What is NMN?

NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is a naturally occurring molecule present in all life forms. NMN is a critical component in the organism helping to fight the aging process. It is a key molecule increasing NAD+ levels (another important molecule for life).

NMN, nicotinamide mononucleotide structure

The science behind NMN and its connection with human aging and lifespan (how you live longer) has emerged greatly during the last decades. After scientists found the age-related restorative properties of this molecule, they started paying close attention to it, developing solutions for how to consume it to receive the maximum of its potential therapeutic benefits.

Plus, geroscientists and researchers conducted numerous studies with mammals and several studies with humans to deeper understand NMN, how it can slow down our aging, and improve our healthspan (how you live better).


Explaining NMN

NMN stands for nicotinamide mononucleotide and is a naturally occurring anti-aging metabolite and synthetic product. NMN is a crucial molecule generated and used by the body to increase NAD+ levels and improve metabolic functions. Moreover, it has valuable effects on DNA repair, cell regeneration, and energy production.

In other words, NMN is a bioactive single-nucleotide that plays an important biological role in increasing NAD+ levels (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and fighting age-associated complications. Also, the prevalence of this molecule in the human body enhances Sirtuin gene activity making a ground for more rapid DNA repair, cell protection, and caloric restriction.

NMN is also known as an NAD+ precursor, meaning that it is a substance that during chemical reactions is transformed into a more bioactive compound. In this case, NMN converts into an NAD molecule enhancing its values in the human body. This results in numerous rejuvenating processes.

But before diving deep into the biological and health aspects of this molecule, let us learn some facts about NMN.

NMN molecular structure

The structure of NMN: NMN is a bioactive nucleotide composed of one to three phosphate and 5-carbon sugar groups (ribose). It is derived from niacinamide or nicotinamide (NAM or a by-product of Vitamin B3). Recognized by a specific enzyme, NMN is used for NAD+ synthesis.

The location of NMN in the human body tissue and fluids: Placenta, urine, blood.

The location of NMN in the human body: Mitochondria, cytoplasm, nucleus.

Natural food sources of NMN: Edamame, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, raw beef, and shrimp.

Supplements: NMN is also available in the form of supplements. Companies provide powder or encapsulated forms of NMN. Most of these supplements are available from 50mg to 1000mg in a capsule and are mostly non-liposomal (less bioavailable).

Explaining NAD+ And The Connection With NMN

Similar to NMN, NAD+ is always present in all living forms. NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a small molecule and essential coenzyme. While enzymes serve as catalysts making the chemical reactions possible, coenzymes serve as “activators” enzymes need to operate.

As the famous longevity expert David Sinclair claims “…without NAD in our body we would die in seconds”. And here, it is worth mentioning that NAD+ levels decline steadily with age. Hence, by middle age, we have half of the NAD levels we had in our youth.

The decline of NAD levels is one of the main hallmarks of aging. It is also considered to be the leading cause of many age-induced disorders. So, scientists believe that increasing NAD+ levels through NMN supplementation can have restorative effects on our physical functioning, mental stability, metabolic fitness, and eventually, longevity.

However aging is the main cause of NAD+ decline, is not the only reason. There are several factors responsible for NAD+ depletion. These include

  • Unhealthy eating or overnutrition
  • Passive lifestyle
  • Oxidative stress
  • Inflammation or chronic inflammations
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • CD38 molecule
  • UV exposure

Our bodies, after undergoing these deleterious processes, lose considerable amounts of NAD. This is because to repair the damage done by the external and internal factors, our body requires a lot of NAD+ resulting in NAD depletion.

But what are the main responsibilities of NAD+ in the human body?

NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) molecular structure

What Does NAD+ Do?

