The Ultimate Guide to NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide)
Did you know that the decline that comes with aging can be slowed, if not reversed? NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is an essential molecule in the fight against aging. It not only increases energy levels but also shows beneficial effects in many areas of the body. This ultimate guide will cover everything you need to know to get the most out of your NMN supplement and experience its benefits to the max.
What is NMN - Nicotinamide Mononucleotide?
NMN is derived from vitamin B3 (niacin) and is found in human cells. It has a critical role to play in how the body uses cellular energy. This molecule is used by our bodies to synthesize NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide).
NAD+ is found within every cell in our bodies and is quite possibly the most crucial molecule in longevity and anti-aging. It helps the body convert the energy from food into energy that we can use by activating special proteins called sirtuins. Sirtuins need NAD+ to regulate cellular health, switch anti-aging genes on and off, and regulate our metabolism.
For more on NAD+, read How Sirtuins and NAD+ Influence Longevity
Without sufficient NAD+ levels, our bodies cease to function. And sadly, these levels decrease with age. By the time we reach 50 most of us have half the NAD+ levels we had in our 20’s. This could be one of the main reasons why energy levels tend to decrease as we grow older. Because NMN helps produce NAD+, it has shown several beneficial actions that indicate that it could help chronic conditions. This includes cardiovascular dysfunction, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. In addition, recent studies in anti-aging indicate that NMN can be a gamechanger in extending our life and health spans.
Where does NMN come from?
Natural NMN is present in various food sources such as fruits, vegetables, and raw beef. Including the following:
Although NMN naturally occurs in many food sources, a study found that you would need to consume 100 kg of broccoli, 69 kg of avocado, or 416 kg of beef just to obtain 250 mg of NMN daily.
Why take an NMN supplement?
To get 250 mg of NMN—enough to raise NAD+—you need to eat unrealistic quantities of food. So, although increasing these foods in your diet will help, taking a high-quality NMN supplement is one of the most effective ways to raise the levels of NAD+ in your body.
What are the health benefits of NMN?
NMN can raise NAD+ levels throughout your body and in conjunction with an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, most noticeable benefits may include:
Increased energy levels
As mentioned, amongst its many functions, NAD+ helps your body convert food into energy that it can use. As we grow older, the levels of NAD+ decrease, resulting in lower energy levels in general. Because NMN is a precursor to NAD+, one of the most noticeable benefits of supplementing with NMN is increased energy levels. This can be within a couple of minutes if you take a sublingual NMN that’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Improved cardiac function
NMN has been shown to improve vascular function, increase levels of NAD+ in the heart, and also protect the heart from injury and failure. When taking NMN, you will most likely notice improvements in your cardiac functioning and physical endurance. For example, you might be able to run or walk for longer than before or you might find that your heart rate recovers much quicker after cardio exercises. Of course, this will also mean that NMN will help decrease the chances of cardiovascular disease and dysfunction.
Regulates blood sugar
NMN also helps regulate blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance. It may also help regulate cholesterol levels.
Taking NMN in conjunction with a healthy diet and active lifestyle will most likely help stabilize your blood sugar levels and decrease your chances of becoming diabetic. When supplementing with NMN, you might well find that you don’t have blood sugar highs and lows throughout the day and that your energy levels remain constant.
Did you know that Berberine is also highly effective at controlling blood sugar levels? Find out more in Berberine the Super Antioxidant.
NAD+ turns on sirtuins which control cell metabolism. Some people have even dubbed SIRTS as being the “skinny gene” because of its metabolism-revving function. Supplementing with NMN was shown to reduce weight gain associated with aging and also helped regulate glucose intolerance.
Apart from increased energy, improved cardiac function, and stabilized blood sugar levels, you will most likely also experience weight loss because of your revved up metabolism.
Improved brain function
NAD+ is crucial to brain function. The brain uses a tremendous amount of energy and low levels of NAD+ affect the brain’s ability to function optimally.
Studies are finding that NMN can benefit brain function and help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s by increasing the levels of NAD+ in the brain. Doing so was shown to decrease the build-up of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s, protect brain cells from dying, protect nerve cells from degenerating, and to improve memory.
By supplementing with NMN, brain fog and fatigue could become a thing of the past. You might feel more alert and able to recall things more easily as your brain cells receive enough energy to function optimally.
