How to Safely Take Nicotinamide Riboside for Anti-Aging | Chris Masterjohn Lite #132
Nicotinamide riboside. Here’s the safest way to take it for anti-aging. Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com. And this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!” And today we’re going to talk about the safest way to take nicotinamide riboside for anti-aging. I’ve done a couple of previous episodes that are relevant, and I’ll link to them in the description of this one. In the last two episodes, I talked about why at the present time I would not use injectable NAD for this purpose, and I talked about why I think nicotinamide riboside is the best supplement to take as a precursor to NAD. In a long ago episode, I talked about some safety concerns about taking nicotinamide riboside, and I’ll summarize them here so I can use that as a lead-in to talk about how to avoid the safety problems and how to maximize the efficacy of the nicotinamide riboside. So, here’s the main safety problem. When you take nicotinamide riboside or any other form of niacin, your body has a choice. Either it’s going to make NAD with it, which is what we want, or it’s going to methylate it and pee it into the urine. If you don’t know what methylation is, see chrismasterjohnphd.com/methylation for some background. So, every time we methylate it, we lose it and we also lose the methyl group. We’re losing methyl groups that we could be putting towards other important purposes. Chief among them are the synthesis of creatine, which is needed for athletic performance and for muscular power, but it’s also needed for many other things including digestion and mental health. We also, after we lose control of our creatine synthesis, the next most sensitive thing is we’re going to lose control over our dopamine levels. When we can’t properly regulate dopamine, we run the risk of becoming too mentally rigid, and that can lead us to ruminate for example on anxiety or depression-producing thoughts, and that can lead to its own set of mental problems alongside the sapping of the creatine supply. And we know from the studies published on nicotinamide riboside that it absolutely saps methyl groups because it causes a very large increase in the methylated niacin metabolites detected in the blood and the urine. So, in the way that it’s being dosed, it’s absolutely sapping the methyl supply. Word on the street is that ChromaDex will at some point soon publish a study showing it doesn’t effect homocysteine in the blood and it doesn’t effect levels of S-adenosylmethionine in the blood either. But I’m not too concerned about those. I’m concerned about decreasing creatine synthesis, and I’m concerned about losing control over dopamine. And if you were to assume that most of a dose of nicotinamide riboside is actually going to be sapped into the methylation pathway and peed out in the urine, then what you would expect from that is that for every 1,000 milligrams of nicotinamide riboside you take, you’re decreasing your creatine synthesis by 25%. So if you take 2,000 milligrams of nicotinamide riboside, if most of that is methylated and peed out in the urine, you’re cutting your creatine synthesis in half. And if you cut your creatine synthesis in half, that can cause negative responses in your muscular power, in your digestion, in your mental health, and so on. So how do we make sure that the nicotinamide riboside is number one, not methylated and instead goes into making NAD, which is the positive response we’re looking for, and then number two, to the degree it is methylated, how can we make up for that and make sure that it’s not hurting our creatine synthesis or our regulation of dopamine? This is what I would do. Number one, always take it with meals. Why? Because even though you can absorb niacin in any form fine without a meal, your meal is going to boost your energy levels, and your energy levels in the form of ATP are going to help drive that niicotinamide riboside into synthesizing NAD. The better you do that, the less you’re going to methylate out. The second thing that I would do is spread it evenly across meals. And the reason is that with any given dose at one meal, there’s only a limited amount that you’re going to be able to retain as NAD. And we don’t know exactly what that amount is, but we know from the studies that publish, that have been published using the dosing regimens that have been published, we know that we are losing a lot of it as methylated metabolites, so our best defense against that is to divide it evenly across meals. Finally the third thing is we’re going to assume that there’s going to be some portion that we’re going to lose in the urine as methylated metabolites, and there’s nothing we can do about that, but we can replace the methyl groups. So I would take trimethylglycine, or TMG, in a dose that is 100 milligrams of TMG for every 200 milligrams of nicotinamide riboside. This episode is brought to you by Ancestral Supplements living collagen. Our Native American ancestors believed that eating the organs from a healthy animal would support the health of the corresponding organ of the individual. Ancestral Supplements has a nose-to-tail product line of grass-fed liver, organs, living collagen, bone marrow, and more. All in the convenience of a capsule. For more information or to buy any of their products, go to ancestralsupplements.com This episode is brought to by Ample. Ample is a meal in a bottle that takes a total of two minutes to prepare, consume, and clean up. It provides a balance of fat, protein, and carbs, plus all the vitamins and minerals you need in a single meal. All from a blend of natural ingredients. It’s available in original, vegan, and keto versions portioned as either 400 or 600 calories per meal. I’m an advisor to Ample, and I use it to save time when I’m working on major projects on a tight schedule. It keeps my brain going while I power through the day, never letting food prep get in the way of my productivity. Head to amplemeal.com and enter the promo code: CHRIS15 at checkout for a 15% discount off your first order. For ad-free versions of these episodes with transcripts that you can read and getting early access to the episodes often weeks or maybe even months ahead of time, you can sign up for the CMJ Masterpass at chrismasterjohnphd.com/masterpass and use the code: LITE10 to get 10% lifetime discount. The audio of this episode was enhanced and post-processed by Bob Davodian of Taurean Mixing. You can find more of his work at taureanonlinemixing.com. All right, I hope you found this useful. Signing off, this is Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com. This has been Chris Masterjohn Lite. And I will see you in the next episode.