A type of Vitamin B3, called nicotinamide riboside (NR) chloride has been found to have anti-aging properties. NR works by stimulating the metabolism of an enzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels in the body. NAD is necessary for DNA repair in the body, for circulation of blood and proper muscle function. NAD is naturally found in the human body, but gets lowered by aging. It is believed that restoring NAD to youthful levels will slow down or reverse aging and have cardiovascular benefits. Until now, the only way of boosting the amount of NAD in the body was by very strict reduction of calories. However, not only might this be dangerous in many ways to heath, but a lot of people will not be able to comply with this kind of regimen. The results of this study show that there is another way to boost NAD levels in the body.
NR has Less Side Effects than Niacin
The other version of Vitamin B3, nicotinic acid commonly known as niacin can also stimulate the formation of NAD, but it has more side effects than NR like painful flushing and so people do not want to use it.
Seniors Showed Improvements in Blood Pressure and Stiffness of the Aorta
The study published March 29, 2018 in the journal Nature Communications consisted of 60 healthy lean seniors, both men and women, ages 55-79 who took this nicotinamide riboside supplement for six weeks. In general they did not develop serious side effects. After six weeks of NR, they showed improvements in systolic blood pressure and in stiffness of the aorta, two very great risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Future Testing and Research is Needed
The researchers stress that future testing and research is necessary to determine which amount of NR is safe to use over a longer period of time and to see if and how it can be beneficial. Since the study was carried out only on healthy seniors of normal weight, it should also be tested on seniors with diseases like diabetes, neuropathy, heart failure, brain injury, fatty livers, UV damaged skin, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia and obesity.
Animal Studies of NR Showed Beneficial Effects
Animal studies showed that NR could improve diabetes, control weight, improve noise related hearing loss, and more. An earlier blog post of February 15, 2018 focused on studies that showed NR improved Alzheimer’s symptoms, prevented brain damage, cognitive decline and reversed memory loss in mice.
Available as an Over-the-counter Supplement
Currently, NR is available as an over-the-counter supplement by two different companies. One of the supplements also has pterostilbene added, which is a substance found in blueberries. Unlike other forms of Vitamin B3, NR is not readily found in food. Some has been found in milk, but the largest amounts have been found in nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast.
NR has tremendous potential for preventing cardiovascular disease, dementia, hearing loss, diabetes and more. It is to be hoped that further research will pave the way for NR to stop all kinds of disease conditions related to aging.