The role of NAD+ is its supportive impacts on our healthy aging and the prevention of age-induced diseases. The DNA repair and cellular defense mechanisms are mainly dependent on NAD+ levels in our bodies. While DNA abnormalities trigger many disorders, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and immune system dysfunction, NAD+ gets involved in the healing processes of the organism. Consequently…

  • 1.
    NAD+ is a key player in cellular and metabolic processes, hence, it is an important factor in immune cell function and response to infections.
  • 2.
    Sirtuins (longevity genes) are essential for various biological functions. And their activity positively depends on NAD+ presence in the human body. High NAD levels elevate Sirtuins activity, which in turn helps to slow down the aging, accelerate DNA repair and reduce inflammation.
  • 3.
    NAD is also present in energy production. The mitochondria are small organelles, that are responsible for “cellular respiration”, meaning energy production. NAD+ helps in the process of converting glucose into energy by carrying electrons.
  • 4.
    NAD+ is a molecule helping the cells protect themselves and create energy through multiple mechanisms such as increasing SIRT1, cellular respiration, and so on. This activity reduces the possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases. According to clinical studies, NAD reduced inflammation, enhanced the blood cell flexibility of the heart, and reduces the risk of heart failure.
  • 5.
    NAD+ is essential in the prevention of pre-cancer or the early stages of carcinogenesis. This means the high and balanced levels of NAD may slow down or even prevent cancer growth.
  • 6.
    Scientists believe that by boosting the capacity of cells to repair themselves, we will be able to hinder the development of neurodegenerative disorders. The high levels of NAD+ can protect brain cells from dying. Hence, diminishing the probability of age-related cognitive decline.
NMN helps with healthy aging

Benefits Of NMN

According to studies on mammals, boosted NAD+ levels provide the body with the ability to support essential-for-life functions. NAD+ serves as a fuel for longevity genes Sirtuins activation. The latter is responsible for hindering DNA mutations, also, enhancing cellular metabolism and gene expression.

These activities of Sirtuins may slow down the aging process and deter age-related abnormalities. But the decline of NAD levels may decelerate the activity of Sirtuins, leading to accelerated aging. Hence, it is important to elevate the levels of this “youth molecule” through NMN supplements.

Let us discuss the benefits you will get from NMN supplementation. According to numerous studies on mammals, scientists documented the following benefits of NMN supplementation.

  • 1.
    Improvement in insulin secretion, glucose tolerance, and lipid profile:
    During the study with type 2 diabetic mice researchers noticed reduced levels of NAMPT and NAD+ levels. But the administration of NMN supplements demonstrated elevated levels of NAD+ improving the insulin secretion, glucose tolerance, and lipid profile among this type of mice. According to this study, NMN increases insulin sensitivity, insulin signaling in women with prediabetes
  • 2.
    Improvement in blood circulation:
    During the study with type 2 diabetic mice researchers noticed reduced levels of NAMPT and NAD+ levels. But the administration of NMN supplements demonstrated elevated levels of NAD+ improving the insulin secretion, glucose tolerance, and lipid profile among this type of mice.
  • 3.
    Suppressed body weight:
    During the studies, the orally administrated NMN showed significant improvement in the suppression of age-induced weight gain. The mammals, whose NAD+ levels were augmented through NMN food supplements showed increased energy metabolism and physical activity.
  • 4.
    Restoration in reproductive functions:
    Another thorough research conducted with menopausal and naturally aged mice showed significant improvement in fertilization after NMN administration. However, there is more research needed to assure this outcome.
  • 5.
    Restoration in cognitive functions:
    The study carried out in 2019 with old mammals and NMN supplementation documented alleviated aging-induced memory impairment and cognitive decline.
  • 6.
    Improvement in eye function:
    The following study with old mice reported a connection between continuous NMN administration and better eye function. The increased retinal NAD+ levels in the study animals improved their resilience to light exposure and eye vision.
  • 7.
    Improvement in eye function:
    According to the 2021 study, NMN maintains intestinal homeostasis by regulating the gut microbiota in mice. The results of the study show that NMN increased butyric acid-producing bacteria and other probiotics, while several harmful bacteria were decreased. Also, NMN positivity affected the gut barrier, making it thicker and healthier compared to the control group.

