Type of vitamin B3 safely boosts levels of important cell metabolite (2023)

Type of vitamin B3 safely boosts levels of important cell metabolite

Type of vitamin B3 safely boosts levels of important cell metabolite

The first controlled clinical trial of a newly discovered form of vitamin B3, nicotinamide riboside (NR), has shown that the compound is safe for humans. The study also shows NR increases levels of a cell metabolite that is critical for cellular energy production and protection against stress and DNAdamage.

Studies in mice have shown that boosting the levels of this cell metabolite—nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, known as NAD+—can produce multiple health benefits, including resistance to weight gain, improved control of blood sugar and cholesterol, reduced nerve damage, and longer lifespan. Levels of NAD+ diminish with age, and other studies have suggested that loss of this metabolite may play a role in age-related healthdecline.

These findings in animal studies have spurred people to take commercially available NR supplements designed to boost NAD+. However, these over-the-counter supplements have not undergone clinical trials to see if they work inpeople.

The new research, reported Oct. 10 in the journal Nature Communications, was led by Charles Brenner, professor and Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in collaboration with colleagues at Queens University Belfast and ChromaDex Corp. (NASDAQ: CDXC), which supplied the NR used in the trial. Brenner is a consultant for ChromaDex. He also is co-founder and chief scientific ddviser of ProHealthspan, which sells NR supplements under the trade name TruNIAGEN®.

(Video) Is a Niacin Flush Harmful or Dangerous?

The human trial involved six men and six women, all healthy. Each participant received separate oral doses of 100, 300, or 1,000 mg of NR, with a seven-day gap between doses. After each dose, Brenner’s team collected and analyzed blood and urine samples from the participants, then measured various NAD+ metabolites in the samples using a process called metabolomics. The trial showed that the NR vitamin increased NAD+ metabolism by amounts directly related to the dose, and there were no serious side effects with any of thedoses.

“This trial shows that oral NR safely boosts human NAD+ metabolism,” Brenner says. “We are excited because everything we are learning from animal systems indicates that the effectiveness of NR depends on preserving and/or boosting NAD+ and related compounds in the face of metabolic stresses. Because the levels of supplementation in mice that produce beneficial effects are achievable in people, it appears thathealth benefits of NR will be translatable to humanssafely.”

The next step will be to study the effect of longer duration NR supplementation on NAD+ metabolism in healthy adults, but Brenner also has plans to test the effects of NR in people with diseases and health conditions, including those with elevated cholesterol, obesity and diabetes, and people at risk for chemotherapeutic peripheralneuropathy.

Self-study precedes clinicaltrial

(Video) The #1 Best Remedy to Prevent a Heart Attack for $3.19

Prior to the formal clinical trial, Brenner conducted a pilot human study—on himself. In 2004, he had discovered that NR is a natural product found in milk and that there is a pathway to convert NR to NAD+ in people. More than a decade of research on NR metabolic pathways and health effects in mice and rats had convinced him that NR supplementation had real promise to improve human health and wellness. After consulting with the UI’s institutional review board, he conducted an experiment in which he took 1 g of NR once a day for seven days, and his team analyzed blood and urine samples from him using mass spectrometry. The experiment showed that Brenner’s blood NAD+ increased by about 2.7 times. In addition, though he reported immediate sensitivity to flushing with the related compound niacin, he did not experience any side effects takingNR.

The biggest surprise from his metabolomic analysis was an increase in a metabolite called NAAD, which was multiplied by 45 times, from trace levels to amounts in the micromolar range that were easilydetectable.

“While this was unexpected, I thought it might be useful,” Brenner says. “NAD+ is an abundant metabolite, and it is sometimes hard to see the needle move on levels of abundant metabolites. But when you can look at a low-abundance metabolite that goes from undetectable to easily detectable, there is a great signal to noise ratio, meaning that NAAD levels could be a useful biomarker for tracking increases in NAD+ in humantrials.”

Brenner notes this was a case of bi-directional translational science; having learned something from the initial human experiment, his team was able to return to laboratory mice to explore the unexpected NAAD finding in moredetail.

(Video) How to Take Niacin Without Hurting Your Liver | Chris Masterjohn Lite #142

First mice, then men andwomen

Brenner’s mouse study showed that NAAD is formed from NR and confirmed that NAAD levels are a strong biomarker for increased NAD+ metabolism. The experiments also revealed more detail about NAD+ metabolicpathways.

In particular, the researchers compared the ability of all three NAD+ precursor vitamins—NR, niacin, and nicotinamide—to boost NAD+ metabolism and stimulate the activity of certain enzymes that have been linked to longevity and health benefits. The study showed for the first time that oral NR is superior to nicotinamide, which is better than niacin in terms of the total amount of NAD+ produced at an equivalent dose. NR was also the best of the three in stimulating the activity of sirtuin enzymes. However, in this case, NR was the best at stimulating sirtuin-like activities, followed by niacin, followed bynicotinamide.

