What do you know about the sources of NMN?

Sources of dietary supplement raw materials include animal and plant extraction, microbial fermentation and chemical synthesis. Strictly speaking, all these three categories belong to synthesis, of which animal and plant extraction and microbial fermentation are biosynthesis, while the enzymatic method belongs to chemical synthesis. Now, we are going to explain the differences between the enzymatic method and other chemical synthesis.

What is synthesis? To put it simply, synthesis is the process of combining from small molecules to large molecules. Biosynthesis is to use the plant or microorganism’s metabolic system to synthesize target molecules in plants or microorganisms, and then extract, isolate and purify them to obtain raw materials.

Chemical synthesis is the synthesis of target molecules outside biological systems using modern industrial equipment to mimic biological or non-in vivo processes. Enzymatic synthesis is a type of chemical synthesis, which is characterized by the use of enzymes as catalysts for the reaction. Due to the three-dimensional activity of the enzyme, the reaction usually needs to be performed under relatively mild conditions, otherwise, the enzyme is inactivated and the reaction cannot proceed. Chemical synthesis often requires multiple complex steps. Enzymatic methods are generally used only for specific reaction steps.

According to the source of the reaction starting materials, the synthesis reaction can be divided into total synthesis and semi-synthesis. Semi-synthesis is based on natural ingredients to react such as plant-derived molecules.

After the synthesis is completed, it still needs to undergo extraction, separation, purification and other steps to obtain high-purity raw materials.

The sources of NMN

The raw materials extracted from plants and microorganisms are generally called natural raw materials. However, in modern industrial systems, to obtain greater yields, plants and microorganisms are often genetically modified. Taking fermentation as an example, it is through genetic modification of microorganisms to produce new high-yield strains for large-scale industrial production. Although such raw materials are synthesized in the living body, they belong to unnatural raw materials.

So, where does the NMN come from?

Although many plants contain natural NMN, such as broccoli, avocado, etc., their content is so small that it is difficult to obtain directly from the plant. According to a study by Professor Imai of the University of Washington [1], to obtain the daily NMN needed from broccoli, taking 250 mg as an example, 100 kg of broccoli, 69 kg of avocado, or 416 kg of beef are required. Considering the losses in the extraction process, it is not realistic to obtain natural NMN from plants and animals.

The first commercial NMN was from Japan and was produced by microbial fermentation. Due to the low yield of microbial fermentation, which is not conducive to industrialization, the cost is high, and it was later replaced by enzymatic synthesis.

Compared with the fermentation method, the yield of NMN produced by enzymatic method has been greatly improved, which has promoted the large-scale production of NMN and is the second-generation commercial NMN. The yield and purity of the enzyme synthesis method are directly related to the activity and purity of the enzyme. Once the enzyme is inactivated or contaminated, the product will be affected.

Chemical synthesis is the third-generation commercialized NMN that has recently appeared. It can be industrially produced on a large scale, increasing output and reducing costs. At the same time, chemical synthesis controls the reaction conditions accurately, with stable quality and high repeatability between batches.

Whether it is biological or chemical synthesis, natural or non-natural, through modern detection methods, we will find that the molecular structure of NMN is the same. The safety and effectiveness of raw materials must be guaranteed through final testing, including purity, content, microorganisms, heavy metals, etc.

Uthever® uses Effepharm’s food-grade NR as raw material, supplemented with multiple detection methods to ensure product quality and safety from the sources.


  1. Mills et al., Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice, Cell Metabolism 24, 795–806, December 13, 2016