- NMN or nicotinamide mononucleotide is a molecule naturally found in all organisms. It is an essential precursor in the synthesis of NAD+, a vital coenzyme that facilitates over 400 metabolic reactions in the body.
While there have been few studies regarding the effect of NMN supplements in humans, research in animals has shown numerous NMN health benefits for rodents and other animal species.
Animal research has shown that NMN can improve fertility, memory, energy metabolism, cognition, and mitochondrial function. It can also treat obesity, help with DNA repair, prolong the lifespan, preserve stem cell health, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Studies conducted on humans haven’t found any negative side effects of this supplement, and a daily dose of up to 500 mg is likely safe for humans.
If you want to try out NMN for yourself, we suggest taking a GlycanAge test before and after going through a course of NMN to check whether this supplement really has a positive effect on your biological age.
If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into supplements that can improve your health, slow down the ageing process, and help you live longer, you’ve most likely come across NMN. This supplement was made popular by Dr. David Sinclair, a genetics professor at Harvard University and one of the leading experts in ageing and epigenetics. Today, biohackers, health and wellness enthusiasts, and regular people are supplementing their diets with NMN in the hopes that it will help them stay young for as long as possible. But does this supplement really live up to its reputation, or is it just another fad without any scientific proof behind it? We explore this topic in detail in our article.
What is NMN?
NMN, or nicotinamide mononucleotide, is a ribonucleotide molecule naturally present in all organisms, including humans. This molecule is made up of three groups: ribose, nicotinamide, and phosphate. NMN is crucial to the existence of any organism because it is a precursor of NAD+ or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD+ is one of the most important coenzymes in the body, which enables enzymes to catalyse a variety of reactions. For instance, NAD+ is essential for DNA repair and mitochondria function, which produces energy for the entire body.
An organism can’t exist if enzymes are unable to catalyse the necessary reactions, which is why it’s essential for a body to have a steady supply of coenzymes and their precursors. Unfortunately, as we age, the level of NAD+ in our bodies decreases, which leads to the development of diseases. However, we can slow down or even stop the dangerous processes related to the decrease of NAD+ levels by replenishing the levels of this coenzyme in our bodies.
Why Should I Take NMN?
While it would seem logical to simply take NAD+ supplements, this option is not effective, as the coenzyme can’t go through cell membranes and into cells. Thus, NAD+ supplements wouldn’t have any effect on cell processes and metabolism. A much better option is to take NAD+ precursors, and NMN is the closest NAD+ precursor in the chain of reactions required to synthesise the essential coenzyme. When administered orally, NMN is quickly absorbed by the body and turned into NAD+. For instance, scientists were able to detect increased levels of NAD+ in mice livers just after 15 minutes.
NMN Supplement Health Benefits
As mentioned above, our bodies turn NMN into NAD+, a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in over 400 metabolic reactions in the body. Thus, it’s not surprising that NMN supplements have a positive effect on numerous systems and processes in the body. While most studies of NMN supplements to date have been carried out in animals, the results are very promising. However, anyone considering taking NMN should remember that scientists need to carry out many more studies on humans to make a conclusive ruling regarding the safety and effectiveness of NMN supplements for humans. With that in mind, here are some of the most notable examples of potential NMN benefits to date:
NMN can minimise the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for humans living in developed countries, so taking steps to ensure that your heart and blood vessels remain healthy is essential if you want to live a long and healthy life. Researchers have found that NMN was able to decrease the instances of blood vessel stiffening, alleviate oxidative stress, and impact gene expression in rodents.
Unlike most other muscles in your body, your heart doesn’t get any breaks or time off. And this hugely important muscle requires a lot of energy to function normally. Thus, the organ needs large amounts of NMN that can be turned into NAD+, which can then facilitate energy metabolism. This means that NMN can potentially improve heart health and function.
NMN can improve energy metabolism
One of the main problems people face when they age is a decline in strength and mobility. This issue occurs in part because our bodies lose the ability to produce as much energy as in earlier stages of life, which leads to a decrease in muscle function. However, some research studies carried out in mice have shown that long-term NMN supplementation improved the animals’ energy metabolism without any visible side effects. Thus, NMN may be able to help humans to keep their strength at advanced stages of life. However, human studies are necessary to test and prove this hypothesis.
NMN may help with obesity
Obesity is another issue many people in developed countries face. It’s not a secret that the best way to prevent and treat obesity and obesity-related illnesses is to get regular exercise and follow a healthy diet, but many people struggle to implement these lifestyle changes and want to take advantage of other remedies as well. Interestingly, studies in mice have shown that NMN has a similar effect on the body as calorie restriction. If this effect is also present in humans, it would mean that NMN can become an easy solution to improving the health and well-being of millions of people across the world.
NMN could facilitate DNA repair
While DNA mutation sounds scary, it’s something that happens in our bodies every single day. Our DNA is constantly being damaged by mutagens such as free radicals and UV light. Our cells also regularly make mistakes when replicating and transcribing genetic material. Plus, every time our cells divide, telomeres, which are segments of DNA located at the ends of these molecules, become shorter. Telomere shortening and DNA mutations all contribute to the development of diseases and the overall ageing of the body.
However, our bodies constantly work to repair DNA damage and stabilise telomeres using sirtuin proteins. These proteins need NAD+ to function, and several studies have shown that mice that consumed NMN supplements had increased levels of NAD+, more active sirtuins, and stabilised telomeres.
