Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effect of Nicotinamide Riboside on Skeletal Muscle Function in Heart Failure Subjects

Updated on 9 April 2019
heart failure
chronic heart failure
systolic heart failure
cardiopulmonary exercise testing
radionuclide ventriculography



  • People are living longer and are more likely to survive a heart attack if they have one. Longer life expectancy is good but it also means more people get chronic heart failure over time. This is a condition in which the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should. Treatment of chronic heart failure has not improved much in a few decades. Researchers want to see if giving a dietary supplement to people with heart failure can help their heart function. The supplement is nicotinamide riboside (NR).


  • To study how NR affects skeletal muscle function in people with heart failure.


  • Adults ages 18-70 with clinically stable systolic heart failure


  • Participants will be screened with a medical history and physical exam. They will answer demographic questions and review their current medical treatments. They will have blood and urine tests. They will have an echocardiogram. This uses sound waves to test heart function.
  • Participants will have 8 study visits over 16 weeks. At these visits, they will have some of the following:
  • Repeat of screening tests
  • Skin sample taken
  • Skeletal muscle exercise NMR spectroscopy. Muscles will be measured while participants do foot exercises.
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Participants may ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill. A facemask will analyze their breath. Heart and blood pressure measurements will be taken.
  • Participants will take the supplement in pill form each day for 12 weeks. Pill bottles will be checked at study visits.
  • Participants should not significantly change their activity levels during the study.



As life expectancy increases and acute cardiac mortality decreases, the incidence of chronic heart failure (HF) continues to rise, and despite this, conceptual advances in the treatment of chronic heart failure have not increased substantially over last few decades. One intracellular component of heart failure progression is mitochondrial bioenergetic dysfunction. Although the mechanism underpinning this is not completely understood, recent metabolomics data demonstrated an incomplete flux of metabolites through oxidative phosphorylation (OX PHOS) in HF. In parallel, data has shown that hyperacetylation of mitochondrial bioenergetic enzymes, with the concomitant blunting of enzymatic activity is evident in HF. Putting these together, an emerging hypothesis implicates excessive acetylation of mitochondrial proteins with the subsequent blunting of bioenergetic enzyme function, as a mechanism underpinning incomplete flux through OX PHOS resulting in HF progression.

In parallel with cardiac bioenergetic deficiency chronic HF subjects display disrupted skeletal muscle OX PHOS, which is thought to contribute towards overall fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance. Interestingly exercise training in HF subjects improves skeletal muscle mitochondrial OX PHOS capacity and subject activity levels. Exercise training additionally increases activity of the mitochondrial regulatory deacetylase sirtuin enzymes SIRT1 and SIRT3, in parallel with improved skeletal muscle OX PHOS capacity. At the same time HF-associated disruption in skeletal muscle metabolic function activates skeletal muscle cytokine production. These inflammatory programs, in turn, are proposed to contribute towards impaired functional capacity in HF. Interestingly, and mirroring improved OX PHOS following exercise programs in HF studies, exercise training similarly reduces skeletal muscle inflammatory effects.

Biochemical and bioenergetic consequences of impaired mitochondrial OX PHOS leads to decreased NAD+ levels, which exacerbate mitochondrial dysfunction by inactivating the NAD+ dependent sirtuin enzymes. Experimental studies using NAD+ precursors to increase NAD+ production have been shown to normalize NADH/NAD+ ratios and activate Sirtuin enzymes, resulting in enhanced OX PHOS with beneficial effects in numerous systems including skeletal muscle and in the blunting of inflammation.

In this pilot study we will directly assess the effect of the NAD+ precursor, nicotinamide riboside (NR) on skeletal muscle mitochondrial OX PHOS in HF subjects using: skeletal muscle NMR spectroscopy assessment of the rate of high energy phosphate recovery in response to submaximal exercise; assessment of the effect of NR on functional capacity using cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to determine VO(2max) and anaerobic threshold; evaluation of the NR effect on serum metabolomics at rest and in response to CPET; and by measuring circulating cytokine levels pre- and post- NR administration. These studies would enable a more comprehensive assessment of the role for NR supplementation on skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in subjects with systolic HF


Condition Heart failure, Cardiovascular Disease
Clinical Study IdentifierTX218182
Last Modified on9 April 2019


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Men and women between the ages of 18 and 75 years with NYHA Class II-III systolic heart failure (LVEF by standard echocardiography or radionuclide ventriculography of less than or equal to 45%) deemed to be non-ischemic or ischemic in origin
Clinically stable (no cardiac procedures or hospitalizations for hospitalizations for cardiac causes, including HF, ischemia or arrhythmia) within the previous 3 months
Ability to undergo study procedures, including scheduled visits, blood draws, skeletal muscle exercise NMR spectroscopy and CPET testing
Willingness/ability to provide informed consent
Must be DEERS eligible to be enrolled in a research protocol at WRNMMC

Exclusion Criteria

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (LVEF greater than 45%)
Change in heart failure medications due to deterioration of function with the exception of up- or down-titration of diuretic dose up to 100% of baseline dose
Heart failure due to etiologies other than non-ischemic or ischemic. Examples of exclusionary heart failure etiologies include primary valvular disease, or infiltrative or inflammatory cardiomyopathies
Cardiac surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or cardiac device implantation within the previous 3 months
Hospitalizations for cardiovascular causes, including heart failure, chest pain, stroke/TIA or arrhythmias within the previous 3 months
Inability to perform Study visits or procedures (e.g., physical inability to perform exercise testing)
Unwillingness/inability to provide informed consent
ALT greater than x3 upper limit of normal, hepatic insufficiency or active liver disease
Recent history of acute gout
Chronic renal insufficiency with creatinine greater than 2.5mg/dl
Pregnant (or likely to become pregnant) women
Significant co-morbidity likely to cause death in the 6 month follow-up period
Significant active history of substance abuse within the previous 5 years
Current participation in another drug study
History of intolerance to NR precursor compounds, including niacin or nicotinamide
MRI incompatible hardware including pacemakers or ICD s
Study adherence concerns
Individuals with diabetes type 1 and 2 who use insulin
Women of child-bearing potential unwilling to use contraception or unwilling to practice abstinence
Breastfeeding women unwilling to stop breastfeeding
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note