If you’re interested in longevity solutions, then you might have heard of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN). NMN is a molecule that’s found naturally in the body and plays an essential role in energy production and the ageing process.

Offering potential benefits across everything from heart and brain health to weight management, research suggests that NMN may not only help to slow the ageing process, but potentially reverse it too.

While further studies are needed to confirm the benefits of NMN, initial findings are positive.

With that said, we’ll explore exactly what NMN is, as well as its role in the body and the potential health benefits.

What is NMN?

What is NMN

NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) is a molecule found in human cells that’s derived from vitamin B3.

Our bodies convert NMN into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is found within every cell in the body and is thought to be the most important molecule when it comes to longevity and slowing the ageing process.

NAD helps the body use the energy that we get from food to activate special proteins known as sirtuins. Among other things, sirtuins help to protect our DNA from damage – something which is known to contribute to ageing.

Without sufficient NAD levels, our bodies struggle to function. Though, research shows that NAD levels do naturally decrease with age. In fact, it’s estimated that by age 50, people have half the NAD levels they did in their 20s. Some experts suggest this is the reason why energy levels tend to decrease with age.

Because of its ability to produce NAD, researchers have suggested that NMN could be a gamechanger when it comes to treating and preventing health conditions like diabetes, Alzhiemer’s disease, obesity, and heart disease.

Other studies have looked at NMN’s potential anti-ageing properties and suggest it could be key in extending health spans.

What are some potential benefits of NMN?

What are some potential benefits of NMN

All body cells use NAD, and therefore, they require NMN to function properly.

Combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, research has found that NMN can raise NAD levels throughout the body and lead to a number of potential health benefits.

We’ll cover some of these below.

Note: while animal studies have suggested that NMN supplements may provide various health benefits, research on supplementation in humans is still relatively new. As a result, further studies are needed to confirm any current findings.

1. NMN may boost longevity and slow down ageing

One of the most well-known and potentially groundbreaking findings of NMN has been its potential impact to slow down ageing – and possibly even reverse it.

When NMN is converted into NAD, it activates a group of proteins known as sirtuins. Sirtuins help to repair DNA and cause cells to act as they would when we’re younger.

This is important because a gradual decline in DNA quality is known to impair healthy cell function. When cells stop working, it can cause organs, tissues, and cells to age – which may lead to various age-related health conditions, such as reduced heart, brain, and liver function.

As a result, studies suggest that NMN may boost longevity by repairing damaged DNA and keeping cells healthy. While results will vary, experts also suggest that people may notice a decrease in signs of ageing after taking NMN. This might include improved hair, skin, and nail condition.

Meanwhile, having low levels of NMN has been linked to an increased risk of age-related diseases such as liver disease and diabetes.

2. NMN may boost heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease

Alongside boosting overall longevity, NMN has also been found to improve artery and vein function, increase levels of NAD in the heart, and help protect the heart from injury and failure.

This study of mice even revealed that it may reverse age-related damage in arteries and guard against heart disease.

Another study found that when older mice were given NMN, their blood vessels were able to dilate just as well as those of young mice.

Due to these findings, experts suggest that, when taking NMN, you’re likely to notice improvements in physical endurance – for example, finding that your heart rate recovers much quicker after doing cardio.

3. NMN may boost brain health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s

This study found that cerebral blood flow (the blood supply to the brain in a given time period), was significantly improved by NMN.

Healthy blood flow is essential for brain health because it helps to wash out harmful molecules and deliver a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen.

Other research also suggests that NMN may help to prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease by activating sirtuin genes. These genes can increase the number and size of mitochondria (the body’s energy source) in the brain.

For example, this study saw that having higher levels of NMN in the brain improved memory, prevented brain cell death and nerve cells degeneration, and led to a decrease in the plaque build-up associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

4. NNM may reduce the risk of diabetes

Insulin resistance can develop with age and is one of the main reasons that diabetes is more common in mature adults.

NMN is known to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. Therefore experts suggest that taking NMN alongside a healthy diet and active lifestyle may help to stablise blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of diabetes.

For example, this study found that, when postmenopausal women with prediabetes who were overweight or obese took 250mg of NMN per day for 10 weeks, they had increased insulin sensitivity and signaling.

5. NMN may reduce the impact of jet lag

Research suggests that NMN may help adjust the body’s internal clock.

This means that it may potentially help to ease the effects of jet lag or other circadian rhythm disorders.

