NMN is considered a new miracle drug in the anti-aging scene. But can it really stop the aging process? The facts at a glance.
Smooth skin and thick hair until old age – that’s what many people want. For this reason, agents aimed at delaying the aging process, the so-called anti-aging agents, are popular. For some time now, a new “miracle cure” has given hope to consumers and scientists: nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN for short.
“Radiant skin, more energy and greater performance”: this is how users on the Internet describe the effect of NMN. But is this also scientifically proven?
What is NMN?
NMN is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It is the precursor of an important coenzyme: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD+ for short. NAD+, in turn, intervenes in numerous reactions in the body, such as:
- the implementation of information stored in DNA
- the cellular response to stress
- DNA repair
- energy metabolism
Because of these functions in the body, many researchers hypothesize that NAD+ plays an important role in human health and longevity. And because NMN is the precursor to NAD+, current research suggests that NMN may also have a beneficial effect on the aging process.
How does NMN work?
Young people have high levels of NAD+. However, this gradually decreases with age. Therefore, researchers hypothesize that reduced NAD+ is at least partly responsible for the consequences of aging, such as DNA damage, cognitive decline, and inflammatory diseases.
Research on NMN has shown that it can increase the concentration of NAD+ in the body, thereby slowing the reduction of NAD+.
Additionally, NMN intake attenuated various age-related complications in several animal studies (mice and rats):
- Improved insulin action.
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved energy production in cells.
- Improved neuronal function in the brain.
In mice, the aging process and typical age-related diseases were significantly slowed down: diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart failure decreased in many mice.
To find out whether NMN is also safe in the long term for humans and achieves the desired anti-aging effect, in addition to animal studies, clinical studies in humans are needed. And here lies the problem. Because so far there are only a few published reports on the effects of NMN in humans. So far only the following effect has been observed in humans:
- a slight improvement in muscle performance with age
- a slight improvement in insulin sensitivity in muscles in prediabetics
- a slight improvement in the protective layer around the chromosomes (telomeres)
Information: Telomeres and aging
Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes in the human genome. They keep chromosomes intact. Every time a cell divides, a piece of telomeres is lost, so the ends of chromosomes get shorter the more frequently cells divide and the older we get. Once a certain length is reached, the cells enter a resting phase and no longer divide. These cells can then die or even cause inflammation, which accelerates the aging process and triggers diseases.
More human studies are needed to obtain clearer results.
NMN: How much to take and for how long?
But although the effect on humans has not yet been confirmed, there are already many NMN products on the market. The good news is that existing human clinical studies at least indicate that taking NMN orally is generally safe.
The dosage used is in the range of 250 to 1250 milligrams per day. However, there were differences in the duration of use: low concentrations were shown to be safe for up to 12 weeks, while taking high concentrations was tested for only four weeks. The results also showed that NMN is generally well tolerated. So far no side effects have been observed.
What else should you consider when taking NMN?
However, despite these positive results, caution is warranted. Because there are still many open questions about the effects of NMN. In particular, more studies are needed to determine how long-term use of NMN affects the body and whether it may interact with other dietary supplements or medications.
If you still want to try NMN, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- NMN should only be supplemented at an older age, when the level of the body’s own NAD+ has already decreased. It is still unclear how high levels of NAD+ affect the body.
- At first you should plan for two to four weeks to see if you can tolerate the product. As soon as you notice any unpleasant symptoms, you should stop taking it.
- As with all dietary supplements, you should look for a certified seller. Therefore, it is better not to buy the product abroad.
Are there natural sources of NMN?
If you prefer to improve your NMN balance naturally, you can do so through your diet. Because NMN is found naturally in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including:
- edamame: about 1.1 milligrams per 100 grams
- avocado: approximately 1.0 milligrams per 100 grams
- broccoli: about 0.7 milligrams per 100 grams
- Cucumber: about 0.6 milligrams per 100 grams
- Fungus: about 0.5 milligrams per 100 grams
- Cabbage: about 0.45 milligrams per 100 grams
- tomato: about 0.2 milligrams per 100 grams
Although the effect of NMN in humans has not yet been confirmed, there are already many nutritional supplements available for purchase. They are often marketed with claims about their effectiveness in laboratory and animal studies. However, the effect in humans has not yet been sufficiently investigated, although early studies suggest a slight anti-aging effect. However, taking NMN products is considered safe for a certain period of time. However, if you are taking other dietary supplements or medications, you should talk to your doctor before starting NMN.