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Nicotinomide Riboside May Mimic Some of the Health Benefits of Calorie Restriction

Previous studies have found that restricting calories later in life may reduce some of the physiological effects of aging, but calorie restriction may not be safe or practical for many people. A recent pilot study suggests that taking a natural dietary supplement called nicotinomide riboside may replicate some of the beneficial effects of calorie restriction.


Participants in the study included 24 lean and healthy adults between the ages of 55 and 79 from the Boulder, Colorado area. Half of the group took a 500 mg dose of nicotinamide riboside chloride twice a day for six weeks, followed by six weeks of a placebo, while the other half took a placebo for six weeks, followed by six weeks of nicotinamide riboside. The researchers took blood samples and measured other physiological aspects at the end of each study period.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 60% boost in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ activates sirtuin enzymes, which scientists believe are responsible for many of the benefits of calorie restriction. NAD+ also tends to decline with age.


The researchers also noted a 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure in the 13 participants with elevated blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension. A drop of that magnitude is associated with a 25% lower risk of heart attack.


While optimistic, the researchers cautioned that the small sample size of the study means more research is necessary to determine the exact effects and safety of nicotinomide riboside.


Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 29, 2018, in Nature Communications.


Nicotinomide riboside is a B vitamin. Previous studies suggest that it may help improve insulin resistance, glucose levels, and may aid in weight loss. It can be found in dairy milk, yeast, and beer but is best taken in supplement form.

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