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Tru Niagen Review: An Evidence-Based Anti-Aging Supplement

By Anastasia Climan, RDN, CD-N

Medically Reviewed by Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP

Last Updated on August 16, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

4.4

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:4.3
  • Ingredient Safety:4.5
  • Customer Service:4.0
  • Value for the Price:4.8

Our Key Takeaway: Tru Niagen is an anti-aging supplement with solid evidence to help boost cellular energy levels that may go down with age. While Tru Niagen isn’t the answer for everyone, it is proven to support energy production and other functions.

Written by
Anastasia Climan, RDN, CD-N
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Anastasia Climan is a registered dietitian whose career progressed into public health, corporate wellness, and private practice roles. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut's Coordinated Undergraduate Dietetics Program in 2011. She's led wellness initiatives on HIV/AIDS, children's health, and diabetes.
Medically Reviewed by
Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP
Board-certified Cardiologist, Medical Board Member
Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI, is a board-certified cardiologist, clinical lipidologist, and internist with nearly 30 years of experience in direct patient care and 25 years of experience in medical writing, editing, and reviewing.

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Tru Niagen Review: An Evidence-Based Anti-Aging Supplement

Pros

  • Science-backed claims.
  • Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.
  • Proven to raise NAD levels in human trials.
  • Has an impressive advisory board with several MDs.
  • Has third-party testing and is NSF Certified for Sport.
  • Good value for the price, especially when you subscribe.

Cons

  • Not a cure-all for anti-aging or low energy levels.
  • Other sources of niacin (including food or supplements) offer similar benefits.
  • Clinical trials were usually led by researchers associated with the brand.

What if there was a way to keep energy levels high throughout life? The dietary supplement Tru Niagen claims to do just that.

There are many reasons for declining energy levels, many of which are related to getting less regular exercise and leading a more sedentary lifestyle, as well as neglecting to eat a healthy, balanced diet every day.

The best ways to rectify this involve lifestyle changes and eating healthy, whole foods in a balanced way.

Other reasons for declining energy have to do with sleep deprivation and sleep disorders, medications you may be taking, and other illnesses you may be dealing with.

However, if you wish to add a supplement while you are improving your diet and increasing your physical activity levels, as well as working with your healthcare professional to identify the source of your low energy, you might be wondering if Tru Niagen is the right supplement for you.

With an advisory board of qualified doctors behind it, Tru Niagen seems promising.

This review will discuss the evidence behind Tru Niagen’s benefits and important safety considerations.

What Is Tru Niagen?

Tru Niagen is a dietary supplement marketed for healthy aging. Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is the primary ingredient in Tru Niagen. It’s a form of the B vitamin niacin.

Tru Niagen was created after a company called ChromaDex partnered with scientist Dr. Brenner. In 2012, ChromaDex patented Dr. Brenner’s research on a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) called nicotinamide riboside.

After Tru Niagen was approved for sale in the US in 2017, Canada, Australia, and Europe followed suit.

How Does Tru Niagen Work?

Tru Niagen works by supporting the body’s natural energy production.

To make energy, our cells break down food and process it into tiny units called ATP. (1)

It takes several steps to generate ATP, and the molecule in Tru Niagen helps this process run smoothly.

To understand how Tru Niagen works, it’s helpful to know about NAD.

Tru Niagen has nicotinamide riboside, which is an early form of NAD. As a result, this supplement helps raise NAD to combat some age-related effects, such as low energy levels.

The creators of Tru Niagen say it raises NAD levels by 40% to 50% in just two weeks. Clinical trials on the site report consistent benefits after eight weeks of supplementation.

NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. It plays a key role in the creation of cellular energy (ATP). (2)

In addition to energy production (also known as metabolism), NAD also supports gene expression, DNA repair, and the body’s ability to deal with stress. (2)

Unfortunately, health conditions like fatty liver disease and obesity cause NAD levels to decrease. NAD also goes down with age. (2)

Studies show it’s possible to raise NAD by taking the Tru Niagen supplement. (3)

Summary

Tru Niagen capsules contain a key ingredient that’s vital for energy production in the cells. It’s proven to help support healthy cell functioning.

Is Tru Niagen Effective? Here’s What the Science Says About Its Claims

There’s evidence that Tru Niagen can raise NAD levels, which supports healthy aging and cell energy production. Tru Niagen could also help defend against cell damage by lowering inflammation levels.

Here’s the available evidence for each claim.

Healthy Aging

Healthy aging is a general claim that means different things to different people. The makers of Tru Niagen focus on the metabolic changes that happen with age.

