A new supplement called nicotinamide riboside – closely related to vitamin B3 – is causing a bit of a stir for its potential anti-ageing effects.

Researchers who have looked at the supplement say its benefits all hinge on its ability to raise blood levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). This compound activates sirtuins, thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects that restricting calorie consumption can have on healthy ageing and longevity.

In the latest pilot study, shortly to be published in the journal Nature Communications, University of Colorado researchers found that taking four 250mg
capsules a day of nicotinamide riboside promoted healthier arterial ageing (blood
vessels that weren’t as stiff), and reduced blood pressure. Other benefits that have been mooted for the supplement include improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. 

It’s too early to know if it really can offer measurable benefits and it needs more
independent research (the latest study was funded by ChromaDex who makes the
supplement). It’s expensive too. You could probably get similar benefits by daily 16-hour fasting (when you stop eating at 8pm and don’t eat until noon) as I outlined in my book Eat, Fast, Slim.  

However, always good to stay on the look out for the new, new thing - and take the claims with a pinch of (Himalayan) salt!

Read the full article in this month's Health and Fitness magazine.