In addition to boosting your energy levels, nicotinamide riboside (NR) can also protect against age-related cognitive decline. In a study, mice that were given nr supplements experienced less DNA damage, higher levels of neuroplasticity and increased production of new neurons.
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NR is a natural compound that can be found in foods such as yeast, milk and beer. It’s also a popular dietary supplement that is believed to have longevity benefits in humans. Trace amounts of NR are found in our bodies, but research indicates that NR supplements can yield much higher concentrations than those consumed in a healthy diet. The nicotinamide riboside chloride salt that’s most commonly used in human supplements is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration.
While niacin has been shown to increase NAD+ in some tissues and cells, it’s important to note that it can also cause flushing in others. Unlike niacin, NR is well tolerated and has been shown to elevate NAD+ levels in multiple tissues without activating GPR109A, which causes nicotinic acid-induced flushing.
In the heart, NR increases the NAD+/NADH ratio and exhibits protective effects against adverse cardiac remodeling in DCM. In mice with HFD-induced HF, oral NR supplementation normalized myocardial NAD+/NADH and reduced the rate of cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction.
NR also increases the activity of NMRK2 in liver and brown adipose tissue, improving mitochondrial function, and reviving senescent muscle stem cells. In a mouse model of muscular dystrophy and degeneration, NR improved endurance, decreased the rate of DNA damage, and increased regenerative capacity.