Reviewed by the BioHackers Lab Team | Last updated: July 29, 2023

As we age, our bodies undergo changes that can lead to a decline in physical and mental health. One of the key factors in aging is a decrease in cellular energy production, which leads to a decline in the body’s ability to repair and regenerate itself. This is why people are looking at using nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).

Bowl of white capsule supplements

NMN supplements have gained popularity in recent years as a potential solution to this problem. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of NMN supplements, how they work in the body, and the best ways to take them to promote youthful aging and vitality.

Disclaimer: Consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best dosage and method of supplementation for your individual needs.

What Is NMN?

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a molecule that plays a key role in cellular metabolism and energy production. NAD+ plays a key role in energy metabolism, cell signaling, and DNA repair.

Find out more on what are the differences between NMN and NAD here.

How Popular is NMN?

You can see how often people in the US have been searching for NMN supplements on Google; it is still on the increase.

You can also see in the increase in the number of published scientific articles about nicotinamide mononucleotide according to PubMed.

What Is the Chemical Structure of NMN?

The chemical formula for NMN is C11H15N2O8P, which means it is made up of 11 carbon atoms, 15 hydrogen atoms, 2 nitrogen atoms, 8 oxygen atoms, and 1 phosphorus atom.

Is NMN Vitamin B3?

No, NMN is not considered a vitamin, but it is a molecule that is naturally produced in the body and can also be found in some foods, such as broccoli, avocado, and edamame.

While both NMN and vitamin B3 are involved in the production of NAD+, NMN is a more direct precursor of NAD+ than vitamin B3. Studies have shown that NMN effectively activates the sirtuin genes and improves aging-related mitochondrial disorders

In addition, NMN supplementation has been shown to increase blood NAD+ levels and its metabolome in middle-aged and older adults

In mammals most NMN is synthesized from vitamin B3 in the form of nicotinamide.

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What is NMN Good For?

NMN is good for helping to increase NAD levels. As we get older, our bodies produce less NMN, which can lead to a decline in NAD levels and a decrease in cellular energy production.

NMN has been studied for its potential to improve health by increasing NAD+ levels and may help protect against age-related decline.

Studies have shown that NMN can improve the function of our cells’ powerhouses, the mitochondria, leading to increased energy levels and potentially slowing down the aging process.

Boosting NAD+ levelsNMN is a precursor to NAD+, a molecule involved in energy production and cellular metabolism.
Supporting mitochondrial functionNMN may promote mitochondrial health, which can lead to improved cellular energy production.
Anti-aging effectsResearch suggests that NMN can help combat age-related decline in various cellular functions.
Improving brain healthNMN may support cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
Enhancing muscle functionSome studies indicate that NMN can improve muscle endurance and strength.
Supporting cardiovascular healthNMN may help maintain healthy blood vessels and promote overall heart health.

However, it’s important to note that most of these studies have been conducted on animals, and human trials are still in the early stages. our bodies gradually decrease, leading to various age-related health issues.

How Does NMN Work?

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a precursor to NAD+, meaning it helps out body to make more NAD+. When ingested, NMN is absorbed by the cells and converted into NAD+. NMN is converted into NAD+ in a series of enzymatic reactions.

This enzymatic conversion effectively boosts the levels of NAD+ in our bodies, which is thought to help promote cellular health and improving various bodily functions.

Once NAD+ levels are increased, they can activate various enzymes that are involved in energy production and cellular metabolism, leading to increased cellular energy and improved cellular function.

Can You Get NMN Naturally?

While NMN can be found naturally in certain foods like broccoli, avocado, and tomatoes, the concentrations are relatively low. This is where NMN supplements come into play. These supplements aim to provide a more concentrated dose of NMN, allowing individuals to reap its potential benefits more efficiently.

Are NMN Supplements Safe?

So far, NMN supplements appear to be safe, with no significant side effects reported in human studies that we saw.

However, it’s important to remember that long-term effects are still not fully understood, and consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regime is always recommended.

As with any supplement, safety of ingredients is a top concern. Make sure any NMN supplement you consider is also made in a facility that follows Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) in the US or GMP standards used in the rest of the world, also ask for certificates of analysis (COA) to ensure purity from a manufacturer.

What Are the Benefits of NMN?

The benefits of NMN supplementation are numerous and varied. One of the most significant benefits is its potential to promote youthful aging and vitality. Many clinical trials and human studies have shown that NMN supplements can improve mitochondrial function, increase insulin sensitivity, and enhance sleep quality. They may also have neuroprotective effects and promote DNA repair.

NMN supplementation has been studied for its potential health benefits, which include:

  1. Anti-aging. NMN has been shown to increase NAD levels in the body, which in turn may help to slow down the aging process by promoting cellular repair and improving mitochondrial function. In animal studies, NMN has been proven to increase lifespan and improve healthspan.
  2. Energy production. Like NAD, NMN is involved in the production of energy in cells in the human body by facilitating the transfer of electrons between molecules. NMN levels may therefore improve energy levels and physical performance.
  3. Cardiovascular health. NMN has indicated the ability to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in animal studies, which may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  4. Brain health. NMN may improve cognitive function and reduce age-related cognitive decline in animal studies. It may also have neuroprotective effects and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  5. Exercise performance. NMN levels have been shown to elevate exercise performance in mice, possibly by increasing energy production and reducing muscle damage.
  6. Help with metabolic disorders. NMN supplementation may also be beneficial for individuals with metabolic disorders such as diabetes and age-associated weight gain. Human trials have shown that NMN supplementation can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, which can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

While NMN supplementation shows promise as a potential anti-aging and health-promoting therapy, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and to determine the optimal dosages and methods of administration in humans.

