Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a relatively new investigational compound, that is a precursor for NAD+ biosynthesis. NAD+ or Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide has shown to have beneficial effects on anti-aging and age-associated diseases in preliminary animal models. We’re going to talk more about NMN, how it works and if the studies provide proof of the efficacy.
What Is Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)
NMN is a critical systematic signaling molecule, specifically a bioactive nucleotide that supports the biosynthesis of NAD+. As we age, like so many other critical compounds, hormones, and biological processes, there is a collective decrease in available NAD+ within the human body. Our NAD+ levels plummet to nearly half of our levels by the time we hit 35 years of age, or middle age [R].
Numerous studies have shown that increased levels of NAD+ improves insulin sensitivity, reverses mitochondrial dysfunction, improves neuronal function in the brain, suppresses age-related adipose tissue inflammation, and enhances longevity. NAD+ can be increased by activating and inhibiting certain enzymes, particularly an enzyme called (CD38) that degrades NAD+. By supplementing with NAD precursors, including nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), NAD+ can be further stimulated to improve the aging process.
Preliminary animal studies have shown that NMN has demonstrated a wide array of effects on disease and anti-aging, ranging from Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and ischemia [R].
Increases NAD+ Levels
NAD+ deficiency has been linked to age-related metabolic disorders, mental disorders, and neurodegenerative disease states. You can obtain NMN through your diet, eating foods such as broccoli, avocados, and cucumbers, foods that are rich in Niacin, or vitamin B3.
Aging leads to a gradual decline in NAD+ levels, throughout various tissues in the body. This decline is thought to be related to age-related cellular dysfunction, disrupting the balance between energy production and energy consumption.
A 12-week study, published in the journal Frontiers In Nutrition gave 30 healthy subjects 250mg of NMN per day or placebo, to investigate its effect on NAD+ levels. The study found that NAD levels significantly increased after NMN administration [R].
However, it is important to note, that the NMN supplement and placebo were both manufactured by the same corporation, which can cause bias in results.
Additional studies have also shown that NMN supplementation can increase NAD+ levels at a dose dependent level, with increased dosages, from 600-900mg per day. Clinical efficacy expressed by blood NAD concentration and physical performance reaches highest at a dose of 600 mg daily oral intake [R].
Although some evidence does suggest that NMN may support healthy aging, however more human clinical research is needed to confirm these results.
Enhances Aerobic Capacity
NMN has shown to increase aerobic capacity in a variety of different exercise modalities. A study published in the Journal of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition investigates the effects of a combination of exercise training and supplementation with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
48 young and middle-aged recreationally trained runners were randomized into four groups: the low dosage group (300 mg/day NMN), the medium dosage group (600 mg/day NMN), the high dosage group (1200 mg/day NMN), and the control group (placebo) Each training session was 40-60 min, and the runners trained 5-6 times each week.
Over the course of 6 weeks, showed that NMN increased VO2 production and aerobic capacity in a dose dependent manner [R].
May Improve Metabolic Disorders
Animal studies have shown that NMN may effect body composition, by improved glucose tolerance and alleviated adipose tissue inflammation. Additional data suggests that NMN supplementation may impact brown adipose tissue [R].
Thus, NMN supplementation, could improve blood lipid levels, blood sugar, and insulin levels.
Effects DNA and Telomeres
Telomere length is an important biological marker in the aging process. As you age, telomere length of DNA shortens.
A small study with 8 participants, was conducted to investigate the supplementary effect of NMN on the telomere length of the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC). After 30 days of NMN supplementation, telomere length was significantly elongated in study subjects [R].
As you age, your body slows down production of many essential biological compounds, enzymes, proteins, and hormones. NMN is simply another compound that slows production, which is related to the aging process. Evidence shows that NMN could in fact, help improve biological markers of aging, and improve energy consumption and production, by increasing NAD+ levels. Without larger, long-term efficacy studies, it is impossible to determine, whether or not NMN can substantially effect aging, and overall human health. Currently, the FDA classifies NMN as an investigational drug, and cannot be sold as a dietary supplement. Considering that supplements, especially of investigational nature, are not approved by the FDA and are normally sold by nefarious brands or websites, dose and purity can be misleading.