Nutrients May Reverse Heart and Blood Vessel Aging, Reduce Damage
Restricting calories helps keep blood vessels flexible and lowers blood pressure in overweight and obese adults, but may not be safe for normal-weight older adults. Because stiffening arteries and high blood pressure lead to the most common age-related causes of death, doctors wanted to find a safe alternative to restricting calories.
In this study, 24 lean, healthy men and women, aged 55 to 79, took 500 mg of nicotinamide riboside-a form of vitamin B3-twice per day, or a placebo. After six weeks, while the placebo group had not changed, those in the vitamin B3 group had higher levels of enzymes-called sirtuins-that mimic the effects of calorie restriction. Sirtuins decline with age.
Within the vitamin B3 group, those with stage-1 hypertension (120-139/80-89 mmHg) saw systolic blood pressure decline by nearly 10 points. Doctors said a drop of this size could lower chances of an adverse heart event by 25 percent.
(Reference: Nature; March, 2018, S41467, Published Online)
Vitamin B3 includes niacinamide and niacin. Niacin is converted to niacinamide when ingested in amounts that do not exceed physiological requirements. When used in physiological amounts, the effects of niacin and niacinamide are indistinguishable. Niacin and niacinamide are water-soluble and well-absorbed when taken orally. Dietary sources include meats, beans, cereal grains, fish, and various niacin-fortified foods. Niacin and niacinamide are precursors of niacinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and niacinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), which are essential for oxidation-reduction reactions, ATP synthesis, and ADP-ribose transfer reactions.
Nicotinamide riboside is a pyridine-nucleoside form of vitamin B3 that functions as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD.
Nicotinamide riboside is available at Willner Chemists from a number of reputable companies.