Science of NAD
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Inevitably someone will say that you should be listening to scientists, not lawyers, and there is something to that. However, most of my career was spent not practicing law, but organizing and structuring information to make it more quickly accessible and more easily understandable. So goal is simply to make it easier to get to the underlying science. My hope is that this website helps people hear the scientists better.
But in any case, my analysis is grounded in the studies themselves, which I link to. So don't take my word for it -- go right to the sources I quote and read for yourself.
1. Supplements Are Not Medicines. Health Supplements like nicotinamide riboside are not intended to cure or treat any disease, condition, or illness.
2. No Medical Advice. I am a lawyer, and a journalist, not a doctor, and I offer no medical advice. But I do follow the science, and I may be able to bring to your attention some interesting studies, and help clarify what the studies may may or may not be saying. And check with your physician -- your physician can look at this research, too.
3. Commercial Affiliations. I am a ChromaDex shareholder, and a marketing affiliate for Amazon and Rakuten. As a result, I will sometimes mention or recommend products that I endorse. I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you were referred directly from this site and completed a purchase. [Thank you!] You can read more about our advertising, privacy, and data collection policies here.
MORE ABOUT ME
Who Is Shelly Albaum, and
Who Cares What He Thinks?
I am a lawyer, and I have led legal publishing businesses. I have spent most of my career organizing and structuring legal information to make it more quickly accessible and more easily understandable.
Because there are now hundreds of scientific studies assessing the role of NAD precursors, those interested in the topic have a similar need to make sense of this heavily researched and rapidly evolving domain. I am functioning here is a journalist. But I am not a biochemist or a geneticist.
I happened upon the world of NAD after reading articles in 2016 that described apparent anti-aging properties of nicotinamide riboside, a molecule which, as Dr. Charles Brenner discovered in 2004, functions as a form of Vitamin B3 and can replenish intracellular NAD levels via a metabolic pathway that was previously unknown.
The effect of NR on me was significant, multi-faceted, and unexpected. So then I started paying a lot more attention, and I started reading the studies. With the help of some friendly biochemists, I even started understanding the studies.
My professional career (I am mostly retired now) was devoted to organizing legal information for lawyers, helping to bring order to the chaos resulting from millions of legal cases saying a variety of things that are sometimes the same, often similar, and sometimes conflicting.
During that work on legal research tools, I developed a certain affection for the techniques of organizing, indexing, and abstracting in order to prevent information overload without losing track of essential detail. Indeed, I even helped pioneer a few techniques.
In the years following Dr. Brenner's discovery of the vitamin function of NR, researchers published hundreds of papers documenting their collective explorations of the effects of the newly discovered metabolic pathways, and how they might impact the health of animals and humans with respect to a number of different situations, ranging from illnesses relating to specific organs, like the kidney, liver, and heart; neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS; and more general conditions, like aging, fertility, and chronic inflammation.
Alas, having hundreds of such studies is nearly as unhelpful as having no such studies, because the results of the experiments can be the same, similar, or conflicting. And because they reliably deploy highly technical language to describe the results, it isn't easy to make sense of what's going on, unless you are willing to learn the science and read all the studies. That is, of course, exactly what the researchers in the field do, but it is quite challenging for lay people to do that.
Worse, the Internet's dark side has occasionally spawned sewers of inaccurate information and outright deception, which makes it that much harder for citizens and journalists to make sense of this rapidly developing domain of science that has the potential to help people immensely.
There is enough misinformation and half-truths surrounding NAD precursors that I thought there was an opportunity to provide a clear overview of the subject that was solidly rooted in the actual studies.
That means you need not believe anything I say -- you can click through to the underlying science and judge for yourself whether we are understanding it correctly.
I mentioned above that I own shares of ChromaDex, which is a small public company that has a number of patents on the manufacture and use of NAD precursors, including nicotinamide riboside, and which is the maker of Tru Niagen. However, I am not an investment advisor, there is no investment advice here. So although I do not have any opinion about whether anyone should be a ChromaDex investor, I think there are real benefits to being a ChromaDex customer.
Finally, to the extent that I have gotten the analysis right, I am indebted to a number of biochemists who have patiently reviewed my work and explained their craft, and even commented on earlier versions of my analysis. There really are great scientists working on the frontiers of biology who are helping people live healthier lives. It's important work, but sometimes it is difficult, boring, underpaid, tedious, disappointing, frustrating, and under-appreciated. They do it anyway. They are the real heroes of this story.
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