The information from the mouse study subsequently helped Brenner’s team design the formal clinical trial. In addition to showing that NR boosts NAD+ in humans without adverse effects, the trial confirmed that NAAD is a highly sensitive biomarker of NR supplementation inpeople.

(Video) 15 Foods Rich With Vitamin B3 (Niacin) You Need To Eat

“Now that we have demonstrated safety in this small clinical trial, we are in a position to find out if the health benefits that we have seen in animals can be reproduced in people,” says Brenner, who also is co-director of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative, professor of internal medicine, and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at theUI.

In addition to Brenner, who is the senior author on the study, the research team included first author Samuel Trammell and co-authors Mark Schmidt, Benjamin Weidemann, Zhonggang Li, and E. Dale Abel at the UI Carver College of Medicine; Philip Redpath and Marie Migaud at Queens University Belfast; Frank Jaksch at ChromaDex in Irvine, California; and Ryan Dellinger, formerly atChromaDex.

The research was funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, andChromaDex.

(Video) Vitamin B3 Niacin Deficiency (Pellagra) | Sources, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment


What is the best form of vitamin B3? ›

In general, the body handles nicotinamide better than niacin since it is more similar to NAD, which results in greater bioavailability.

Which vitamin is also known as vitamin B3? ›

Niacin – Vitamin B3. The Nutrition Source. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

What is the metabolic function of vitamin B3? ›

Vitamin B3, in the form of the dinucleotides, plays a central role in energy metabolism, in oxidative phosphorylation, and in the redistribution of electron equivalents from catabolism redirected toward biosynthetic pathways.

What is the difference between niacin and vitamin B3? ›

Niacin (also known as vitamin B3) is one of the water-soluble B vitamins. Niacin is the generic name for nicotinic acid (pyridine-3-carboxylic acid), nicotinamide (niacinamide or pyridine-3-carboxamide), and related derivatives, such as nicotinamide riboside [1-3].

Which is better niacin or nicotinamide? ›

In medical circles, niacinamide is known for being extremely effective when it comes to treating acne, redness, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging — plus it's compatible with all skin types. Niacin, on the other hand, is more popularly known in the wellness world for supporting cardiovascular health.

What is the best form of niacin for cholesterol? ›

The nicotinic acid form of niacin lowers cholesterol, but other forms of niacin do not. These other forms that do not lower cholesterol include nicotinamide and inositol nicotinate (also called no-flush niacin). Ask your doctor how much niacin you should take. You want to take a dose that will work.

What is derived from vitamin B3? ›

The functional cofactors derived from vitamin B3 are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), its phosphorylated form, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+) and their reduced forms (NAD(P)H).

Does B3 increase metabolism? ›

As with all B vitamins, niacin helps convert food into energy by aiding enzymes. Specifically, niacin is a major component of NAD and NADP, two coenzymes involved in cellular metabolism.

For what metabolic process is niacin needed? ›

Niacin, vitamin B3, refers to both nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Niacin is present in all body cells and is involved in many metabolic processes, including glycolysis, fat synthesis and tissue restoration.

Where is vitamin B3 found in the body? ›

Vitamin B3 is found naturally in a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods, including beef, liver, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, avocados, and whole grains. It is also found in fortified cereals and bread.
Subscribe to our Newsletter.
4 more rows

What are the two most common forms of niacin? ›

The two main forms of niacin in dietary supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Niacin (in the form of nicotinic acid) is also available as a prescription medicine used to treat high blood cholesterol levels.

How long does it take for niacin to take effect? ›

Virtually all niacin users initially experience flushing,19 typically commencing 15 to 30 minutes after ingesting immediate-release niacin, 30 to 120 minutes after ingesting extended-release niacin, or at more variable times after sustained-release niacin ingestion.

Is flush free niacin as good as regular niacin? ›

In reality, it doesn't. An excellent study by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine showed that taking no-flush niacin generates virtually no free nicotinic acid, and has little or no effect on HDL.

Should I take nicotinamide? ›

Niacinamide-containing foods or supplements are safe when taken in doses lower than 35 mg daily. Niacinamide is possibly safe when taken in doses up to 900-1500 mg daily. It might cause side effects such as stomach upset, gas, dizziness, headache, and rash. When applied to the skin: Niacinamide is possibly safe.

What is the richest source of niacin? ›

1. Liver. Liver is one of the best natural sources of niacin. A typical 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked beef liver provides 14.7 mg of niacin, or 91% of the RDA for men and more than 100% of the RDA for women (3).

