Hello Biohackers!!! Now more than ever, we are focusing on what matters.
We’d like to introduce you to TRU NIAGEN®. Tru Niagen® increases your levels of NAD+, a
molecule critical to generating energy within the trillions of cells throughout your body.
These levels decline not only with age but also with metabolic stress on your body. This
product helps support cellular health, repair, and recovery. Let’s all welcome Andrew Shao, Ph.D. from Tru Niagen®.
Q: Hi Dr. Shao, Thank you for your time. This will be a big help to our community to know more about your products. First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Also, can you share something about the company, the branding, and how it all started?
A: Thank you for having me. I serve as the Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory & amp; Scientific Affairs at ChromaDex, and earned my doctorate in nutritional biochemistry and master’s in human nutrition science, both from Tufts University. Prior to joining ChromaDex, I held several scientific and regulatory leadership roles for multinational companies and trade associations including Herbalife Nutrition, General Nutrition Corporation, and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). I serve on the Editorial Board of several high-impact peer-reviewed journals and am a member of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and the Tufts Nutrition Council. 22 years ago, ChromaDex started out focusing on analytical chemistry and standard reference materials. Over the last 10 – 15 years the company has shifted more toward discovering and licensing early-stage, IP-backed ingredient technologies. One such ingredient that had garnered the company’s attention and which later became the backbone of its flagship product was a nutrient called nicotinamide riboside (NR), a unique form of vitamin B3 known to boost the body’s levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). Today, ChromaDex continues to pioneer NAD+ research, and maintain strategic business partnerships with Walmart and Nestle, as well as consumer product companies Ro and Health & Happiness (H & amp; H) Group.
Q: Your company is run by a group of the most renowned scientists and doctors in the industry. Can you give us a little bit of background on how you guys started with the idea of this innovative product and what inspired you to come up with the idea of helping a lot of people to stay healthy?
A: Since the formation of ChromaDex in 1999, the company has put science and research at the core of the business. When the company was founded, the focus was on providing analytical testing services and purified standard reference compounds to the industry and research community. We have since shifted more towards discovering and licensing early-stage, IP backed ingredient technologies. Starting in 2017, ChromaDex made another strategic business decision to create a global consumer brand around the Tru Niagen product. Since that transition in 2017, ChromaDex has maintained steady growth both quarterly and annually. We believe NAD+ and cellular health will be an important trend with consumers who are dedicated to nutritional solutions for healthy aging. The momentum behind Tru Niagen ® continues to build as real users, influencers, celebrities, and athletes share their experiences.
Q: Your Journey started in 1999. During your journey what are the biggest challenges that you’ve encountered when you started the business and how did you deal with them?
A: In 2004, Dr. Charles Brenner, while at Dartmouth University, discovered that a nutrient called nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a precursor to NAD+, an essential coenzyme, whose function is implicated in healthy aging. In 2012, ChromaDex licensed a set of Dartmouth patents for the nutritional and therapeutic uses of the breakthrough nutrient and brought NR to market as the ingredient Niagen ®.
In 2017, the company launched Tru Niagen ® as the company’s flagship dietary supplement consumer product available directly from the innovators of Niagen ®. Over the past several years, Niagen ® and/or Tru Niagen ® have achieved regulatory acceptance in leading markets around the world including the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Australia. In parallel to ongoing research and innovation surrounding NAD+ precursors, ChromaDex continues to build Tru Niagen ® as a global brand through its e-commerce business and via strategic partners.
In order to grow our e-commerce business and subscriber base, we have increased category and brand awareness and observed consistent growth from returning customers. In tandem, we have continued to invest in science through our industry-leading ChromaDex External Research Program (CERP™), which since its inception in 2013 has accumulated over 225 research collaborations studying Niagen ® (patented nicotinamide riboside) with leading Universities and research institutions from around the world.
Q: Let us talk about your product. What is Tru Niagen®? And what other benefits that you think the consumer will get aside from those already written on your page?
A: Tru Niagen® contains a unique form of vitamin B3 known as nicotinamide riboside (NR). Niagen®, our patented and FDA safety-notified ingredient, is clinically proven to safely increase NAD+. Boosting your NAD+ with Tru Niagen® supports repair and defense at the cellular level, and even supports healthy aging. Tru Niagen® also helps support sustained cellular energy, muscle recovery, and a healthy heart (in combination with diet and exercise).
Q: Whenever we hear Tru Niagen®, it comes with the word NAD or NAD+. Can you tell us more about what NAD stands for and what are benefits this product can bring to our bodies?
A: Great question. NAD+ is an acronym for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD+ is a coenzyme found in every living cell in your body. A coenzyme is a small molecule that works together with an enzyme to speed up a specific biochemical reaction. NAD+ works with certain enzymes to support the production of cellular energy and assist in cellular repair. NAD+ essentially powers our mitochondria like electricity powers a factory. Without it, most of our biological processes would be unable to function. Our cells also use several NAD-dependent enzymes to help repair damage incurred from everyday activities.
Q: Which of these products do you personally use, and which of these products would you recommend most?
A: Personally, I take one 300mg capsule of Tru Niagen ® daily. I usually take it in the morning; however, you can take it at any time of the day, with or without food.
Q: Aside from current product offerings, is the team working on developing new additional products? What does the product roadmap look like?
A: While I cannot comment on the development of any new products, ChromaDex CEO Rob Fried says, “For more than 20 years, and through a transition from an ingredients business to a direct-to-consumer bioscience company, we have remained true to our commitment to innovation, science, and safety.”
There are presently 40+ ongoing human clinical studies on Niagen ® registered. We will continue to grow our research program and build Tru Niagen ® as a global brand.
Q: Given a change, if you will create a new product that can be added to your list of products what would it be and why?
A: We are considering many options, but we want to ensure that whatever we develop next is backed by the best science, meets our high-quality standards and also meets the needs of our customers.
Q: I’ve seen that you have won several awards, Congratulations! Can you share with us some of the most memorable awards and how did you achieve them?
A: Thank you! I would say Nutra Ingredients USA Ingredient of the Year: Healthy Aging in 2019 was one of the most memorable. It’s special because it recognized the combination of the high-quality standards, consistency of the manufacturing process, and the strong science behind Tru Niagen ® in our efforts to support cellular health and healthy aging.
All of the awards are special, and we achieve them because we are committed to quality ingredients, proven science, and responsible marketing.
Q: What can we, the consumers, can expect in your company and the product?
A: We plan to continue to grow the research program and build Tru Niagen ® as a global brand.
Q: Thank you for letting us know more about your products. Is there anything you want to add that we didn’t cover?
A: For a deeper dive into the science behind Tru Niagen®, NAD+, and research behind NR, I’d recommend checking out the Tru Niagen® blog, and about NAD.
Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Shao. We are honored to be able to speak with you regarding your company and wish you the absolute best. For interested readers, please visit their website below.