By Lynn Allison | Thursday, 03 Nov 2016 11:12 AM
Scientists have discovered a new B vitamin that appears to boost cellular metabolism, improve muscle endurance, increase longevity, and protect our neurons, while enhancing blood glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
Researchers also say that this recent discovery offers protection against weight gain even when study subjects consumed a high fat diet. And because it is responsible for boosting cellular production, it may also offer increase mental clarity.
The miracle vitamin is called NR, an abbreviation for nicotinamide riboside which is a form of vitamin B3. It was discovered by former Dartmouth researcher Dr. Charles Brenner Ph.D., who identified this vitamin as the missing link responsible for the formation of NAD+, a metabolite that increases cellular production in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells.
Unfortunately we are born with optimum NAD+ levels but this amount dramatically decreases with each decade as we age, falling to dangerously low levels by the time we reach age 60 and beyond. That’s where supplementation can help restore youthful vigor.
“Maintaining a more youthful metabolism could mean a higher resting metabolic rate, resistance to weight gain, and the ability to maintain muscle mass and resist tissue damage over time,” says Brenner, who recommends daily NR supplementation to restore beneficial NAD+ levels.
Researchers form the University of Iowa found a way to reduce the risks of developing insulin resistance and sensory neuropathy (nerve damage) in mice by using NR. The results of this study published in the Journal Scientific Reports are promising news for people who hope to have additional tools to help address prediabetes as well as the negative effects of Type 2 diabetes
“While prevention remains extremely important in the war on diabetes, this research provides hope to the millions of people who are struggling with obesity as well as prediabetic and diabetic conditions” says Brenner. “We still recommend maintaining a healthy level of activity and not overdoing caloric intake.”
A University of Pennsylvania study published in Cell Metabolism showed that NR can help us to maintain or even regain muscle strength that is lost during the natural aging process.
“We know that the amount of NAD+ in muscles declines as we age,” says lead author David W. Frederick, of the Perelman School of Medicine. “But what was completely unknown before this study was whether that decline has any functional consequences. The data showed that we can shrink NAD+ levels in the muscles to about 15 percent of their normal range and the muscles were still functional. But over time, NAD+ loss led to progressive muscle weakness and lack of endurance on the treadmill test.
“What was surprising was that we didn’t need to replenish those NAD+ levels completely to see the muscle function improve again. Just a small amount went a very long way toward restoring metabolic function.”
Other studies show that restoring healthy NAD+ levels also restored healthier looking skin and hair, and may help prevent hair loss in both men and women.
Brenner says that NR may also boost mental clarity, often lost when NAD+ levels become depleted in the brain.
Recently a Swiss research team lead by Dr. Johan Auwerx showed that mice taking NR lived longer than mice who did not, therefore offering promising data that supplementing with NR may increase longevity.
“Many of the studies are now indicating that NR is at the tipping point where the body of evidence is too rich to ignore,” says Frank Jaksch Nr., CEO and co-founder of ChromaDex, the supplier of a commercially available form of NR, sold under the name of Niagen.
While NR is available in trace amounts in milk and beer, the amounts are too small to counter NAD+ depletion.
“Over the past few years, there have been tremendous number of high profile peer reviewed publications demonstrating the effectiveness of NR boosting MAD+ levels and positively impacting aging and age related issues,” says Jaksch.