What Are the Benefits of NAD?

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme that is essential for cellular energy production, DNA repair, and cell signaling. It plays a key role in the aging process and has been linked to a wide range of health benefits. 

NAD levels decline with age, which can lead to a decline in cellular energy production and an increased risk of age-related diseases. NMN supplements are believed to work by increasing NAD levels in the body, which in turn can help to promote youthful aging and vitality.

Here are some potential benefits of NAD:

  1. Energy production. NAD is a key component of the electron transport chain, which is responsible for generating energy (in the form of ATP) in cells. By facilitating the transfer of electrons between molecules, NAD helps to produce energy from glucose, fats, and other nutrients.
  2. DNA repair. NAD levels may help protect cells against DNA damage. This is important for maintaining the integrity of the genome and preventing mutations that can lead to cancer and other diseases.
  3. Anti-aging. Some studies suggest that increasing NAD levels may help to slow down the aging process by promoting cellular repair and improving mitochondrial function (the energy-producing organelles in cells).
  4. Neuroprotection. NAD may also have neuroprotective effects, and has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  5. Addiction treatment. NAD therapy has been used to treat addiction to drugs and alcohol and has shown promise in reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Cellular Energy and the Aging Process

All cells in the body require cellular energy to function properly. Cells generate energy through ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is produced by mitochondria, the cell’s “powerhouses”.

As we age, mitochondrial function declines, resulting in a decrease in cellular energy and an increased risk of diseases associated with aging.

A key driver of aging is the accumulation of mitochondrial damage over time, according to the mitochondrial theory of aging.

Mitochondria lose their ability to generate ATP as they age, resulting in a decline in cellular energy and an increased risk of age-related diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

An additional factor that impacts cellular energy and aging is oxidative stress. In addition to producing energy through oxidative phosphorylation, cells also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids. Oxidative damage accumulates over time, reducing mitochondrial function and cellular energy production.

What Are the Best Ways to Take NMN Supplementation?

The best way to take NMN supplements is still a topic of debate among researchers and health experts. Some studies suggest that NMN supplements are best absorbed through the cell membranes in the mouth, while others suggest that they are best absorbed through the digestive system. 

Here are some ways that have been suggested:

  1. Oral capsules. NMN supplements are commonly available in oral capsule form. Oral administration is a convenient way to take NMN, and allows for precise dosing.
  2. Sublingual tablets. Some companies are now offering sublingual tablets, which are dissolved under the tongue for faster absorption. This may be a more efficient way to deliver NMN directly into the bloodstream.
  3. Powder form. NMN powder can be mixed into a drink or smoothie, which may be a more palatable option for some people.
  4. Injection. While not as common, NMN can also be administered via injection. This method may offer faster and more efficient absorption, but requires a healthcare professional and can be more invasive.

What Are the Recommended NMN Dosages?

The optimal dosage of NMN is not yet fully established, as more research is needed to determine the most effective and safe dosage for humans. However, some studies in animals have suggested that a daily dose of 100-500 mg/kg of body weight may be effective in increasing NAD levels and providing health benefits.

In human studies, doses of up to 500 mg/day have been used, with no reported adverse effects. However, these studies are small and more research is needed to establish the safety and efficacy of higher doses.

It’s important to note that the optimal dosage of NMN may vary depending on individual factors such as age, weight, and health status. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional about how much NMN is right for you before starting your supplement regimen and to follow the recommended dosage on the product label.

Additionally, because NMN is a relatively new supplement, it is important to choose a reputable brand that has undergone quality testing and certification to ensure the purity and potency of the product.

What Are the Potential Side Effects of NMN Supplements?

NMN supplements are generally considered safe, and no serious side effects have been reported in human studies. However, as with any supplement, there is a potential for side effects, which may include:

  1. Digestive issues. Some people may experience mild digestive issues such as nausea, diarrhea, or stomach upset when taking NMN supplements.
  2. Headaches. Headaches have been reported in some people taking NMN, although this is generally rare and may be related to individual sensitivity.
  3. Allergic reactions. In rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to NMN supplements, which may cause symptoms such as rash, hives, or difficulty breathing.
  4. Interactions with medications. NMN may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, and may affect their effectiveness. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking NMN supplements if you are on any medications.

Final Thoughts

NMN supplements are a type of nutraceutical that are believed to have anti-aging properties. There is ongoing discussion and debate about the effectiveness of these supplements

NMN supplements have emerged as a potential solution to the problem of cellular energy decline and aging. They have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including promoting youthful aging and vitality, improving insulin sensitivity, and enhancing sleep quality.

While more research is needed to fully understand the best ways to take NMN supplements, they may be a valuable addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

As of March 13, 2023, Amazon has banned the sale of NMN supplements in the US on their platform.