitamin B3.
The Amazon reviews about Niagen have been extremely positive and encouraging, showing there is no public backlash to the medication.
However, there have been some legal issues about the proprietary rights on the use of Niagen by third-party manufacturers.
Chromadex, patent owners of Niagen NR, sued Elysium Health, claiming $200 million as damages for Elysium failing to fulfill their contractual obligations to pay for the supply of Niagen, TechCrunch reports.
The suit by Chromadex accuses Elysium Health, manufacturers of the “anti-aging” supplement, of False Advertising, Unfair Competition, Deceptive Trade Practices, and Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage.
Where to Buy?
Where is Niagen Sold?
As Niagen is a supplement, it can be found at most major health retailers, grocery stores, and online retailers. The most likely place you’ll find your favorite Niagen product is on Amazon, the online retailer. You’ll also most likely find a range of Niagen products at your local GNC and even at your local CVS or Walgreens pharmacy.
What Users Are Saying
“I’ve been using this product for about a year now. I tried several other nicotinamide riboside products and I believe that this is a very high-quality product. My level of energy and cognition is remarkably improved with TRU NIAGEN! I highly recommend it!“
“I stopped taking NIAGEN because studies on mice have found that higher levels of NAD+ fuels cancer growth. I would be careful about taking NAD+ precursors like NIAGEN until more is known.“
“In the first week of taking Tru Niagen, I felt a really significant increase in energy like I hadn’t felt in maybe 10 years. After that first week, I think I rapidly developed a tolerance to its effects to the point now where I notice no difference in energy levels taking it or not taking it. Feel now I might be wasting my money.”
The Bottom Line – Does Niagen Work?
So, the moment of truth: our final verdict based on research and Niagen reviews. Well, we like that the company has been in business for years and that we located some positive customer comments.
There’s other weight-loss programs out there offering tons of support to help you lose weight the healthy way.
Noom is one of the best weight-loss programs available. With personalized meal plans, human coaching, interactive support groups, and extensive food tracking using one of the world’s most comprehensive food databases, Noom can help you get healthier and lose weight.
The makers of Noom are currently offering a 14-day trial, which is a sign that they’re confident in their program.
It is a patented formula contributed for many health benefits. It minimizes the effects of aging and increases the cellular energy levels. Niagen is thought to elevate the metabolism, enhance the mood and mental clarity.
What are the ingredients in Niagen?
The ingredients in Niagen are Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose (Vegetarian Capsule), and Nictotinamide Riboside.
What are the side effects of Niagen?
This product if free from side effects because it is safe, no binders or fillers, and is made from high quality advanced ingredients.
Does Niagen work?
Yes, customer reviews for this product is positive and clients have reported they have saw effects from the first intake.
What is the price of Niagen?
The price of Niagen is $47.20 for one bottle, $87.95 for two bottles, and $119.95 for three bottles.