Niagen Review: the Best Anti-Aging Supplement Available?
We all know that eating healthy is one of the best ways to stay young and full of energy. But less is known about the specific nutrients in our food, and how they work.
Could you image that a single nutrient found in some foods, like milk, could revitalize the cells in your body, making you look and feel more youthful and energetic?
That’s exactly what Dt. David Sinclair, a researcher at Harvard, found when he discovered that Niagen, a naturally occurring metabolite of vitamin B3, regenerated cells to a younger state.
What is Niagen?
Niagen is a patented form of nicotinamide riboside (NR). Every day your body converts NR into Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+), which is a molecule that exists in every living cell inside your body. It’s an obscure process that is more exciting than you might think. NAD+ is extremely important, and we’ll explain why in a moment.
This guide covers a lot of information, so be sure to check out the sections below that are most interesting to you:
What is the difference between nicotinamide riboside and Niagen?
People often confuse the terms nicotinamide riboside and Niagen, because they are interchangeable. ChromaDex, a publicly-traded American pharmaceutical company, was the first company to patent a Nicotinamide Riboside formula using the name, Niagen.
ChromaDex is also the first company to make Niagen available commercially. While ChromaDex holds the patent for Niagen, other pharmaceutical companies can buy raw Niagen from ChromaDex. They can sell it in its pure form or create other formulas and sell them under their own branding.
BPI Sports offers up Niagen formulas called ANTI-AGING PILL, LIFE1, CELL1, and ENEDREX. Live Cell Research offers another popular brand of Niagen.
The Story of Niagen: When was it discovered?
In 2013, Dr. David Sinclair, a renowned researcher of Harvard Medical School, performed clinical research  where he injected NR into the cells of aging mice. His research showed that the mitochondria in each mouse’s cell decreased from two years to six months.
It was a scientific breakthrough that proved that it was possible to turn back the clock on mitochondria and make them function like they did when they were younger cells.
This discovery is the closest thing that researchers have found to reverse the effects of aging. Some people refer to it as the “fountain of youth.”
Time Magazine honored Dr. Sinclair by naming him of the Top 100 Most Influential People of 2014. During Dr. Sinclair’s experiment, two-year-old mice had cells that reverted to the age of six-month cells, after being injected with NR after just one week.
If we evaluate those results according to a human scale, it’s comparable to turning the cells of a middle-aged person into the cells of a 25-year-old.
How does it work?
NAD+ helps convert the food you eat into energy, and much more. Inside your cells, the nucleus and the mitochondria are responsible for producing your energy. They need to communicate with each other in order to get your energy moving.
In addition to one nucleus, each cell has hundreds of mitochondria, working in a network. The mitochondria go through a continual process of division and fusion. As this happens, the nucleus is communicating with the mitochondria, telling it to die off the bad cells and improve the new cells.
Without NR and NAD+, the communication between your nuclei and mitochondria get sluggish. Mitochondrial impairment starts a chain reaction that slows your metabolism. It drains you of your stamina, causing you to feel listless and tired.
As you get older, the nuclei and mitochondria within your cells get tired, too. As a result, they communicate with each other less efficiently than they did when you were younger. Niagen turns back the clock on your cells’ aging process and reignites the communication between the nucleus and mitochondria. Efficient communication equates to increased energy and vitality.
Niagen Benefits & Effects
After taking Niagen, you will gradually feel more alert and energetic. If you pay close attention to your body, you’ll notice other Niagen benefits that improve the ways that your body looks, feels, and functions.
Niagen Lifts Your Moods
Most of us have observed children playing with boundless energy and wondered with amusement how they could be so happy and energetic all the time. The youth and vitality in their young cells gives them enough stamina to play all day long while keeping their moods elevated. Niagen turns back the clock on your cells, which helps to create a positive mood when you take it in the proper dosage.
Niagen Aids in Digestion
Niacin, which is also known as vitamin B3, is an important vitamin for the digestive system. It helps to break down carbohydrates, fats, and alcohol. Niagen is a precursor of vitamin B3, so it also helps your digestive system function better.