NMN Sources

From the above-discussed information, we already understand the central role of NAD+ in our bodies. Plus, we understand how the vital functions in our bodies are intertwined with the elevated NAD+ supplies. Besides, we maintain a young appearance and physical activity for a long, mainly due to the high presence of NAD+ molecule.

However, NAD+ decline carries numerous health issues including cognitive impairment, metabolic dysfunction, and premature death. To curb these processes, scientists suggest augmenting our NAD+ levels through NMN supplements and natural sources of it.

Supplements for healthy aging

NMN Supplements

Thanks to the modern technologies and advancements in the field of medicine people started to live decades longer. Yet the main goal of many individuals is not the fact of living a longer life but enjoying it in a healthy body.

For this reason, scientists started paying closer attention to the NMN molecule having reassuring potency to enhance the quality of life, meanwhile, acting as an anti-aging agent.

NMN supplements are precursors for NAD+ molecule. These chemical compounds serve as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) boosters while stimulating mitochondrial activity and critically improving metabolism. The NMN supplements come in the form of capsules or powders. Moreover, they can be liposomal and non-liposomal having high or low bioavailability respectively.

Our bodies generate NMN molecules naturally, which in the course of chemical processes convert into NAD+ coenzyme. But similar to NAD+, NMN reproduction in and by our bodies decreases with age, due to external or internal stresses. So, how can we keep the levels of this helper molecule high?

Scientists offer NMN food supplementation as one of the solutions, which is a safe intervention for maintaining vital bodily mechanisms and restoring youthful physical activity. When your body is already unable to produce the desired amount of NMN, its supplementation solves the problem.

The clinical studies in Japan suggest the safe dose of NMN supplements for a day to be 500mg. This amount of orally administered NMN showed remarkable improvements, and also, established the safety of the supplement.

However, this study was conducted with non-liposomal NMN products. And it is worth mentioning that in the case of liposomal NMN supplementation you do not need high doses. The encapsulated form of liposomal NMN comes in doses from 100mg to 125mg a capsule.

Plus, the liposomal technology ensures the promised amount of the NMN (and possible additional ingredients) will reach the cells and tissue leaving no side effects.

Additionally, capsules containing small amounts of NMN make it easy to carry and swallow the capsule. Another advantage of capsules is their capability of containing additional ingredients.

diet and healthy aging, NMN foods

Natural Sources Of NMN

Our chronological age can drastically differ from that of biological. In other words, chronological age helps you understand how many candles you will put on your birthday cake. While biological age shows the health score of our cells, genetic stability, and intrinsic well-being. The factors playing a key role in younger biological age are lifestyle, nutrition, and health conditions.

Hence, while trying to naturally boost your NMN levels and slow down biological aging, we must be attentive to what, when, and how we eat. Fortunately, besides the available supplements in the longevity market, there are several types of food containing an ample amount of natural NMN.

NMN compounds can naturally be found in broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, and edamame. Additionally, a tiny amount of NMN can also be received from mushrooms (especially Cremini Mushrooms), raw beef, and shrimps.

If you aim to slow down the aging process and prevent aging-induced disorders not only through supplements, you may consider balancing your diet and including these foods into your daily nutrition. Also, keep in mind that NAD+ is a circadian molecule, meaning its levels spike at certain hours of the day- in the morning when you wake up and at night when you are fast asleep.

So, if you aim to further boost the NAD+ spike, try to skip food during morning hours or start practicing intermittent fasting (a scientifically proven way of NAD+ enhancement and caloric restriction). Instead, take a capsule with a glass of water and prepare a nutritious lunch with NMN-rich natural foods.

The Future Of NMN

The large body of research and clinical studies with mammals showed the promising properties of NMN supplements. Although until now there are scarce human studies, most of them demonstrate fascinating outcomes with NAD+ augmentation.

The studies also demonstrate the safety of this molecule for the human body, and the health impacts of daily NMN intake with a paralleled healthy lifestyle. We can start our journey towards a healthier and longer life already today with NMN by our side. Yet, we are eager to gain more information about this potent molecule from future clinical studies.

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