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We know that society does not always meet aging with positivity and acceptance. Your tresses emerge in gray hues, your skin loses elasticity, and your legs are not as stable as they once were. A countenance drained of color and dependency on a mobility scooter is a hard pill to swallow for anyone. Luckily, aging does not have to be all grim, especially in the 21st century. We have access to a plethora of ways to slow this natural process down – and consuming trigonelline is the latest one.

We know that people can color their hair, receive anti-aging treatments, and take collagen supplements for a more youthful appearance. But what about muscle health to keep dreaded frailty at bay? Unfortunately, your Botox is not going to cushion your susceptibility to falling and breaking a bone. Certainly, strength training can lessen your chances of experiencing such a fate. However, new research indicates that you can give your muscle mass preservation a leg up by adding trigonelline to the mix.

Trigonelline can hinder muscles from withering away

The 2024 report was led by Nestlé Research in Switzerland, the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), as well as researchers in other countries. They joined forces in unearthing the muscle longevity benefits of trigonelline, and the results are beyond welcome. It appears that this natural compound does do your muscle health a great deal of good. Perhaps this means it’s unnecessary to actualize the idea of becoming better acquainted with a walking stick at some point in our lives.

The study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism, assessed the quantities of trigonelline in the blood of numerous species. Consequently, researchers discovered that the abundance of the compound is positively linked to muscle strength and mitochondria optimization. On the other hand, they associated inadequate amounts of it with sarcopenia – an age-related condition responsible for skeletal muscle wasting.

Jerome Feige, Ph.D., head of the physical health department at Nestlé Research in Switzerland (who co-led the study), expressed to Forbes how trigonelline positively disrupts the cellular hallmarks of aging. What’s more, they can convert the results from the study to practically help people.

“The benefits of trigonelline on cellular metabolism and muscle health during aging opens promising translational applications,” said Feige to Forbes.

What exactly happens to our muscles as we age?

Mitochondria are known as our internal power stations. They generate energy (by breaking down the food we eat) to power our cells. However, they require a molecule called NAD+ to perform optimally. Essentially, our cells cannot carry out important biochemical functions (like maintaining muscle mass, for one) without this healthy organelle.

Naturally, mitochondria fail to produce energy properly when our muscles age (a time when our NAD+ reduces). That being said, trigonelline happens to be a novel precursor to NAD+ (which is a significant finding in the study).  This means that this compound is your muscle longevity hero because NAD+ can be created from it in a cell.

Mice from the study received trigonelline supplementation and sustained muscle integrity, even in the face of aging. This is because they experienced increased levels of NAD+ and, therefore, improved mitochondrial action ensued.

NAD+ is critical for everything to do with healthy aging

NAD+ is a vital element in energy metabolism within our cells. However, our natural aging process is met with a gradual decline in the availability of this key molecule. According to a 2020 abstract, this makes us more prone to aging-related diseases as a result.

Decreased levels of NAD+ are correlated with cognitive decline, cancer, metabolic disease, frailty, and muscle loss. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that restoring its supply within the body can oppose some of these negative repercussions. Remarkably, supplementing with trigonelline – and eating foods rich in it – can serve as an excellent intervention in muscle health and promote overall longevity.

Where can we find dietary trigonelline?

Following this exciting discovery, we want to get our hands on this muscle-safeguarding elixir. Fortunately, we don’t necessarily need to add another bottle of supplements to our health repertoire to do so.

Coffee lovers will be delighted to know that they are reaping more than just a burst of energy with each cup they drink. The popular beverage boasts high concentrations of trigonelline, with up to 7.2g per kg. Additionally, the compound is present in fenugreek seeds, barley, corn, soybeans, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and onions.

The bottom line

The freshly released benefits of trigonelline contribute to the rising notion that it’s no longer customary for the elderly to sport a walking stick and progressively deteriorate physically. Frailty and fractures may become a problem of the past as long as you strength train and/or embellish your diet with NAD+-producing vitamins and foods.


Covarrubias, A.J.; Perrone, R.; et al. (2020, December 22). NAD+ metabolism and its role in cellular processes during ageing. National Library of Medicine.,homeostasis%20and%20for%20healthy%20ageing.
Konstantinidis, N.; Franke, H.; et al. (2023, April 14). Risk Assessment of Trigonelline in Coffee and Coffee By-Products. National Library of Medicine.,silver%20skin%2C%20and%20spent%20grounds.
Membrez, M.; Migliavacca, E.; et al. (2024, March 19). Trigonelline is an NAD+ precursor that improves muscle function during ageing and is reduced in human sarcopenia. Nature Metabolism.
Caela Bennett

Caela Bennett

Caela Bennett is a wellness content writer and holistic health coach. She hopes to enlighten people through powerful storytelling and offer clarity when navigating the noise within the realm of health. In addition, she guides others in awakening their self-discovery journey and embodying the best version of themselves. Her work is rooted in the philosophy of alchemy: turning metal into gold, i.e., transforming one thing into something better. While she is a maximalist in expressing herself through words, she is a minimalist in lifestyle pursuits.


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