Niagen Enhances Cognitive Ability
We’ve known for a long time vitamin B3 improves cognitive ability. The clinical studies on Niagen have shown us how to maximize the benefits to human cognition. The anti-aging properties of Niagen have shown good results for improving mental disorders such as:
- Memory Loss
Since Dr. Sinclair’s breakthrough on the effects of Niagen, more studies continue to be performed to fully assess the effects of Niagen on the human body. We know that Niacin and niacinamide are forms of vitamin B3 and that they are naturally occurring in certain foods such as yeast, meat, peanuts, fish, milk, eggs, beans, mushrooms, and green vegetables.
Pharmaceutical companies commonly add Niacin and niacinamide to vitamin B complex supplements, along with other B vitamins and vitamin B12, because combined supplement improve the overall benefit of the vitamins.
When Niagen combines with other supplements, it creates a synergy in the brain that magnifies the beneficial effects on memory, learning, and focus, which we call noopept effects. Combining two or more supplements to achieve enhanced positive effects is called a noopept stack or a nootropic stack.
Niagen Improves Hearing and Reverses Hearing Loss
A 2014 study  showed that Niagen improved hearing and hearing loss in people. The study showed that people who took NR, even after they were exposed to noise, showed improvement in their hearing. Niagen appears to reverse the effects of hearing loss.
Niagen Strengthens Bones
In another clinical study  performed in 2014, by the Panorama Research Institute and Regenerative Sciences Institute, researchers looked at the anti-aging effects on skeletal muscle in mice. The study showed a wide range of positive effects including a partial reversal of skeletal muscle aging. Researchers also detected that NR successfully reversed the effect of aging on the heart and other organs.
Niagen Improves Sleep
Another area that researchers are interested in is the effects of Niagen on sleep. Clinical studies continue being performed, but it’s not too early to recognize that many people who regularly take Niagen report that they sleep better than they did before they started taking it.
Niagen Aids in Weight Loss
In 2015, researchers fattened up mice to see if NR had an effect on weight loss. Researchers cut their caloric intake to a normal level and gave NR to half of the mice in the study . They also included random exercise.
Mice that took NR lost weight. Mice that took NR and exercised lost even more weight. Researchers need to perform studies on humans, but the results in mice are promising that NR improves weight loss.
Can Niagen Prevent Cancer?
Niagen is not a cure for cancer, a 2014 study  from the Cancer Cell journal showed that taking NR leads to preventing DNA damage and tumor formation, because it attacks the free radical cells.
Other Benefits: What Else Does Niagen Do?
Niacin and niacinamide have both been used to treat several other medical conditions including:
- Chronic Organic Brain Syndrome
- Alcohol Dependence and Other Addiction Problems
- High Cholesterol
- Migraine Headaches
- Skin Conditions
In other rare instances, niacin and niacinamide have been effective in treating acne and leprosy. Some people also use it to avoid testing positive for a drug test.
Optimal Niagen Dose for Anti-Aging Benefit
The dosages given to mice were comparatively much higher than what people would take. The recommended dosage for Niagen is 250 mg. per day. Take it on an empty stomach and drink a glass of water. Consumers report that they see better results when taking 500 mg. per day.
A 2016 study  measured dosages at 100 mg., 300 mg., and 1000 mg. It found that Niagen seems to have a ceiling on its effects. At higher levels, some people stated that they had one side effect, which was redness and flushing of their skin.
Niagen Reviews and User Experiences
Some common threads emerged when I read through the consumer reviews and user experience. Regardless of their age, most consumers were knowledgeable about the science behind Niagen and at least had some idea of what to expect after taking it.
Many Niagen consumers started with the recommended dosage of 250 mg. and were willing to experiment around with the dosage a bit. If they wanted more benefit, they took a bit more. If it had too much effect on them, they took it a bit less.
