NMN is considered the new miracle drug on the anti-aging scene. But can it actually stop the aging process? Facts in brief.
Smooth skin and thick hair until old age – this is what many people want. Therefore, agents that are supposed to delay the aging process, the so-called anti-aging agents. For some time now, consumers and scientists have been hopeful about a new “miracle drug”: nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN.
“Radiant skin, more energy and increased performance” – this is how users describe the effects of NMN on the Internet. But is it also scientifically proven?
What is NMN?
NMN is a substance that naturally occurs in the body. It is the precursor of an important coenzyme: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, abbreviated NAD+. NAD+, in turn, takes part in numerous reactions occurring in the body, such as:
- implementation of information stored in DNA
- cellular response to stress
- DNA repair
- energy metabolism
Due to these functions in the body, many researchers assume that NAD+ plays an important role in human longevity and health. And because NMN is a 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, with age this value gradually decreases. Scientists therefore assume that NAD+ reduction is – at least in part – responsible for the consequences of aging, such as DNA damage, cognitive impairment and inflammatory diseases.
Research on NMN has shown that it can increase the concentration of NAD+ in the body, thereby slowing down the reduction of NAD+.
Additionally, in multiple animal studies (mice and rats), taking NMN alleviated various age-related complications:
- It improved the action of insulin
- Reduced inflammation
- It improved energy production in cells
- It improved the function of neurons in the brain
In mice, the aging process and its associated typical age-related diseases were significantly slowed, with diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart failure reduced in many mice.
To find out whether NMN is also safe for humans in the long term and achieves the desired anti-aging effect, in addition to animal studies, clinical trials on humans are needed. And herein lies the problem. Because so far only a few reports have been published on the effects of NMN on humans. So far, only the following effect has been observed in humans:
- slight improvement in muscle performance with age
- slight improvement in muscle insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes
- slight improvement in the protective layer around chromosomes (telomeres)
Information: Telomeres and aging
Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of the chromosomes in the human genome. They keep the chromosomes intact. Each time a cell divides, some telomeres are lost, so the ends of chromosomes become shorter the more often cells divide and the older we get. After reaching a certain length, cells enter the rest phase and stop dividing. These cells can then die or even cause inflammation, which accelerates the aging process and causes disease.
Further human studies are necessary to obtain clearer results.
NMN: How much to take and for how long?
But although the effects on humans have not yet been confirmed, there are already many NMN products on the market. The good news is that existing human clinical trials at least indicate that taking NMN by mouth is generally safe.
The dosage used ranges from 250 to 1,250 milligrams per day. However, there were differences in the duration of use: low concentrations were found to be safe for up to 12 weeks, while high concentrations were only tested for four weeks. The results also showed that NMN was generally well tolerated. No side effects have been observed so far.
What else is worth paying attention to when using NMN?
However, despite these positive results, caution should be exercised. Because there are still many open questions about how NMN works. In particular, further research is 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 be supplemented only in old age, when the level of the body’s own NAD+ has already decreased. It is not yet clear how high NAD+ levels affect the body.
- At the beginning, you should plan two to four weeks to check whether you tolerate the product at all. 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 naturally improve your NMN balance, you can do so through diet. Because NMN occurs naturally in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including:
- Edamame: approximately 1.1 milligrams per 100 grams
- an avocado: approximately 1.0 milligrams per 100 grams
- broccoli: approximately 0.7 milligrams per 100 grams
- Cucumber: approximately 0.6 milligrams per 100 grams
- Mushrooms: approximately 0.5 milligrams per 100 grams
- Cabbage: approximately 0.45 milligrams per 100 grams
- tomato: approximately 0.2 milligrams per 100 grams
Although the effect of NMN on humans has not yet been confirmed, many dietary supplements are already available on the market. They are often sold with claims about their effectiveness in laboratory and animal studies. However, the effects on humans have not yet been sufficiently studied – even if preliminary research suggests slight anti-aging effects. 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.