Update 5/17/20. Nicotinamide mononucleotide is involved in the production of NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). That's a fancy way of saying NMN helps us make energy. Some research suggests growing older may be due to declines in NAD levels in our cells. That's where NMN supplements come in. The idea is NMN supplements raise NAD levels and this will slow aging and reduce our risk of disease. So, do NMN supplements work, or are they are a scam? Does NMN have any side effects? I've read much of research and in this video review, I'll help you understand it.
What Is NMN?
Basically, it's a substance that raises NAD levels in our cells. NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a critical factor involved in producing energy (ATP). Research suggests declines in cellular NAD production may be associated with diseases including even the aging process. It's hoped that by boosting NAD levels, disease – and maybe aging – can be slowed down.
That's where supplements like NMN, Niagen, and Elysium Basis come into play. Both of these supplements contain a molecule called nicotinamide riboside. It's a substance derived from the B vitamin, niacin. All of these are touted to raise NAD levels. The makers of those other supplements feel they are better at augmenting NAD production.
They argue the NMN molecule is too big to meaningfully raise NAD levels. In the video below, I address some of that research and along the way bring up some questions I hope are addressed in future research.
NMN Video Review
In this video, I address the research on these supplements and some of their shortcomings.
Watch on YouTube if you prefer
What's The Dosage?
Supplements may contain 100mg to 250 mg per one or two capsules. But, is that the correct dosage for humans? Given that the research involves lab animals (mostly mice and rats), I can't say for sure. Obviously, the best way to know for sure is to give different amounts to people and see what happens.
We could do the math and convert mouse dosages to human amounts but that's still going to be an estimation. Until human studies are conducted, nobody knows for sure what the right amount would be.
NMN vs. Nicotinamide Riboside
There are no direct comparisons between NMN and nicotinamide riboside supplements like Tru Niagen. There are PhDs on both sides of the fence trying to convince people that one is better than another. But none of them wants to put it to the test in a clinical study. That leaves you – the person interested in which is better -left to try each yourself to see what works best for you.
If your trying to decide, one thing to remember is nicotinamide riboside has more clinical research. That doesn't mean it's better. Rather it just means researchers seem more likely to study it.
NMN Side Effects
Because NMM lacks human clinical trials, it's difficult to know what the contraindications and side effects would be. Given that the FDA has declared nicotinamide riboside as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), it would be tempting to say all NAD cell activators -like NMN -would be safe too. I prefer a more cautious approach.
That said, people do tell me they feel better when they take this supplement. Some have also said it worked better for them than Niagen. Whether this is due to the placebo effect or a real biochemical change is not known.
One question nobody is talking about is can you raise NAD levels too much? It's worth noting all NMN research to date involves lab animals or isolated cells ( I call them test-tube studies). Some of the research also involves injecting NMN into lab animals.
All these leaves open the possibility humans may respond differently. Again, we can't know until human testing of supplements is performed.
Here are some general things to consider when using this supplement. This list is not complete.
- Start with less than suggested for the first week. This is to see how you respond.
- Stop taking NMN at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Don't take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Taking NMM with food may reduce GI problems if they occur
Preliminary evidence suggests NMM may reduce sperm quality, sperm motility, and increase free radical damage (oxidative stress) in testes. This is addressed in the video above also. The implications of this and whether or not it occurs in men who take NMN supplements need more study. Until more is known, men may want to consider this if they and their partner are trying to conceive.
Speak to your doctor if you have brain cancer. One study has noted people with a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma – who also had higher NAD levels – died sooner than those who had lower NAD levels.
This doesn't mean NAD booster supplements like NMN or nicotinamide riboside cause brain cancer. But it highlights how little we know about what raising NAD does, especially in those who are not healthy.
What Do I Recommend?
One supplement I take myself is Aged Garlic Extract by Kyolic. It's a supplement that boasts several human clinical trials noting it can help:
- artery function
- boost nitric oxide
- reduce blood pressure
- reduce LDL (bad cholesterol)
- reduce homocysteine levels
- reduce coronary calcium scores
Here is the supplement I take if you want to check it out.
Does NMN Work?
While I believe NMN will raise NAD levels, I think we need better studies. I want to know more about the side effects. So far, there is a lack of human evidence demonstrating that boosting NAD concentrations improves the quality of human life or reduces disease risk. Likewise is no clinical proof showing NMN supplements prolong the lifespan -or health span -of humans.
Any Comments or Questions?
- Nicotinamide mononucleotide preserves mitochondrial function and increases survival in hemorrhagic shock
- Impacts of obesity, maternal obesity and nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation on sperm quality in mice
- NRK1 controls nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside metabolism in mammalian cells
- Nicotinamide mononucleotide, a key NAD(+) intermediate, treats the pathophysiology of diet- and age-induced diabetes in mice.
- Nicotinamide Mononucleotide: Exploration of Diverse Therapeutic Applications of a Potential Molecule
- Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice.
- Nicotinamide mononucleotide protects against β-amyloid oligomer-induced cognitive impairment and neuronal death.
- Nicotinamide mononucleotide, a key NAD+ intermediate, treats the pathophysiology of diet- and age-induced diabetes in mice
- NAD + biosynthesis, aging, and disease
- Why NAD+ Declines during Aging: It’s Destroyed