Some consumers preferred to take the recommended dosage every day and a little higher dosage on a workout day or when they knew they’d need some extra focus. Others took it only a few days a week, so they could get the benefits while offsetting the cost of the supplement. Here’s what consumers have to say about Niagen.
Most consumers said that they felt the effects shortly after taking Niagen. Many of them said that their focus improved noticeably. Review after review, users admitted that they just felt better and more energetic, in general. Consumers took Niagen to improve their focus noted that their focus did improve and it didn’t give them the jitters like they got when taking caffeinated products or energy drinks. Those who had been taking naps in the afternoon were able to eliminate the naps after taking Niagen.
Many of the commenters used Niagen to aid in weight loss and found it a helpful aid when dieting and working out. They also noticed improved cholesterol levels. Many of those who took Niagen with the hope of having increased energy commented that they had a slight weight loss despite not changing anything in their diet or exercise regimes.
A large number of the posters said that their sleep was greatly improved. Some of them were able to stop taking other sleep medications. Another common topic has to do with dreaming. Many users said their dreams started again after taking Niagen.
Others said that their dreams became vivid and they could usually remember the details of their dreams upon waking. Another noticeable, and sometimes unexpected effect of Niagen is that consumers stated that their skin was noticeably softer and smoother. Spouses, partners, and family members also noticed that the Niagen consumer’s skin was noticeably more soft to the touch.
Athlete reviewers said that Niagen boosted their workouts. Others said Niagen gave them the energy and stamina to start exercising again after a long hiatus without exercise. Once they got started they were surprised that the workouts were easier than they’d been in the past, and that they didn’t experience much in the way of sore muscles afterward.
Several consumers were taking Niagen as part of a post-cancer regime and found it to be a helpful treatment to take along with other supplements. When combining Niagen with other vitamin B supplements, they reported a positive noopept experience.
Is Niagen a Scam?
Scientific Evidence that Niagen Works
Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard University performed the first clinical study  that proved that Niagen revitalized the cells in mice, essentially turning them back to a substantially more youthful state.
It’s important to note that Dr. Sinclair is widely known and respected clinical researcher in the area of anti-aging. In earlier experiments, Dr. Sinclair was able to extend the lifespan of yeast by 30%.
Other researchers and scientists consider the results that Dr. Sinclair produced and reported regarding the benefits of Niagen to turn back the clock on aging, to be a major scientific breakthrough. These results have other researchers wondering what else Niagen can do. They are conducting new studies to further explore Niagen’s effects on humans.
Specific areas that they are exploring include:
- Measuring the effects on tumors, cancers, and other diseases
- Reversing the effects on skeletal muscle aging and aging of major organs
- Reversing hearing loss
- Sleep improvement
- Weight loss
How Much Does Niagen Cost?
Niagen is higher-priced than many other vitamin supplements. The best price is this supplement, which has 60 capsules of Niagen for about $40, which will last you for a month, if you take it at the recommended dosage. You can get it for about $5 less if you have Amazon Prime.
ChromaDex wholesales Niagen to other pharmaceutical companies. Other brands may not be a pure form of NR. Some companies find it more profitable to add other supplements to give their brand a stronger edge in the marketplace.
Amazon has 92 listings for Niagen from various pharmaceutical companies. Expect to pay about $20 on the low end and over $200 on the high end. Check the ingredients to see if you are actually getting 250 mg. of NR and whether the formula includes other supplements. Look for product sites that offer discounts on Niagen and other supplements.
Websites like Groupon or Living Social may have a discount offer for Niagen periodically. Individual retailers may also have in-store discount programs. CVS offers an ExtraCare membership card that offers members special discounts and savings on in-store purchases. Walgreens has a similar program called Balance Rewards.
If you know that you will be taking Niagen for a several months or longer, you can get a discounted price by buying Niagen in multiple quantities. Many sellers offer a discount if you buy the product in a 3-pack, 6-pack or 12-pack. Check to see if the supplier offers free or discounted shipping, which can also save on costs.
