Ageing is an inevitable part of life. But lately, science has been uncovering ways to slow down the ageing process. One of the most promising anti-ageing treatments is a supplement called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
NMN is a compound that occurs naturally in the body and plays an important role in energy production. It’s also been shown to boost the immune system, protect against sun damage, and improve cognitive function.
Recent studies have shown that NMN can reverse age-related decline in animals (1). It’s been shown to improve energy production, muscle function, skin health, and sleep quality in mice. It also increases their lifespan by 20%. These findings are extremely exciting.
This suggests that it has the potential to change the way we live and age. NMN is a nucleotide, which is a building block of DNA. It’s found in all living cells and in humans is involved in a range of important processes including energy production, brain health, increased lifespan, skin health, weight loss, and sleep.
The available evidence suggests that NMN could be a powerful anti-ageing supplement with a wide range of benefits. In this blog post, we’ll take a detailed look at what NMN is, what the potential benefits are, how it works, and more.
1. NMN is essential for energy production and is found in plants and animals
NMN is a type of nucleotide that is found in plants and animals. It is a precursor to nicotinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3. NMN is found in small amounts in a variety of foods, including milk, meat, fish, and some fruits and vegetables.
NMN is the precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (“NAD+”), which is a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in metabolism and energy production. It is necessary for the production of ATP, the body’s main source of energy. In fact, without NAD+, the body cannot produce ATP. NAD+ is also involved in other important cellular processes, such as DNA repair and regulating gene expression.
Numerous studies have shown that by increasing levels of NAD+, we can improve insulin sensitivity, reverse mitochondrial dysfunction, and extend lifespan (3, 4). NAD+ levels can be increased by several means:
- Activating enzymes that stimulate the synthesis of NAD+
- Inhibiting an enzyme (CD38) that degrades NAD+
- Supplementing with NAD+ precursors, including nicotinamide riboside (“NR”) and NMN (4).
The quantities of NMN in food are low. To boost NMN levels the only way is to take a high quality pure NMN. We recommend a daily dose of 500mg for best results.
99.5% Pure NMN
2. NMN has been shown to boost energy levels and stamina during exercise
NMN has been shown to boost energy levels and stamina. A randomised control trial published in 2021 tested NMN in 48 middle aged amateur runners in training for six weeks. The group taking NMN had a significantly increased aerobic capacity and better endurance than the control group (6).
NMN is thought to work by increasing the production of mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells. This, in turn, leads to increased energy production and improved stamina. NMN has also been shown to protect cells from damage during training due to the increased oxygen capacity of skeletal muscle.
Several animal studies have shown that NMN can improve cognitive function. NMN is thought to work by helping to protect and repair nerve cells, which can decline with age. This can lead to improved memory, focus, and other cognitive functions.
A large review study published in August 2022 concluded that NMN could be effective for different forms of dementia including age-related decline (7).
While NMN shows promise as a cognitive enhancer, more research and head-to-head studies are needed to confirm its efficacy in humans. It is, however, already being used by practitioners as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to support brain health.
4. NMN improves skin health and slows skin ageing
The benefits of NMN for skin health are well-documented and include improved complexion and fewer signs of ageing.
Recent studies have shown that NMN supplementation can improve the appearance of the skin by reducing inflammation and stimulating collagen production. NMN has also been shown to protect the skin from damage caused by UV exposure. The activation by NMN of certain proteins, called sirtuins, protects against multiple skin ageing related issues including wound healing, wrinkles, UV, and skin cancers (8).
Of the sirtuins, SIRT3 in particular is the most linked to skin conditions and skin cancers. This protective mechanism is activated by NAD+ / NMN.
5. Activation of sirtuins have been shown to slow down the ageing process
The human body uses a variety of small molecules, called coenzymes, to facilitate chemical reactions. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is one such coenzyme, consisting of nicotinamide and adenine nucleotides joined by phosphate linkages. NAD+ is required for numerous metabolic processes, including energy production, DNA repair, and regulation of gene expression.
By middle age NAD+ levels are 50% of what they are in youth. This is due to a decrease in production and an increased speed of breakdown of NAD+ (8).
As we age, our NAD+ levels decline, which has been linked to reduced energy production, increased DNA damage, and impaired gene expression. This decrease in NAD+ levels may contribute to the age-related decline in cellular function and the development of age-related diseases. Recent studies have shown that NMN can help to slow the ageing process in animals. It is not yet clear if NMN has the same effect in humans, but the evidence so far is promising.
NMN has also been shown to have a profound affect the activity of sirtuins, a group of enzymes that play a role in ageing and age-related diseases (9). Sirtuins are involved in a wide range of functions, including DNA repair, cell division, and cell death. The discovery that NMN is a powerful regulator of sirtuins could have implications for the treatment of a variety of diseases.
If you have significant energy issues it may be worth reading about our Energy Recovery Stack for boosting and recovering energy production.
6. NMN has been shown to boost immunity
NMN is a compound that has been shown to boost immunity. In a recent study, NMN was found to increase the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infection. NMN is thought to work by stimulating the production of a protein called Interleukin-6, which is involved in the immune response.
