About Niagen

Published on: Jul 10, 2014

Why are some people calling Niagen the “fountain of youth?” Because, according to research, the nicotinamide riboside inside Niagen may help improve communication within your cells and reduce their age by up to 66%. As a result, you can experience a variety of anti-aging benefits, including improved brain and cardiovascular health, increased muscle endurance, in addition to a boosted metabolism.

As it turns out though, the reality about Niagen may be a lot less revolutionary than the manufacturer makes it appear. But why?

Stick with us and we promise 3 things by the time you’re finished reading: 1) You’ll have a much better understanding of what Niagen is, 2) you’ll learn about the different kinds of research behind it, and 3) whether or not you should give Niagen a try.

First Things First: Who Makes Niagen?

Niagen is a proprietary ingredient manufactured by ChromaDex, which they claim is the “first and only commercially available form of nicotinamide riboside” (more about this next). After it’s been manufactured, ChromaDex then licenses Niagen to third-party companies—such as Live Cell Research—who encapsulate the supplement and sell it as they wish.

Because of this, a quick online search for Niagen will reveal dozens of results, none of which appear to be any different that the Niagen offered through other companies.

What is Nicotinamide Riboside?

The truth: Answering some of your basic questions about Niagen requires some fairly in-depth explanation. So let’s begin from square one, shall we?

Here’s the whittled-down series of events that occur after you take a capsule of Niagen:

  1. The nicotinamide riboside contained in Niagen is transformed by your body into Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which is why it’s known as a precursor (e.g. a substance from which another is formed).
  2. Within the human body, NAD’s primary function is to transfer electrons from one molecule to another, which is a basic part of energy production (also known as “energy sparks”), and is almost wholly achieved by the mitochondria within each of your cells. Think of mitochondria as little engines that power your body.
  3. NAD also acts as a precursor to the messenger molecule cyclic ADP-ribose, which can help improve the transmission of information, both inside and outside cells.

As we age though, the communication between the nucleus (the “brain” of a cell) and its mitochondria becomes interrupted, which can lead to common signs of aging, such as certain types of dementia (e.g. Alzheimer’s), wrinkles, the weakening of bones and muscles, and more.

What Happens When You Take Niagen?

Each capsule of Niagen is claimed to include only one ingredient; a 250mg dose of nicotinamide riboside, which is a NAD precursor (don’t worry, we’ll talk more about this in a moment) that improves communication between the mitochondria and the nucleus inside your cells. As a result, Niagen is claimed to provide the following benefits:

  • Prevents cellular damage caused by free radicals from occurring, instead of addressing the damage only after it’s occurred (like most mainstream antioxidants do).
  • Supports healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Supports cellular metabolism and enhances the amount of energy your body naturally burns, without requiring you to restrict your diet or increase your exercise habits.
  • May help prevent age-related brain degeneration (e.g. Alzheimer’s) by preventing the degeneration of axons and neurons (nerve cells responsible for the transmission of information; think of them almost like “information highways”).

According to the company, each capsule of Live Cell Research Niagen is claimed to be manufactured in Southern California without the use of stimulants, allergens, or toxins, and to be tested by the company for quality and purity, as well as by an independent third-party lab.

The manufacturer claims you should take one capsule of Niagen each morning upon waking, on an empty stomach, and with a glass of water. There are no known side effects from the use of Niagen (more about this later).

But does supplementing NAD actually translate into real-world benefits? Let’s see what the available evidence says.

What Clinical Trials Have Been Conducted Using NAD?

According to the Niagen website, nicotinamide riboside (remember, this is the chemical that turns into NAD) was only recently discovered to have anti-aging properties in late 2013 by Harvard Medical School’s Dr. David Sinclair, during his clinical research performed on mice. After the study was complete, the researchers examined “muscle from two-year-old mice that had been given the NAD-producing compound for just one week, [and] looked for indicators of insulin resistance, inflammation and muscle wasting. In all three instances, tissue from the mice resembled that of six-month-old mice. In human years, this would be like a 60-year-old converting to a 20-year-old in these specific areas.”

However, keep in mind that just because these benefits were shown to have occurred at a cellular level in mice, this doesn’t necessarily translate into any real-world benefits—whether for mice or for humans. In fact, of those NAD studies conducted on humans (such as for Parkinson’s disease), the benefits are murky, and even completely non-existent in some instances.

On top of this, in the 2013 Harvard study noted above, mice were injected with 400mg of nicotinamide riboside, versus the 250mg found in each dose of Live Cell Research’s Niagen. In other words, these mice—which weigh much less than humans—were given a higher dose than what you’ll receive in this supplement.

