What is Nicotinamide Riboside in Niagen?

The most touted component in Niagen is Nicotinamide Riboside (NR). In fact, Niagen says that is the first and sole form of NR which is available commercially. Now, this statement here shows exclusivity, which makes you want to buy the product that is unlike any other on the market. But what exactly is NR? And what does it do for you?
Well, it is my job to answer that question, and I will do so below. I have done extensive research on this topic, and so you can be assured that the answers below are factual and detailed.


Niagen is a supplement manufactured by ChromaDex, which contains NR. The far reaching benefits of this compound are still being discovered, and that is why ChromaDex has taken the first step in commercializing it.


NR is a naturally occurring metabolite of Vitamin B3, and it is a precursor to NAD+. What this means is that NR will convert to NAD+ in our body.

Additionally, NR has been shown to affect gene regulation and energy production in mitochondria.

NAD+ (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide)?

NAD+ is a vital metabolite present in all human cells. NAD+ is essential for your mitochondrial health, and it plays a huge part in energy production and cellular metabolism. As you may know, mitochondria is the powerhouse of your cells, as it converts nutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) into energy. It is therefore imperative that your mitochondria performs at optimum conditions.
As you age your NAD+ levels will fall, and that is why NR seeks to boost these levels.

1. NR in Niagen

If you have read about the Niagen supplement, then you will see that it describes NR as a ‘no flush’ form of Niacin and an NAD+ booster. The presence of NR in Niagen is poses many health benefits to those who use it, such as a boost in performance, endurance, weight management, cognitive function, cardiovascular health, neuroprotection, and anti-aging.
NR is meant to boost NAD+ levels, without causing the flushing that is a side effect of Niacin. By boosting NAD+ levels, NR aims to enhance your mitochondrial health and create new mitochondrial. It also aims to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, and prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.

2. NR and Anti-Aging

NR has been linked indirectly to the reversal of aging mechanisms. As mentioned above, NAD+ allows for energy transfer from the foods we consume to crucial cell functions. NAD+ also inhibits genes that accelerate the aging process. As we get older, our NAD+ levels fall, and out mitochondrial functions are not optimized. In time we will find that a majority of out mitochondria has been depleted, hence reduced motivation and fatigue in elderly people.
As a known NAD+ booster, NR seems to be a way to reverse this anti-aging process. By boosting NAD+ with NR, there is a possibility to develop a strategy that can effectively prevent the loss of cellular energy associated with aging. NR presents itself as a way to combat aging, by enhancing youthful vitality as well as other longevity benefits.
Studies have shown that NR will switch off the genes that cause aging, so that your life span, endurance, cellular energy, and cognitive function can be increased. NR also activates sirtuins, which are enzymes that regulate the process of cellular aging. The slowing down and reversal benefits of NR are the reason that it is included in Niagen. Furthermore, it achieves all of this without causing the rashes and skin flushing associated with Niacin.

3. NR Studies

The initial studies of NR anti-aging benefits were centered around yeast, and there have also been noticeable results with mice. There are also trials involving NR and its ability to protect brain cells from the aging process, and this can have a huge impact in Alzheimer’s and dementia research. NR trials are still ongoing, and the results are highly anticipated.


As you can see, NR is an advanced form of Vitamin B3 which works to enhance mitochondria function by boosting NAD+ levels. Though studies are still ongoing, NR has shown itself to be a viable component in the search for an anti-aging cure.
By supplementing Niagen with NR, the hope is that you can take advantage of a myriad of health benefits. I hope I have answered all of your questions regarding NR in Niagen.

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