Is nicotinamide riboside (NR) better than nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)?

There rage fierce debates online about nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) vs. nicotinamide riboside (NR) vs. NAD+. Unfortunately, there is quite a lot of misinformation, misquoted studies or outdated insights circulating about these topics.

Further complicating the discussion is the observation that NR is pushed a lot by NR sellers and manufacturers, because the NR production process is patented (this is not the case for NMN) and that for a long time NR was much cheaper to manufacture than NMN. This is why most manufacturers stick (and are stuck) with NR.

When we developed NOVOS Boost, we were agnostic to which NAD booster (NR, NMN, NAD etc.) we would offer to our customers. We chose NMN because this seems to be the best molecule. This is for various reasons.

One reason is that NMN is much more stable in the gut and bloodstream, contrary to NR. In fact, most oral NR gets quickly broken down in the gut (before it can get absorbed into the blood) into NAM (nicotinamide, or vitamin B3). The very little NR that is absorbed is immediately broken down in the liver into NAM, so very little NR reaches the cells. Often, companies claim that NR increases NAD+ levels, but that is because NAM (nicotinamide) also increases NAD+ levels. In fact, if you take NR, you take in fact expensive vitamin B3 (nicotinamide). NMN in contrast is much more stable in the gut and in the blood circulation.

NMN is also more closely related to NAD+, the substance of which you want to increase your levels. NR on the other hand first needs to be converted into NMN to then be converted into NAD+.

World experts in NAD metabolism like Dr. David Sinclair take NMN orally (and not NR or NAD patches). Also, biotech companies are investing millions of dollars into developing NMN analogues (not NR analogues).

You can find more about NMN vs. NR on this page: