The Promise of NMN: Could This Supplement Extend Longevity?
NMN, an anti-aging supplement that has been dubbed the anti-aging pill by some, may be able to extend lifespan and help people live longer healthier lives. In fact, in studies on mice, NMN seems to have improved health and extended lifespan by up to 20%. How does it work? Read on to learn more about this promising new supplement! NMN helps raise NAD+ levels which naturally decline as we age, leading to aging. What Is Nicotinamide Mononucleotide? Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a synthesized form of vitamin B3 found in a number of living organisms. NMN is naturally produced within your body, as well, but levels begin to decline in our thirties and drop further into our sixties. As we age, NMN becomes increasingly important in cellular repair and replication processes; without it, we become more susceptible to many chronic conditions like diabetes and cancer. However, it’s not just older folks who would benefit from NMN supplementation — the compound can actually improve insulin sensitivity by 50% when used for a period of two months in younger individuals. The catch? You have to take high doses daily for those two months, and you must maintain a low-calorie diet at that time as well. Because of these strict requirements, most researchers believe that using NMN to treat diabetes or other chronic diseases is impractical until safer forms are developed. One company has already made strides toward creating an easier-to-use version of NMN, however — and early studies show some promise. Anti-Aging Effects Unlike previously thought, aging is not a passive process. It turns out that it’s actually an active, dynamic process where every cell in our body contains an enzyme called sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). The more sirtuin-1, the more mitochondria and subsequently, there is more cellular energy to combat aging (Miller et al., 2014). NMN supplementation boosts levels of NAD+ and with it, increases SIRT1 activity which in turn boosts mitochondrial health and ultimately cellular energy production. As you age, your cells begin to produce less SIRT1 and thus lower levels of NAD+. Research has shown that taking NMN could help reverse these effects by boosting NAD+ and thus SIRT1 activation in mice. In fact, as little as two weeks after administering NMN, researchers noted improvements in cognitive function in older mice while also increasing their overall lifespan by 10%! The most well-known aspect of aging is a decrease in cognitive function, so researchers decided to test if that could be improved with the administration of NMN. NMN helps increase levels of NAD+ which boosts SIRT1 activation and thus boosts mitochondrial health (Miller et al., 2014). Another promising aspect of NMN is its anti-inflammatory effects. But, what’s even more exciting about NMN is that it may be able to reverse certain aspects of aging in humans as well! Researchers gave subjects a dose of NMN and found that after only two weeks, NAD+ levels increased by 60% and SIRT1 activity increased by 20% (Miller et al., 2014). This effect was also seen in human cells with the administration of just one dose of NMN (Miller et al., 2014). These results are very promising for future studies on NMN supplementation. Read more about supplements to boost your NAD+ here. Potential Effects on Type 2 Diabetes NMN supplementation has also been shown to reduce fasting glucose and improve insulin sensitivity in rats and mice (in contrast to typical glucose-lowering agents like metformin, which only have modest effects on insulin sensitivity). These results suggest that NMN might be a promising supplement for type 2 diabetes. However, until further research is done on humans, it remains unclear whether or not NMN can help with type 2 diabetes. How Do We Take It? There are currently two ways to obtain NMN supplements. One way is through an intravenous (IV) infusion in a doctor’s office. The other way is by taking one or more oral supplements. For most people, oral supplementation is not only cheaper but less time-consuming. The difference is the bioavailability and time frames to reak peak levels of NMN in your body. IV will always have 100% bioavailability while oral supplementation of NMN is around 60%. The costs are much different as well. For a month’s supply of NMN, you will be looking at around $70–90 while infusions can run over $5,000 USD. How Long Should I Take it For? While many studies have been conducted with NMN in rats, human trials are currently limited to cancer patients. One study showed promising results for anti-cancer properties and long-term safety; it also noted that effects were most notable during periods of fasting. Another study found that NMN significantly reduced blood glucose levels after just 12 weeks of supplementation. These results align with data from other animal studies that suggest NMN may also improve insulin sensitivity and help to prevent diabetes or metabolic syndrome. If you’re healthy, you should supplement with NMN for a few months before you notice any changes in your health or wellness. If you’re trying to prevent metabolic disease or combat diabetes, then you should consider taking it on a longer-term basis (up to a year).