What are NMN Supplements and Should You Take Them?
One of the latest additions to the alphabet soup of supplements is NMN, or nicotinamide mononucleotide. It’s a precursor to NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which enables cells to produce energy. Taking an NMN supplement can help boost the body’s NAD+ level.
Are there benefits to taking NMN supplements?
Studies in mice and worms have found that increasing NAD+ may have health benefits that increase as people age.
“NAD+ levels naturally decline with aging,” says Kelly Bay, DC, CNS, CDN, a physician based in New York City. “Studies have demonstrated that this supplement has the potential to affect epigenetic factors.” Mitochondria are the energy producers of cells, which start to conk out as we get older.
Animal studies have found that boosting NAD+ levels may help support:
1. Cardiovascular health
A 2016 study at the University of Colorado found that old mice given an NMN supplement saw an improvement in cardiovascular health.
2. Weight Management
In another experiment, aging mice fed a high-fat diet for 12 months, along with supplements that boosted NAD+, indicated it may help protect them from some of the effects of obesity.
3. Cognitive health
A 2019 study found that old mice given an NMN supplement had improved neurovascular coupling, a crucial part of brain health.
Is it safe to take NMN supplements?
Always consult a physician before adding a supplement to your routine. If you choose to supplement with NMN, remember that current studies have only been performed on animals, and what happens in mice doesn’t always replicate in humans. Our metabolism and living conditions are different from mice.
“None of this is ready for prime time,” said Felipe Sierra, director of the division of aging biology at the National Institute on Aging at NIH. “The bottom line is I don’t try any of these things. Why don’t I? Because I’m not a mouse.”
Where can I get NMN supplements?
NMN supplements are available from online vendors like Amazon, as well as boutique online and brick and mortar stores that specialize in NAD+ supplements. When purchasing supplements, it’s essential to look for the highest quality product available. “If one does choose to supplement with NMN, it’s important to remember that not all supplements are created equally,” says Bay. “Sourcing professional-grade products is a must.”