NMN may reduce the impact of jet lag

6. NMN may boost energy levels

NAD helps the body to convert the food we eat into energy. Levels of NAD in the body decrease with age, which is why many people begin to experience lower energy levels.

However, because it helps to produce NAD, one of the most common benefits of taking NMN is having higher energy levels.

In this study, NMN was found to increase both the stamina and endurance in older mice by up to 80%. And another study revealed that young and middle-aged trained runners who were given NMN and trained five to six times a week had increased aerobic capacity after six weeks compared with the placebo group.

When considering some of the various other benefits of NMN, such as improved sleep quality, relief from aches and pains, and improved recovery from jet lag, it makes sense that many people report feeling more energetic.

7. NMN may reduce the risk of certain cancers

Some studies suggest that having higher levels of NMN may help to protect cells against the effects of oxidative stress and DNA damage – both of which are linked with an increased risk of cancer.

For example, in this study, NMN was found to help prevent the growth and spread of metastasis – a common yet hard-to-treat form of breast cancer – and improve the chance of survival in mice with cancer.

8. NMN may help ageing muscles and improve exercise performance

Studies in mature mice have revealed that having high levels of NAD in the blood can improve muscle function, strength, and endurance.

Taking an NMN supplement has also been found to reduce drowsiness, make muscles more responsive, and improve physical performance in mature adults.

9. NMN may improve sleep quality

NMN has been linked to better sleep and reduced fatigue in mature adults.

For example, in this study, older adults experienced significant improvements in both the quality and length of sleep when taking NMN. The study also found that when NMN was taken in the afternoon, it significantly reduced fatigue.

What foods contain NMN?

What foods contain NMN

NNM is found naturally in a number of foods.

Some of the best dietary sources of NMN include…

  • Avocado (0.36 to 1.6mg per 100g)
  • Cabbage (up to 0.9mg per 100g)
  • Broccoli (0.25 to 1.12mg per 100g)
  • Raw beef (0.06 to 0.42mg per 100g)
  • Tomatoes (0.26 to 0.3mg per 100g)

Smaller amounts of NMN are also found in cucumbers, edamame, and cow’s milk.

However, while NMN does naturally occur in various food sources, a study found that you’d need to eat unrealistic quantities of food – around 100kg of broccoli, 69kg of avocado, or 415kg of beef – just to obtain 250mg of NMN a day!

Increasing the number of NMN-rich foods in your diet can still help, but taking a high-quality NMN supplement is the most effective (and potentially only feasible) way to raise levels of NAD in the body.

We’ll explain more about this below.

Are NMN supplements safe to use and what’s the daily dose?

Experts widely agree that NMN supplements are safe to use – so long as you source them from reliable and reputable sellers.

For example, in this clinical trial involving humans, single doses of 100, 250, and 500mg of NMN didn’t cause any significant change in heart rate or blood pressure and was safely digested without any side effects.

Similarly, in this long-term study, between 100 and 300mg of NMN per kilogram of bodyweight was given to mice daily for one year. Even at these dosages, which are much higher than those advised for humans, the study found no adverse side effects or signs of toxicity.

Experts generally advise anyone wanting to take NMN to stick to 250-500mg per day. However, because research is still ongoing, it’s difficult to determine the ideal daily dose.

With that said, it’s important to seek the advice of your doctor before adding any NMN supplements to your diet – especially as research into its effects is still developing.

What forms do NMN supplements take?

NMN supplements come in various forms including sublingual powder (placed under the tongue to dissolve), delayed-release capsules, and even lozenges.

Pure, high-quality NMN is expensive because of the safety measures and manufacturing processes used to create it. And, while it can be tempting to go for more affordable options, if you do decide to take NMN supplements, it’s important to buy them from a reputable seller.

According to experts, there are a few key things to look out for when buying NMN supplements – including proof that it’s gone through a multi-step production process and is stable at high temperatures (NMN has been shown to degrade at high temperatures).

For more information and advice about what to look out for when choosing an NMN supplement, head over to Youth and Earth’s website.

That being said, it’s important to always speak to your doctor before introducing any new supplements to your diet, as they won’t be suitable for everyone.

Final thoughts…

While further research is needed to confirm the potential health benefits of NMN, the current findings are promising.

For further reading, why not head over to the general health section of our website? Here you’ll find everything from diet and nutrition tips to articles on heart, bone, and gut health.