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What are NMN Supplements and their Potential Benefits?

NMN supplements have been gaining attention since mainstream popularity by David Sinclair, a Harvard University professor and longevity expert. But what are NMN supplements, and why are they becoming increasingly popular? 

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This article will explore what NMN supplements are and delve into their potential benefits, backed by scientific research and considerations for their safe use.

What is NMN? 

NMN is a molecule that belongs to a group of compounds called nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA and RNA. NMN is also a precursor to NAD+, which stands for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, a coenzyme essential for many cellular functions. 

NAD+ carries electrons in various metabolic reactions, such as breaking down glucose and fatty acids for energy, repairing DNA damage, regulating gene expression, and modulating cellular stress responses. 

Your body can produce NMN from various sources, such as niacin (vitamin B3), tryptophan (an amino acid), or nicotinamide riboside (another NAD+ precursor). You can also get NMN from some foods, such as broccoli, avocado, cucumber, edamame, milk, and fish. However, the amount of NMN in these foods is very low, and it may not be enough to maintain optimal levels of NAD+.

As you age, your levels of NMN and NAD+ decline, which may impair your cellular function and health. Factors contributing to this decline include oxidative stress, inflammation, DNA damage, chronic diseases, and poor diet and lifestyle habits. Restoring your levels of NMN and NAD+ may help prevent or reverse some of these effects.

How do NMN supplements work?

An NMN supplement bottle with a glass of water

NMN supplements provide your body with Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN). When you take these supplements, your body processes NMN into a substance called NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide). NAD+ is vital for the proper functioning of your cells. It acts like a coenzyme, participating in various cellular processes, including DNA repair, energy production, and maintaining cell health.

So, NMN supplements work by increasing the levels of NAD+ in your body. This, in turn, helps your cells function better and can positively affect your overall health.

What are the benefits of NMN supplements?

While human research on NMN supplements is ongoing, several animal and test-tube studies have demonstrated promising outcomes. Here are some of the potential benefits of NMN supplement consumption:

Slows aging process

A woman wearing glasses with a glowing skin

NMN supplements may help you slow down or reverse aging by increasing NAD+ levels and cellular health. This may prevent or delay some of the effects of aging, such as fatigue, cognitive decline, inflammation, and disease. Some studies have shown that NMN supplements can extend mice’s lifespan and health span by improving their mitochondrial function, insulin sensitivity, vascular health, brain health, and skin health.

Helps to control diabetes

Diabetes is a sign of elevated blood sugar brought on by decreased insulin synthesis or activity. The hormone insulin facilitates your cells’ uptake of blood glucose and utilization of it as an energy source. 

NAD+ is involved in insulin signaling and glucose metabolism, so having enough NAD+ may help prevent or treat diabetes. NMN supplements can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes. Human studies found that taking 250 mg of NMN daily for 12 weeks increases blood NAD+ levels, improving insulin sensitivity.

Enhances energy metabolism and physical performance

Our energy production and physical activity tend to decline as we age. 

 Increasing your NAD+ levels with NMN supplements can boost your energy metabolism and physical performance. NMN supplements can increase endurance, strength, and exercise capacity in mice. According to human studies, taking 300-900 mg of NMN daily for 60 days may increase walking distance in healthy middle-aged adults.

Improves blood flow, heart health, and sleep

One of the factors that leads to heart disease is vascular aging. It is the deterioration of your blood vessels due to oxidative stress, inflammation, and other factors. 

NAD+ has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help protect your blood vessels from damage. Some studies have shown that NMN supplements can improve vascular health and blood flow in mice by increasing the production of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule that relaxes and widens your blood vessels. Taking 500 mg of NMN daily for 8 weeks improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in older adults.

NMN may also be useful to improve your sleep and sleep quality, along with melatonin and other natural remedies. It can help you overcome insomnia and other sleep problems by restoring your circadian rhythm and enhancing your cellular health. It is often suggested now as a treatment for sleeping disorders.

Improves brain health and cognitive function

An X-ray scan of the human brain

Another common sign of aging is cognitive decline, affecting memory, learning, attention, and other mental abilities. NAD+ is important for brain health because it supports neuronal survival, synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection. 

You may improve your brain health and cognitive function by increasing your NAD+ levels with NMN supplements. NMN supplements may have the ability to enhance memory, learning, spatial navigation, and neurogenesis in mice. Additional research shows that 300 mg of NMN daily for 12 weeks may improve attention and reaction time in healthy adults.

Takes better care of the skin and appearance

As you age, your skin loses its elasticity, firmness, and moisture due to decreased collagen production, increased oxidative stress, and reduced blood flow.

NAD+ may help improve your skin health and appearance by stimulating collagen synthesis, enhancing DNA repair, and reducing inflammation. NMN supplements can improve skin hydration, elasticity, and wound healing in mice. Further human studies suggest that taking 300 mg of NMN daily for 12 weeks improves skin texture, smoothness, and pigmentation in healthy adults.

Improves fertility

NMN supplements can help women and men with their fertility and boost the chances of having a baby. Women’s eggs get worse and fewer as they age. NMN can improve their egg quality and quantity. It can also help their eggs divide and join with sperm.

Men’s sperm production goes down as they get older. This is because they have less NAD+ in their body. NMN can increase their NAD+ levels, which can increase their sperm count. NMN can also improve the quality of sperm for men who are overweight.

Is NMN safe to use, or are there side effects?

NMN supplements are generally considered safe for most people when taken at recommended doses. However, like with any supplement or medication, there can be potential side effects. Some people may experience mild digestive problems like nausea or diarrhea when taking 

NMN supplements, but these side effects are usually temporary and subside as the body adjusts.

It’s important to note that the long-term safety of NMN supplements is still being studied, and more research is needed to fully understand their effects over extended periods. 

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Most human studies on NMN have used doses ranging from 100 mg to 500 mg per day. A maximum of 1200 mg of NMN daily is expected to boost NAD levels without side effects in most people.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are NMN supplements good for? 

NMN supplements are believed to have several potential benefits. They may support anti-aging effects, boost cellular energy, benefit neurological health, improve cardiovascular health, and aid in metabolic health. However, it’s essential to note that while there is promising research, more studies are needed to confirm these effects definitively.

Who should take NMN supplements? 

NMN supplements are generally considered safe for most adults when taken at recommended doses. They are often used by individuals interested in potential health benefits, including those looking to support anti-aging, increase energy levels, or address specific health concerns. However, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before starting NMN supplements.

Is NMN just vitamin B3?

NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) is related to vitamin B3, also known as niacin. NMN is a molecule that your body can use to make NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), which is important for various cellular processes. While they are related, NMN is a more specific compound that plays a role in NAD+ production.

How long does it take for NMN supplements to start working?

The time it takes for NMN supplements to start showing effects can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience changes in energy levels relatively quickly, while other potential benefits, such as anti-aging effects, may take longer to become noticeable. It’s important to be patient and consistent with NMN supplementation and consult with a healthcare provider better to understand your specific situation and timeline for potential effects.

About Cindy Bouchart

Avatar photoCindy has a deep passion in sciences of the human body. Cindy spends her time researching the latest scientific discoveries in the field of natural health and how they help us live better, more fulfilled lives.

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