How Does NR (Nicotinamide Riboside) Help Boost Cellular Energy?

NAD is the key that enables the mitochondria – the “power station” within the cell, to undergo cellular energy production.

NR has been proven to boost NAD levels in humans.1

You Need Cellular Energy

The body has many different needs and demands to keep itself active and functioning properly. Cellular energy is what powers all of the body’s functions such as keeping the heart beating, the lungs expanding and contracting, and enabling the brain to process thought.

Cellular energy not only fuels our most basic bodily functions, it also is necessary to defend against oxidative stress in the body, repair DNA damage, create the building blocks for DNA and RNA, and to turn on ‘longevity promoting’ proteins called sirtuins.1

NR is the Most Effective B3 at Boosting NAD and Activating Longevity Promoters1,2

It is true all forms of vitamin B3 have the ability to boost NAD in the body to some degree. However, the way each unique molecule is metabolized in the body can have a significant impact on each molecule’s ability to boost NAD. Dose-related side effects, such as flushing commonly associated with niacin, can also limit an individual’s ability (and desire) to further increase their consumption in pursuit of additional boosts in NAD.

A recently published pre-clinical study demonstrated that when tested head-to-head-to-head (NA vs. Nam vs. NR), NR was not only the most effective at increasing NAD levels, but it was also the most effective at turning on of the longevity-promoting proteins called sirtuins1

NR is the Most Efficient B3­ at Boosting NAD1

When it comes to cellular energy production in the body, our desire is to maximize it. But the tricky thing is, even the processes that make the machinery required for energy generation, and the actual process of making it actually uses up some of our coveted energy. That is why maximizing efficiency in these processes is key!

A good example is the production of NAD in the cell. NAD is an essential part of the cell’s machinery that produces energy, and it needs to be made by the cell in order to support maximal energy production. Most of the cells NAD is made from three different starting materials, or building blocks, each of them a member of the vitamin B3 family.

The three different ways these starting materials get converted to NAD are shown in the mountain graphic. As you can see, the three different paths from the starting materials to NAD are very different. Niacin (NA) and nicotinamide (Nam) both get to the top of the mountain, but the paths are winding, and the path for Nam has dead ends. Traveling these paths takes more time and energy (which we want to save to support more energy generation). The path of nicotinamide riboside (NR) to NAD is much more direct, saving time and energy.

nad nr nam na mountain analogyPre-clinical research has demonstrated that supplementing with NR not only safely boosts NAD, but also enhances the body’s production of NAD to a greater degree than all other forms of vitamin B3. This is like going up the mountain in a gondola rather than traveling the winding roads. Within the human body, this means the more NR boosts NAD, the more the body can use NAD to maximize cellular energy production. That’s why NR is considered the most efficient NAD booster available, when administered orally.1

Cellular Energy is Different than Stimulant Based Energy

Cellular energy is different than stimulant driven energy boosts one can experience after drinking caffeine in coffee or energy drinks. Though in high demand, this type of wired, rapid response energy can result in rapid consequences such as nervousness, irritability, increased heart rate and restlessness and an energy crash later in the day3.

Cellular energy production, in contrast, is happening within your body every day. When adequate levels are achieved, a person may simply feel like they have a general sense of well-being and enough healthy vigor to take on the day.

  1. Trammell, S.A., et al., Nicotinamide riboside is uniquely and orally bioavailable in mice and humans. Nat Commun, 2016. 7: p. 12948.
  2. Trammell, S.A., et al., Nicotinamide Riboside Is a Major NAD+ Precursor Vitamin in Cow Milk. J Nutr, 2016. 146(5): p. 957-63.
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff. Caffeine: How much is too much? 2015 March 8, 2017 [cited 2017 October, 17].

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