Nicotinamide riboside supplement enhances the endurance of mice suffering from premature ageing caused by radiation exposure. This is evidenced by their increased running time before reaching exhaustion. NR counteracts the depletion of red and white blood cells resulting from exposure to radiation. Cell senescence is a condition where these cells cease to proliferate and release inflammatory substances. In stem cells, NR relieves senescence resulting from radiation, thereby promoting a healthier cellular environment. Cancer treatments have long been a beacon of hope. Yet the resulting accelerated ageing has remained a challenge, especially for childhood cancer survivors. Radiotherapy using ionising radiation, a vital weapon in the fight against cancerous tumours, contributes to premature ageing. It brings with it chronic health issues for a significant percentage of survivors. What’s alarming is that until now, there have been no effective countermeasures against this troubling consequence of cancer treatment. A recently published research in Ageing Cell by scientists from Peking Union Medical College and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science has provided a promising path forward. Li and colleagues reveal that nicotinamide riboside (NR) holds the key to reversing radiation-linked premature ageing. Nicotinamide Riboside Cancer Study The study’s findings involving NR, a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), are truly remarkable. Li and his team examined exercise capacity in mice exposed to radiation. The researchers discovered that following ionising radiation, mice had reduced running time before exhaustion. Yet, NR was able to enhance the number of times run prior to exhaustion. Hence, nicotinamide riboside research demonstrated that NR not only restores physical health but also improves it. White and red blood cells are vital components of the body’s immune and oxygen transport systems. However, during radiotherapy, the number of blood cells falls dramatically due to extensive senescence. Li and his team measured the number of cells in circulation before and after NR treatment. The researchers discovered that NR enhances the white and red blood cell counts. It works to mitigate the adverse effects of radiation on these critical elements. Additionally, NR also alleviates the ageing process at the cellular level. It diminishes cell senescence in the bone marrow-derived stem cells, which are pivotal for blood cell production. Nicotinamide Riboside Benefits Physical Fitness and Improves Cell Count One significant revelation from nicotinamide riboside supplement research is that NR counters radiation’s detrimental impact on physical functioning. Mice, when exposed to radiation, exhibited reduced physical fitness. However, with NR supplementation, this effect was effectively reversed. Thus, it successfully allowed the mice to perform better in endurance tests. This indicates that NR has the potential to restore physical capacity in individuals undergoing radiotherapy. Moreover, the study also looks at the impact of NR on blood cell count. Radiation exposure diminished the numbers of white and red blood cells, impairing the immune system and oxygen transport. NR supplementation, however, reversed this decline, boosting the body’s defence mechanisms and ensuring oxygen supply to tissues. This action of NR in enhancing blood cell production and count highlights its crucial role in restoring health post-radiotherapy. Nicotinamide Riboside and Cancer Therapy-Induced Senescence Equally intriguing is NR’s ability to mitigate senescence in certain bone marrow-derived stem cells, LSKs, responsible for blood cell production. Radiotherapy drastically increases senescence in these cells. But nicotinamide riboside cancer treatment improves their capacity to produce blood cells by alleviating senescence in Lin−Scal+c-Kit+ cells. These findings directly link reduced LSK senescence, increased blood cell production, and improved blood cell numbers. Thus, it reinforces NR’s potential to rejuvenate the hematopoietic system against radiation-induced injuries. Health Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside and Its Precursors The study also opens the door to exploring similar NAD+ precursors, such as NMN. These precursors have demonstrated protective effects against radiation-induced damage. NMN’s antioxidant properties are likely to contribute to its ability to safeguard vital organs. It potentially offers a comprehensive solution alongside NR in combating the premature ageing induced by radiotherapy. Additional research also indicates that NMN safeguards the intestinal lining from radiation-induced harm. In this investigation, scientists demonstrated that NMN functions as an antioxidant, thus providing protection against radiotherapy-induced damage. One notable distinction between the study conducted by Li and colleagues and the NMN study lies in the fact that Li and colleagues exhibited a restoration of physical function. However, given that NMN also serves as an NAD+ precursor, it is probable that NMN likewise rejuvenates the hematopoietic system when exposed to radiotherapy, thereby restoring exercise capacity.