Slow Aging with Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)

Complements of the Phytocopeia Natural Products Formulary

What is Nicotinamide Mononucleotide?

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide or NMN is an organic molecule advertised as a kind of “Fountain of Youth” natural supplement. The reason is based on how it acts as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD. 

NAD boosts cellular energy production (ATP), promote efficient metabolism, improves sleep and recovery, and benefits hundreds of other enzymatic reactions crucial to everyday life.

We also lose NAD as we age, and scientists hypothesize that increasing NAD levels could help delay ageing. [1]

Food Sources of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide

Since we can’t exactly eat NAD, primarily because the human body wasn’t designed to absorb NAD through digestion, the next best thing is to get NMN from food sources. Some of these sources are edamame, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, avocado, and tomatoes.

While getting NMN from our diet is possible, it’s not very efficient since NMN can only be found in trace amounts. This is where supplementation comes in.

Performance and Health Benefits of Taking Nicotinamide Mononucleotide

So, what does supplementing NMN do for you? 

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide helps slow down aging

The biggest reason why NMN supplements are flying off shelves is how it was studied as an anti-aging supplement. As mentioned, it works by boosting NAD levels, a compound that naturally declines with age. Therefore, boosting NAD levels can indirectly lead to a longer lifespan. [2]

It also seems to work on other factors that affect aging such as telomere length – a tail of our DNA that shortens as we age – and sirtuin activity – a family of molecules that exhibit antioxidant properties, fight cellular aging, lower DNA damage, and is involved in complex anti-aging processes.

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Improves quality of life

Some scientists believe taking NMN supplements can help with slowing aging as well as improving our overall health, especially when it comes to lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It’s also been highlighted to promote physical activity.

Other studies note that it can possibly provide better eyesight for those who have trouble reading without glasses. 

These findings demonstrate that NAD+ biosynthesis is essential for vision, provide a foundation for future work to further clarify the mechanisms involved, and identify a unifying therapeutic target for diverse blinding diseases.[3]

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Promotes heart health

Some studies show NMN supplements help restore damaged heart tissue as well as reverse blood vessel damage caused by aging. These resulted in better blood flow as well as a stronger heart overall. 

In the present study, 8 weeks of NMN supplementation restored a marker of arterial SIRT1 activity and ameliorated age‐associated endothelial dysfunction and large elastic artery stiffening in male C57Bl/6 mice.[4]

Limitations

While Nicotinamide Mononucleotide supplementation seems promising, it has to be noted that all the studies used and all the positive results were derived from mostly using mice as subjects.

Many studies regarding supplements used animal subjects and drew positive results in humans, but that’s not to say it works the same way all the time. 

Summary

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide is an important molecule known to promote chemical reactions and processes inside the body that help fight aging.

You can always supply the body with Nicotinamide Mononucleotide from dietary sources, but the most efficient way is to take Nicotinamide Mononucleotide supplements.

Studies show Nicotinamide Mononucleotide supplementation has great benefits with regards to slowing aging as well as overall quality of life and heart health. While the majority of studies do revolve around mice subjects, test results are promising and shouldn’t discourage consumers.

References:

  1. Poddar SK, Sifat AE, Haque S, Nahid NA, Chowdhury S, Mehedi I. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide: Exploration of Diverse Therapeutic Applications of a Potential Molecule. Biomolecules. 2019;9(1):34. Published 2019 Jan 21. doi:10.3390/biom9010034
  2. Kawamura T, Mori N, Shibata K. β-Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an Anti-Aging Candidate Compound, Is Retained in the Body for Longer than Nicotinamide in Rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2016;62(4):272-276
  3. Lin JB, Kubota S, Ban N, et al. NAMPT-Mediated NAD(+) Biosynthesis Is Essential for Vision In Mice. Cell Rep. 2016;17(1):69–85. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2016.08.073
  4. de Picciotto NE, Gano LB, Johnson LC, et al. Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation reverses vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress with aging in mice. Aging Cell. 2016;15(3):522–530. doi:10.1111/acel.12461