Is Nicotinamide Riboside Safe?
If you came here for a quick yes or no, let’s save you some time. Niagen® (our patented form of nicotinamide riboside) is safe for all adults when taken as recommended.
Clinical studies, multiple certifications, good manufacturing practices, multiple regulatory approvals and scientific standards have validated Niagen® since its commercialization in 2013.
But the nutrition industry, with its many vitamins, supplements, and fad diets, is difficult to navigate. It’s populated with products making false, sensational claims and bad actors pushing risky ingredients.
Sadly, nicotinamide riboside is no exception. There are forms of nicotinamide riboside (and products containing nicotinamide riboside) that have not been studied and are not established as safe.
It’s non-negotiable. Orally-administrated nutrients should prioritize the consumer’s safety. With that in mind, Niagen® nicotinamide riboside is thoroughly tested, regulated, and substantiated to safeguard your health.
What is nicotinamide riboside?
Nicotinamide riboside is a form of vitamin B3 that is converted into a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ helps your cells generate the energy that powers all the functions in your body.
NAD+ is an essential molecule called a coenzyme. Working alongside an enzyme, NAD+ helps your mitochondria, or your cellular powerhouses, generate energy. Clinical studies even demonstrate its potential to support healthy aging.
How do I know nicotinamide riboside is safe to use?
We can’t speak to other forms of nicotinamide riboside, but nine published clinical studies have verified Niagen® as a safe and effective NAD+ booster. Niagen® is vegetarian-friendly, and chemically identical to naturally-occurring nicotinamide riboside. Niagen® is formulated without nuts or gluten. It contains no caffeine, no animal byproducts, and no artificial colors or flavors.
Niagen® is also safe to take with other supplements and is not known to negatively interact with medications. As a form of vitamin B3, nicotinamide riboside is just a new form of something old. Your daily multivitamin may already contain a close cousin of nicotinamide riboside, niacin. However, niacin isn’t usually favored to boost NAD+ because of its uncomfortable, skin-flushing side effects.
For many years, niacin and nicotinamide were the most accessible methods of raising NAD+ through supplementation. But with the discovery of nicotinamide riboside, consumers have a better option.
Of course, without the science, all this information would be purely anecdotal. The proof lies in the data and scientific findings.
The human trials behind nicotinamide riboside.
There are more than ten clinical studies published on Niagen®.
A double-blind placebo study designed by Conze et al. in 2019 demonstrates how nicotinamide riboside increases NAD+ in human blood in a dose-dependent manner. Nicotinamide riboside was supplemented in overweight men and women over the course of eight weeks and did not lead to any attributable adverse effects.
The study abstract summarizes that NAD+ “increases were maintained throughout the remainder of the study. There were no reports of flushing and no significant differences in adverse events between the NR (nicotinamide riboside) and placebo-treated groups.”
To add, a 2018 clinical trial published in Nature proved that chronic supplementation of nicotinamide riboside is “well tolerated and... stimulates NAD+ metabolism in healthy middle-aged and older adults.” Once again, serious adverse effects were not experienced during the study.
And finally, a study by Airhart et al. tested the pharmacokinetics of nicotinamide riboside in adults. Pharmacokinetics is the study of how the body absorbs and responds to substances to test an ingredient’s safety and efficacy. Like the rest, the trial concluded by demonstrating nicotinamide riboside is well-tolerated in adults and causes no adverse effects.
Is nicotinamide riboside FDA approved?
Niagen® has two FDA notifications. Let’s break down what that means.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate nutrients or supplements the way it regulates pharmaceuticals. Generally speaking, the process for vitamins and other dietary supplement products does not require the same premarket review and approval as drugs.
If a dietary supplement product contains an ingredient that was not on the market prior to 1994, it must be notified to the FDA as a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI). The parent company must provide an extensive dossier containing relevant safety, quality control and manufacturing data before entering the market. The FDA then reviews the document over a 75-day period and issues a response. If the agency raises no objection in its response, it means there are no safety concerns with the NDI.
A company or brand may need to submit further notifications to the FDA depending on how the science or manufacturing process for the ingredient evolves. Niagen® has been the subject of two FDA NDI notifications and has received no objections.
It should be noted that Niagen®, and the company that exclusively licenses the patent, ChromaDex, exceed the FDA’s minimum requirements through its own internal standards, procedures, and testing. These processes are validated through certification of our product by NSF International.
Tru Niagen® is certified as sport-safe by NSF International.
Tru Niagen® contains a single active ingredient, Niagen®, and has been certified as sport-safe by the NSF. NSF certification assures that products contain their claimed ingredients at the proper levels, that there are no unsafe levels of contaminants, and that the product is free of athletic banned substances. This ensures athletes (and the everyday consumer) can “make educated decisions when choosing a sports supplement.”
NSF certification is an ongoing process that includes product testing, material analysis, and facility inspections to create a safer consumer experience, and is only granted when a product complies with these rigid standards. On-site inspections keep brands accountable and uphold good manufacturing practices. The NSF also substantiates safety by verifying scientific claims and product labeling.
It should be noted that not all dietary supplement products obtain NSF certification (or even attempt to do so). Year after year, Niagen® maintains its certification.
What are good manufacturing practices?
ChromaDex, the company that manufactures Niagen®, abides by a set of manufacturing regulations known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
The FDA established GMP to ensure product consistency, prevent contamination, and uphold “robust operating procedures.” Good manufacturing practice guidelines ensures a product is made with ethics and quality in mind.
ChromaDex manufactures Niagen® in GMP Certified facilities. They obtained certification with the following manufacturing standards:
Chromadex’s facilities maintain the purity of their products with 36 internal tests or quality inspections.
ChromaDex verifies the dose, strength, purity and composition of its products and abides by required labelling regulations.
ChromaDex follows procedures and performs inspections to meet the defined specifications of the appropriate capsules per bottle and the amount of NR in the capsule.
Nicotinamide riboside is a safe, effective method of boosting NAD+.
Niagen® has no serious attributable side-effects in clinical settings. It’s backed up by scientific literature (and scientists themselves) and rooted in high manufacturing and quality standards.
From FDA compliance to sport-safe certification, the safety of Niagen® is validated by over 15 years of study.
Good ingredients make a statement about what consumers deserve. If you introduce a nutrient to your routine, you are entitled to the clarity, simplicity, and standards that ensure its safety.