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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78 Customer Reviews for Niagen

Average Customer Rating: 3.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 25 4 stars: 15 3 stars: 3 2 stars: 7 1 stars: 28
Bottom Line: 56% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 78
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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Amazing results for me

    I have been taking LCR Niagen for 1 month 1/2 now, and started feeling more energy just one day after starting.

    I am used to taking all sorts of supplements (I have done so for the last 16 years), and apart from CoQ10 which gave me a boost when I started taking it and still helps me some through the day, this is the first time that I have felt that a supplement did help me.

    I am 57, and I suffer from a type of muscular dystrophy that makes me very tired day after day, and which robs me, bit by bit, of my strength. I am also a teacher, so I need a lot of energy to keep on working.

    Not only did I find that Niagen helped from day one as far as energy is concerned, but it also helps my mental clarity, my ability to prepare classes fast and well, and my mood. People at work have noticed that I have a "bounce" that is not there, normally. I sleep better (despite the menopause), and I feel about 20 years younger!

    I got my husband to take it too. He is 60 years old and has a very physically demanding job. He told me yesterday that he does the work of two men.

    And also feels the benefits of greater mental sharpness. So it's not just me!

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

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  • 16 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Already noticed positive results in the 4 days I've taken the pills.

    • Prattville, AL,
    • Jun 24, 2016

    I first heard about Niagen when I read a report from Science Daily a few months ago (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160428152124.htm). I viewed many YouTube videos and read testimonials (including the ones here) too. I was going to order them from Amazon but found out that GNC also sold them local. I would have saved around $10 after tax if I ordered them though Amazon, but decided to purchase them local first. I figured that if I like the results after my 60 day supply is up, I'll likely order them though Amazon.

    So far I can tell you that my energy level is noticeably improved and a few of my minor pains (over 50 I am) aren't as noticeable. I notice more effects when I exercise (walk 3 times week) then when I just take them and rest. Regardless, each time I take them, I get a flush feel between my torso and belly (not really bad; pleasant actually) that I even notice a bit several hours later. Not sure what's going on here, I heard that Niacin causes flush like results too and maybe it's due to being a variant of Niacin. All in all, I'm quite happy to have decided to try them. Also glad I did wait though (don't like to buy stuff until I've researched the topic thoroughly).

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

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  • 19 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Niagen Trial

    • Texas,
    • May 23, 2016

    I tested Niagen for 3 months. I wanted to use the original formulation by Chromadex and I found it at CVS for $14.00. The instructions called for 1 cap in the morning with a glass of water. One cap has 75 milligrams of NR. I went to my doctor and had a physical and blood work done be fore and after the trial. Here ate the results.

    Starting: BP 130/70, LDL 92, HDL 30, Triglycerides 172, weight 249

    Ending: BP 114/78, LDL 86, HDL 29, Triglycerides 124, Weight 248.

    I am a cyclist but the trial started in January so I didn't cycle any until March. I rode 15 miles twice and then on the first ride of the season I rode 58 miles. Last November I turned 58. I am now taking 150 milligrams a day and have learned that CVS is discontinuing the sale of Niagen due to low sales numbers. I am currently buying up every bottle I can find in the North Texas area. This is not something you will take and feel differently in a month or two. It takes a long time for your wounded cells to be replaced by good ones. You see a difference for a while but I have noticed my skin getting tighter and I'm putting on a little more muscle mass even though my T numbers are on the low side. I have better stamina for long rides and on average I'm 2 MPH faster than I was last year. I have not experienced any side effects and don't expect to seeing that this is a form of Vitamin B3.

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

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  • 16 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Indisputable impact for me

    I should begin this review by noting that I received a Ph.D. in Clinical Chemistry 30 years ago and worked for several years in clinical research programs in the US military. I am a 64 year old male in good health.

    I have been supplementing with Nicotinamide Riboside and Resveratol for almost 9 months. I take 250 mg NR and 200mg Resveratol daily in the morning.

    During this time my body weight has declined from 241 lbs to 212. It has been steady for 5 months +/- 1 lb. For the majority of my life I weighed 210 lbs so this seems to be a return to my nominal weight.

    A number of people have commented that I look "younger" although this could easily be due to my weight loss. I have no perception that anything notable such as skin elasticity or wrinkling has changed significantly.

    I may have experienced some improvement in endurance but it has been modest.

    I sleep better now than before I began supplementing, but this may also be due to changes in my work life.

    I take levothyroxine daily and I am tested for TSH, total/free T3 and T4 levels about every 6-8 weeks. Over the last 4 months, my TSH levels declined nominally within normal levels and my T3 levels have steadily declined until they are now below "normal range" and about 65% of my average over the last 2 years.

    My fasting glucose levels have been constant during this interval.

    Because I am largely vegetarian, I cannot comment on impact on lipoprotein, triglycerides​ or fractional cholesterol levels as I have not been tested more than once during the supplementation interval. All are "excellent" but were also excellent prior to supplementation.

    The one undesirable effect I have experienced fairly recently is a emergent case of acquired vellus hypertrichosis​. I would be interested to find out if others have had a similar experience.