Does nicotinamide really work? ›

Limited evidence also shows that topical niacinamide works to repair the function of the outer protective skin layer. Niacinamide can also help with fine lines, pigmentation, and wrinkles. A few studies published a couple of years ago show significant improvements in fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

What reduces cholesterol quickly? ›

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber is found in such foods as oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears. Add whey protein. Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy.

Does oatmeal increase HDL? ›

Foods like avocado, fatty fish, oatmeal, nuts, flax seeds, olive oil, and eggs can naturally increase HDL cholesterol levels. In addition, exercise can help increase HDL levels, reduce LDL levels, and help you lose excess weight.

Does citrus bergamot really lower cholesterol? ›

Bergamot juice was found to reduce cholesterol (29.27%), triglycerides (46.12%), and LDL (51.72%) and an increase in HDL (27.61%) levels versus hypercholesterolemic controls. The atherogenic index was 1.09 ± 0.10 in the C.

What enzymes need vitamin B3? ›

Importance of niacin for health

NAD and NADP are required in many metabolic processes in cells (2, 3): as a co-enzyme in electron-transfer reactions (catabolism of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and alcohol) as a substrate for NAD-consuming enzymes (ADP-ribosylation, NAD-dependent deacetylation, calcium mobilization)

Does B3 tighten skin? ›

Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinamide, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimize enlarged pores, tighten lax or stretched out pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, and strengthen a weakened ...

Does vitamin B3 cause weight loss? ›

Vitamin B3(Niacin) – Treatment with B3 increases adiponectin, a weight-loss hormone secreted by fat cells; Niacin-bound chromium supplements helped reduced body weight in clinical trials.

Can B3 cause anxiety? ›

There are potential side-effects of niacin therapy, including an uncomfortable flushing sensation, dermatitis (skin inflammation), heartburn, aggravation of peptic ulcers, increased blood sugar, increased panic and anxiety, and elevation of liver enzymes, which may indicate damage to liver cells.

Is niacin a metabolism booster? ›

Niacin plays a critical role in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and amino acids. It functions in the body primarily in the form of two coenzymes: NAD and NADPH.

Which B vitamin is required for amino acid metabolism? ›

Vitamin B-6, in the form of pyridoxal 5- phosphate, is the coenzyme required by many of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids (Fig. 1).

How is vitamin B3 absorbed? ›

Absorption and storage of Niacin

Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are absorbed from the intestine through the portal vein into the general circulation. Excess nicotinic acid is not stored in the body.

Why is vitamin B3 good for your skin? ›

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) can help improve the skin's protective barrier by stimulating the synthesis of ceramides within the skin. Ceramides are important components of the skin and help maintain strong bonds between the cells to help strengthen the natural skin barrier.

What plant has vitamin B3? ›

The best plant sources of B3 include nutritional yeast, peanuts, fortified vegan breakfast cereals, quinoa, muesli, yeast extracts such as Marmite or Vegemite, wild rice, wholemeal spaghetti, sweetcorn, brown rice and acorn squash.

How long does it take niacin to lower blood pressure? ›

Those with hypertension experienced significant decreases in systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), PP, SVR and SV from baseline at up to 60 min after the onset of niacin infusion (Table 1) (25).

Which vegetable has the most niacin? ›

The vegetable highest in niacin is spirulina, also known as seaweed. A cup of dried spirulina will meet your entire day's requirements of niacin, with 14 milligrams per cup.

What is the most common side effect of niacin? ›

The supplement has been linked with liver damage, can cause hypotension and might activate a peptic ulcer. Taking niacin also might worsen allergies, gallbladder disease and symptoms of certain thyroid disorders. If you have diabetes, niacin can interfere with blood glucose control.

Which nuts have the most niacin? ›

Some of the highest niacin nuts include hemp seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, pine nut, almonds, flaxseeds, hazelnut, lotus seeds, pistachio and chestnut. Other niacin rich nuts are pecan, walnut, coconut cream, coconut, pili nut and brazil nut.

How long does niacin take to clean arteries? ›

Researchers have studied niacin either alone or in combination with statin therapy. One small 2020 study found that extended-release niacin therapy without any other cholesterol medication lowered total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL over 16 weeks.

When should I take B3? ›

If you are taking vitamin B3 on a regular basis, try to take it at the same time every day -- preferably with meals -- and at least eight ounces of cool water according to your doctor's or the label's instructions.

Why is niacin no longer recommended? ›

Over all, niacin was not helpful in preventing any serious heart-related events, strokes, or deaths from heart disease. The initial interest in niacin stemmed from the drug's ability to raise HDL cholesterol, once thought to protect against cardiovascular disease.

