Niacinamide is a precursor to NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), (an essential signaling molecule believed to play an important role in longevity. In fact, the best single NAD+ precursor is niacinamide, and this alone is reason to about its benefits, but niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide (NAM), is also valuable on its own.
For example, supplementation with NAM has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in models of human diabetes, reduce oxidative stress and prevent fatty liver.1 It also shows impressive promise in the fight against obesity and related diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers, which have reached epidemic levels worldwide.2
But the key with NAM is that you need the right dose of “Goldilocks”. The most common mistake people make is taking too much and sabotaging the metabolic benefits.
Niacinamide Reprograms Fat Metabolism, Improves Obesity
NAD+ modulates energy production and many enzymes, controlling hundreds of processes in your body, including cell survival and energy metabolism. Affected daily by what you eat, exercise and more, NAD+ also declines with age, leading to changes in metabolism and an increased risk of disease.3
Increasing NAD+ levels can be akin to a fountain of youth, which is where niacinamide—as a NAD+ precursor—comes in. More than 2 billion people worldwide are overweight, 35% of whom are severely obese.4 NAD+ plays a notable role in obesity, with higher levels associated with decreases in adipose tissue in obese rodents and humans.5
In The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers from Tsinghua University, Beijing, wrote that NAM reprograms cellular metabolism of fat and increases mitochondrial biogenesis to reduce obesity.6 In a study in obese mice, NAM supplementation led to a significant reduction in fat mass and improved glucose tolerance, while increasing mitochondrial biogenesis in adipose tissue.7
Niacinamide activates NAMPT
In the study, NAM also activated the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD+ NAMPT (nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase). Nichola Conlon, Ph.D., a molecular biologist, anti-aging specialist, and founder of a nutraceutical company that produces a NAD+ stimulant supplement, explained in our previous interview:8
“The reason the salvage pathway declines with age is because of this one key enzyme. NAMPT actually recycles niacinamide and converts it to NMN [nicotinamide mononucleotide], which is then converted back to NAD. The rate-limiting step, the bottleneck in that process, is NAMPT. And lo and behold, that’s the main enzyme that declines as we age.
Studies have shown that you get a 50% decrease in this enzyme between the ages of 45 and 60 years. That is a significant decrease when you consider how important this is for the generation of new NAD. The drop in levels of this enzyme again correlates with the drop in NAD we experience.
Many diseases and problems associated with NAD decline have been found to result from a reduction in this enzyme. So it is absolutely crucial to try to enhance the activation and expression of this enzyme in the body to amplify NAD. It worked brilliantly to give us high NAD levels when we were younger, so why not bring it back to that?”
Interestingly, this recent study on obese mice confirmed the dose I recommended when I first posted it three months ago. They found that the NAM supplementation increased cellular NAD+ levels by 30% – and this was without the additional interventions I recommended, such as exercise and time-restricted eating. The researchers noted:9
“Unexpectedly, we found that NAM also increased glucose-derived amino acids to enhance glutathione synthesis for maintaining cellular redox homeostasis. Taken together, our results showed that NAM reprogrammed cellular metabolism, enhanced fat mitochondrial functions to ameliorate symptoms associated with obesity. .”
In summary, the study revealed impressive benefits of NAM supplementation at a low dose of 2.5 milligrams (mg) per kilogram of body weight per day for three weeks.10 which is about 170mg for a 150lb person. I had recommended 50 mg three times a day. In addition to elevations in NAD+, they noted:11
Decreased fat accumulation in mice with diet-induced obesity – by 47%
Increased lean body mass by 1.4-fold
Improved mitochondrial biogenesis and functions
Increased glucose-derived glutathione to maintain redox homeostasis
Increased fatty acid catabolism and amelioration of obesity12
Decreased body weight in mice fed a normal diet
Niacinamide is the best NAD+ precursor
In my research for my groundbreaking book, “EMF’D,” I read dozens, if not hundreds, of articles on NAD+ and now realize that it’s probably due to financial interests that the best precursor – niacinamide – is not recommended more often.
The immediate breakdown product of NAD+ is niacinamide and the enzyme NAMPT is the rate-limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway to restore niacinamide back to NAD+. As you can see from the pathway below, niacinamide is first converted to NMN before NAD+. This is probably why researchers like David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School and others promote NMN.
