About Niagen

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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106 Customer Reviews for Niagen

Average Customer Rating: 3.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 50 4 star: 16 3 star: 3 2 star: 7 1 star:  30
Bottom Line: 66% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 106
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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Niagen

    • Sedona, AZ,
    • Sep 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am starting my fourth bottle.

    I am 66 next week. I work nights and work out daily. I saw the info on Niagen and decided to try to counter my flagging energy. One capsule a day was noticeable but not dramatic. With my most recent order I doubled the dose, and now I find that energy-wise, years have lost their threat. I am stronger longer and sleep well, and wake rested with fewer hours in bed. I'm considering further increasing the dose. Price is an issue.

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

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Increased my energy and focus

    I keep up with the latest cutting edge research regarding longevity and nutrition, and I just turned 68.

    I began taking Niagen about 18 months ago, and if you had asked me if there were any differences in the first six months, I would have said no. However, all this changed when I spent last summer outside in the high heat and humidity, working along side a man a few years younger than me who made his living working outside, who I had hired to help with some landscaping. After a couple of hours, he was showing signs of fatigue and exhaustion from the heat and humidity.

    When I went in at lunch, I also noticed I was dehydrated. Normally this would force me to lie down and recoup, however, I drank several glasses of water, felt great and went outside to work for the afternoon.

    The summer before I would not have been able to do this, the only change was Niagen. I have had the same experience this summer; I can work outside in the heat and humidity and not feel the effects. I have stamina, energy and focus that I didn't have before. I believe that some people who take Niagen aren't feeling any effect is because they are not stressing their systems with exercise or effort beyond what they normally do. The friends who I have convinced to take Niagen have experienced similar effects, and they are in their 60's and 70's and still have very active life styles.

    Even if I didn't experience the physical effects that I have, I would probably still take it based on the research of the effects Niagen is having on my mitochondrial health on a cellular basis.

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Niagen review.

    • Richmond Hill, GA,
    • Aug 31, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Since taking Niagen, I score very high on Facebook's fun test. Higher than before I think. Mostly all perfect scores or 90%. Plus I take the test very fast, for whatever reason. My mind seems to just eat up or react very fast to facts etc. I also like the way this feels like I am on an upper or something. I am almost 69. I also have better vision. Don’t need or use my readers, seeing perfect right now without them. Perfect. Strength improved. Stamina improved. Mental capacity/acuity improved.

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

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Outstanding product

    I absolutely LOVE Niagen and panic if I run out when I'm traveling (always keep plenty on hand at home). I can tell if I miss a single day and will most likely take it until I leave this earth.

    I believe it will help me live a long active life into my 100's! That's my plan, anyway!

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Taking Niagen for one month

    • Queensland, Australia,
    • Aug 4, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been taking Niagen for just a month. I have more energy, clearer thinking, better memory and feeling a lot happier in general since day one of taking Niagen. I am in my early sixties and had been feeling pretty flat. I will be taking Niagen to keep me feeling on top of the world. I can highly recommend Niagen to anyone who needs to have a better memory, more energy to do all the things you enjoy and feel happier and healthier. Try it you will be surprised just how good Niagen is.

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

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Jury is still out

    I actually began taking Niagen because I ran out of the QL-5 product and found out it was on back order until October. I felt a noticeable improvement in my energy level and cognitive function with the QL-5. I was very disappointed that I could not get more.

    I started with the Niagen with the hope that I would notice some similar results.

    The Niagen seems to be stimulating my metabolism. I take one tablet each morning on an empty stomach with about a quart of water. I usually experience a "good elimination" shortly after waking and almost immediately after breakfast. I feel like my body is "working" at a better pace. I try to eat healthy with lots of green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts and whole grains.

    So far I view the Niagen as a sort of ally to my health regimen. With time I hope to better understand just how specifically Niagen is benefitting me.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Overall health vitality

    Personality I have required less sleep (7-8 hours vs. 8-10 hours). I am able to accomplish multiple tasks throughout the day with very little fatigue. I sleep very soundly throughout the night, and my ability to focus on tasks has improved. My basic reaction to this product has been very positive, and I am very satisfied and happy that I have experienced it.

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

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Effects I've experienced with Niagen

    • Altamonte Springs, FL,
    • Jul 8, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a 55-year-old audio engineer who owns a small production company in central Florida.

    The tasks involved with my business require a large amount of physical ability to perform. As would be expected, my body has developed more aches and pains as I age. I needed to find something that would provide me with the ability to get through the gigs without the limitations I've been experiencing lately.

    Niagen has certainly made a difference, and I am very thankful for that. Thank you Live Cell Research!

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

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Re-found youth!

    I started taking Niagen about two and a half years ago at a time when I had a severe back injury. I was 56 years old and generally felt aches and pain just getting out of bed. After two weeks of taking Niagen, I felt great when getting up and after six weeks I had regained the strength in my lower back and no longer was looking at surgery as an answer.

    I have even stopped taking Niagen for a few months because I wanted to see if there would be a change in the way I felt. In less than six weeks I was back to the aches and pain just getting out of bed. So I know it works for me and that's all I need to know. And being a mechanic, I have learned to take care of myself first, and Niagen is something I have recommended to many of my friends. It's just such a good feeling to wake up and feel great in the morning.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    It takes time to see results.

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Jun 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 80 years old, and I have been taking Niagen for two or three years. It took a while before I noticed the effects of taking it. I noticed that my skin had definitely less wrinkles and the muscle tone in my arms and legs improved.

    This does not make me like a 20-year-old, but it does seem to slow the aging process and even reverse it in some areas.

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

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    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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