There are many nicotinamide riboside benefits beyond the brain. Because this molecule is important for basic mitochondrial function, it impacts every cell in the body. Similar to creatine, when we supplement with NR, we see benefits universally.
Before we dive into the cognitive benefits, it’s useful to note that nicotinamide riboside can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. There are also nicotinamide riboside cancer benefits as well. Studies show NR can reduce tumor growth and protects DNA synthesis within cancer patients.
All of this culminates in general longevity and antiaging advantages. The byproduct of NR helps reprogram dysfunctional cells, which rejuvenate and enhance overall cell function. Because our cell function starts to decrease with age, this is a method of improving lifespan and quality of life.
There are a host of nicotinamide riboside benefits for the brain specifically. There are over 5 million Americans struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the 6th highest cause of death. One 3 month study found that nicotinamide riboside could increase cognition and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A separate study showed that nicotinamide riboside (NR) could delay the death of brain cells, which suggest a neuroprotective effect.
Anyone considered elderly can find nicotinamide riboside benefits almost immediately, but young healthy adults can as well.
What is Nicotinamide Riboside?
Nicotinamide riboside is a molecule similar to vitamin B3, though different enough to have unique effects. It is a combination of niacinamide and ribose, which is often found in cow’s milk, whey protein, and brewer’s yeast.
The NR supplement is so effective because it acts as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). The NAD is the source of most benefits within the cells and throughout the body.
Nicotinamide Riboside Side Effects
There are few nicotinamide riboside side effects, but as with any other compound risks are associated with the supplement. One animal study suggests NR supplementation could reduce physical performance by up to 35% compared to a control group (10%). While this may not apply to humans, it is worthwhile to note especially for athletes.
Otherwise, there are few nicotinamide riboside side effects. The compound is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3 suggesting it’s generally safe. Even at high doses of 5000 mg / kg, there weren’t adverse effects.
Most users will not experience nicotinamide riboside side effects unless physically active. Even then, the loss of physical performance is theoretical based on animal models while there is no human evidence.