This article will introduce one of the newest categories of natural product supplementation, NMN supplements. Before we define NMN for you, we’ll explain that it is a precursor to NAD+, a coenzyme discovered over 100 years ago, essential to creating energy in every cell in your body. Without NAD+ acting as a coenzyme, crucial bodily processes cannot take place, and life would not exist. Sounds important, right? It is, and so without subjecting you to a biology lesson, we’ll explain NAD, NAD+, NADH, NR, and something called sirtuins, as concisely as possible, in laymen’s terms.
Mounting evidence suggests that NAD+ levels decline with age, a condition that scientists now consider a major contributor to aging. Lower NAD+ levels also trigger age-related conditions like cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Maintaining or replenishing NAD+ levels then theoretically could be an effective anti-aging strategy.
In this article, we will delve into the research and clinical trials of NMN supplementation and provide recommendations of items that appear to be among the most efficacious. So, what is an NMN supplement? Let’s take a look!
What Is An NMN Supplement?
This article will address both NMN (Nicotinamide mononucleotide) and NR (nicotinamide riboside) supplements as both are precursors to NAD+ and both are used to maintain and replenish NAD+ levels.
NMN, Nicotinamide mononucleotide is a type of bioactive nucleotide (organic molecule), a precursor to NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which enables cells to produce energy. NMN supplements are designed to help boost the body’s NAD+ levels. In the Clinical Trial segment, we will discuss how NMN may play a role in addressing serious illnesses attributed to declining NAD+ levels.
NR (nicotinamide riboside) is a form of Vitamin B that may be the most efficient route to form NAD+ or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NR is the raw material from which your body makes NAD+ through a series of chemical transformations.
Both supplements increase NAD+ levels to stimulate energy, for DNA repair and Sirtuin activity. To grasp this new category of supplements’ significance, it’s essential that we develop an understanding of NAD+ and its function.
What Is NAD And Why Is It Important?
NAD is used to collectively refer to the different forms of NAD, the molecules NAD+ and NADH. As succinctly as possible, think of these molecules as two sides of the same coin.
NAD+ and NADH are known as a “redox couple” – one is reduced, and the other is oxidized in the redox reaction process; NAD+ is oxidized, while NADH is reduced. When something is oxidized, it loses electrons, and when something is being reduced, it is gaining electrons. To put it simply, NAD+ is an oxidized version of NADH.
The redox reaction between NAD+ and NADH is essential for creating energy in the body via ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), the compound the body uses for fuel.
NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) is made in our bodies from Niacin (Vitamin B3). It is increased when we indulge in food and eat more than we should as our bodies metabolize carbohydrates and fats into energy (ATP).
Just like NAD+, NADH is considered a molecule containing the atoms of:
NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme found in every cell in your body, essential for creating energy and regulating crucial metabolic processes. Coenzymes are “helper” molecules, as they bind to other enzymes causing reactions on the molecular level. NAD+ acts as fuel for vital biological processes, such as:
- Converting food into energy
- Repairing damaged DNA
- Fortifying cells’ defense systems
- Setting your body’s internal clock
Scientists first discovered NAD+ in 1906, and our understanding of this coenzyme, its functions, and potential have continued to evolve. More recently, scientists are studying how NMN and NR can maintain and replenish NAD+, more on this in the Clinical Study segment.
NR – The Fastest Precursor To NAD+
NR (nicotinamide riboside) is a vitamin, an organic compound our bodies need to complete biological functions that we must get through diet. There are eight kinds of Vitamin Bs, and NR is a Vitamin B3 found in small amounts in foods such as dairy products. In clinical studies, NR is thought to be more efficient than other NAD+ precursors as it uses up the least amount of energy to become NAD+ when taken orally.
What About Those Sirtuins?
Sirtuins are a family of seven proteins. Their activities regulate (balance) cellular health and are involved in critical cellular processes, including supporting a healthy metabolism and cellular energy production. In the absence of NAD+, sirtuins cannot function properly.
Types Of NMN Supplements
To date, there are relatively few established supplement companies that market NMN supplements. Tru Niagen®, one of our Best Of products, features a patented ingredient Niagen®, a safety-reviewed form of NR, nicotinamide riboside.
Most other brands in the space use NMN, Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, a derivative of the B-vitamin niacin as the active ingredient. Dosages vary from 125 mg to 300 mg. Basis®, another brand, combines their NMN with an antioxidant related to resveratrol, pterostilbene.
Some brands recommend stacking NMN with resveratrol or other supplements to enhance the conversion to NAD+. More on this in the Stacking NMN Supplements segment.
NMN products use a feature not seen frequently in the nutritional products and supplement space – copies of Lab COAs (Certificates of Analysis) to validate purity are reprinted within the product descriptions.
The most prevalent forms of NMN supplements are powders, vegetable capsules, and sublingual tablets.
Key Ingredients In NMN Supplements
In our review, most products are single-ingredient powders or capsules, NMN or NR, with one brand combining NMN with an antioxidant. As mentioned, Tru Niagen uses a patented form of NR.
Clinical Studies Of NMN Supplementation
Per the National Center for Biotechnology Information, recent clinical studies on NMN are encouraging:
“The NMN molecule has demonstrated beneficial pharmacological activities in preclinical studies, which suggest its potential therapeutic use. The pharmacological activities of NMN include its role in cellular biochemical functions including cardio protection, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and complications associated with obesity. The recent groundbreaking discovery of anti-aging activities of this molecule has added a valuable essence in its research.”