For example, many people notice a slower metabolism as the years pass — although a recent study has shown that this is not due to aging itself, but rather to the lifestyle changes that often go along with it (such as less physical activity). (4)

As a result, it may seem harder to stay lean and ward off diseases like diabetes and heart disease. You may also notice lower energy levels, more body fat, and less muscle strength.

If you have low NAD levels, that can also contribute to this metabolic slowdown.

Tru Niagen is effective at raising levels of NAD. Human clinical trials show that a daily dose of 300 mg of Tru Niagen raises NAD levels within a week. (5)

Studies also suggest that nicotinamide ribose taken by mouth is available for use by the skeletal muscle. (6)

As a result, Tru Niagen is a viable way to protect muscles against low NAD with age.

But it’s crucial to pair dietary supplements with other habits that promote muscle strength and well-being, like eating enough protein and resistance training.

However, not all human clinical trials on NR confirm that the benefits seen in lab or animal studies translate to healthy aging or disease prevention.

In one clinical trial on obese men, NR supplementation wasn’t effective at improving insulin sensitivity (a sign of prediabetes). (7)

Yet, in another human trial, six weeks of NR supplementation produced positive changes in body composition (meaning more muscle and less fat) and sleeping metabolic rate, or how many calories the body burns at rest. (3)

Summary

Tru Niagen is proven to raise NAD levels, which can positively affect the aging process.

Cellular Energy

Raising NAD levels can help restore “cellular energy.” Tru Niagen contains NR, which is proven to increase NAD levels. (2)

Cells transform sugar into an energy source called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This process happens in the part of the cell known as the mitochondria.

If NAD levels are low (because of age or obesity, for instance), the cells aren’t as efficient at making ATP. (2)

Summary

NR in Tru Niagen effectively supports the “cellular engine,” or the chain of energy production in the cells.

Cellular Defense and Cellular Repair

Our bodies must compensate for everyday stressors such as overeating, lack of sleep, and viruses.

In addition, some stressors (like sunburns or smoking) cause inflammation and DNA damage, leading to cancer and other diseases. (8)

As a result, cells are always defending themselves against inflammation and trying to repair its damaging effects. NAD aids the molecules that fix everyday DNA damage and promote longevity. (5)

Studies show that Tru Niagen helps reduce inflammation.

Less inflammation means less stress on the body and may even ward off chronic inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis. (6)

Although promising, more long-term studies would help confirm these proposed benefits.

Summary

Tru Niagen plays a role in cellular defense and repair, but it’s unclear how significant these effects are.

The Evidence Score

Here is our score, based on scientific evidence, of how likely Tru Niagen will be effective for its claimed benefits:

Healthy aging5/5
Cellular energy5/5
Cellular defense & cellular repair3/5

Tru Niagen Side Effects and Safety

One of the benefits of Tru Niagen compared to taking niacin in its original form is that niacin can cause a reaction.

While most people would be fine taking the daily amount of 14–16 mg per day, high doses of niacin can cause temporary heat and redness, known as a niacin flush. (9)

However, Tru Niagen reports no skin flushing or other side effects. (5)

It’s NSF certified for sport and doesn’t contain any stimulants. Also, the FDA has given Tru Niagen its approval for safety.

While Tru Niagen is unlikely to be harmful, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t guarantee the claimed benefits made by the company.

Tru Niagen is technically part of the unregulated supplement industry like other supplements. Therefore, the FDA says it’s “not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.”

Nicotinamide riboside (Tru Niagen) has a similar toxicity profile to nicotinamide. Therefore, studies on nicotinamide can help shed some light on Tru Niagen. (5)

Animal studies on nicotinamide safety predict that no adverse effects should be seen in humans at a dose of 300 mg per day. Instead, the dose would need to be at least 10-fold higher before any potential problems occur. (10)

Human studies show no adverse effects after eight weeks of 1000 mg doses of nicotinamide riboside chloride daily. (5)

Another study on men ages 40–70 concluded that 12 weeks of 2000 mg of NR daily appeared safe. (7)

If you are pregnant, nursing, or have diabetes, don’t take supplements without talking to your doctor.

Tru Niagen hasn’t been tested in pregnancy and may have unknown medication interactions. High doses of niacin are not recommended during pregnancy and can lead to diabetes. (9)

It’s best to use caution with related substances, including NR, unless you get the green light from your healthcare provider.

Summary

Tru Niagen is a dietary supplement considered safe by the FDA but not regulated for its health claims. It’s always a good idea to tell your healthcare professional if you’re considering a supplement.

Dosage and How to Take

Each capsule of Tru Niagen contains 300 mg of nicotinamide riboside. There are also 150 mg capsules if you prefer to take two smaller pills daily.

The recommended dose is one capsule per day of the 300 mg or two capsules of the 150 mg pill. You can take the supplement at the same time every day with or without food.