What time of day should I take niacin? ›

In general, the immediate-release form of niacin should be taken after your evening meal and the extended-release form should be taken at bedtime after a low-fat snack. Taking it in the morning or on an empty stomach might cause you to experience more side effects such as flushing and stomach upset.

Does niacin help with hair growth? ›

"Niacin aids in the stimulation of hair growth, and in one key study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the researchers showed that niacin increased hair fullness. By improving blood circulation to the scalp, niacin aids in faster and thicker hair growth. It also has other benefits for your body."

Does niacin clean your arteries? ›

Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is the best agent known to raise blood levels of HDL, which helps remove cholesterol deposits from the artery walls.

Should I take B3 in the morning or at night? ›

Should I take niacin in the morning or at night? In general, the immediate-release form of niacin should be taken after your evening meal and the extended-release form should be taken at bedtime after a low-fat snack.

Is it safe to take B3 everyday? ›

There's no danger in consuming niacin in the amounts found naturally in food ( 1 ). However, supplemental doses can have various side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and liver toxicity ( 1 ).

Is all vitamin B3 the same? ›

Vitamin B3 is one of 8 B vitamins. It is also known as niacin (nicotinic acid) and has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects from niacin. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy.

What should you not take with niacin? ›

Possible interactions include:
  • Alcohol. ...
  • Allopurinol (Zyloprim). ...
  • Anticoagulant and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements. ...
  • Blood pressure drugs, herbs and supplements. ...
  • Chromium. ...
  • Diabetes drugs. ...
  • Hepatotoxic drugs, herbs and supplements. ...
  • Statins.

What happens when you take too much vitamin B3? ›

Niacin in the form of nicotinamide has fewer side effects than nicotinic acid. However, at high doses of 500 mg/day or more, nicotinamide can cause diarrhea, easy bruising, and can increase bleeding from wounds. Even higher doses of 3,000 mg/day or more can cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage.

How long does it take for B3 to work? ›

How long do you need to take vitamin B3 to start experiencing its benefits? Since this nutrient is water-soluble, your body absorbs it quickly, and improvements in vitamin B3 deficiency symptoms generally occur rapidly after supplementation begins.

Does B3 clean arteries? ›

HDL, on the other hand, helps protect against heart disease. Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is the best agent known to raise blood levels of HDL, which helps remove cholesterol deposits from the artery walls.

Which food has the most vitamin B3? ›

1. Liver. Liver is one of the best natural sources of niacin. A typical 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked beef liver provides 14.7 mg of niacin, or 91% of the RDA for men and more than 100% of the RDA for women (3).

How much niacin should I take for erectile dysfunction? ›

One study³ demonstrated that with a niacin dose of 1,500 mg daily for 12 weeks, erectile function improved. However, before proceeding with such a high dose, it would be best to talk to your doctor first.

What is the difference between flush free niacin and niacin? ›

Q: What about "no-flush" niacin? No-flush niacin contains something called inositol nicotinate, which the body is supposed to slowly convert to niacin. However, there is evidence that it does not actually provide the body with much niacin. This is probably the reason it does not produce any flushing.

What is vitamin B3 made from? ›

Niacin is a form of vitamin B3 made in the body from tryptophan. It's found in many foods including meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereals. Niacin is required for the proper function of fats and sugars in the body and to maintain healthy cells.

Can niacin cause leg pain? ›

Important warnings. Muscle effects: Niacin may increase your risk of muscle breakdown. Your risk is higher if you're a senior, take a statin drug, or have diabetes, problems producing enough thyroid hormones, or kidney disease. Tell your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle soreness, pain, or weakness.

Is niacin hard on your kidneys? ›

The authors concluded that niacin supplementation mitigates the upregulation of oxidative stress and the inflammatory system in the kidney.

Can niacin raise blood pressure? ›

Nicotinic acid (niacin) is a well-established treatment for dyslipidaemia – an important cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor. However, niacin may also reduce blood pressure (BP), which is another important CVD risk factor.


1. Niacin vs. Niacinamide
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
2. How does Niacin (B3) Work? (+ Pharmacology)
(Drug Chug)
3. NIACIN (Vitamin B3) Impact on Cholesterol
(Dr. Jin W. Sung)
4. Pellagra (Vitamin B3 Deficiency)
(Medicosis Perfectionalis)
5. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Quick Review
(Medicosis Perfectionalis)
6. Vitamin B3 kills super bugs. Niacin is amazing. STIMULATES BODY TO KILL INFECTIONS, cleans the liver
(Dr. Jason West)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated: 04/04/2023

Views: 5383

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.