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

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  • 29 out 36 people found this review helpful

    Niagen and Elevated Liver Enzymes

    • Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada,
    • Mar 30, 2016

    I have been religiously taking 2 caps per day for six months. I have no indication of increased energy and if anything I think I have actually gained weight.

    I recently applied for life insurance and as a result submitted the required blood test for underwriting.

    I received notification from the Insurance Company that my application was declined due to Elevated Liver Enzymes.

    I had complete blood work up prior to my starting Niagen and there was nothing noted or any concerns.

    So I am just at the beginning of trying to figure this out and if the Niagen may be responsible for my Elevated Liver Enzyme Count.

    It will be a couple of weeks before I can see my doctor for more testing but based on what I have been able to research, so far it looks as though the Niagen may be in fact responsible. When I have more, I will post. As far as a rating goes, I can only say at this point that I have experienced no positive results from this product and may be experiencing a serious Negative Result because these Elevated Liver Enzymes indicate Liver Damage.

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

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    Comments (1)
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    • Jun 20, 2016

      Annie

      What is your age and overall health? What strength capsule did you take? From which company was it purchased? And, did you use a full glass of water with each dose? And, do you take regular medications?

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  • 22 out 28 people found this review helpful

    After effects?

    I ordered a 30-day supply of Niagen and took them faithfully each morning on an empty stomach with a glass of water. I didn't really notice any difference while taking, but in hindsight, I did seem to have more energy to do things, although I still sleep about 7-8 hours total, a night. I did have trouble falling asleep at night, but I have had trouble with that as I grow older. I did notice that if I happened to fall asleep earlier (before 10 pm), if I woke up during the night, I had trouble going back to sleep. The kicker came when I finally ran out of the thirty. Today has been three days since I used my last one, and I absolutely could not wake up today. Granted, I did not fall asleep until about 3 am, but I could not wake up until about 3 this afternoon. I felt groggy and achy and am just now beginning to feel normal again. I began searching for third party reviews because I felt like there must be some addicting substance in this pill!

    After reading about it, I feel better knowing and understanding why it works like it does and why I am experiencing the after effects of getting off it. I am conflicted. It works, and it is natural, but can I afford $50 a month? After all, I am 66, retired, and living on a fixed income. Even my prescription meds don't cost over $20 each.

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

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  • 13 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Do not feel any different

    I was so excited to hear about this supplement, but after taking it for almost a month I cannot tell that I have taken it. I'm 64 and I also have been taking CoQ10 for a few years and I believe that it is giving me the energy and clarity that I have. So I believe taking Niagen is not worth it for me. If it means taking a double dose to get the effects, then I could not afford to purchase 2 bottles per month, since my Omega 3-10 is 29.99 a month already. I'm still hoping something takes effect by the time I have taken all pills.

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

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  • 29 out 33 people found this review helpful

    Niagen

    • New York,
    • Feb 21, 2016

    I am amazed at the difference in my mental clarity, energy, the overall improvement in my health, and the general feeling of well being (I'm 58 years old). Like all supplements, FDA approved drugs, herbs, foods or eating habits, NOTHING works the same for everyone, in spite of FDA's approval process, and their claims to the contrary. With regard to my unique physiology, biology and gene trace, Niagen has done wonders for my health, in a VERY SHORT period of time. Never have I had this dramatic a change for the better, taking any chemical, regardless of who made it, created it or what government approved it, or not. So far, I have no negative to report, but its only been a few weeks. I am very impressed, however, and feeling blessed to have stumbled on this stuff, and hope that it lasts.

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

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  • 10 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Niacin testing

    Both my wife and I started taking Niagen a little less than 30 days. I have noticed that I go to bed later, and rise earlier. I don't know what this means, but it is a change. It also seems that I am able to do more daily chores than in the past. I can't say I feel the energy, but I just "do" more stuff. I want to note, that some say they are urinating more overnight, and I am also having that experience. I have just ordered our third 30 day supply, which is, for the two of us, a 15 day supply, so I guess we are still under 30 days of using. I would say the jury is still out, and I would not support or deny any benefits at this point.

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

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  • 5 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Failure to receive order

    • United Kingdom,
    • Feb 10, 2016

    I would love to review your product, but I have not received my order. All attempts to reach the company by e-mail are returned as failed or delayed. Perhaps this e-mail will provoke some action. I'm very disappointed. This is the first time ever that I have had a problem ordering or failure to contact online. Pretty disappointing.

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

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  • 17 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Was part of the testing of Niagen

    I was one of the older people participating in the testing period for Niagen. I found my sleep being improved, my general health very good and I now want to purchase Niagen, after having taken it for 4 months. I'm having a problem with signing in to Amazon and that is driving me nuts.

    I cannot make an order as the questions keep repeating themselves. I have entered those letters six times now and will go elsewhere to purchase Niagen.

    I may have had an Amazon account previously but so long ago that I have no idea if I had another email address, or possibly a company telephone at that time. AMAZON, please wake up.

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

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