Cost and Where to Buy

Tru Niagen is available for purchase on the brand’s official website both through one-time purchases and subscription models.

All orders come with free shipping within the U.S.

For simplicity, here is the cost breakdown for Tru Niagen’s 300 mg size:

Quantity With Subscription One-Time Purchase
30-count $40/Monthly (15% off) $47
90-count $105 every 3 months (26% off) $119.95
180-count $198 every 6 months (30% off) $229.95

For Tru Niagen’s 150 mg bottle (2-month supply), they all come with a 120 count and requires you to take 2 capsules daily to meet the 300 mg daily dose.

They are priced at the following:

  • $87.95: One-time purchase
  • $79.00: With a subscription (save 10%)

Fortunately, you can cancel your subscription anytime if you change your mind.

For those committed to taking Tru Niagen for the long term (or sharing with friends and family), the most cost-effective option is the 6-month supply with subscribe and save. You’ll get 180 pills twice per year for $198 per delivery. That’s $33 per month.

You can also mail back an unopened product for a return. However, partially open or tampered with bottles are nonrefundable based on the return policy terms.

Tru Niagen is also approved for sale in Europe, Canada, and Australia

Shop Tru Niagen

How Tru Niagen Compares to Alternatives

In the chart below, we compare Tru Niagen to some of its top competitors in key areas.

Tru Niagen Basis by Elysium ResveraCel by Thorne NAD+ Cell Regenerator by Life Extension
Active Ingredients
  • Nicotinamide Riboside (proven to support metabolism): 300 mg
  • Crystalline Nicotinamide Riboside: 250 mg
  • Pterostilbene (a polyphenol): 50 mg
  • Nicotinamide Riboside Hydrogen Malate: 415 mg
  • Quercetin Phytosom
  • Trans-Resveratrol
  • Betaine Anhydrous
  • Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride (which is Niagen): 300 mg
Cost for 1-Month Supply (as a one-time purchase) $47 $60 $50 $40.50
Safety and Quality Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA. A third party tests each batch for quality, and the reports are readily available on the website. No clear information listed about safety or quality testing. GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) registration from NSF International, an independent organization that does bi-annual audits at the facility to assure the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity match what appears on the label.
Evidence Multiple human trials published in peer-reviewed journals. One clinical trial completed in humans. There’s research behind each ingredient but no human testing on the combination in ResveraCel. Studies noted for Tru Niagen also apply to this product.
Special Diets and Allergens
  • No animal by-products
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Formulated without nuts or gluten
  • Caffeine-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Certified gluten-free
  • Nut-free
  • Contains no artificial colors or flavors
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegetarian

Summary

Tru Niagen has more extensive research behind it than competitor products. Also, many of the competitors have multiple ingredients. Additional ingredients could offer extra benefits but might also make it hard to pinpoint the problem if you have a bad reaction.

The Bottom Line

The main ingredient in Tru Niagen raises NAD levels, which may result in increased energy, lower inflammation, and potentially prevent disease. (11)

However, while Tru Niagen will raise NAD levels, it may not make as much of a difference for people who consume plenty of NAD precursors from other sources.

As noted before, it is always preferred to get the nutrients you need from whole, fresh foods such as broccoli, cucumber, avocado, dairy milk, and beef. (2)

It’s unrealistic to expect Tru Niagen to stop you from aging or cure an existing disease. Nonetheless, nicotinamide riboside supplementation makes sense to help your body adjust gracefully to the changes that come with age.

As part of an overall healthy lifestyle, Tru Niagen is a generally safe and effective supplement to add to your routine.

Pay attention to how your body feels when you start Tru Niagen. Don’t take more than the recommended dose, and give it at least four weeks to start experiencing its benefits.

Speak to your doctor before starting any new supplementation.

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At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

  1. Energy Pathways | 3 Primary Energy Pathways in the Body | ACE Blog:
    https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/ace-answers/exam-preparation-blog/3256/the-three-primary-energy-pathways-explained/
  2. Implications of altered NAD metabolism in metabolic disorders | Journal of Biomedical Science | Full Text:
    https://jbiomedsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12929-019-0527-8
  3. Nicotinamide riboside supplementation alters body composition and skeletal muscle acetylcarnitine concentrations in healthy obese humans:
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  7. randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of nicotinamide riboside in obese men: safety, insulin-sensitivity, and lipid-mobilizing effects | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic:
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    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5650959/
  9. Niacin - Mayo Clinic:
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  10. Possible Adverse Effects of High-Dose Nicotinamide: Mechanisms and Safety Assessment - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277745/
  11. Nutrients | Free Full-Text | Nicotinamide Riboside—The Current State of Research and Therapeutic Uses | HTML:
    https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1616/htm