Nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide are newer (and very expensive) dietary ingredients used to boost NAD+. Boosting NAD+ is not unique to these newer ingredients. It’s the defining characteristic that makes a compound a vitamin B3. The niacin equivalents—niacin (nicotinic acid; NA) and niacinamide (NAM)—boost NAD+. L-tryptophan is also a precursor for NAD+. We included both NA and NAM, as well as L-tryptophan, because these ingredients can be used to make NAD+ and this approach supports three different ways of making it. Redundancy is a core value within complex systems science and something we look for when formulating our products.
From our research we also are not convinced that nicotinamide riboside (NR) or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) offer good value or actually deliver on their intended goals. Studies in the 1990’s found that NAD+ and other molecules in our food are broken down into niacinamide before being absorbed. NAD+ in food, as an example, was first broken down into NMN. The NMN was then further broken down into NR. And the NR was slowly turned into NAM during digestion. A small amount of this NAM was turned into NA by gut microbiota. So it was NAM (and to a much lesser extent NA) that was absorbed. Until information exists showing that the NR and NMN molecules can make it past digestion and the liver intact, we think these are very expensive ways to do something the other niacins do.