Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), a derivative of niacin, is a naturally occurring vitamin B3 metabolite found in foods and our bodies. NMN is a nucleotide that functions as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ is a molecule that holds a variety of functions within the body, mainly through facilitation of cell-signaling enzymes called sirtuins. These enzymes are crucial for normal functioning, with SIRT1 (there are 7 sirtuins) being particularly unique. Research has shown it to be highly active following caloric restriction, which itself brings multiple benefits, including signs of an extending lifespan. Sure enough, further tests have revealed that elevated levels of SIRT1 can lead to protection from metabolic decline and disease.
These sirtuins mainly operate through the mitochondria. They act as “message carriers” of sorts – when cell nuclei send signals to the mitochondria, sirtuins (SIRT1 specifically) help make sure the message gets there. We all know how vital proper mitochondrial function is – they aren’t called the “powerhouse of the cell” for nothing! Because sirtuin activity is directly dependent on NAD+ levels, NAD+ becomes incredibly important, too!
NMN: The next major breakthrough in supplement formulation
NMN is popular to use on its own and is often marketed by supplement brands towards anti-aging and general wellness markets. We also believe there are applications for this in energy supplements, work out enhancement, blood sugar control, and even weight loss, but we leave it to you to formulate fantastic products – we simply provide the key to the engine with the best NMN on the market.
Slows down aging
The blood NAD+ level decrease as we age. Researches show that the body can create NAD+ from precursors, such as NMN. Modern research is beginning to tackle the effects of supplemental NMN and its effects on NAD+ protection within the body, and whether it’s a viable resource in defending against mitochondrial deterioration. The theory suggests that more NMN will lead to both more sirtuin stimulation and enzymatic activity, which yields multiple benefits. The most obvious outcome, perhaps, is more NAD+ production. The ancillary benefit would be increased activity of other bodily mechanisms reliant on those sirtuins and enzymes. Both of these outcomes bring anti-aging potential!
Research has shown that NMN helps protect from ischemia, a result of insufficient blood flow in any area of the body. Typically, the body defends itself from ischemia via ischemic preconditioning (IPC). IPC stimulates SIRT1, which is an NAD+ dependent sirtuin, which helps move blood throughout the body. Because NMN activates SIRT1, then, it has the ability to mimic IPC, and thus is capable of protecting the heart from ischemia and reperfusion!
Promotes proper brain functioning and protects from neurological disease
Efficient circulation is, obviously, crucial to overall well-being. Specifically, having adequate blood flow is imperative in brain health. Without enough oxygenated blood reaching our brain, serious issues can arise.
Luckily, NMN helps ensure that this essential organ gets all the oxygen it needs. Improper mitochondrial functioning is a known precursor of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Having hard-working, healthy mitochondria can help fend off these kinds of diseases. Research shows that because NMN increases NAD+, which increases the degree of healthy mitochondria functioning, it has the potential to be a protective agent against neurodegenerative disease.
Fends off obesity and diabetes
Despite how diligent one is in their eating habits, the risks of obesity and diabetes have never been higher than they are in today’s society. Calorically-dense processed foods, in addition to foods and industrialized seed oils with negative nutritional value, are more common than healthy alternatives anymore! Just as consistently-elevated blood sugar and Hypoglycemic hormone levels lead to diabetes, continuous overeating will eventually lead to weight gain. Our metabolisms are well-oiled machines, but unless we ensure they are functioning properly, bad habits can ultimately cause them to falter.
With multiple metabolic pathways operating throughout the body, a lot of different components are involved in keeping adequate metabolic health. One of which is facilitated by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), which we mentioned earlier is an enzyme dependent on NAD+. In 2011, the ability of NMN supplementation to fix NAMPT deficiencies in diabetic mice was tested. Researchers found that NMN stimulated NAD+ biosynthesis, raising NAD+levels in the pancreas, liver, and white adipose tissue. With the pancreas being directly responsible for the secretion of insulin, which keeps blood sugar levels regulated, one can hypothesize that this would help protect from diabetes. Sure enough, that’s what this study found! NMN was found to decrease the effect of underlying causes of diabetes and significantly improve glucose tolerance, both of which help protect from diabetes and obesity.
Mechanism of Action of NMN
Calling on the salvage pathway
NAD+ metabolism is a dynamic redox cycle that functions to shuttle electrons throughout cells to maintain redox homeostasis and bioenergetics. NAD+ is synthesized through several pathways.
De novo synthesis of NAD+ accounts for a minority of the total NAD+ pool, while the majority of NAD+ comes from the salvage pathway.
- Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a metabolic regulator of transcription, longevity and disease- Overview of the NAD process http://web.mit.edu/biology/guarente/references/15.pdf
- Gomes Ana P et al. “Declining NAD+ Induces a Pseudohypoxic State Disrupting Nuclear-Mitochondrial Communication during Aging.”; Cell; U.S. National Library of Medicine; 19 Dec. 2013; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076149/– Sirtuins
- Cohen Haim Y et al. “Calorie Restriction Promotes Mammalian Cell Survival by Inducing the SIRT1 Deacetylase.”; Science (New York, N.Y.); U.S. National Library of Medicine; 16 July 2004; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15205477/
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- Yamamoto, Takanobu, et al. “Nicotinamide mononucleotide, an intermediate of NAD+ synthesis, protects the heart from ischemia and reperfusion.”; PloS one; vol. 9, 6 e98972; 6 Jun. 2014; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4048236/
- Yellon Derek, M Derek, J Hausenloy. “Myocardial Reperfusion Injury.”; The New England Journal of Medicine; U.S. National Library of Medicine; 13 Sept. 2007; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17855673/
- Long·Aaron N·et al. “Effect of nicotinamide mononucleotide on brain mitochondrial respiratory deficits in an Alzheimer’s disease-relevant murine model.”; BMC neurology; vol. 15 19; 1 Mar. 2015; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4358858/
- Yoshino·Jun et al. “Nicotinamide mononucleotide, a key NAD(+) intermediate, treats the pathophysiology of diet- and age-induced diabetes in mice.”; Cell metabolism; vol. 14,4; 2011; 528-36; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3204926/
- Tyler G. Demarest, et al. NAD+ Metabolism in Aging and Cancer. Annu. Rev. Cancer Biol. 2019. 3:6.1–6.26