NR vs NMN: What's the Difference?
NR vs NMN? Nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are both precursors to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme that plays important roles in energy production, DNA repair, and other cellular processes.
NR and NMN are often mixed up and confused by most consumers. We will cover the essentials and explain about each of these supplements below.
The problem is that NAD+ is a large molecule. If you take it orally, it gets broken down in the gut.
However, intravenous NAD+ causes sudden very high peaks of NAD+ in the blood. Too much NAD+ can perhaps also not be a good thing, for example causing too much reductive stress (R).
NAD+ for Anti Aging
Research suggests it may be possible to reverse mitochondrial decay with dietary supplements that increase cellular levels of a molecule called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide).
NAD is a linchpin of energy metabolism, among other roles, and its diminishing level with age has been implicated in mitochondrial deterioration. Supplements containing nicotinamide riboside, or NR, a precursor to NAD that's found in trace amounts in milk, might be able to boost NAD levels. In support of that idea, half a dozen Nobel laureates and other prominent scientists are working with two small companies offering NR supplements.
The NAD story took off toward the end of 2013 with a high-profile paper by Harvard's David Sinclair and colleagues. Sinclair, recall, achieved fame in the mid-2000s for research on yeast and mice that suggested the red wine ingredient resveratrol mimics anti-aging effects of calorie restriction. This time his lab made headlines by reporting that the mitochondria in muscles of elderly mice were restored to a youthful state after just a week of injections with NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), a molecule that naturally occurs in cells and, like NR, boosts levels of NAD.
NAD+ Helps Restore Age-Related Muscle Deterioration
Their study, published in the journal Cell Reports, showed that protein aggregates (amyloid) could be blocked by boosting the levels of NAD+, a biomolecule that is also essential for maintaining mitochondrial function.
NR (Nicotinamide Riboside)
“Therefore, administration of niacin or niacinamide is unlikely to be widely adopted for maintaining health and function with aging,” researchers wrote in Nature Communications.
Within your body, nicotinamide riboside is converted into NAD+, a helper molecule that exists inside each of your cells and supports many aspects of healthy aging.
Nicotinamide riboside supplements — such as niagen — have quickly become popular because they appear to be especially effective at raising NAD+ levels (Source). Nicotinamide riboside is also found in trace amounts in cows’ milk, yeast and beer (Source).
NR vs NMN
Supplement manufacturer ChromaDex alleges that testing has revealed that more than half of NMN anti aging supplements being sold on Amazon contained almost none of the bioactive molecule. Source: ChromaDex NMN Report (Oct 2021)
Can you take NR and NMN together?There have been no studies on taking NMN & NR together, and it would be best to test both separately and find which one you respond better to. You may be wasting your time (and money) taking both NMN & NR together as studies show that the majority of the time, NR is turned into NMN which is then turned into NAD+.
Stability and storage of NMN and NRA stability analysis demonstrates NR is stable (does not undergo degradation) for up to six hours at room temperature and seven days at two to eight degrees Celsius. Regarding stability of NMN and NR, David Sinclair, PhD, A.O. of Harvard University says, “Make sure your NR and NMN is kept in the cold. If it’s just on the shelf and it’s not in a stabilized form, then it will degrade to nicotinamide, which is something you don’t want to take high doses of because we’ve shown in my lab many years ago that nicotinamide will inhibit the sirtuins, and PARP as well, and interfere with DNA repair.”
How can I raise my NAD levels naturally?
- Dairy Milk – research has indicated that cow’s milk is a good source of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR). A litre of fresh cow’s milk contains about 3.9µmol of NAD+.
- Fish – some varieties of fish like tuna, salmons and sardines are rich sources of NAD+ for the body.
- Mushrooms – many people like mushrooms and them as a regular food item in their regular diet. But did you know that mushrooms, especially the crimini mushrooms, also help in naturally boosting NAD levels? Yes, that’s true. So, enjoy eating the mushrooms and continue to look and younger and more youthful!
- Yeast – yeast is an ingredient which is used for making bread and other bakery products. Yeast contains Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), which is a precursor of NAD. Here’s another reason for you to enjoy your favorite pastries or buns whenever you visit the bakery! Enjoy your favorite food while boosting NAD levels at the same time.
- Green Vegetables – green vegetables contain all sorts of nutrients in them which are beneficial in a variety of ways. Recently, it has come to light that green vegetables are also a good source of NAD for the body. Some of these vegetables include peas and asparagus.
- Whole Grains – as discussed earlier, Vitamin B3 also contains Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), the precursor for NAD. However, when vegetables, food items or grains are cooked or processed, they lose their nutrition as well as the vitamin source. Therefore, it is recommended that you should also eat raw vegetables and take whole grains instead of processed foods.
- Cut Down on Alcoholic Beverages – NAD is responsible for maintaining the overall metabolic processes of the body. Alcohol tends to interfere with these processes and reduce the efficacy of NAD. Therefore, you should avoid excessive intake of alcoholic drinks since they are also not good for your health.
1. Avoid smoking. Low risk is defined as low exposure to smoking.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. Low risk is defined as a Body Mass Index in the range of 18.5 to 24.9. BMI is a ratio of weight to height that, though imperfect, offers a quick and easy assessment of weight status.
3. Exercise regularly. Low risk is defined as moderate- or vigorous-intensity exercise for 30 or more minutes a day.
4. Consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Low risk is defined as one-half to one drink per day for women and one-half to two drinks per day for men.
5. Maintain an overall healthy diet. Low risk is defined as a diet with high intakes of vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and low intakes of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat and sodium.