Niagen’s Limited Online Reputation with Consumers

Although Niagen is offered through several different resellers, the most popular option appears to be offered through Live Cell Research, a relatively new supplements manufacturer based out of Culver City, CA. Although the company isn’t listed with the Better Business Bureau, they do have a 3.5-star rating here on HighYa (as of 1/20/15), with the most common compliment citing products that work as advertised. On the other hand, the most common complaint appears to reference products that are priced much higher than the benefits they provide.

Regarding Niagen specifically, there weren’t a whole lot of online customer reviews available at the time of our research. However, some forum members on PhoenixRising noted an increase in concentration and energy, although several others complained of failure to provide any noticeable benefits, high price, extreme mood swings, and muscle pain. On Amazon.com, Live Cell Research’s Niagen has a 4-star rating based on just 4 customer reviews, although nearly all were very short and provided very little (or no) information about their experiences.

Finally, there are numerous detailed status reports from customers who tried Niagen on Longecity.org, although many took much higher doses than what you’ll find in a single capsule of the supplement (almost none indicated the company they purchased it from). Overall, it appears that the consensus was evenly split, with some experiencing increased energy and mental clarity, while others experienced no benefits.

Niagen Pricing & Refund Policy

Live Cell Research’s Niagen is available in 3 different purchasing options:

  • 1-Month Supply: $46.99, plus $3.95 S&H
  • 2-Month Supply: $83.64, plus free S&H
  • 3-Month Supply: $117.00, plus free S&H

All Live Cell Research products come with a 90-day refund policy, less S&H charges. In order to initiate the process, you’ll need to contact customer service at 844-650-5933.

Is Niagen the Answer to Reversing Aging?

Chopping to the Point: When it comes down to it, the benefits of nicotinamide riboside supplementation could possibly have a huge impact on how we age. As WebMD notes though, at this point in time there is insufficient clinical evidence showing that NAD can reliably provide any of the anti-aging or health benefits advertised by Chromadex, or by resellers such as Live Cell Research.

With this said, many online customers seem to have experienced positive results from using Niagen, and Live Cell Research seems to stand behind their products with a 90-day no-hassle satisfaction guarantee. So after everything’s said and done, you might only lose S&H charges by giving it a shot (no pun intended).

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97 Customer Reviews for Niagen

Average Customer Rating: 3.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 42 4 star: 15 3 star: 3 2 star: 7 1 star:  30
Bottom Line: 63% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 97
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  • Quick question

    First, is this a Niagen review site, or a marketing ploy by Live Cell Research?

    I have used Niagen+ from Pro Health for two months and find that I am calmer, my blood pressure is down to the level that I enjoyed (before it started to climb five years ago), and my memory is noticeably sharper than prior to beginning the supplement. I am annoyed that the raw materials producer has seen fit to place a floor on the pricing for all distributors and the reason that I chose Pro Health is that they at least increased the amount of Niagen (333mg vs. 250mg in most other formulations) in their capsules to try and give the consumer a break. I also read that they are considering adding PQQ to their formula, which will dramatically improve the value of their product. It is also recommended that you add 50mg of Pterostilbene to your dosage as it acts as an accelerator for the Niagen. Whatever happened to let the market set the price of the product?

    BTW, Amazon has the Pro Health formulation priced at $65 delivered for 60 caps.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Niagen

    I have been using Niagen for about a month as a companion product to Midogen for the purposes of restoring mitochondrial function that was damaged by heavy metal toxicity. You need the energy to get metals out of your body, and it is difficult or impossible to do when your energy production ( mitochondria ) are impaired.

    I felt that the Niagen enhanced the effects of the Midogen by 30% as far as energy and brain power are concerned. It increased the heavy metal detox enough that I have had to increase binders to deal with the movement of so many metal ions, as well as have had to support kidney and liver function. Part of this is due to the enhancement of sugar handling which is helping with mobilizing ( reduction ) stored fat. When stored fat is mobilized, then the toxins stored in the fat are mobilized as well. Just be sure that detox pathways are open if there is a chronic clinical toxicity problem. And, don't skip meals just because you feel like you can.

    I started with one in the morning with Midogen and a glass of water on an empty stomach. Then after two weeks, I added another Niagen at noon, but then backed off after a week for the reasons mentioned above. But, my case is complex. A healthier person could probably increase the Niagen without problems.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Better energy, better physical functioning, better life!

