Many things happen to us as we get older - some of them good, others not so good. Tru Niagen® is a company offering a supplement that studies suggest can improve how we maintain good health throughout aging. In fact, though research continues and more human studies are needed in order to draw firmer conclusions, Tru Niagen® might help us fend off certain biological conditions associated with higher risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease, among others.
Is it a safe and effective supplement, and is it right for you? We’ve tested it and our experts have reviewed the studies in order to help you decide whether you should give it a try.
- Studies prove that this supplement works to increase NAD.
- The FDA determined Tru Niagen® to be safe, with no serious side effects.
- The company is dedicated to scientific study (with an advisory board that includes two Nobel Prize winners).
- Tru Niagen® is affordable compared to other supplements.
- No nuts, gluten, caffeine, animal byproducts or artificial colors or flavors.
- Potential health benefits are not sufficiently proven yet (research continues).
- To get the biggest discounts, you need to commit to longer-lasting supply and auto-renewal.
If you are able to pay a dollar per day for the Tru Niagen® supplement and are comfortable with the fact that scientists are still working to prove the positive health benefits, then we recommend you try it. And as with any supplement, we advise you to inform your primary care provider that you intend to take it. If you purchase the product, we suggest taking it for at least two months before drawing conclusions; our testers reported feeling more energetic after several weeks of taking the supplement each day. It’s too soon to know the full story about the health benefits of Niagen® and whether this supplement really could help us avoid some major health pitfalls associated with aging. But studies are promising thus far, and the FDA concludes that the supplement is safe at the recommended dosage.
Tru Niagen® offers a supplement that the FDA considers safe and studies suggest may improve health and vitality as we age.
Our testers felt improvement in energy levels after several weeks of taking Tru Niagen®. Studies are ongoing and long-term health benefits remain to be sufficiently proven. Be sure to inform your primary care provider if you choose to supplement.
Innerbody recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
This review, like all medical-related content on Innerbody, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each medical service we review. We evaluate the entire patient experience from signing up to receiving medicine in the mail and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
We’re all probably familiar with the term niacin, a B-vitamin that you can find on nutrition labels for breads, cereals and other products you’d buy at the grocery store. But nicotinamide riboside? That sounds more like something in tobacco products, right? Don’t be frightened – niacin is also known as nicotinic acid.
Actually nicotinamide riboside (or NR) is just a different form of vitamin B3 than niacin. You could find NR naturally in products like milk and even beer (in small amounts). NR is also known as Niagen®, which is a name patented by the company in focus here: Tru Niagen®. But NR isn’t found in large amounts naturally.
Tru Niagen® aims to improve our health as we age. In our bodies, NR triggers the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is a substance that scientists actually identified over a century ago but has been increasingly the subject of study.
In 2004, Dr. Charles Brenner (then at Dartmouth College, but now the chief science advisor for Tru Niagen®) discovered how NR can stimulate an increase of NAD in the body.
As scientists have conducted more and more studies, they’ve discovered numerous very intriguing things about NAD, including the following:
NAD seems to play a fundamental role in our cellular health. Among other things, it is linked to our cells’ capacity to produce energy as well as our cells’ ability to repair themselves.
Our bodies’ production of NAD slows down considerably as we age. Studies of human tissue demonstrate that our NAD levels decrease by as much as 50% from age 40 to 60.
Lifestyle matters also. Stressors and certain lifestyle choices (like maintaining an unhealthy diet and drinking alcohol, for instance) can also deplete our bodies’ supply of NAD. So if you’re thinking about reaching for a can of beer in order to get that small, naturally sourced boost of NR, think again.
If this sounds to you like NAD is a potentially important puzzle piece in our understanding of how our health can naturally decline as part of the aging process and our lifestyle decisions, then you’re not alone. If our bodies naturally stop producing enough NAD as we age, then our energy production at the cellular level declines, meaning we don’t feel the same vigor we used to feel. We’d feel less healthy. And it goes beyond how we feel; the ability of our cells to repair themselves is fundamental to health and wellbeing.
Dr. Brenner proved that Niagen® promotes NAD generation in the body. On average, taking 300mg per day of Tru Niagen® for eight weeks increases NAD levels in the body by 40-50 percent.
The full picture of NAD and its effects in our bodies will come only with further study. Studies are exploring how increased NAD levels could help us treat liver disease, sleep disorders, cognitive issues, mood disorders, kidney problems and more. At the same time, cancer researchers are studying how NAD could play a role in feeding certain cancers. It’s a complex picture – see below in the safety and concerns section.
In addition to Dr. Brenner (who discovered the pathway for NR to stimulate NAD production), the company relies on a board of distinguished scientists in order to advise the company on the safety of their product and on necessary studies to conduct. The board includes not just one, but two Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry; leading authorities in Alzheimer’s and breast cancer research; and two nutritional experts.
This is a pretty impressive gathering of recognized experts in their fields. Some peers have criticized these kinds of advisory boards as ‘window dressing’, but in our opinion the participation and advice of experts speaks to the high level of interest and seriousness with which the broader scientific community regards the potential for NR supplementation and research to improve our wellbeing. It also reflects well on a company dedicated to validating the merits of their product and conducting rigorous study.
