Is NAD a fad? Miss FQ reviews the “age reversing” supplement Tru Niagen

4 October 2018
By Fashion Quarterly

Tru Niagen is the world-first supplement proving you can reverse ageing from the inside out – and it’s now available in New Zealand.


We always talk about our metabolism as something that is either ‘fast’ or ‘slow’, usually as it relates to your waistline or ability to remain lean. Sure, one of its key roles is to convert food into usable energy as opposed to storing it as fat, but according to Professor Charles Brenner, the world leader in the field of NAD metabolism at the University of Iowa, it’s much more complex than that. He describes it as a set of reactions within our body, a set of reactions that cannot happen without sufficient NAD.

NAD is a coenzyme found in every cell of the body used to fuel metabolic processes. As we age – specifically from our mid-twenties – NAD starts to decline and takes our cells’ ability to produce energy, repair DNA and host other critical functions down with it. *Ruh, roh*

Tru Niagen‘s formulation of NAD is made up of nicotinamide riboside – a new form of vitamin B3 – which protects the stores of NAD within our cells from factors that put them in harm’s way and ultimately accelerate ageing (not ideal). These stressors include the usual culprits: alcohol, overindulging in too much food, too much time spent in the sun, not enough time sleeping, plus the more DNA-related factors that kick in as we age such as neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. So much for living a little, right?!

Six weeks out from Tru Niagen’s official launch in New Zealand, and coincidentally just days on from Miss FQ digital content producer Terri’s 25th birthday (*cough*, quarter-life crisis), she’s presented with an opportunity to trial this ageing disruptor, and keenly so.

Scroll for Terri’s diary on what she noticed while taking Tru Niagen: 

Day 1: August 13, 2018
Okay, it’s not every day one begins a drug trial but here I am reflecting on many of my life decisions as a just-turned 25-year-old. Frankly, it’s not the most outlandish thing I’m doing with my time right now. The calendar reminder has been set. Two pills per day at 11am, every day. Time to get stuck into the trial.

Day 5: August 17, 2018
By the end of the week, there aren’t any noticeable changes, but what I can remark on, unlike some other supplements I’ve taken in the past, is that Tru Niagen is easy to take (in a not-hard-to-swallow or gives-me-reflux kind of way).

Day 9: August 21, 2018
It’s t-minus one week until NZFW and it’s the calm before the storm. A part of me wishes that I’d started the trial only two weeks earlier so that I could put all of this promised newfound energy to good use during what is our busiest week of the year…

What I did notice, however, were some changes to my sleep. Drifting off is something that doesn’t come easily to me as I have one of those brains that persistently ticks over, but I’ve found that I’m nodding off with little memory of even trying. I could get used to this.

Day 18: August 30, 2018
This week I’m under the pump to perform. From being dressed and ready at work from as early as 7am and staying out following shows as late as midnight back to back, NZFW is a trip. I’m in my absolute element taking in all of the highs and lows that come with it in my stride. As for changes, I’ve detected a spurt in growth in my fingernails. And I know this as a fact because I trimmed them and painted them on Sunday evening to look extra polished for fashion week – which I never do – and I’ve already noticed a good 3mm of growth at my cuticle before Thursday is even up.

Day 23: September 4, 2018
This week is another write-off on the having-a-personal-life front. Given that most of my digital duties were put on hold to make way for NZFW, this week is game of catch up with long hours to boot. Not to mention I worked all weekend to ensure our Miss FQ x Glam by Manicare NZFW show went off without a hitch. It’s the second weekend in a row lost to working (which I don’t mind ’cause I love my job) and a day off is nowhere in sight.

A part of my brain is thinking I’m about to hit a wall and come down with a cold or flu, surely? Usually, all it takes is two hours less sleep than I’m used to and I’m on the verge of crying at all times or experiencing next-level hanger (hungry anger). But alas, that 6am alarm still hasn’t seen any ‘snooze’ hits. Shocking, really.

Day 26: September 7, 2018
Last night was the annual MPA awards where publishers of all of the magazines get in a room and celebrate industry wins. You know, like a fancy black-tie kind of thing. All week I’ve been waiting for my skin to break out as it typically does right before a big event and to my surprise, it hasn’t happened yet. On the contrary, the skin on my face and particularly my arms and shoulders is feeling really supple and moisturised. It’s the middle of winter – which is usually a cause for dry skin – and I’ve certainly not been drinking more water than usual, which means someone’s working hard… That you, Tru Niagen?

Day 31: September 12, 2018
I’m going to level with you. I’ve had one day out of the office in almost 25 days and that’s not because I had to work, it’s because I chose to. This month has been the busiest all year and it’s 100% never like this. My editor has taken the month off for a well-deserve holiday in Europe so I’ve had more to juggle than usual. But interestingly, my energy levels have remained stable; I’m waking up easily despite late nights and irregular sleeping hours, not to mention I’ve not maintained my usual high standard of healthy eating purely out of convenience.  And yet, I’m experiencing better than usual clarity/memory and endurance. I mean, there haven’t been bursts of energy or anything like that, just like a slow burn that, in the words of Ron Burgundy, burns very brightly.

PS: The photos came back from the MPA awards evening and my regrowth is out the gate! I can add hair growth alongside these persistent (and strong) fingernails to my list of changes.

Okay, so what gives? Is NAD a fad?

Having discussed my observations with Professor Charles Brenner, he said that unlike a stimulant such as coffee, when you boost energy at a cellular level, “it’s more like the steady background energy your smartphone uses to execute its many functions.”

“You can expect NAD levels to lift adequately to provide an increase in cellular function – underpinning your general health and making you more resilient when faced with health shocks. You can equate this to a computer’s antivirus programme running in the background supporting your health,” says Brenner.

Which explains why I’ve managed to cope, if not thrive, in this time of high stress without experiencing the fatigue or ailments that typically come about when I’m under pressure. Handy.

Will I keep taking Tru Niagen?

While ageing is not something I’ve always been keen to tamper with, I’m an avid practitioner of good health and base many of my life’s choices on feeling well and good in my body. Life happens, we lose sleep, we attend events, and we expose ourselves to pollution on a daily basis. Wrinkles, pimples and saddle bags (and I’m not talking about the Dior variety) are all proof of having lived through some s**t. Instead of hiding inside and sacrificing living in an effort to survive longer, if you could supplement your diet with substance like Tru Niagen that’s going to add life to your years, and help deflect some of the nasties life throws at us, why the heck not?

Words: Terri Dunn
Photos: Supplied

This article was brought to you by Tru Niagen


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