Milk and whey contain nicotinamide riboside, a stronger form of vitamin B3. Scientists also believe that this vitamin may be present in other foods and possibly in beer.
Nicotinamide riboside is an incredibly small molecule, which makes it very difficult for scientists to find. It is also considered to be very expensive to synthesize; however, in 2013, the pharmaceutical company Chromadex released the world's first nicotinamide riboside supplement, which is sold under the brand name Niagen.
As of 2015 scientists are conducting research on nicotinamide riboside, as scientists theorize that it may have anti-aging effects and may be effective in treating muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. It may fight obesity and improve muscle strength, cardiovascular health and cognitive functions. In addition, it may also help reduce cholesterol as well as prevent muscle loss, energy decline and insulin sensitivity. The vitamin is also thought to have to no side effects. It may help to promote improved metabolic functions and possibly increase a person's lifespan.
When ingested, nicotinamide riboside molecules become trapped in cells, where the molecules then work to boost cell metabolism. It is thought that the cells use the vitamin whenever it is needed and simply store any excess in its original form inside the cell.