Naigen is the name of a new form of Vitamin B3, patented and produced by the company Chromadex. Niagen has shown remarkable anti-aging and performance-boosting ability, capable of reversing the effects of aging in animal studies. Niagen, also called Nicotinamide Riboside or Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride (NS), is a compound that is deeply involved in your body’s ability to produce energy. Your body converts Niagen into a compound called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) which is known to help maintain proper energy levels and mitochondrial function [1]. Niagen is found in some of the last steps taken in your body’s NAD conversion process, which is the same compound that Vitamin B3 (Nicotinc Acid/Niacin) is eventually converted into as well. While Vitamin B3 may eventually convert to Nicotinamide Riboside, Naigen supplements offer the benefit of increasing overall NAD levels without the typical side effects of large doses of Vitamin B3, which can be seen in doses as low as 50 mg [2]. Additionally, Niagen has been found to directly modulate activity of Sirtuins, which are thought to be proteins directly involved in promoting cellular health and extending longevity.

Niagen has shown remarkable anti-aging and performance-boosting ability, capable of reversing the effects of aging in mice

When we are young, we have much higher natural levels of NAD, which is associated with vibrant, youthful energy. As age however, our NAD levels are known to drop by as much as 50%, which is now thought to be an integral process involved in the aging process [3]. Niagen, and other Nicotinamide Riboside supplements like it, have shown tremendous results in recent studies in being able to dramatically reduce the impact of this aging process—even reversing it in some cases [4]. The team at ChromaDex are heavily-laden with advice and direction of Nobel Laureates, and are actively-forging our current knowledgebase on NAD’s role in aging as well as Niagen’s ability to help slow down the process. In addition to youthful energy, proper levels of Nicotinamid compounds have been shown to greatly impact your body’s ability to handle oxidative stress and affect cellular health. This type of functionality is thought the be able to help prevent a laundry-list of major disease such as Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and most age-related disease [5].

What is Niagen

Anti-Aging Monkey Picture

Anti-Aging Benefits Seen by Caloric-Restricting Diet

Niagen, as well as Nicotinamide Riboside, is thought to be a precursor compound to NAD. One of the most integral components in age-related issues in your body is a class of proteins called Sirtuins. Sirtuins are produced through the expression of  genes, and scientists have identified SIRT1 as being a primary actor. These proteins are the mechanism that is thought to be responsible for being able to reduce the effects of aging [6]—having demonstrated this ability in animal testing. Amount and activity of Sirtuins is known to be directly dependent on levels of NAD, suggesting that Niagen would be able to directly impact Sirtuin pathways in the body [7]. This type of cellular communication is largely involved in processes such as the removal of free radicals (redox reactions) and overall cellular metabolism. Calorie-restricted diets have also been shown to directly affect Sirtuin levels, and the investigation of their impact is a powerful illustration of how vital Sirtuins are in the aging process [8]. As shown in the picture above, the effects of calorie restricted diets is tremendous on aging process.  Niagen is thought to stimulate Sirtuin activity similar to that seen in calorie-restricted diets, which may therefore offer the same types of benefits. This study on Rhesus monkeys was conducted over a period of decades, and involved hundreds of test subjects, and is regarded as being highly credible.

Your body converts Niagen into a compound called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which is used to help convert the food you eat into energy, and ensures proper cellular function

One of the hallmarks of the aging process is a decline in the activity of  Mitochondria. This tiny little powerhouses are responsible for creating Adenoside Triphoshpate (ATP), which is what your body uses for energy. The recent understandings of the role NAD+ plays in facilitating and preserving Mitochondrial communication is largely responsible for the excitement surrounding Niagen. Niagen has been able Additionally, Niagen is regarded as being the only among the Vitamin B3 compounds able to provide beneficial action to neural cells [9], which makes it an attractive Nootropic as well. During periods of increased activity in neural glutamate pathways, NAD+ depletion can lead to the dying of brain tissue. Nigagen’s ability to actively increase NAD+ levels may make it an ideal candidate for supporting brain health. One other benefit seen in Niagen is that the side effects of Vitamin B3 are not associated with it. Vitamin B3, when taken in high doses, has been known to cause irregular heart beats, lactic acidosis, liver damage, headaches, and several other semi-serious issues [10]. Additional research among healthy human subjects is needed before an conclusive statements can be made about Niagen, but the data so far is exciting [11]. NAD levels have been shown to be directly involved with age-related disease and cellular health, and Niagen has demonstrated the ability to maintain healthy levels.

