A Recent Study of Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation

Here I'll point out a recent study on nicotinamide riboside supplementation in mice. This is a way to increase levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), an important player in many aspects of cellular metabolism, particularly mitochondrial function and everything associated with it. Mitochondria are known to be important in aging, either through a decline in their primary function of producing energy stores to power cellular activities, or in the damage they suffer that leads to malfunctioning forms of this cellular component.

Thus far, based on work from the past few years, inducing raised levels of the charged form of NAD, NAD+, in mice appears to be a way to trigger some of the same housekeeping and repair mechanisms as are affected by hormesis and heat shock factors in response to various forms of cellular stress, which is to say that it can modestly slow aging and improve health. Everything is interconnected in cellular biochemistry, so it isn't all at unusual for there to be a dozen or more ways to manipulate any one set of mechanisms. Here the focus is on improved stem cell activity, which is becoming a very common theme in research on aging.

As mice age, the regenerative capacity of certain organs (such as the liver and kidneys) and muscles (including the heart) diminishes. Their ability to repair them following an injury is also affected. This leads to many of the disorders typical of aging. Through the use of several markers, researchers were able to identify the molecular chain that regulates how mitochondria - the "powerhouse" of the cell - function and how they change with age. The role that mitochondria play in metabolism has already been amply demonstrated, "but we were able to show for the first time that their ability to function properly was important for stem cells." Under normal conditions, these stem cells, reacting to signals sent by the body, regenerate damaged organs by producing new specific cells. At least in young bodies. "We demonstrated that fatigue in stem cells was one of the main causes of poor regeneration or even degeneration in certain tissues or organs."

This is why the researchers wanted to "revitalize" stem cells in the muscles of elderly mice. And they did so by precisely targeting the molecules that help the mitochondria to function properly. "We gave nicotinamide riboside to 2-year-old mice, which is an advanced age for them," said the researcher. "This substance, which is close to vitamin B3, is a precursor of NAD+, a molecule that plays a key role in mitochondrial activity. And our results are extremely promising: muscular regeneration is much better in mice that received NR, and they lived longer than the mice that didn't get it." Parallel studies have revealed a comparable effect on stem cells of the brain and skin. So far, no negative side effects have been observed following the use of NR, even at high doses. But caution remains the byword when it comes to this elixir of youth: it appears to boost the functioning of all cells, which could include pathological ones. Further in-depth studies are required.

I'll note that the publicity department that formed up this release should be ashamed of themselves for the title, which is a enormous exaggeration. It is bad enough that the popular press consistently misstates the results of research into aging, when so much of that research produces only small effects, without the allegedly more responsible parties also doing so. Not all longevity science is equal, but when everyone claims to have stopped aspects of aging - when no such thing actually happened - it becomes that much harder for laypeople to gain an appreciation for what is more or less useful in the field.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/epfd-avt042716.php


Anecdotally (which isn't of course statistically valid, but nonetheless), I have taken this stuff and I can say I feel better. Less fatigued and clear minded. I'm fairly sure it's not a placebo effect. That said, no clue what it's actually doing to me. But it *feels* like it's doing something.

Posted by: xxd at April 29th, 2016 11:11 AM

I started NR in Sept. 2016. I have more muscle on me now than I have ever had. Work out 3 times a week and do about 25,000 lb. per session, but I am 72 and supposed to be losing muscle mass. Is it partially due to NR, or all just from workouts? I do track and field, and seem to be better than last year. Will find out more as season progresses. My wife started end of Jan.She has had neuropathy in both legs from knee down for many years, due to her workouts (power thrower; sprinter). It has cleared about 75%. She has feeling on both feet for first time in (18), (10) years. This is not supposed to happen according to our physical therapist and others I have spoken to. Also, toe-nail fungus cleared. Fungus is common in athletes who use spikes to sprint and throw, so another interesting development. Her outlook is better. Learns more quickly and seems to not have depression that we have dealt with for all her life, so... ?

Posted by: andy pitas at April 29th, 2016 6:10 PM

Doesn't seem to do much for me. When I first started it, seemed to help my vision a bit, greater clarity.
But that's gone away. I was taking 250mg in the morning... maybe I'll try 500mg.

Posted by: bmack500 at April 30th, 2016 5:19 AM

Andy do you mind sharing what your dosage is and your weight? XXD? Also what brand do you take if that is permissible?

Posted by: Pierre at April 30th, 2016 6:27 PM

I'm 63 and I've been taking NR for about 3 months now. I was suffering from ED before, but everything has come back roaring. Now I'm laying three or four birds a week, sometimes two at a time. For me, NR has been nothing short of amazing.

Posted by: Alan Donahue at May 1st, 2016 4:52 PM

Started two months, and stop for one month. Starting again today. I really wasn't sure what to expect, from literature I read, it was supposed to work at celular level. Two weeks into it, I started sleeping for straight 8 hours, not waking up in the middle of the night as the last six months. That was the first positive change I could see, also mood was a lot improved, no anxiety bouts after the fourth week, and even when I had a situation I handled it way cooler than my usual. Second month I went to the gym to retake my workouts, instead of the usual weakness when I skip gym for too long (almost 2 months) I could handle the last weight I registered in my last visit, bench of 180 pounds, that was unexpected. And I finally got to reach 235 lbs, after a year of trying to go under 240. The month I stop (I took too long to order a new supply), the mood stuff kept going, some nights I woke up late at night, I felt again tired if walking too fast (is dry season here and I wear a suit to work), my weight escalated back to 245. Today I got the new supply, another brand (I used NIAGEN the first time), this one I'll try for two months. Let's see.

Posted by: Ken at February 2nd, 2017 12:23 PM

If the aging process is just of the form "constant damage over time => linear accumulating damage", then changing a bit of metabolism might really just be a small effect.

But what if aging has exponential feedback loops, like "existing damage => causing more damage"? In this case even a small intervention into this process could create a larger effect.

Maybe, increasing NAD+ doesnt heal the original damage, but it prevents existing damage to cause more damage, bringing down an exponential damage accumulataion to a linear one.

Thats why i think it is worth trying.

Posted by: Anonymous at December 6th, 2018 2:02 AM

I am following Aubreys' work for a long time now (joetoep) and I must say that he is right about many things.
There are to much hyped populair molecule's, like NR, rapamycin and more that just slow aging a little bit. They work yes, but just a tiny bit... you can call it marginal.
We need to do a lot more to win the war on aging if we want to get more healthy years of of our life.
That is what Aubrey is saying... AND HE IS RIGHT.

Posted by: Rik at December 2nd, 2019 12:34 PM
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