ChromaDex, Thorne Research Partner on “Next Generation” Vitamin B


Niagen is the first and only commercially available nicotinamide riboside (NR) ingredient on the market.

Ingredients developer ChromaDex (Irvine, CA) has enlisted healthcare practitioner supplements company Thorne Research (Sandpoint, ID) to help market ChromaDex’s recently introduced Niagen nicotinamide riboside ingredient to the practitioner market.

Niagen is the first and only commercially available nicotinamide riboside (NR) ingredient on the market. ChromaDex calls NR the industry’s “next generation” vitamin B3. It is said to be a more potent, no-flush version of vitamin B3 (niacin).

The deal with Thorne extends over the next three years and is said to be worth at least $3.5 million. Under the agreement, Thorne gets the rights to market Niagen, in the United States and Canada, in the nutritional supplements the company creates for the healthcare practitioner channel. ChromaDex will get a royalty on sales of these Thorne supplements containing Niagen.

The two companies also plan to collaborate on future Niagen human clinical trials.

The benefits of oral NR supplementation include “significantly optimiz[ing] mitochondrial function by increasing intracellular levels of NAD+,” said Robert Rountree, MD, chief medical officer, Thorne Research, in a press release. “Mitochondrial energy production is critical for efficient metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, weight management, athletic performance, cardiovascular health, and neuroprotection,” he added. The companies say NR has shown to increase muscle endurance, protect nerve cells from injury, improves insulin sensitivity, lower serum cholesterol, and limit diet-induced obesity.

“We believe Niagen is one of the most exciting new ingredients to be introduced in the nutritional supplement market in the past decade,” added Thorne Research CEO Paul Jacobson. “We are thrilled to be the first manufacturer in our market sector to be able to incorporate this ingredient, and we plan on having a series of first-to-market products that incorporate Niagen.”

In securing the rights to Niagen, ChromaDex acquired patent rights from Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and Washington University. NR is found naturally in trace amounts in milk and other foods, the company says. It adds:


A recent study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland) found that mice on a high-fat diet fed NR gained 60% less weight than mice eating the same high-fat diet without NR. Moreover, unlike the mice not fed NR, none of the NR-treated mice had indications they were developing diabetes and they had improved energy and lower cholesterol levels, all with no side effects. The Swiss researchers were quoted as saying the effects of NR on metabolism "are nothing short of astonishing."

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