This is good news for people who are looking for ways to boost their immune system and reduce inflammation because NMN is a safe and natural compound that is available over the counter (10).
7. Studies show NMN is a safe and effective supplement with few side effects
NMN is a safe and effective supplement with few side effects. As it is a booster of NAD+ its effectiveness can be improved even more by taking other supplements that either increase NAD+ or slow the break down of NAD+.
A Japanese study, published August 2022, performed a safety evaluation of NMN in 31 healthy adult men and women who took a high daily dose of NMN at 1250mg. We recommend a daily dose of 500mg, or 1000mg for intense training. They found no adverse effects over a 4 week period. Although this was a small study done over a relatively short period of time, it did confirm the safety and ease of use of NMN (11).
8. NMN can help with weight loss
There is growing evidence that NMN can help with weight loss by activating the sirtuin gene. Sirtuin is responsible for regulating metabolism, and by activating it, NMN can help to boost metabolism and burn more fat.
In one study, mice that were given NMN lost weight and had lower levels of body fat than those that were not given NMN. Additionally, they also had higher levels of energy and stamina.
Although NMN is not a weight loss supplement, when combined with calorie restriction it will improve insulin sensitivity and will improve metabolic flexibility, which in turn leads to increased weight loss (12).
9. Studies show improved sleep and grip strength in older adults
A 2022 study looked at 108 older adults in Japan with poor sleep quality or mental fatigue. They divided the group into 4, one group took NMN in the morning and another group took NMN in the evening. This was matched with groups taking placebos at the same time, None of the participants knew what they were taking.
The results were remarkable. The afternoon group that took NMN showed the greatest significant improvement in sleep and lower fatigue. Both NMN groups showed a significant improvement in grip strength, which is a good indicator of skeletal muscle function (15).
We also recommend magnesium glycinate and theanine to boost sleep., especially when taken in the evening.
Resveratrol increases NAD+ synthesis
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound, found in plants and some foods, that has many health benefits, including activating sirtuins and increasing levels of NAD+.
It does this by activating the enzyme NMNAT1, which catalyses the production of NAD+. In a 2010 study published in Nature, resveratrol was shown to increase NAD+ levels 5 fold in brain cells (13).
Quercetin slows down the breakdown of NAD+
Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant which is known to reduce inflammation and have many other health benefits. Recent research has shown that it can also inhibit CD38, an enzyme that breaks down NAD+. When taken with NMN it increases levels of NAD+ even further (5).
NMN is a new supplement with many potential benefits. It has been shown to boost energy levels, improve cognitive function, and slow the ageing process (14).
Low NAD+ is strongly linked to diseases of ageing. Supplementing with NAD+ precursors and other NAD+ boosters, like resveratrol and quercetin, show great promise in slowing down and even reversing ageing.
In the short term there is also the benefit of improved mental and physical energy, sleep, and better glucose balance.
At the moment a lot of the research on NMN for cognitive decline is from animal studies. There is a long way from mice to men, but the signs are very promising.
Is NMN safe? In human studies taking doses up 1250mg no side effects were noted.
Although NMN is present in food it tends to be in very small quantities. Some supplements are just difficult to get from food.
If you want to improve health today and tomorrow NMN is a good place to start. To boost its effectiveness consider adding resveratrol or quercetin or both.
With so many potential benefits, it is worth trying NMN. So check it out today and see what it can do for you.
- Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice Cell Metab 2016
- NAD + Intermediates: The Biology and Therapeutic Potential of NMN and NR Cell Metab 2018
- Nicotinamide mononucleotide increases muscle insulin sensitivity in prediabetic woman Science 2021
- NAD+ metabolism and its roles in cellular processes during ageing Nature 2020
- Slowing ageing by design: the rise of NAD+ and sirtuin-activating compounds Nature 2016
- Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation enhances aerobic capacity in amateur runners: a randomized, double-blind study J Int Soc Sports Nutrition 2021
- Supplementation with NAD+ and Its Precursors to Prevent Cognitive Decline across Disease Contexts Nutrients August 2022
- Mitochondrial Sirtuins in Skin and Skin Cancers Photochem Photobiol 2020
- NAD+ metabolism: pathophysiologic mechanisms and therapeutic potential nature 2020
- Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Alleviates LPS-Induced Inflammation and Oxidative Stress via Decreasing COX-2 Expression in Macrophages Front Mol Biosci 2021
- Safety evaluation of β-nicotinamide mononucleotide oral administration in healthy adult men and womam Nature Aug 2022
- Importance of Adipose Tissue NAD+ Biology in Regulating Metabolic Flexibility Endo 2021
- Resveratrol Increases Intracellular NAD+ Levels Through Up regulation of The NAD+ Synthetic Enzyme Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Adenylyltransferase Nature Precedings 2010
- Flavonoid Apigenin Is an Inhibitor of the NAD+ase CD38 Diabetes 2013
- Effect of 12-Week Intake of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide on Sleep Quality, Fatigue, and Physical Performance in Older Japanese Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study Nutrients 2022