“Recently, preclinical studies have demonstrated diversified pharmacological activities of NMN in cardiac and cerebral ischemia, Alzheimer’s disease, diet- and age-induced type 2 diabetes, and obesity, all of which are linked up to the deficiency of NAD+.”
The NCBI report concludes by stating:
“NMN could open up a new horizon in modern therapeutics. This biomolecule has demonstrated numerous beneficial pharmacological activities in several preclinical disease models. The most recent discovery of its anti-aging, life-span prolonging property has made NMN more attractive as a potential therapeutic candidate.”
Although commercial NMN products are still relatively new, the potential identified in this report indicates we will be seeing more major brands entering the category.
NMN Supplement Benefits
Given the limited entrants in the space, the number of purported benefits is significant. For example, one company claims that NMN supplementation has been found to:
- Improve physical endurance
- Improve muscle strength
- Benefit neurological function
- Improve heart health
- Reduce bodyweight
Another company lists the benefits as:
- Fueling your body’s energy engines—your mitochondria.
- Defending against metabolic stresses, such as overeating
- Promoting repair at the cellular level, counteracting the effects of stress and time
- Promoting youthful cellular function.
While other brands cite:
- Slows the shortening of telomeres
- Helps fight general fatigue
- Promotes longevity
- Encourages youthful cognitive function
Finally, another website captures the following benefits:
- Supports healthy aging – protects cells from age-related decline
- Protects telomeres
- Makes cells resistant to stress
- Protects the brain
- Helps repair DNA
- Helps you eat and sleep at the right time
Seeking some common ground, we find energy, cell and telomere protection, and general anti-aging as the most likely benefits experienced by the normal consumer.
Will An NMN Supplement Work For Me?
What a challenging question in this category. After using one of these products for ninety-days, neither my wife nor I could detect any noticeable change. That said, one can’t easily measure their telomeres or monitor the health of your cells.
Basis the clinical research, the importance of NAD+, and the fact we know NAD+ declines with age, we can recommend an NMN supplement as part of a comprehensive anti-aging regimen.
Are NMN Supplements Safe?
NAD+ boosting products, either NMN or NR, are generally considered safe for most people. Some people have reported mild to moderate side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and indigestion.
When considering adding a new supplement to your regimen, talk to your doctor first, particularly if you have a diagnosed nutrient deficiency or are on prescription medicines.
The Best NMN Supplements
When making our selections for recommended NMN supplements, we adhered to the following criteria:
- We ensured the products are manufactured in the U.S. in a certified cGMP facility (Good Manufacturing Practices)
- We looked for companies and brands that have independent third-party testing such as NSF, Informed Choice, or Safe for Sport certifications and featured Lab COAs on their sites
- Having a Money-Back Guarantee was important to us as it indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in its product
- Whenever possible, we opted for Non-GMO and vegetarian supplements
Tru Niagen by ChromoDex Inc.
Our first selection, Tru Niagen, comes from ChromoDex, Inc. of Irvine, CA. As mentioned, Tru Niagen features the patented ingredient Niagen, a safety-reviewed form of NR, nicotinamide riboside. Backed by Nobel Prize-winning scientists, the product has conducted clinical trials to substantiate its increasing NAD+ claims by as much as 40%- 50% in just eight weeks.
A thirty-day supply retails for $50.00. For a subscription, one can reduce that cost to $40.00. There are also special offers for sixty-and-ninety-day supplies.GET THE BEST PRICE ON TRU NIAGEN
Alive by Science NMN, (formerly Alive by Nature)
In addition to the new corporate identity, this Alive by Science NMN product has been reformulated to improve the taste and bioavailability. The company has added mannitol to their pure sublingual NMN™ Powder 250 mg, to improve absorption and speed transit through the small intestine – it also enhances the taste. Alive NMN SL includes Betaine Anhydrous, 25 mg, an amino acid in the formulation.
Alive is 100% Natural, Non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan friendly, and lab tested for purity.
Fifty-six servings retail for $56.95.GET THE BEST PRICE ON ALIVE BY SCIENCE NMN
Longevity NMN Pro by Pro Health
Longevity is a powdered dietary supplement formulated with only one ingredient MNM. The product is purity tested in an independent third-party lab, is cGMP certified, and contains no GMOs, dairy, egg, soy, gluten, wheat, fillers, chemicals, artificial colors, or flavors. The Lab COA is displayed prominently on the website.
The company website lists the 15 gram, sixty- serving jars at $61.90.GET THE BEST PRICE ON LONGEVITY NMN PRO
Stacking NMN Supplements
Several of the companies marketing these anti-aging products suggest combining NMN with Resveratrol, Niacin, Magnesium, Zinc, and Folic Acid to help increase NAD+, activate Sirtuins, and help slow telomere shrinkage.
To Summarize: NMN Supplements
We’re confident research and clinical trials will continue, in fact accelerate, on NMN, NR, and other NAD+ boosting supplements. The potential for slowing or reversing the signs of aging and addressing diseases related to declining NAD+ levels is profound and potentially immensely profitable. We anticipate more established brands in the nutritional supplement space to enter the category.
When to start supplementing as part of an anti-aging strategy is difficult to determine, and NMN and NR products are not inexpensive. We think it prudent to follow the science in this category for further discoveries and developments in the NAD+ supplement space.