Niagen shown to be effective against diabetes complications in mice

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A new study done on mice suggests that nicotinamide riboside can help restrict the development of insulin resistance and diabetic neuropathy.

Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3, is being developed by analytical testing firm and ingredient supplier ChromaDex under the brand name Niagen. These results, while trending toward pharmaceutical end points and meant to support the development of the ingredient as a drug, still have great relevance in the ingredient’s parallel life as a , said ChromaDex CEO Frank Jaksch.

“We are to be going down the pharmaceutical path with Niagen.  Blood sugar and obesity are what we are going to be focusing on.  But in the supplement realm, all of this stems from boosting the NAD level and this study is another big validation of this,” Jaksch told NutraIngredients-USA.

ChromaDex’s past work on Niagen has shown that the ingredient boosts production of NAD+, which is an essential metabolite required for cell energy production. Aging, a sedentary lifestyle and overeating can cause a decline in NAD+ levels. This negatively impacts the efficiency and function of the mitochondria, the energy-producing machinery of the cells.  A decline in mitochondrial function is postulated to be one of the main mechanisms in aging.

Study details

The researchers set about trying to assess Niagen’s protective effects in mice, including one group of mice with induced type 2 diabetes, another with induced pre diabetes and a third control group. The researchers raised lab mice on high fat diet so that they became pre diabetic and developed insulin resistance and sensory neuropathy. The same type of mice given low doses of streptozotocin are a model of type 2 diabetes (T2D), developing hyperglycemia, severe insulin resistance and diabetic peripheral neuropathy involving sensory and motor neurons.

Because of suggestions that increased NAD(+) metabolism might address glycemic control and be neuroprotective, the researchers treated pre diabetic and T2D mice with nicotinamide riboside  in addition to the standard high fat diet. Niagen improved glucose tolerance, reduced weight gain, liver damage and the development of hepatic steatosis in pre diabetic mice while protecting against sensory neuropathy. In T2D mice, Niagen greatly reduced non-fasting and fasting blood glucose, weight gain and hepatic steatosis while protecting against diabetic neuropathy.

Previous work sponsored by ChromaDex has shown that mice supplemented with Niagen lived longer than a control group.  Taken together, these recent results will help to boost the ingredient’s healthy aging positioning, Jaksch said.

“There are some pretty big numbers of people that suffer from these conditions.  Seven of ten,” Jaksch said.

Niagen also protected the mice  against peripheral nerve damage, or neuropathy, a common, serious complication of pre diabetes and T2D. Peripheral nerves control touch and pain sensing in the limbs, fingers, and toes. Damage to these nerves can be painful, and can progress to a loss of sensation that allows injuries to go unnoticed. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 60% to 70%of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a leading cause of diabetic foot ulcers and limb amputation in people with T2D.

While it’s hard to see how that information could underpin a structure/function-type claim, it could fit in with the health aging positioning, Jaksch said.

“If you keep NAD levels up you have a good chance of reversing some of that age-related damage,” Jaksch said.

Source: Scientific Reports
“Nicotinamide Riboside Opposes Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy in Mice.”
2016 May 27;6:26933. doi: 10.1038/srep26933
Authors: Brenner C, Kardon R, Yorek M, Trammell, S.

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Comments (2)

Richard Tsvett - 17 Jul 2016 | 10:31

Mouse model

I wonder how good the mouse model is at modeling diabetes in humans? Consider the research article... It claimed that the mice were given doses of 3g/kg of NR. That equates to the human adult taking several hundred g/day, like 400g/day! The authors failed to report on the drawbacks and limitations of their work, and reported only p-values to back up their differences in measurements. No parameter estimates, no confidence intervals. I hardly see how this news justifies human trials.

17-Jul-2016 at 10:31 GMT

sara - 01 Jun 2016 | 06:23

I hope get better

In June of 2015, it was discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. By the end of the month, June 26th to be exact, I was given a prescription for Metformin. Under the direction of my doctor, I stated the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140. With no results to how for my hard work, I panicked and called my doctor. His response? Deal with it. With was then that I began to feel that something wasn’t right and began to do my own research. It was through that research that I found this book http://www.myhealthlives.com . I purchased it and read it from cover to cover that same day. That day, I started the diet and by the next morning, my blood sugar was 100. The next day, it read in the 90s for the first time since I was diagnosed. Since then, I have a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s. My doctor was so surprised at the results that, the next week, he took me off the Metformin. Following the lifestyle changes in the book, I lost 30 pounds in the first month. Since that first day, I have lost more than 6 inches off my waist because I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. I’m happy to say that I only have 20 pounds to go until I reach my ideal weight. The greatest thing about this whole process is that this lifestyle change actually works! It’s simple enough that it makes sense and it’s something I can actually do. The ADA should tell the truth: you don’t have to take drugs to be healthy. With simple changes in your lifestyle, and taking the processed foods out of your diet, anyone can do this!

01-Jun-2016 at 18:23 GMT

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