Nicotinamide riboside, the most recently discovered form of vitamin B3, and its phosphorylated form nicotinamide mononucleotide, have been shown to be potent supplements boosting intracellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) levels, thus preventing or ameliorating metabolic and mitochondrial diseases in mouse models. Here we report for the first time on the simultaneous quantitation of nicotinamide riboside, nicotinamide mononucleotide and NAD in milk by means of a fluorometric, enzyme-coupled assay. Application of this assay to milk from different species revealed that the three vitamers were present in human and donkey milk, while being selectively distributed in the other milks. Human milk was the richest source of nicotinamide mononucleotide. Overall, the three vitamers accounted for a significant fraction of total vitamin B3 content. Pasteurization did not affect the bovine milk content of nicotinamide riboside, whereas UHT processing fully destroyed the vitamin. In human milk, NAD levels were significantly affected by the lactation time.
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