What’s all the buzz about NR?
Maybe you’re interested in ways to promote healthy aging. Or maybe you’re looking at supplements that can optimize your exercise efficiency. Whatever the reason, you’ve likely heard about NR – a hot topic when it comes to healthy aging and cellular health.
Nicotinamide riboside – NR – is a unique form of vitamin B3 that works the cell to support a number of really important cellular processes – things like supporting healthy aging, cellular energy production, brain function, liver health, and metabolism.‡ Here’s a breakdown of the ways your body uses NR.
1. Support for cellular energy production‡
The primary cellular targets of NR are NAD+ and the sirtuin proteins. NAD+ is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide – a coenzyme important for the conversion of food into cellular fuel. Foods must be digested down to their smallest metabolic components – sugars, fats, and amino acids. These metabolic components are then used by the mitochondria in our cells to make cellular energy.
When this process works efficiently, we have plenty of energy because we have lots of mitochondria in our cells making lots of cellular energy. However, this process slows down naturally as a person ages and as other environmental and cellular insults adversely affect our bodies. We can mitigate this situation with substances that promote the activity of a specific group of proteins called sirtuins, because the sirtuin proteins help our cells be more metabolically efficient. But the sirtuin proteins only function in the presence of NAD+.
2. Support for brain function‡
Increasing NAD+ and the sirtuin proteins in brain cells and nerves stimulates enzymes that support cognitive function and neuroplasticity – the ability of our brain cells to learn and adapt to their environment.‡ This also increases the activity of an enzyme called PCG-1-alpha, which stimulates our cells to create more mitochondria in the cells, which, of course, creates more energy.‡
3. Support for healthy metabolic function‡
When NAD+ and the sirtuins are up-regulated, our cells are more metabolically active and more efficient at converting food to fuel. This helps us more effectively use insulin, cholesterol, and maintain a normal inflammatory response.‡
4. Support for normal liver function‡
Some of the most metabolically active cells in the body are liver cells. Liver cells constantly metabolize the substances we make in our bodies – like hormones and neurotransmitters – as well as detoxify unwanted substances from within (endotoxins) and from without (exotoxins, from food and the environment). When we support NAD+ production and mitochondrial function we support the cells of the liver and reduce the potential for fat to deposit in the liver.‡ We also promote a normal inflammatory response.‡
5. Support for Exercise Efficiency‡
NAD+ is a key component in the Krebs cycle and electron transport chain.‡ Adequate amounts of NAD+ improve mitochondrial energetics in the heart and muscles, and boost production of energy-creating ATP, which provides support for endurance athletes and fatigued individuals.‡
6. Support for healthy aging‡
Supporting NAD+ production and the sirtuin proteins has been shown in animal studies to slow the processes associated with aging. Although nothing really works as an “anti-aging” supplement, helping the sirtuins, NAD+, and the mitochondria supports healthy aging.‡
Contrary to wild sales pitches, no single nutritional supplement is a magic bullet. However, NR does promote optimal metabolic function and cellular energy production, mitochondrial activity, and a normal inflammatory response.‡ Enhancing these cellular functions helps us age well, exercise better, maintain normal metabolism and detoxification, and stay clear-headed.‡
The Thorne Difference: Exclusive Nicotinamide Riboside
Thorne’s Healthy Aging suite of products contains an exclusive and unique form of nicotinamide riboside – Nicotinamide Riboside Hydrogen Malate. It’s nicotinamide riboside bound to hydrogen malate salt, which is also an important Kreb’s cycle organic acid, to further support NR’s cellular energy production capability.* May 4, 2021 • Jacob Terranova (THORNE)