Article on mitochondrial function and NAD+ precursor supplementation

The article by our colleague Niels Connel titled: “NAD+-Precursor Supplementation With L-Tryptophan, Nicotinic Acid, and Nicotinamide Does Not Affect Mitochondrial Function or Skeletal Muscle Function in Physically Compromised Older Adults” has been published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Read the full article here:

Read the abstract below.

BACKGROUND: Boosting NAD+ via supplementation with niacin equivalents has been proposed as a potential modality capable of promoting healthy aging and negating age-dependent declines of skeletal muscle mass and function.

OBJECTIVES: We investigated the efficacy of NAD+-precursor supplementation (tryptophan, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide) on skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in physically compromised older adults.

METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial was conducted in 14 (female/male: 4/10) community-dwelling, older adults with impaired physical function [age, 72.9 ± 4.0 years; BMI, 25.2 ± 2.3 kg/m2]. Participants were supplemented with 207.5 mg niacin equivalents/day [intervention (INT)] and a control product (CON) that did not contain niacin equivalents, each for 32 days. The primary outcomes tested were mitochondrial oxidative capacity and exercise efficiency, analyzed by means of paired Student’s t-tests. Secondary outcomes, such as NAD+ concentrations, were analyzed accordingly.

RESULTS: Following supplementation, skeletal muscle NAD+ concentrations [7.5 ± 1.9 compared with 7.9 ± 1.6 AU, respectively] in INT compared with CON conditions were not significantly different compared to the control condition, whereas skeletal muscle methyl-nicotinamide levels were significantly higher under NAD+-precursor supplementation [INT, 0.098 ± 0.063 compared with CON, 0.025 ± 0.014; P = 0.001], suggesting an increased NAD+ metabolism. Conversely, neither ADP-stimulated [INT, 82.1 ± 19.0 compared with CON, 84.0 ± 19.2; P = 0.716] nor maximally uncoupled mitochondrial respiration [INT, 103.4 ± 30.7 compared with CON, 108.7 ± 33.4; P = 0.495] improved under NAD+-precursor supplementation, nor did net exercise efficiency during the submaximal cycling test [INT, 20.2 ± 2.77 compared with CON, 20.8 ± 2.88; P = 0.342].

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are consistent with previous findings on NAD+ efficacy in humans, and we show in community-dwelling, older adults with impaired physical function that NAD+-precursor supplementation through L-tryptophan, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide does not improve mitochondrial or skeletal muscle function. This study was registered at as NCT03310034.