The manufacturer may also offer a coupon that they don’t readily advertise. Some manufacturers set up coupon codes where you can get 25% or more off your order or free shipping. Sellers will typically set up coupon codes on their affiliate sites, as a way of expanding their advertising so that you will be directed to their site.
Before you check out, enter the coupon code. Double check your order to make sure that the savings are applied to your total order before you enter your payment. Keep in mind that some coupons have expiration dates.
Does Niagen Actually Work?
The first clinical study  that Dr. Sinclair performed proved with certainty that Niagen does actually work. It does raise the NAD+ levels in humans. What we don’t know just yet is just how well it works in humans or how far it can go towards reversing the effects of aging.
Subsequent research has proven that Niagen improves hearing , prevents against hearing damage  and improves other neurological matters. Many of the top brand manufacturers are scrambling to partner with other companies to develop their own brands of Niagen and get them on the market, either in the pure form,or as a supplement to other formulas.
Major retailers are placing orders from several suppliers to fill their shelves in anticipation of rush sales. Along with very positive consumer reviews, these are all strong indicators that suggest that Niagen actually does work.
Niagen Side Effects? Is Niagen Safe?
In all of the studies performed to date, none of them have shown any side effects of taking Niagen. Consumers who have taken Niagen don’t report any side effects either. With the information that we have at this time, it appears that Niagen has no known side effects up to 3000 mg. The recommended dosage of 250 mg. daily is considered safe to take.
Where Can You Buy Niagen?
The marketplace is already starting to become infiltrated with Niagen supplements. You can select from many varieties of Niagen, either in the pure form or as part of a larger formula.
Amazon offers Niagen in many different formulas from many different manufacturers. This is the most popular supplement on Amazon, which I take and seems to work well: N (R) Niagen Nicotinamide Riboside
You can also buy it at most pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, and health stores like GNC. Most Walmart stores carry Niagen, but it does not appear to be sold at Target Stores just yet. I was not able to find it at grocery stores with an attached pharmacy like Jewel/Osco or Meijer.
Niagen Is Available for Purchase in These Countries
You can purchase Niagen at most pharmacies and health stores in the United States and Canada. You won’t be able to find Niagen at retail stores or pharmacies in the United Kingdom, but you can order it online and have it shipped there.
Comparison to Other Anti-Aging Supplements
Dr. Sinclair’s work generated plenty of excitement in the clinical research labs in the field of anti-aging. His work sparked his fellow researchers to review this new discovery in light of their own work.
Another notable researcher in the area of anti-aging is Dr. Leonard Guarente, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Guarente has done extensive work in the area of sirtuins.
In 2000, Guarente’s research revealed that NAD fuels the activity of sirtuins in ways that form new mitochondria and keep it running smoothly. His research also focuses on the relationship between SIRT2 and calorie restriction, with the hypothesis that the connection between them creates longer cell life.
Part of Dr. Sinclair’s work showed the connection between NAD and sirtuins. Remember that the nuclei and mitochondria need to communicate with each other. Dr. Sinclair’s work also showed that sirtuins made sure that the communication was getting from the nuclei to the mitochondria.
Now that researchers have discovered that Niagen has palpable anti-aging effects, they are eager to explore the ways that Niagen interfaces with other substances to boost anti-aging effects. They will be exploring the possibilities with new studies. Earlier research gives them some clues. Here are some of the connections that they’ve made so far. Let’s start with the connection to Resveratrol.
Niagen and Resveratrol
Researchers believe that a group of compounds called polyphenols are thought to act like antioxidants, which protect our bodies from damage that leads to illnesses and diseases like cancer and heart disease. Manufacturers extract resveratrol from the skin of red grapes, which means it is a common ingredient in many red wines.
Researchers have also found resveratrol in peanuts and berries. Resveratrol creates a flurry of activity in one of the sirtuins, specifically SIRT1. Research proved that high doses of resveratrol protected mice from the mal-effect of high-fat diets.
Here’s the potential connection with Niagen. Researchers suspect that NAD boosters may work to magnify the effect of resveratrol by breathing new life into the mitochondria.
