NMN and NAD+ are best known for helping to slow the aging process. NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is the precursor to NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a coenzyme found in all living cells. Increased levels of NAD+ are thought to enhance survival. By the time we reach middle age, most people have about half the amounts they had when they were younger.
NMN supplementation has been taken off the market in the US by the FDA recently.
Alternative supplementation may be available through NAD+ injections. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns.
Preliminary clinical studies have shown possible adverse effects on organs and organ systems, but so far, no results have been conclusive.
Human clinical studies are still lacking regarding safety and efficacy.
By taking NMN orally, it is believed that it can be an effective anti-aging supplement, thereby ultimately improving NAD+ levels. Currently, there are no known side effects when taking NMN supplements. However, it is essential to let your physician know that you are taking NMN supplementation since it was recently taken off the market in the US by the FDA.
In fact, the FDA has recently recommended disallowing NMN as a dietary supplement and it may not be marketed or sold in the US at present. However, this may be temporary, and there are alternatives, such as NAD+ injections.
Why tell my doctor I'm taking NMN?
The FDA in the US has halted the sale of NMN as a dietary supplement — though it may be available elsewhere. If you have access to NMN or desire an alternative, it is a good idea to discuss its use with your healthcare provider.
The FDA surprisingly decided to prohibit the sale of MNM in November 2022. The supplement was banned without notice regarding its safety and efficacy. It was widely believed that the FDA may have favored drug makers as opposed to the producers of dietary supplements. Nonetheless, NMN requires more research to test potential safety concerns.
Since NMN is no longer available in the US, some healthcare providers are advocating an alternative — NAD+ injections.
Result of higher NAD+ levels by taking NMN?
Various studies show that taking NMN nearly doubled the levels of NAD+ within a month's time. In addition, supplementing with NMN has indicated many positive findings, including reducing fat inflammation and increasing the brain's neural function. Other benefits include the following:
- Increases insulin sensitivity;
- Reverses mitochondrial dysfunction;
- Extends lifespan.
Studies on NMN and NAD+ supplementation
Research findings suggest that taking NMN and NAD+ supplements improves metabolic function, which many experts argue can increase longevity. Other conclusions include the combination:
- Increases NAD+ biosynthesis;
- Prevents age-associated weight gain;
- Improves insulin sensitivity;
- Promotes vascular health and blood flow;
- Enhances energy metabolism and physical activity;
- Improves muscle endurance and strength;
- Protects against heart disease;
- Improves neuronal function in the brain;
- Improves eye function;
- Prevents age-related changes in gene expression.
What are the potential safety concerns?
The ultimate goals of boosting NAD+ are to improve the body’s natural defense mechanisms and prolong a healthy lifespan. As the global human population continues to grow, so does the elderly population. As a result, the demand for anti-aging health products has steadily increased to stem and decelerate the complications of older age.
The main issue regarding NMN supplementation has been that the safety cannot be accurately assessed because of dosing. Therefore, recommendations regarding safe levels for long-term administration have been elusive.
Rigorous scientific preclinical and clinical studies are lacking. Much of the criticism regarding the lack of clinical research is that manufacturers have found that low profit margins make it challenging to fund clinical research.
One reason the FDA halted the sale and marketing of NMN are due to the lack of regulation. For example, there is no distinction between the marketing and sale of NMN products as either functional food products or regulated therapeutic drugs. In addition, without clinical research to prove safety, there are many unknowns.
There have been reports of adverse effects on several human organs and organ systems, including the liver, kidney, and pancreas. For instance, users have noted bouts of nausea, stomach upset, and headaches. In addition, some have suggested decreased rather than increased insulin sensitivity and oxidative stress levels.
Despite these concerns, NMN supplementation may benefit those suffering from alcoholism and liver pathologies.
Furthermore, preclinical studies indicate that NMN supplementation may cause structural changes in the brain and behavior deficits in rats. However, it is unclear whether those effects would translate to humans or how. Also, in other preclinical studies, NMN administration showed improved plasma lipid profiles, reducing fatty acids, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels in mice. Again, however, some of the results are contradictory in other studies.
As much as scientists know about the benefits of taking NMN, much more research is necessary because it's still in its infancy. Once more data is analyzed, researchers will have a better indication of how effective NMN supplements are for increasing longevity.