12 January - 20 June 2016

Newly discovered form of Vitamin B3 is safe for humans

A previous edition of food e news covered a mouse study which found that nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 could stop cell and organ ageing, by helping the internal organs of aged mice regenerate their cells. Until now the over the counter supplements have not undergone clinical trials to see if they worked in humans. The first controlled clinical trial of nicotinamide Riboside by researchers from Iowa, Belfast and California and published in the journal Nature Communication has shown that the compound is safe for humans and can protect against stress and DNA damage in humans too.

A previous edition of food e news covered a mouse study which found that nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 could stop cell and organ ageing, by helping the internal organs of aged mice regenerate their cells.  Until now the over the counter supplements have not undergone clinical trials to see if they worked in humans.  The first controlled clinical trial of nicotinamide Riboside by researchers from Iowa, Belfast and California and published in the journal Nature Communication has shown that the compound is safe for humans and can protect against stress and DNA damage in humans too. 

Levels of NAD+ decrease with age and the loss of this metabolite may play a role in age-related health decline. In the current study, Brenner et al. note that in order to translate NR technologies to humans, it is necessary to “determine oral availability and utilisation in different tissues”.   As part of this process, the researchers recruited 6 healthy men and 6 healthy women aged between 30 and 55 and provided them with a single oral dose of NR at three doses and sought to examine NAD+ levels as a result.

Brenner et al. gave the participants an oral dose of NR of either 100 mg, 300 mg, or 1,000 mg on 3 test days with a seven-day gap between doses. The researchers note that these doses are equivalent to 2.8, 8.4 and 28 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B3 as Nam or nicotinic acid. Participants fasted overnight before each test and blood samples were taken before and at 1, 2, 4, 8 and 24 hours after each dose. Urine was also collected before and after in 0-6h, 6-12h and 12-24h fractions. Both blood and urine were analysed for NAD+ and other metabolites.  The subjects were also monitored for any potential ill effects and asked to self-report any “perceived discomforts”.

Brenner et al. report that two participants reported “flushing” after the 300mg dose and two reported feeling hot after the 1000mg dose but they state that there were no serious adverse effects and none that were dose-dependent.

The study found that NR significantly elevated blood level of NAD+ and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NAAD). NAAD was previously not thought to be ‘en-route’ for the conversion from NR to NAD+. However, as NAAD was below detection limits in all participants before doses were taken, Brenner et al. state that this qualifies NAAD as a human biomarker of supplementation. They further state that at all doses, NAAD measurements “indicate that NAD+ metabolism is most greatly boosted 8h” after supplementation. They also note that there is a significant increase at 4h and still at 24h after consumption of the NR dose. Brenner et al. also note that other metabolite concentrations rose in blood as well and that “urinary metabolites were similar”.

In conclusion, Brenner et al. reiterate that this is the first clinical study of NR in humans and they state that blood NAD+ metabolism is increased by single doses of NR without serious adverse effects. They also note NAAD to be the “most sensitive biomarker of boosting NAD+” and indicate that the ability to detect NAAD should “aid conduct of clinical testing of NR” in future phase II and phase III trials.

RSSL provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets.  For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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