    • Edwardsville, Illinois,
    • May 15, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    After taking Niagen for around three-quarters of a year, I am convinced that it is a must for inclusion in my supplement regimen. In fact, I'm sufficiently impressed that I wrote an article about it.

    While it's too soon to know whether it contributes to longevity, I can attest that my energy level is vastly improved, and, relative to my pre-Niagen physical capabilities, strength and endurance are also improved; all without side effects.

    It's difficult to assess Niagen's effects on cognitive functioning since I'm also taking other supplements for this purpose; however, my thinking is sharper, and recall from memory is faster.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    I feel more energetic

    I've been taking Niagen for about two months now, and I feel more energetic. I take two pills a day, and I noticed that I dropped about five pounds without changing my diet or doing exercise. I plan to buy more and continue taking this product since I can feel it doing something gradually but surely.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • May 15, 2017

      Live Cell Research Rep, Customer Relations Manager

      Hi there Elliot, I am so glad to hear that you are experiencing a few of the amazing benefits that Niagen has to offer. I would love to hear more about your progress as you continue to take Niagen. Please feel free to email me at aurora@livecellresearch.com, with any comments or updates you would like to share. Thank you Elliot, I look forward to hearing from you.

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    What a difference!

    • Oroville, CA,
    • May 9, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was diagnosed with severe chronic pain due to damage to my lower back and neck. I also am a type 2, insulin-dependent, diabetic. I was feeling broken, unable to exercise, and old! I started the Niagen and a new job at the same time. I was unsure if I could do it physically but I was going crazy being unemployed and feeling useless. The first month there was a great pain to the point of distraction with the work. I was taking one tablet a day. The second month my body caught up with the excursion and I bumped it to two tablets.

    I'm in month three, and I feel great! My body is becoming strong again, and my mind is retaining at a status that it did in my 30's. I can work 10-15 hours, sleep 6, and be fully rested and bounced back. My inner voice is positive because of the way I feel.

    Going back to work against doctors orders helped a lot with the positive attitude, but the Niagen makes me feel younger and stronger. I am thankful for the benefits I'm receiving from Niagen. Keep up the great work Live Cell!

    P.S. I'm taking less insulin too!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Shipping is terrible and customer service is poor

    • Apr 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I would love to do a review, however, I am still waiting for the product to arrive. I ordered it through Live Cell Research. I have emailed them twice and have not reply. I phoned them and they said it was shipped, however, they could not track it. Why give me a tracking number when it does not work?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 3, 2017

      Live Cell Research Rep, Customer Relations Manager

      Hello Linda,

      Aurora here with Live Cell Research. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review of your experience with Niagen. I am sorry to hear that you have not received your order yet. Depending on where it is being shipped to, it may take a bit longer for some packages to arrive. I would be more than happy to take a look into this for you. Please email me at aurora@livecellresearch.com with your order number, and I will check the status of your order right away.

      Thank you again Linda, I look forward to hearing from you.

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Best supplement

    By far this is the best supplement and lives up to its name. I am 62 years old and am just as strong as if I was 40 or younger.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Niagen

    My wife and I began feeling so much better once we began taking Niagen. We both feel 20 years younger with much more energy and physical mobility. Lindas' Rheumatoid Arthritis seems to be more under control. We have been taking it for over a year. The expense has been worth it financially. We wish we could afford to take more of it daily, but at least we are able to afford one pill a day for each of us.

    Thank you so very much for helping us to enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    It seems to work

    • Chichester, England,
    • Apr 17, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been taking four tablets a day for almost a year now. My maths and memory seem much better, and I get less aches and pains as I did last year.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • May 15, 2017

      Live Cell Research Rep, Customer Relations Manager

      Hello Chris, thank you for the valuable feedback. We love to hear what our customers think of Niagen and all of its amazing benefits. Please feel free to send me an email personally at aurora@livescellresearch.com, with any other comments or updates you have during your continued journey with Niagen! Thank you Chris.

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Niagen

    • Hopkins, MN,
    • Apr 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Since I am taking Niagen, my health changed for good! I feel stronger, have no pains anymore, am clear thinking, and I feel younger each day.

    I recommend this product to everybody; it is absolutely GREAT!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    More energy!

    • Florida,
    • Mar 25, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am experiencing more energy, and I believe it has helped me drop a few pounds in the few weeks I have been taking it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • May 15, 2017

      Live Cell Research Rep, Customer Relations Manager

      Hello, Tom. I am happy to hear that you love Niagen so far! Please feel free to send me an email at aurora@livecellresearch.com, with any other feedback you may have on your results or experience while taking Niagen. Thank you Tom.

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