NMN boosts mitochondrial function
If there’s one thing everyone knows about mitochondria, it’s that they are the powerhouses of a cell, meaning they turn the food that we eat into the energy used by our cells. But our mitochondria can’t produce energy without NAD+, and if mitochondria in a cell can’t function, the cell simply dies. For instance, mitochondrial dysfunction caused by insufficient NAD+ in cells is connected to various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. However, researchers have shown that the administration of NMN supplements to mice was able to restore mitochondrial function.
NMN has a positive effect on memory and cognition
One of the biggest issues associated with ageing is a decline in cognitive abilities and memory function. While some people are able to stay sharp and retain their memory even at a very old age, most older adults, unfortunately, find that their brains can no longer operate at the same level as when they were young. But recent studies of NMN effects on mice have shown some promising results. According to researchers, mice that were given NMN showed an improvement in cognition, increased blood flow in the brain, and an overall increase in brain function.
NMN can preserve stem cell health
Stem cells are crucial in any organism because they allow our bodies to create new cells, repair tissue, and keep us healthy. However, as we age, the quality of our stem cells declines, and they become unable to perform their function at a normal level. But several studies have shown that increased levels of NMN and therefore NAD+ in the body were able to improve stem cell health and boost the body’s self-renewal and self-healing capabilities.
NMN has a positive effect on libido and fertility
A decline in libido and fertility levels is yet another unpleasant effect of ageing. Interestingly, many people who regularly take NMN supplements have reported an increase in libido. However, it’s important to note that this is just anecdotal evidence that hasn’t been backed up by any studies, at least for now. But there is some scientific evidence that this supplement can improve and even restore fertility in older animals.
NMN can increase the lifespan
NMN has also been shown to extend the lifespan of mice, worms, and yeast. This is likely a synergetic effect of all other health benefits of this supplement.
How Much NMN Should I Take?
After seeing the promising effects of NMN in other organisms, scientists interested in longevity are now starting to carry out clinical trials to investigate the effects of NMN on the human body, ascertain its safety, determine the best way to consume NMN, and test what dose of NMN different groups of the population should consume to get the best results.
The first clinical study of NMN supplements was carried out in Japan. During the first phase of the trial, researchers concluded that a dose of up to 500 mg of NMN administered orally didn’t have any negative effects on the participants of the experiment. Moreover, several studies approved by the Federal Drug Administration showed that NMN is safe to consume as a supplement. In the United States, Washington University School of Medicine scientists are currently conducting a trial evaluating the effects of a daily 250 mg dose of NMN on human metabolism and the cardiovascular system.
It’s worth noting that research carried out on other NAD booster supplements has shown that 1 g of these supplements every day is a safe and effective dose that allows older adults to get all the benefits of NMN. Some scientists are using these findings as a guideline. For instance, Dr. David Sinclair has previously admitted to taking 1 g of NMN every day in addition to other supplements he believes help with longevity. The scientist reports that the only negative side effect he has experienced from taking the supplement is stomach upset.
As you can see, research regarding NMN in humans is still very limited, and scientists haven’t yet discovered an optimal dose of the supplement, but existing research suggests that a daily dose of between 500 and 750 mg of NMN is likely to be safe and effective.
NMN Supplement Side Effects and Safety Considerations
While scientists have carried out extensive research on the effects of NMN in animals, there isn’t as much information regarding the use of this supplement in humans. However, all information available to date shows that NMN supplements are generally safe for animals and humans. For instance, one scientific study showed that mice that were given NMN every day for 12 months didn’t experience any serious side effects, toxicity, or increased mortality. Instead, the animals experienced improvements in liver, heart, bone, muscle, and skin health, increased metabolism, and a boost in brain function.
Follow-up studies of this supplement will likely evaluate its safety and effectiveness during long-term usage.
Evaluating the Effects of NMN on Your Body at Home
If you’re considering taking NMN supplements in the hopes that they will make you healthier and increase your life span, you probably also want to know if there’s a way to objectively evaluate the effects of this molecule on your body. After all, while this supplement has shown promising results in rodents, the research on its effects on humans is still very limited, and there’s no point in spending money on something that doesn’t help you.
Well, we have a solution for you! GlycanAge offers an easy and reliable way to determine your biological age at home using a kit. Our system evaluates the age of your immune system using patented technology backed by over 20 years of research and 150 scientific publications. All you need to do is order a kit on our website, do a simple finger prick test at home, mail your sample to us, and wait for the results. Once the test has been completed in our lab, we will email you the results, and you will be able to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our experts to go over them in detail.
At the moment, GlycanAge offers two plans: one includes a single test, and the other includes two tests. You can also contact us to set up a customised plan. However, we recommend choosing the two-test option, as it will let you see how your true biological age changes once you start taking NMN. Order your kit on our website today.
At what age should you start taking NMN?
There’s no set recommendation regarding the age at which humans should start supplementing their NMN levels. But if you start taking the supplement at a younger age, you will likely need a smaller dose to see results.
Does NMN make you look younger?
As of 2022, there haven’t been any studies to evaluate the effects of NMN on human skin. However, the supplement has shown very promising results in mice, improving metabolism, preventing diseases, and providing a general anti-ageing effect. So scientists hypothesise that NMN may also have a positive impact on human health and longevity. This may or may not include an anti-ageing effect on the skin.
How long does it take for NMN to start working?
If you take NMN orally, it will be absorbed into your bloodstream within a few minutes. From there, the supplement will enter your organs and start working.
How long does it take to see results from NMN?
Most people report seeing results in 2 to 3 weeks. However, this evidence is only anecdotal, and there’s no scientific research to back it up.