Some things in life are inevitable; like death and taxes, aging is just one of those inescapable facts of life. But what if it didn’t have to be? What if there was a way to stop the aging process, or at least slow it down by boosting our cellular health regularly. According to Harvard geneticist Dr. David Sinclar, we might be able to do just that.
NMN supplements may hold the key to stopping the aging process by way of replenishing an "anti-aging" molecule our bodies already naturally produce. Sounds too good to be true? Keep reading to learn how NMN could be a fountain of youth.
What Does "Anti-Aging" Mean?
As time passes, we get older, and our bodies stop working as well as they used to. Our faces wrinkle, our minds slow down, and eventually, we pass on to whatever awaits us after death. Even if we don’t confront this reality on a daily basis, we all know it’s inevitable.
Well, maybe not all of us. In a recent Q&A, David Sinclair explains what he means when he says there’s no biological law that says we must age.
“Well, we're biological, and so we take in energy as food, and we can use that energy to repair our bodies and preserve information [at the cellular level]. There's no law of physics that says we can’t live a lot longer. We know that some mammals live over 200 years, and some humans live between 100 and 120. And so we've got at least 40 years—and possibly 120—to play with here.”
Realistically, the idea of humans living multiple centuries is too far out of reach of modern science, but we may be able to reduce at least some of the negative impacts we associate with getting older. That’s what the science of anti-aging is all about—not necessarily living forever, but aging as gracefully as possible by boosting our cellular health.
What Is NAD+
One of the most exciting compounds in this research field is NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). The essential coenzyme is one of the most abundant molecules in the entire human body, impacting each one of our individual cells.
NAD+ plays a crucial role in our metabolic processes by helping mitochondria convert food into energy. So, while mitochondria may be the powerhouse of the cell, without NAD+ the organelle isn’t very powerful. Additionally, NAD+ helps proteins maintain cell integrity and regulate cellular function.
Unfortunately, we have a finite amount of NAD+, which only decreases with age. However, new research and animal studies indicate that replenishing NAD+ levels could boost our cellular health and soften the effects of aging.
What Is NMN?
So if NAD+ is the secret to cellular health, can’t we just take the compound in pill form? It’s not so simple.
NAD+ is not very bioavailable when taken in supplement form, which means it doesn’t assimilate into our body very well. That’s where NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) comes in.
NMN is a precursor to NAD+ composed of a simple sugar ribose and a form of vitamin B3. However, NMN is much more bioavailable than NAD+. Recent NMN research has determined that taking NMN supplements can increase NAD+ levels in human blood cells. This exciting discovery suggests that taking NMN for cellular health purposes may, in fact, be effective.
While this clinical trial is extremely promising and compelling, it’s still just one of many steps to uncovering the cellular mechanisms behind NMN and NAD+.
According to preliminary research, the molecule NMN may have several health benefits including:
- Improved Strength and Endurance: In order to build strength and endurance, our bodies rely on NAD+ and NMN to fuel the metabolic process. Studies have shown that mice given NMN supplements show increased metabolic function without any side effects.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease: The heart is also a muscle, and therefore needs energy as well. Studies have found that NMN can protect the hearts of mice from failure.
- Reduced Risk of Obesity: Over 30% of Americans suffer from obesity, which can result in severe health problems like diabetes. While there’s no simple solution to undoing the effects of obesity, NMN combined with exercise has been shown to decrease the negative effects of obesity in rodents.
- Boosting Cellular Health: Myriad studies using rodent models and a few human trials have shown that NMN supplements can help to reduce many of the negative effects associated with getting older.
While NMN isn’t a miracle drug, one can’t help but be excited at what the research suggests about the compound’s potential as a cellular boosting supplement.