Nicotinamide-riboside transforms muscle cells into super muscle cells

Muscles cells expend more energy and burn more fat when supplemented by the vitamin B3 analogue nicotinamide-riboside. This is suggested by an animal study that researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland published in Cell Metabolism. According to that study, nicotinamide-riboside is not only a potential slimming aid, but may also be an interesting sports supplement. And a supplement that can protect against diabetes. And maybe much more too.

Nicotinamide-riboside is found in milk, but is also created in the body when enzymes attach ribose to vitamin B3.


Nicotinamide-riboside is a precursor of the cellular co-enzyme NAD+. [Structural formula shown here.] NAD+ plays a crucial role in the functioning of mitochondria, the powerhouses in our body’s cells. Research done by David “Resveratrol” Sinclair’s team has shown that aging is partially due to the decrease in the amount of NAD+ in the body, and substances that inhibit this decrease may help to delay aging. [Cell. 2013 Dec 19;155(7):1624-38.] Since this discovery nicotinamide-riboside has become pretty hip among the anti-aging community.


Can hefty doses of nicotinamide-riboside improve the functioning of your muscle cells? Can you get your muscles to expend more energy in this way? That’s what the researchers in Lausanne wanted to find out.

The researchers fattened one group of mice by giving them a calorie-rich diet [HFD] and gave another group normal food [CD]. Half of the mice in both groups were given 400 mg nicotinamide-riboside per kg bodyweight daily. The human equivalent of this dose – for someone weighing 80 kg – is about 3.2 g nicotinamide-riboside per day. That’s a very high amount. Don’t try this at home, folks…

On the internet you can read about the experiences of users who have experimented with doses of up to 300-400 mg nicotinamide-riboside a day.

Supplementation inhibited the increase in fat mass in the mice on the fattening diet, and resulted in increased oxygen uptake. Black bars = supplementation group.


At the end of the 12 weeks the researchers got the fattened mice to run on a treadmill until they reached the point of exhaustion. Supplementation increased their endurance capacity. It also boosted the mice’s body temperature in a cold environment and increased the size of their mitochondria.


The figure below shows how the researchers think nicotinamide-riboside works. The vitamin B3 analogue boosts the concentration of NAD+, and NAD+ in turn activates rejuvenating enzymes such as SIRT1.


“Our data, combined with the evidence that other NAD+ precursors can improve age-related insulin resistance [Cell Metab. 2011 Oct 5;14(4):528-36.] and that nicotinamide-riboside increases yeast replicative life span, [Cell. 2007 May 4;129(3):473-84.], therefore warrant future investigations to see if boosting NAD+ levels by nicotinamide-riboside supplementation might also improve the health and life span of humans”, the researchers concluded.

We want to know more about this stuff.

The NAD+ Precursor Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Oxidative Metabolism and Protects against High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity


As NAD+ is a rate-limiting cosubstrate for the sirtuin enzymes, its modulation is emerging as a valuable tool to regulate sirtuin function and, consequently, oxidative metabolism. In line with this premise, decreased activity of PARP-1 or CD38—both NAD+ consumers—increases NAD+ bioavailability, resulting in SIRT1 activation and protection against metabolic disease. Here we evaluated whether similar effects could be achieved by increasing the supply of nicotinamide riboside (NR), a recently described natural NAD+ precursor with the ability to increase NAD+ levels, Sir2-dependent gene silencing, and replicative life span in yeast. We show that NR supplementation in mammalian cells and mouse tissues increases NAD+ levels and activates SIRT1 and SIRT3, culminating in enhanced oxidative metabolism and protection against high-fat diet-induced metabolic abnormalities. Consequently, our results indicate that the natural vitamin NR could be used as a nutritional supplement to ameliorate metabolic and age-related disorders characterized by defective mitochondrial function.


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