Q&A with Charles Brenner, PhD

A Q&A with Dr. Charles Brenner

Get to know Dr. Charles Brenner, the man behind the discovery of nicotinamide riboside (NR) as a vitamin precursor of NAD+. In his labs at Dartmouth College and the University of Iowa, he discovered previously unknown genes and enzymes and pathways in NAD+ metabolism, developed methods to measure NAD+ metabolites, established the anti-diabetic properties of NR in mice, and proved that NR safely elevates NAD+ in human beings.

We checked in with Dr. Brenner to learn more.

What is Tru NIAGEN® and how does it work?

The active ingredient in Tru NIAGEN® is a newly discovered form of Vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside or NR for short. In 2004, my team at Dartmouth College discovered the NR kinase pathway that converts NR into a vitally important metabolite called NAD+.

Why is NAD+ important?

At the cellular level, NAD+ is responsible for repairing DNA damage, defending against harmful free radicals, and converting fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. NAD+ also drives function of the sirtuin genes, which play a critical role in aging and long-term health. Our cells depend on NAD+ to function properly and there is not always enough for optimal metabolism and protection against damage. When cells are stressed or damaged, NAD+ is depleted and the NR kinase pathway is turned on to restore NAD+. By supplementing with NR, the active ingredient in Tru NIAGEN®, healthy metabolism can be maintained under stressful conditions.

How does Tru NIAGEN® help to improve wellbeing? Is it different from other supplements out there?

Recent studies show that NAD+ levels decline with age. So even if you eat healthy, exercise and do everything right, as you get older, your NAD+ levels decline. Declining NAD+ is a compelling explanation for why we succumb to declining health and resiliency as we age. This is why we believe that taking Tru NIAGEN® is a sound, science-based strategy to maintain NAD+ as we age and give our cells exactly what they need to do the jobs they were meant to do.  

Are there risks to taking Tru NIAGEN?

The Food and Drug Administration considers NIAGEN® to be “Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)” as a supplement and as an ingredient in foods and beverages. We have tested NR clinically in experiments that literally began with myself and were extended to confirm the safe, NAD+-boosting activity of NR in healthy human adults. While Tru NIAGEN® is not intended to treat any disease or condition, there have been more than 100 scientific studies from some of the most prestigious scientists and institutions in the world establishing metabolism-boosting, brain, muscle and liver health-improving, neuroprotective and anti-aging activities of NR in model systems. We continue to test NR in model systems and in people. New peer-reviewed publications are coming out all the time.