Nicotinamide riboside reduces cardiometabolic risk factors and modulates cardiac oxidative stress in obese Wistar rats under caloric restriction

Life Sci. 2020 Dec 15;263:118596. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118596. Epub 2020 Oct 17.


Aims: NAD-based therapeutic strategies are encouraged against obesity and heart disease. Our study, therefore, aimed to investigate the effects of nicotinamide riboside (NR), isolated or combined with caloric restriction (CR), both approaches well-known for stimulating NAD levels, on adiposity parameters, cardiometabolic factors and cardiac oxidative stress in rats submitted to cafeteria diet (CAF).

Main methods: After 42 days of CAF-induced obesity (hypercaloric and ultra-processed foods common to humans), we examined the effects of oral administration of NR (400 mg/kg for 28 days), combined or not with CR (-62% kcal, for 28 days), on anthropometric, metabolic, tissue, and cardiac oxidative stress parameters in obese male Wistar rats.

Key findings: In obese rats, treatment with NR alone mitigated final body weight gain, reduced adiposity (visceral and subcutaneous), improved insulin resistance, and decreased TG/HDL ratio and heart size. In cardiac OS, treatment with NR increased the antioxidant capacity via glutathione peroxidase and catalase enzymes (in rats under CR) as well as reduced the pro-oxidant complex NADPH oxidase (in obese and lean rats). Hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia and elevated levels of TBARS in the heart were state-dependent adverse effects, induced by treatment with NR.

Significance: This is the first study to report effects of nicotinamide riboside on cardiac oxidative stress in an obesity model. Nicotinamide riboside, a natural dietary compound, presented antiobesity effects and cardiometabolic benefits, in addition to positively modulating oxidative stress in the heart, in a state-dependent manner.

Keywords: Animal model 8; Cafeteria diet 7; Caloric restriction 2; Cardiovascular diseases 6; Metabolic syndrome 5; Nicotinamide riboside 1; Obesity 4; Oxidative stress 3.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Cardiometabolic Risk Factors
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Niacinamide / pharmacology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • nicotinamide-beta-riboside
  • Niacinamide