Science of NAD
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Nicotinamide riboside improves muscle mitochondrial biogenesis, satellite cell differentiation and gut microbiota composition in a twin study
April 28, 2022
NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) has emerged as a promising compound to improve obesity-associated mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic syndrome in mice. However, most short-term clinical trials conducted so far have failed to report positive outcomes. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether long-term NR supplementation boosts mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolic health in humans. Twins from 22 BMI-discordant monozygotic pairs were supplemented with an escalating dose of NR (250-1000 mg/day) for 5 months (clinicaltrials.gov entry NCT03951285). NR improved blood and tissue NAD+ metabolism, muscle mitochondrial number, myoblast differentiation and gut microbiota composition independent of BMI. NR also showed a capacity to modulate epigenetic control of gene expression in muscle and adipose tissue. However, NR did not ameliorate adiposity or metabolic health. Overall, our results suggest that NR acts as a potent modifier of NAD+ metabolism, muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and stem cell function, gut microbiota, and DNA methylation in humans irrespective of BMI.