However, the enzyme NMNAT1-3 which converts NMN to NAD + is not the rate-limiting enzyme. Remember that NAMPT determines how much NAD+ you earn. So flooding your body with NMN won’t be as helpful as taking small amounts of niacinamide and activating NAMPT. The ideal dosage of niacinamide is 25 to 50 mg three times a day. It is the rare person who will not respond favorably to this simple intervention for increasing NAD+.
Why you’ve never heard of niacinamide?
When it comes to NAD+ precursors, chances are you’ve never heard of niacinamide, despite its potent benefits, and this is because it costs much less than other NAD+ precursors, such as nicotinamide riboside (NR).
No one is promoting niacinamide because it costs less than a penny a day and as a result there is simply no money to be made promoting it. Ideally, buy niacinamide powder and use 1 to half of a sixty-fourth teaspoon (25 to 50 mg) three times a day.
If you want a more precise dose, you can use the dose in the study of 2.5 mg/kg or 1.13 mg/pound of body weight in three divided daily doses. If you are a 150 lb person, this would be about 50 to 60 mg three times a day.
You need special measuring spoons to measure this small dose. This is important, because more is definitely not better. If you use too much, you actually inhibit sirtuins, important long-lived proteins.
Spending $11 on 250 grams of niacinamide powder will give you a supply of nearly four years. That works out to 23 cents a month – or less than a cent a day. It’s basically free. NMN in therapeutic doses of 1 to 2 grams per day can be $100 to $200 per month, or 400 to 800 times more expensive than niacinamide powder.
Why It’s Important to Raise NAD+ Levels
As mentioned, the reason the research on niacinamide is so exciting is because it appears to efficiently and safely boost NAD+, which otherwise declines with age. In animal studies, restoring NAD+ levels in elderly or ill individuals promoted better health and longer life, suggesting that NAD-stimulating molecules have the potential to increase resilience, reduce disease, and also extend healthy lifespans in humans. .13
Research on NAD+ is still in its infancy, but James Clement, author of “The Switch: Ignite Your Metabolism With Intermittent Fasting, Protein Cycling, and Keto,” conducted his own research, starting with a clinical trial using intravenous NAD+ in the elderly. was tested. in collaboration with dr. John Sturges.
Clement underwent the treatment himself, which involved an infusion of 1,000 mg of NAD+ per day for six consecutive days, and found it remarkably effective against tremors he had had since he was 20 years old. While he believes 1,000 mg may be too much for those who don’t have severe NAD+ depletion — and prohibitively expensive, at $1,000 per IV — he noted that many lifestyle factors can lower your levels, including alcohol consumption.
Aging is another factor, and according to Clement, NAD+ can be depleted by 50% by the time you’re 60 (compared to in your 20s or 30s), and by the time you’re 70, you may only have 10% of the amount you have did when you were younger.
“And then, at age 80, there’s almost none,” he said, adding that this will seriously affect your body’s ability to repair broken DNA. “You can see how this massive buildup of damaged DNA in every cell of your body may be one of the drivers of these morbidities that you see in aging, heart disease, cancer. [and] Alzheimer’s…”
Natural Ways to Increase Your NAD+
Niacinamide supplementation may be beneficial, but for best results, it should be done in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. There are many natural strategies you can take to boost and maintain youthful NAD+ levels, including:14
- Exercise – Naturally increases NAMPT by activating AMPK, which in turn increases NAD+. Conlon cites research showing that about three weeks of resistance training will increase NAMPT by about 127%, which is again much greater than what you can get from an NR supplement alone.
- Fasting or time-limited eating – Naturally increases NAMPT by activating AMPK, which in turn increases NAD+.
- Circadian Rhythm Optimizationgoing to bed at sunset and getting up at sunrise and avoiding blue light after sunset will have a major impact on increasing NAMPT.
- Avoid exposure to radiation — To protect your NAD+ by preventing its consumption by PARPs (poly ADP-ribose polymerases), consider electromagnetic fields from your cell phone, Wi-Fi, and other forms of DNA-damaging radiation, such as unnecessary medical X-rays and CT scans. scans, to be avoided.
- Sauna baths — Heat stress helps to boost NAD+.
Testing NAD+ levels in a lab is difficult and complicated, and Conlon is skeptical that most companies that advertise NAD+ testing get accurate results. So how do you know if the strategies you are using are actually increasing your levels? Pay attention to the following three items, which Conlon says almost always improve as NAD+ levels increase:15
- Energy levels, more “get up and go”
- Mental clarity and focus