VITAMIN B3 CHEAT SHEET – NIACIN, NIACINAMIDE, NR, AND NMN

“NIACIN” is synonymous with VITAMIN B3, which has several different forms:

NA=nicotinic acid.
  • NA is the form most commonly found in food.
  • It lowers triglycerides; lowers LDL; raises HDL.
  • It raises NAD levels significantly in both blood and muscle tissue.
  • Recent evidence suggests that it may be better at raising NAD than the much-more expensive NR or NMN. But there have not been any independent double-blind studies comparing them.
  • It also promotes gains in mass and promotes sleep.
  • NA is dirt cheap, about 20 times cheaper than the same amount of NR or NMN.
  • When (most) people say “niacin” they’re talking about NA. (If you buy a bottle of vitamins labeled “niacin” it should contain NA.)
  • Some multivitamins which contain niacinamide (NAM) label it inaccurately as “niacin.”
  • Side effects: NA can cause flushing (itching/temporary reddening of the skin as blood vessels dilate). (Flushing is sometimes called a “rash” but this is inaccurate.)
  • It can also cause nasal congestion.
  • Some sustained-release forms of NA can cause liver damage in large doses. It’s disputed whether regular (non-time release) NA can cause liver damage even in large amounts.

NAM=niacinamide. Also known as nicotinamide.

  • NAM has no beneficial effects on LDL, HDL or triglycerides.
  • It does raise NAD levels. How much it raises them compared to NA, NMN or NR is not known.
  • Unlike NA, it does not cause flushing.
  • Most people in the anti-aging community are wary of taking NAM because of studies showing that it (may) dampen sirtuin gene activity. (These studies are disputed.) David Sinclair has said that he won’t take a multivitamin that has even a tiny amount of NAM in it for this reason.

NMN=nicotinamide mononucleotide

  • Raises NAD levels.
  • Does not cause flushing.
  • Does not shut down sirtuin genes.
  • Has no beneficial effects on LDL, HDL or triglycerides.

NR=nicotinamide riboside

  • Raises NAD levels.
  • Does not cause flushing.
  • Does not shut down sirtuin genes
  • Has no beneficial effects on LDL, HDL or triglycerides.

What I take, and why

  • I’m currently taking 1 gram of NMN in the mornings to raise NAD levels.
  • I take 500 mg of NA (niacin) at night because it helps me sleep. (If I take a full gram, I’ll get to sleep fast but wake up too early.)
  • If I were on a tight budget I’d switch to just taking the NA form of B3.
  • Note: I also take other NAD boosters, including apigenin (found in parsley and chamomile), rutin, and Pau D’Arco. And I always take sirtuin activators along with them, such as resveratrol, pterostilbene and olive oil.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.