Nicotinamide ribose (NR) is a derivative of vitamin B3 and a precursor substance that can be utilized by the body as coenzyme NAD+. NAD+ is a key factor in many cellular metabolic reactions, and its deficiency may lead to aging, disease, and injury in the body. Therefore, the role of NR is to increase NAD+ levels, protect cells from oxidative stress damage, and delay aging. NR was initially isolated from milk, brewer's yeast and rice, and subsequently, it was also chemically synthesized.
NR may have some potential benefits, and human studies have been conducted to provide evidence that NR has benefits in various aspects of health.
The leading cause of death in the world is heart disease, and aging is a major risk factor for heart disease. Aging causes our blood vessels to become stiffer and less flexible. This causes our blood pressure to rise, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood around the body. Over time, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and can have fatal consequences. In a human study, administration of nicotinamide riboside reduced aortic stiffness and blood pressure in middle-aged and older adults. Another human study showed that NR reduced systolic blood pressure and aortic stiffness and increased NAD+-related metabolites, including adenosine and adenosine triphosphate. This supports the idea that NR does increase systemic NAD+ levels and other molecules related to energy production and metabolic regulation.
One study found that nicotinamide riboside supplementation altered body composition and skeletal muscle acetylcarnitine concentrations in otherwise healthy obese people. The study found that healthy overweight or obese men and women took 1 gram daily for 6 weeks. Markers of NAD+ synthesis were found to be increased in skeletal muscle compared with controls. The presence of NR in skeletal muscle tissue also increases acetylcarnitine metabolism. Acetylcarnitine metabolism is associated with metabolic flexibility and improved metabolic health. However, the reason why NR affects metabolism in this way remains unclear. NR also appeared to cause minor changes in participants' body composition and sleep metabolic rate. This study showed absolutely no effects on insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial function, lipid accumulation in the liver and myocytes, cardiac energy status, cardiac ejection fraction, ambulatory blood pressure, plasma inflammatory markers, or energy metabolism. These mixed results again suggest that more research is needed on NR before it can be properly understood. While there is interest in NR's potential to treat cardiovascular disease, more research is needed.
*Special note - This article is for informational purposes only and cannot replace a doctor's treatment diagnosis and advice. It should not be regarded as a recommendation or proof of efficacy of the medical products involved. If it involves disease diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, please be sure to go to a professional medical institution to seek professional advice.