Aging is a phenomenon no one can escape from. We can always try to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising and taking better care of ourselves and it will definitely improve our quality of life, but the signs of aging are inevitable.
There are a bunch of procedures that can make you look younger, but reversing the signs of aging is a completely different ballgame.
Nicotinamide mononucleotide or NMN is a new supplement that shows promise in slowing down or reversing the physical signs of aging.
What Is NMN?
NMN is a molecule that is naturally created in the body. It is present in all life forms and is one of the building blocks of RNA. It is the precursor of NAD+, an essential molecule.
NMN is the most important factor for people trying to raise their NAD+ levels. We need NAD+ to survive because it is a coenzyme that acts as a catalyst for essential life functions.
After water, NAD+ is found most abundantly in the body. It helps mitochondria create energy for our bodies. It also helps a protein called sirtuin in repairing damaged DNA.
NAD+ was discovered way back in 1906. It is an essential link in the chain of bodily functions and is essential in keeping our body functioning well. It plays an important role in making sure the molecular pathways are functioning properly.
Since NAD+ is so important for our survival and NMN is its precursor, increasing the amount of NMN in the body is the key to getting the health benefits of NAD+.
We need a lot more research on the effects of NMN on our body, but a few preliminary animal studies have shown that it can have a great effect on metabolism and diseases caused by age-related deterioration. There is also evidence that NMN could have anti-aging effects on our bodies.
What Does The Research Say?
Researchers have only started examining the effects of NMN. There have been a few animal studies and randomized tests on cells are being conducted to see if those results can be reproduced for humans too.
The first clinical study for testing the effects of NMN on humans was conducted in 2016. 10 Japanese men were the subjects for this study and they were given NMN supplements orally every day.
The NMN was metabolized safely in the body and there were no reported side effects. The subjects of the clinical trial fasted overnight before being administered NMN and continued to fast for 5 hours after.
There were no changes in vital signs like blood pressure or body temperature. Even sleep quality remained the same. Urine and blood samples showed that there were no changes or side effects.
Bilirubin levels rose and blood glucose and creatinine levels dropped, but these fluctuations were all within the normal range. This led to the conclusion that the safe dosage of NMN for fighting age-related conditions in humans is 500 mg.
Another study focused on women past menopause as animal studies had suggested that female subjects and older subjects responded better to NMN supplements.
It was observed that older women who were at risk for diabetes and were overweight had better glucose absorption by muscles but did not mimic the effects of heightened insulin sensitivity.
Their blood glucose levels and blood pressure did not drop and there was no change in liver fat or muscle fatigue.
The researchers speculated that other than the inherent differences between animals and humans, it could be a matter of adjusting the dosage and duration of the study.
The scientific and medical community agrees that more research needs to be done with diverse human subjects to get results that can be used for making clinical usage recommendations.
Neither study saw an increase in NAD+ levels but there was evidence of a higher concentration of the metabolic products of NAD. This suggests a high turnover rate.
There were no harmful side effects in either study. However, human subjects were given a comparatively smaller dose of NMN than rodents.
Also, the studies show that there aren’t any side effects of a single dose or a regular intake of NMN over a period of 10 weeks. It remains to be seen if there are any adverse effects associated with long-term usage.
It is also possible that side effects occur in an extremely small percentage of people and not enough studies have been conducted so far to determine the general safety of the supplement.
The Benefits Of NMN
Here are some of the benefits of NMN:
Higher Energy Levels
One of the most prominent benefits of taking NMN supplements was an increase in energy levels.
It is generally believed that a higher dose is best for a boost in energy, but the correct dosage varies from person to person. NMN, when ingested orally by aging rats, showed improved stamina and better endurance.
It promoted the growth of muscle and blood vessels, which could restore muscle mass in people experiencing physical frailty due to age.
People who have been taking NMN supplements have reported that they are able to concentrate better and have better focus. Their cognitive function improved and they feel sharper.
A study conducted on mice showed that NMN supplements resulted in increased blood flow to the brain, which made the brain function better and improved cognition.
Healthy Blood Vessels
Blood vessels deteriorate with age. NMN has been known to rejuvenate or restore blood vessels damaged due to age. It improved elasticity in the blood vessels of aging animals.
Endothelial cells are lining the blood vessels in your body. NMN makes the mitochondria in these cells healthier, improving the overall health of the blood vessels.
Aging slows down metabolism, which can bring on a host of health problems.
Research shows that taking NMN supplements can promote many changes like reducing resistance to insulin, improving plasma lipid profiles and reducing weight gain caused by age.
All of these factors can improve your overall metabolism and help keep you in better physical shape.
People on NMN supplements reported an increase in libido, which suggests that it could have an effect on fertility too. Research does show that administering NMN showed promise in restoring fertility in female animals.
It also showed an effect on the developing embryo, lowering the risk of adverse effects caused by the mother’s age.
Dealing With DNA Damage
One of the markers of aging physically is damage to our DNA. Research showed that mice who were administered NMN had lesser DNA damage than mice that weren’t.
The study used radiation to determine the effect on DNA damage. Mice who got a regular dose of NMN had significantly less damage from radiation and had a higher red blood cell count.
Does NMN Reverse Aging? Parting Thoughts
NMN has proven to be a very promising supplement so far. It has amazing effects on dealing with the physical signs of aging and staving off age-related illnesses.
It definitely needs a lot more research to understand the long-term effects and the extent of its potency, but it could improve the quality of life for a large number of people and be of huge help to senior citizens suffering from age-related chronic diseases.