The world of supplements is confusing right? I mean, probably more confusing than food nutrition. If you eat real, unprocessed foods including lean proteins, fruits, veggies and whole grains, you are likely getting what you need, but what about supplements? Do we need them? If so, which ones?
We have to eat, but do we all need to take supplements? They're expensive!
The recommendations seem to change constantly. Take calcium...don't take calcium, it can do harm...take Vitamin D...take more Vitamin D...Take fish oil...no take plant based omegas...Take a multi...don't take a multi, few people need them...take probiotics, no probiotics should be consumed from food...ahhhhhhhhhhhh!
I will be the first to admit that just because I have been taking some sort of vitamins since childhood, I would feel uncomfortable taking nothing. But over the years what supplements I take has changed a lot. Currently I take Vitamin D, CoQ10, biotin, probiotics, B2 (for migraines) iron, and for the past month or so, Niagen.
The biotin I started recently after reviewing Seabuck Wonders Ultimate Hair & Skin supplement. I wanted to see if taking biotin all on its own would have the same effect of lessening my hair from falling out so much. Sadly, it has not worked, so when I finish this bottle, I won't continue. Clearly, it was the combo of biotin and omega-7 that was effective.
Niagen is a new product, made from a form of Vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside. Niagen maintains NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is an important resource found in all living cells and necessary for breathing, eating, sleeping and drinking. Apparently, NAD declines significantly as we age, hence, Niagen is purportedly an anti-aging supplement.
Scientists have started to study the potential health benefits and Niagen has a link to some of the research here. I think its too early to draw any major conclusions though it does look promising. So far, supplementation appears safe and may improve metabolism and cardiovascular health.
Is this the supplement that we all need to take? The secret to longevity and looking and feeling younger? We are definitely not yet able to draw those conclusions.
The company sent me a 3 month supply (2 capsules/day). Currently, I have been taking them daily for almost 2 months. Do I feel younger? Honestly, I haven't noticed much difference, but aside from the energy boost I felt when I started taking CoQ10 a few years ago, I have never really felt much difference from most supplements I've tried.
In my research on nicotinamide riboside, some scientists suggest double the daily dose recommended by Niagen to have any therapeutic value. Perhaps that would make a difference?
So, do I recommend Niagen? Well...the research is promising but still very preliminary in terms of the health benefits of taking this supplement. If you are impressed by it, there doesn't seem to be any risk as its safety doesn't seem to be in doubt.
Here is the catch though...the cost!! A one month supply of Niagen is $40!!!! Personally, I cannot afford that. If you can, go for it.
Disclosure: The company sent me the product to try but all opinions on this blog are my own.