Niagen and Pterostilbene
Dr. Guarente detected a substance called pterostilbene in blueberries and grapes that also contains NR. He is researching pterostilbene as an extra-potent version of resveratrol because it is nearly identical to resveratrol, but it is more bioavailable.
In animal studies, about four times as much pterostilbene entered the bloodstream in comparison with resveratrol. In other test-tube and rodent studies, pterostilbene held a higher potency than resveratrol in warding off cancer and heart disease.
Niagen vs. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA and R-ALA)
ALA, or lipoic acid, is a fatty acid inside the mitochondria that works as a potent anti-oxidant compound. R-ALA is the naturally occurring form of ALA. Meats and some fruits and vegetables contain, which plays a big role in metabolizing energy. ALA protects against heart disease, liver disease, and neurological decline due to age.
Lipoic acid is a proven substance that gives many of the same benefits as Niagen, such as weight loss, fighting cancer as an anti-oxidant, and improving memory and brain function. Lipoic acid is also effective in producing collagen which keeps skin smooth and elastic.
Unfortunately, our bodies only produce small quantities of lipoic acid, so it’s hard to get the extra effects through diet alone. Future clinical studies may show how ALA and Niagen may work together to improve various health conditions.
Niagen vs CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is similar to a vitamin, and it exists in every cell within your body. The purpose of CoQ10 is to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance. CoQ10 found naturally in organ meats like heart, liver, kidney and also beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts. You will also find it in smaller quantities in nearly every food group.
Pharmacies and retailers sell CoQ10 in the United States as a dietary supplement. Look for it under other names like Q10, vitamin Q10, ubiquinone, and ubidecarenone. Coenzymes like CoQ10 also provide many of the same benefits as Niagen. They help in food digestion, protect the heart and other organs, prevent cancer, boost energy, and help muscles recover from exercise.
Researchers are eager to discover how connections between CoQ10 and Niagen may boost each other in a synergistic way.
There’s no doubt that previous clinical studies have paved the way for Dr. Sinclair’s discovery of the anti-aging effects of Niagen. The benefits of Niagen have created a vast excitement within the field of clinical research, as well as in the general population. Dr. Sinclair’s research is credible and highly valued.
There is enough clinical and real-life experience to prove that Niagen is not a scam. Preliminary studies prove that it works. As Niagen has also proven to be safe and have no known side-effects, researchers are eagerly delving into studies on humans to learn more about the extent of known benefits. They continue to look at how Niagen interfaces with other substances as an anti-aging booster.
Younger people, who are regularly athletic, expressed improved athletic performance and great satisfaction with Niagen. Some younger people noted little or no difference after taking it. It’s difficult to tell if that is because of the dosage or formula, rather than attributing it to their age. People who are middle-aged and older generally reported marked improvement after just a short time.
If there is a downside to Niagen, it’s the cost, which is comparatively high compared with other vitamins and dietary supplements. Consumers that found immediate and extreme relief from lack of energy, hearing loss, moodiness, sleeplessness, indigestion, sluggish cognition, and other symptoms, report that the higher cost is more than worth the value that they receive from it.
References D. a. M. B. Sinclair, “Slowing ageing by design: the rise of NAD+ and sirtuin-activating compounds,” 16 August 2016.
B. e. al, “Activation of SIRT3 by the NAD⁺ precursor nicotinamide riboside protects from noise-induced hearing loss.,” 2014 December 2014.
”Loss of NAD Homeostasis Leads to Progressive and Reversible Degeneration of Skeletal Muscle,” Frederick et al, 9 August 2016.
C. e. a. Brenner, “Mechanism of Nicotinamide Riboside as an Aid to Weight Loss,” April 2015.
”Inhibition of de novo NAD(+) synthesis by oncogenic URI causes liver tumorigenesis through DNA damage.,” 14 November 2014.
S. A. Trammell, “Novel NAD+ metabolomic technologies and their applications to Nicotinamide Riboside interventions,” Spring 2016.