A team of 15 researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Polytechnic School in Switzerland have discovered that a natural vitamin precursor found in milk, nicotinamide riboside (NR), may help protect against obesity.
The researchers, who published their findings in the June issue of Cell Metabolism, found that intake of high doses of the vitamin causes mice to burn fat faster and gain muscle endurance due to enhanced mitochondrial function.
NR works by increasing NAD+ cofactor levels, which results in the activation of the metabolism by boosting the SIRT1 and SIRT3 genes. The gene SIRT1 has been studied heavily in recent years because of its beneficial effects on human metabolism and longevity.
Research has shown that SIRT1 is also activated by resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, by a different molecular mechanism. The researchers also pointed out that milk by itself probably doesn’t have a high enough concentration of the vitamin to have a big impact on a person’s metabolism.
While gulping down gallons of milk won’t help you lose much weight, the vitamin could be used as a nutritional supplement to treat metabolic and age-related disorders associated with defective mitochondrial function. Tests on humans are now needed to determine whether the vitamin has the same effects on humans and is safe to use as a nutritional supplement.
Source: Science Daily