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What is Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Can It Increase Longevity?

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) has recently become one of the most studied NAD+ precursors. It increases levels of NAD+ in the body which has been shown to have numerous health benefits that slow the signs of aging and enhance longevity.

What is Nicotinamide Riboside?

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) or niagen is an alternative form of vitamin B3 (niacin) found naturally in trace amounts in milk. If you’re wondering why the word “niacin” seems familiar, you’ve probably seen it added to packaged products such as cereals and flours. Governments believed B3 to be so important that it was mandated to be a part of our staple foods. The U.S recommended the fortification of foods with a form of B3 in the 1940s to fight off the fatal disease pellagra. And there’s now international legislation for a similar fortification in both flours and rice.

How Does NR Work in the Body?

As with other forms of B3, nicotinamide riboside is converted within our bodies into NAD+ — an essential molecule in cell functioning. Nicotinamide riboside follows an essential route that allows it to bypass a step other precursors have to follow in the process of becoming NAD+.

NAD+ has been shown to fuel many of our body’s key processes such as:

  • The conversion of food into energy

  • The repairing of damaged DNA

  • The fortification of defense cells

  • The regulation of our circadian rhythm

Wondering what circadian rhythm is? You might enjoy reading: How to Feel Younger - Take Care of Your Circadian Rhythm

When we are young, our levels of NAD+ are high. But, with age, these levels drop which is thought to be one of the reasons behind the decline that is usually associated with age.

What are the Benefits of NR?

Nicotinamide riboside validates itself as an effective treatment for neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders. It has the following health benefits:

Effective conversion into NAD+

Although it is essential for optimal health, research has shown that our NAD+ levels continually fall during the aging process. With low levels of NAD+ linked to poor aging and various diseases.

Studies have shown nicotinamide riboside to effectively raise NAD+ levels in the blood by up to 2.7 times, whilst being more readily used within our bodies than other NAD+ precursors.

To find out more about NAD+, read: What is NAD+ and How Does It Slow Aging?

NR helps to promote healthy aging

Recent studies have shown NR to be a powerful supplement to boost NAD+ levels, activating sirtuin signaling, and improving mitochondrial function. This evidence suggests the vitamin may be used to prevent mitochondrial decline, associated with many age-related diseases. This research, coupled with data that NR increases yeast replicative lifespan, warrants further investigation into NR supplementation to improve the health and lifespan of humans.

May help protect brain cells

In studies on mice with Alzheimer’s disease, nicotinamide riboside raised NAD+ levels by up to 70%. Furthermore, by the end of the study, the mice performed significantly better in memory-related tasks.

A test-tube study went on to show that nicotinamide riboside raised NAD+ levels and improved mitochondrial function in the stem cells of a patient with Parkinson’s disease.

May lower the risk of heart disease

Heart disease remains the world’s leading cause of death and aging is a major factor. Animal studies have shown that increasing NAD+ levels helped reverse changes to the arteries that were age-related. A human study showed nicotinamide riboside helped to raise NAD+ levels whilst reducing the stiffness in the aorta and lowering systolic blood pressure in high-risk adults.

May improve weight loss

A study, showed nicotinamide riboside to induce a thermogenic response and speed up the metabolism of mice.

May lower the risk of cancer

High levels of NAD+ have been shown to protect the body against oxidative stress and DNA damage which are often linked to the development of cancer.

May improve jet lag

Because NAD+ helps regulate our body’s circadian rhythm, supplementing with nicotinamide riboside may treat jet lag and other circadian rhythm disorders.

May promote healthier muscles

Studies in mice showed increasing NAD+ levels helped to improve muscle function, strength, and endurance.

Nicotinamide riboside has shown to raise NAD+ levels which are linked to several potential health benefits including healthy aging, brain health, lowering the risk of heart disease, and much more.

What Foods Contain Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)?

Nicotinamide riboside can be found in trace amounts in the following foods:

  • Cow’s milk

  • Yeast

  • Beer

Although nicotinamide riboside can indeed be found in trace amounts in these foods, the most effective way of ensuring proper dosage is supplementation. The recommended dosage of NR usually ranges from 250-300mg per day. Milkcontains only 4.8 micromoles of NR per liter which falls far below the therapeutic requirement.

What is The Best NR Supplement?

The best NR supplements are those that are supplied by a reputable company that only sells pharmaceutical grade products. Although NR is usually available in capsule form, the most effective method is sublingual form because it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and bypasses the digestive system and liver.

Youth & Earth has a high-quality pharmaceutical-grade NR (β-Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride) sublingual powder.

Are There Any Side Effects to NR?

Unlike other forms of niacin, NR should not cause any facial flushing. In studies of dosages ranging from 1000-2000 mg daily, NR was well-tolerated with no harmful side effects, suggesting it’s safe for most people.

However, in some cases, moderate side effects such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and indigestion have been observed.


With remarkable discoveries into nicotinamide riboside during preclinical trials, the supplement may become a treatment for a large number of disorders. Furthermore, its advantages over other NAD+ precursors as well as its safety and efficiency suggest it might soon become be a possible replacement for niacin.

Our body uses NAD+ to fuel our cells but these levels decrease naturally as we age. With its low side effect profile and the ability to boost NAD+ levels, nicotinamide riboside may be our answer to reverse several signs of aging.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

— Sophia Loren

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.