Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 that has recently gained attention for its potential to increase lifespan and improve overall health. NR is thought to work by activating a protein called sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), which is involved in the regulation of cellular aging and metabolism. In this article, we will explore the science behind NR and discuss the potential longevity benefits of this promising compound.
What is Nicotinamide Riboside?
NR is a form of vitamin B3 that is found in small amounts in milk and other natural sources. It is converted into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in the body, a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in many cellular processes, including energy production, DNA repair, and antioxidant defense. NR has been shown to be more effective at increasing NAD+ levels than other forms of vitamin B3, such as nicotinamide and nicotinic acid.
How does Nicotinamide Riboside work?
NR activates the SIRT1 protein, which is involved in the regulation of cellular aging and metabolism. SIRT1 is a type of sirtuin, a family of enzymes that are activated by NAD+ and play a role in various physiological processes, including insulin sensitivity, DNA repair, and inflammation. Activation of SIRT1 has been linked to increased lifespan in several model organisms, including yeast, worms, and mice.
In addition to activating SIRT1, NR has been shown to have other beneficial effects on the body. For example, NR has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation in mice. It has also been shown to protect against age-related declines in brain function and improve cardiovascular health in mice.
Longevity Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that NR may have the potential to increase lifespan and improve overall health. In animal studies, NR has been shown to extend lifespan and improve healthspan (the length of time an individual remains healthy) in mice.
One study conducted in mice found that NR treatment increased lifespan by up to 15% and improved healthspan by improving several markers of health, including insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and cognitive function. Another study in mice found that NR treatment improved cardiovascular health and reduced the risk of stroke.
While the research on NR and longevity in humans is still in its early stages, a few small studies have shown promising results. A study of healthy elderly individuals found that NR supplementation increased NAD+ levels and improved markers of cardiovascular health, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Another small study in people with type 2 diabetes found that NR supplementation improved insulin sensitivity.
In conclusion, NR is a promising compound that has been shown to have potential longevity benefits in animal studies. While human research is still in its early stages, a few small studies have shown that NR may improve cardiovascular health and insulin sensitivity. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of NR and to determine the optimal dosage and duration of treatment. However, the results of these studies suggest that NR may be a promising option for improving overall health and potentially increasing lifespan.