Tru Niagen® has over twenty licensed patents and collaborations in over a hundred studies of NR and NAD. There have been five clinical studies published so far.
The FDA concludes NR supplements are safe
The FDA has studied the special B3 formulation patented by Tru Niagen®. Specifically, the FDA found Tru Niagen® to be safe at the company’s recommended dosage of 300mg per day. Tru Niagen® enjoys NDI (New Dietary Ingredient) status. The FDA has issued three safety notifications thus far for Tru Niagen®, validating it as a safe supplement.
Studies of humans taking even 1,000-2,000 mg per day of NR (significantly higher than recommended Tru Niagen® dosage) showed no harmful effects, though some people experienced mild side effects such as:
NAD and cancer
NR isn’t the only NAD-stimulating supplement on the market. Other mechanisms exist for increasing NAD levels in the body. One of these – nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) – was the subject of a study on mice, which showed that NMN increased the rate of cancer among these mice. Some warn against jumping to conclusions based on one study (which is a valid warning) while also pointing out that it wasn’t a large study and its results haven’t yet been replicated in other studies. But studies of NAD are proliferating and it’s still early in our exploration of it.
If NAD is so vital to cellular health, how could it also increase cancer rates? It’s a fascinating subject and the short (and incomplete) answer is that cancer cells require robust metabolism. Even as scientists study the benefits of increasing NAD levels, cancer researchers are busy studying how starving cancer cells of NAD could be a successful way of fighting cancer.
Could this same concern exist for NR supplements? A 2014 study of NR on mice showed that supplementation with NR in fact helped to protect the mice against liver cancer.
There is no study that has demonstrated a connection between NR supplementation and any negative effect at this time, cancer or otherwise, and the FDA considers it safe.
But the picture isn’t necessarily as simple as, “We should all increase our NAD in order to stay healthy.” It could very well be the case that increasing our NAD levels brings both positive and negative effects for us. Anti-aging effects and cancer-stimulating effects aren’t necessarily incompatible; both could occur simultaneously. Increased NAD levels could help fight certain cancers while making others likelier, if a person is genetically predisposed to them.
One point of agreement within the scientific community is that more research into NR and NAD is very important, carrying great potential for us to develop better ways of staying healthy and fighting disease.
So, because breakthroughs in our understanding of NR and NAD are still relatively recent, it would be wrong for anyone to suggest that everything about NR supplementation is known at this point. All that can be said right now is that the FDA has determined Niagen® to be safe and more research is needed in order to determine its full effects and if there are any risks or contraindications.
Whether you buy Tru Niagen® or a different NR supplement, it’s important for quality reasons to make sure that the NR component in the supplement is listed as Niagen®. Otherwise you may not be ingesting the form of NR that was the subject of the studies demonstrating effectiveness and safety.
When you order Tru Niagen® supplements, you’ll specify how many people will be taking the supplement (1-4 people) and also how large of a supply you’d like (1 month, 3 months or 6 months). These two factors will dictate the size of your shipment. Current pricing is as you see below, but prices and discounts may change so you can check current prices here.
Note that your discounts increase as you commit to larger supplies and auto-renewal of your supply. This isn’t something that we particularly love… However, we would recommend that you opt for the 3-month supply rather than either of the other options. Why is this, you ask? It’s because we found that some of the improved vigor that our testers experienced (which we associate with the supplement) occurred only after taking it for several weeks. One month might not be sufficient for you to draw a conclusion about whether it would be beneficial for you to make a longer-term investment. And on the other side, six months is in our opinion a pretty large commitment to make right out of the gate, without ever having tried it at all. If you find that three months yields positive results, then you could decide to invest in longer-term supply and auto-renew for maximum savings.
Prices for a single-person order
- 1-month supply: $40/month if you set up auto-renew; $50/month for single-month purchase.
- 3-month supply: $105 with auto-renew (amounting to $35/month); $119.85 for one-time purchase.
- 6-month supply: $180 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $225 for one-time purchase.
Prices for a two-person order:
- 1-month supply: $80/month if you set up auto-renew; $100/month for single-month purchase.
- 3-month supply: $180 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $225 for one-time purchase.
- 6-month supply: $360 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $420 for one-time purchase.
Prices for a 3-person order:
- 1-month supply: $120/month if you set up auto-renew; $150/month for single-month purchase.
- 3-month supply: $270 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $337.50 for one-time purchase.
- 6-month supply: $540 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $630 for one-time purchase.
Prices for a 4-person order:
- 1-month supply: $160/month if you set up auto-renew; $200/month for single-month purchase.
- 3-month supply: $360 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $420 for one-time purchase.
- 6-month supply: $720 with auto-renew (amounting to $30/month); $840 for one-time purchase.
We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health service or product. For most products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? Is the quality of the product or service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? Does the company have a high quality medical review board with oversight? Are their treatment options or products FDA-approved?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?
Customer Support: How well does the company provide information about its product or service? How clearly are options presented?
Privacy: Are all products sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Speed: How fast will you receive your product from the moment you click “buy?” Are the waiting times stated by the company accurate and consistent?