A recent study revealed that Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) can enter the brain, and may have potential to improve treatments for neurodegenerative diseases of the brain.
When taking NR, it’s quickly converted into NAD+, a molecule that is necessary for cellular repair and DNA damage.
This is important because depleted levels of NAD+ in the brain are associated with certain aging-related conditions.
In animal models, therapies used to boost brain NAD+ levels have resulted in normalization of several neurodegenerative phenotypes, according to the research team.
According to the study –“Declining nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) concentration in the brain during aging contributes to metabolic and cellular dysfunction and is implicated in the pathogenesis of aging-associated neurological disorders.”
Oral Nicotinamide Riboside Raises NAD+ and Lowers Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Pathology in Plasma Extracellular Vesicles Enriched for Neuronal Origin
This was a small human study, in which NR was administered orally at 500 mg, 2x per day, for a total of 6 weeks.
Researchers analyzed plasma samples and measured levels of NAD+ and NADH in neuronal extracellular vesicles (NEVs).
- NAD+ levels in neuronal NEVs were significantly higher after 6 weeks of oral NR supplementation compared to placebo
- There was a marked decrease in Aβ42, which is a component of amyloid plaques, associated with Alzheimer’s
This was the first time researchers had evidence that NR reaches the brain, improving neuronal NAD+ levels.
“But until now, it was unknown whether NR reached targeted organs like the brain to have a real therapeutic effect,” according to Christopher Martens, one of the key researchers in this study, and the director of the Delaware Center for Cognitive Aging Research.