Niagen Supplements

Niagen’s growing body of evidence paints it as offering great potential in helping stave off age-related disease, as well as potentially help promote long-term brain health. Research around supplements of this nature are usually sketchy—at best—but Niagen seems to be backed by credible data. The process of synthesizing Niagen was developed through research conducted by several universities, and the patent rights of that process is now held by ChromaDex. While Nicotinamide Ribose itself is a compound found naturally in the human body, ChromaDex holds the patent on the process of synthesizing in laboratory settings. ChromaDex is comprised of an impressive number of heavily-qualified advisers and board members, several of whom are Nobel Laureates. Not to say that the involvement of Nobel Laureates by any means equates to a quality compound, but it does help illustrate just how serious ChromaDex’s operation is. In November 2016, ChromaDex received FDA approval for Niagen to be considered a ‘New Dietary Ingredient’ (NDI), which means it is acceptable for use in dietary supplements [12]. As of August 3, 2016, the FDA officially regards Nigaen as a ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ (GRAS) compound, which would also allow Niagen to be used as an acceptable alternative to Niacin when added to consumer foods. While there is still plenty of room for additional research to paint a clearer picture of Niagen’s ability to impact health, these moves by the FDA are a strong indicator that it’s use is—at least—likely safe.

When buying vitamins and supplements—especially online—it’s important to buy only from trustworthy supplement brands

The supplement market typically reacts quickly to newly-discovered compounds—especially when there is research demonstrating ‘life-extension’ properties. This is a two-sided equation, which has both benefits and dangers. The first benefit is the quickness in which new research can directly impact the health market in the United States. Products like Niagen are able to be quickly assimilated by supplement manufacturers and offered to consumers without the long, costly process of clinical evaluation needed for prescription medications. The downside to this, is that anyone can sell supplements and there is very little regulation in the market. Untrustworthy brands, and even store brands from giant retailers have been found to contain little, if any, of the active ingredients listed on the labels. In addition, many supplements found online have been found to contain high levels of toxins such as heavy metals and chemical residues. When buying vitamins and supplements—especially online—it’s important to buy only from trustworthy supplement brands. While Niagen is a fairly new compound, there are several very trustworthy brands which already offer a Niagen product, such as Thorne Research, Jarrow Formulas, and Life Extension. Since ChromaDex holds the patent for Niagen, it’s important to recognize that each of these brands are using the same source ingredient which they’ve purchased from ChromaDex.

Thorne Research – NiaCel

Thorne Research stands out among the crowd, and is regarded as one of the highest quality supplement brands available on the market. Thorne Research has forged a relationship with partners such as the Mayo clinic to help provide additional clinical data for the effectiveness of supplements and dietary compounds in the treatment of disease and ability to improve the lives of healthy individuals. Thorne Research NiaCel is offered as Nicotinamid Riboside Chloride (NR), and is likely the best Niagen supplement available at the time of writing this article. Thorne Research is trusted by health professionals around the world as reliable and pure supplements. Thorne Research NiaCel can be purchased from the official Thorne Research store, as well as through Amazon which is typically lower on shipping costs. Thorne Research may be found in some local health food stores, but is generally only sold through licensed practitioners and online.

Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator

Life Extension is regarded as being another well-established supplement brand that is renowned for offering very decent quality at affordable pricing. Since the pricing of Niagen is set by ChromaDex currently, you’ll not see too much of that benefit here. Life Extension has become well-known for many obscure compounds such as Magnesium Threonate. Life Extension offers Niagen as their NAD+ Cell Regenerator supplement, which is sold as 30 100mg capsules. You’ll note the biggest differences in this product as offering an option for purchasing less Niagen, and using vegetable stearate as a capsule ingredient. The Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator  is available through Life Extension’s official website, and also through Amazon—which seems to be considerably cheaper. Life Extension products are available in some local stores such as The Vitamin Shoppe or local health food stores, but it’s unlikely that their NAD+ Cell Regenerator will be found there for awhile yet.

Jarrow Formulas Nicotinamide Riboside

Jarrow Formulas might have been a bit of an underdog just a few years ago, but they have become well-known for offering consistent quality at an affordable price lately. Their products represent an often unique filler in many newly-popular compounds such as Alpha GPC and other Nootropics. These products are quickly gaining traction in the consumer marketplace, and companies like Jarrow Formulas are seemingly learning the value of responding quickly with products such as Niagen. Jarrow Formulas offers their Niagen sold simply as Nictonamid Riboside, illustrating their awareness of growing consumer demands, which is sold as 100mg capsules. Jarrow Formulas Nicotinamide Riboside is available for purchase directly through Amazon, and may be found in some local stores such as The Vitamin Shoppe.

Final Considerations

So-called ‘Anti-Aging’ supplements are plagued by sensationalist marketing, and often offer little more than a glimmer of their advertised benefit. HGH supplements, weight loss supplements, and libido supplements are all among a class of supplements that cater to improving some of the most difficult issues to address through supplements or prescription medication. The vast majority of these types of products are little more than exaggerations of thin data. The Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride compound, sold as Niagen, certainly seems to be different the exception to the rule. Animal trials have shown that Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is capable of reversing the effects of aging in mice. Niagen has been shown to effectively increase levels of NAD,  has been FDA approved as a new dietary ingredient (NDI), and the patent holder ChromaDex’s research is supported by an incredibly respected board of advisers and directors—including several Nobel Laureates. Niagen certainly needs more data from human trials to make any definitive claims, but after reading the early data—we feel it shows great potential.

Niagen has been shown to effectively increase levels of NAD, which has demonstrated remarkable age-reversal ability in animal studies

Vitamins and supplements are powerful allies in the battle of personal healthcare, and can offer tremendous benefits when taken properly. The dynamics of your personal health is so vastly different from anyone else, that you should always consult a licensed professional when considering adding a major shift to your supplement routine or dietary habits. Niagen presents an attractive means of revitalizing youthful energy, with seemingly little other effort involved. Regardless of how true this turns out to be, establishing and maintaining an exercise routine is vital to maintaining energy levels, and is so important to nearly every other aspect of your health that words have a hard time conveying it. Daily exercise, if only for 15 minutes, has been shown to reduce the risk of major disease by up to 50%! Diet and exercise are two of the most fundamental shifts you can make to improve your health, but it takes you deciding you want to make that change first. Supplements can help you along your way, but be very mindful of which brands you buy. You can save a tremendous amount of money by buying your supplements through online retailers like Amazon, but the supplement market is like the Wild West. Niagen shows incredible potential, and is currently available from a handful of brands that we feel are very trustworthy.

Niagen (Nicotinamide Riboside)
Strong Potential
Niagen is the common name used for a newly available supplement called Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride which is produced by ChromaDex. This powerful compound has demonstrated the ability to directly impact Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) levels in the body. NAD Levels have been shown to reverse the effects of aging in animal studies, and offer powerful Nootropic benefits as well.
Overall
Niagen (Nicotinamide Riboside)

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753670/

2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/NoticeInventory/ucm505226.pdf (page  40)

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076149/

4.http://healthland.time.com/2013/12/19/reversing-aging-not-as-crazy-as-you-think/

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756609/

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992946/

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3616313/

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812811/

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677622/

10. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/niacin–niacinamide/safety/hrb-20059838

11. http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131%2814%2900452-5

12. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fdcc/index.cfm?set=GRASNotices&id=635&sort=Date_of_closure&order=DESC&startrow=1&type=advanced&search=Ajinomoto

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