New supplements hit the market all the time, so it can be tough to pick out what is legit from a crowd of brands clamoring for your attention. Fish oil, turmeric, reishi, and other natural health products have all had their time in the spotlight, but now it’s time for a new giant in the world of wellness: NMN. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
NMN - Nicotinamide mononucleotide, has been used by health experts for its therapeutic potential for decades, but this exciting supplement has yet to puncture the mainstream world. Work by fitness and health experts, like Ben Greenfield and David Sinclair, has helped to raise awareness for NMN. But if you were to ask most people on the street, they would say they have never heard of it.
This simple mononucleotide (NMN) could help support health and possibly reverse the effects of aging and degenerative conditions, all with a simple daily supplement. Here’s what you need to know about using NMN for your wellness:
What Is Nicotinamide Mononucleotide?
Nicotinamide mononucleotide is a bit of a mouthful, which is why it’s commonly referred to as NMN. NMN is a nucleotide of ribose and nicotinamide. In the body, NMN is used as a precursor to the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH and NAD+), helper molecules vital for supporting metabolic processes and cellular homeostasis.
NMN occurs naturally in all living organisms, but it isn’t produced in endless supply. As we age especially, our natural stores of NMN can deplete. Impacting other important biological functions. In the body, NMN binds to and penetrates cell walls. Once within the cell, NMN is converted into NAD+, an important metabolic coenzyme.
Basically, NMN is used by the body to produce NAD+, which we’ll cover more further down in this article. Before we get to that, you might be wondering: why take NMN when NAD+ is what you’re after?
It’s simple: NAD+ is not very bioavailable, meaning that the body is not able to use NAD+ efficiently when taken as a supplement. NMN is considerably more bioavailable, meaning that the body can easily process it to produce its own NAD+. Taking a precursor, like NMN, is the easiest and best way to increase natural levels of NAD+.
What is NAD+?
First identified in 1906 by British biochemists Sir Arthur Harden and William John Young, NAD+ is a vital coenzyme used by the body to support countless metabolic processes. The initial discovery of NAD+ was a happy accident, observed in a fermentation (a metabolic process) experiment. By 1929, NAD+ had a name and was even cited in the work that would eventually earn Harden a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In the ‘30s, an outbreak of pellagra - a fatal disease that causes severe inflammation, dementia, and other degenerative health conditions - led to new legislation requiring flour and grain producers to include niacin in all their products. Niacin, we now know, is a precursor to NAD+, and can be used to treat pellagra.
It wouldn’t be until the late 20th century that scientists would begin investigating how NAD+ could impact health on a cellular level. As we currently understand it, NAD+ functions by attaching to proteins like sirtuins. Sirtuins ‘guard’ the genome of their cells, helping to reduce degeneration and protect the cell from damage. NAD+ is used by these proteins as fuel to stay active, which extends the lifespan of the cell.
As we age, our bodies naturally lose NAD+, which means these vital proteins lose their main source of energy. Without protection from sirtuins, our cells become vulnerable to degenerative diseases which may reduce lifespan, impact health, comfort, and wellness, and produce physical signs of aging.
Like we mentioned earlier, NAD+ can’t be taken as a supplement on its own. Instead, people interested in increasing their stores of NAD+ should take a precursor to the coenzyme - like NMN. While some foods may help to boost NAD+, NMN is the fastest and most effective way to trigger the body to make its own NAD+.
Benefits of NMN
Loss of NAD+ is a classic sign of aging and may be the key to understanding why we become more vulnerable to degenerative disease as we get older. While you can’t stop time, you can reverse the effects of aging and support your wellness from a cellular level by taking NMN supplements. NMN, converted into NAD+, helps to fuel your body’s natural defenses by improving metabolic health and supporting healthy cellular function. Here are just some of the potential benefits of taking NMN:
- Support DNA Repair: As we age and our cells divide, they slowly become shorter, lose integrity, and become more vulnerable to disease. DNA damage is normal and typically managed by sirtuin proteins. Because sirtuins rely on NAD+ to function, this important role becomes far more difficult as we age and lose our stores of NAD+. Taking an NMN supplement can help increase NAD+, which in turn supplies energy to sirtuins to protect and repair DNA. This leads to improved health and longevity.
- Fuel Mitochondrial Function: If you paid attention at all in high school biology, you know that the mitochondria’s are the powerhouse of the cell. Mitochondria convert nutrients to energy, fueling our bodies to do everything from walking and talking to doing complex equations or playing extreme sports. Without properly functioning mitochondria, we lose basic functions and accelerated cognitive degeneration. NAD+ is vital to support mitochondrial function, which is why taking NMN can help to support this all-important process.
- Prevent Degenerative Diseases: Sometimes called the ‘guardians’ of our cells, sirtuins prevent degenerative diseases from damaging our DNA. Because sirtuins use NAD+ to fuel their function, taking NMN can help to keep your body’s defenses active to prevent degenerative conditions like heart disease, dementia, and more. NMN may also help to reduce inflammation, which can also cause physical degeneration.
- Anti-Aging: Aging causes a certain amount of stress to the body, which can result in reduced metabolic health, poor cardiac health, reduced neurological cognition, and other common concerns related to aging. In part, this is the result of lost NAD+, which contributes to protecting your body from oxidative stress and degenerative disease. NMN helps to fortify stores of NAD+, supporting a healthy balanced body and reducing the effects of aging.
Possible Side Effects
At the moment, there are no formally documented side effects of NMN in humans, and the supplement has been proven safe for long-term use in animals. As with all supplements, taking NMN may cause mild nausea or indigestion, but this is uncommon. Most reported side effects of NMN have been positive, including increased mortality, improved hair, skin, and organ health, increased metabolic function, energy boosts, and more. To be safe, NMN should be taken in doses of less than 500mg.
How To Take NMN
Now that you know what NMN could do for your health and wellness, let’s talk about the best ways to take it! A semi-under-the-radar supplement, there aren’t lots of products available at the moment. While the use of NMN is expected to increase over the next few years, there has yet to be an option to make it to the mainstream. Well, that’s about to change!
The Recovery Capsule from Vitaldiol Pharmaceuticals is a super easy and efficient way to supply your body with easily absorbed NMN plus CBD. Enjoy all the benefits of NMN plus the autoimmune boosting, anti-inflammatory, and calming effects of CBD.