NMN has also been found to improve eye function by preventing the degeneration of photoreceptors and restoring vision. It has also been shown to help with a condition that is related to aging known as dry eye syndrome by increasing tear production. The same researchers also found that NMN improved retinal function. More studies need to be done on this aspect of NMN, but it does show promise. When you supplement with NMN, you may well find that your eyes feel less scratchy and dry, and you might experience improvement in retinal functioning.
One of the most ground-breaking findings of the studies on NMN was its ability to slow down the signs of aging and possibly even reverse them. NMN prevents the expression of genes that control aging and, as mentioned, boosts SIRTS which are very much anti-aging. Interestingly, in one study, it was found that it reversed infertility in aged post-menopausal subjects, making them fertile and able to once more reproduce.
Although results may vary, you may well find certain signs of aging begin to decrease. This could mean improvement in your skin, hair, and overall condition.
As you can see, supplementing with NMN has many benefits to your health. Later on the article, we also cover how it can benefit chronic conditions and the latest findings related to that.
You can find out more about the effect of NMN on aging, in particular, postmenopausal subjects in the video below. (At the 8-minute mark)
What is the best NMN supplement?
NMN supplements can be in a sublingual powder form, delayed-release capsules, and even lozenges.
At Youth & Earth, we have a sublingual powder for superior bioavailability as it is released directly into the blood vessels under the tongue. We also have a delayed-release capsule that is gastro-resistant and prevents the NMN from being destroyed by the gastric system.
When choosing an NMN supplement, it’s really important to make sure that what you are purchasing is, in fact, NMN. Here are key things to look out for when choosing an NMN supplement:
Choose 99% pharmaceutical grade NMN
For a substance to be deemed as pharmaceutical grade, it needs to go through a stringent multi-step process. This is one of the reasons why pure NMN is so expensive. The cheaper options of NMN, that are currently on the market, are food grade and may well contain contaminants. In fact, there is sometimes less than 10% NMN in food-grade NMN. To test this out, we had a food-grade NMN sample tested and it came back with 8% NMN.
Most fake NMN supplements use fillers or stimulants to make up the bulk of the product. This can potentially put your health at great risk because you don’t know what you are taking. If you’re buying your NMN from a company that only sells NMN capsules, it could be anything!
Beware of lower prices than the norm
Another sign that a product is fake, is the price. If you find a product that is double the weight and half of the price of most other NMN products, chances are the provider is either using fillers or a fake product. There should be a warning bell that goes off if the price is way cheaper than its competitors.
Ask for third-party lab reports
Any supplement company that offers high-quality supplements should have them tested by a third party. This includes purity, contaminants, and heavy metals. As a customer, you should be able to request to see these reports. If they refuse to give them to you, it may be a sign that the product is a fake.
Youth & Earth is one of the first supplement companies to provide NMN in the UK and Europe. We’re also the only one that conducts third-party testing. You can find all our lab reports at the end of each product page.
Choose a product that has proof of stability at high temperatures
Due to a comment by David Sinclair in a podcast, there is a genuine consensus that NMN can degrade at high temperatures and is not stable. This might be the case for some NMN suppliers, but not us. We have had our NMN tested for stability and it passed with flying colors.
In the test, samples were placed in aluminum bags and subject to 40°C and 75% relative humidity over 3 months! The worse performing sample at the 3-month mark was still at 98.82% pure. You can find proof of this test at the end of each product page.
With summer around the corner in the Northern hemisphere, the stability of NMN under hot temperatures is something to keep in mind when choosing a NMN supplier.
Look for reviews
If a company does not have reviews of its products, then it might be worth looking for another supplier that has reviews from customers.
You can find all Youth & Earth’s Reviews on Feefo
At Youth & Earth, we know you only want the best for your body. We want that too and so we never compromise when it comes to quality. Youth & Earth’s NMN supplements provide 99% pharmaceutical grade NMN. Our sublingual powders contain no binders, fillers, excipients, dyes, or unknown substances. All our products are tested by third-party laboratories to ensure that they are of the highest standard. You can ask us for the lab reports at any time and they are available on every product page.
Why is NMN so expensive?
Pure, high-quality NMN is expensive because of the innovative manufacturing process, as well as all the safety measures that are in place to ensure that the NMN is pharmaceutical grade. To understand the cost behind NMN supplements we need a basic understanding of the manufacturing process.
NMN is made through enzymatic synthesis. The nicotinamide molecule goes through 6 complete stages before the NMN molecule is produced. After NMN is finally produced there are a further 7 stages before completing the final product. These including purification, concentration, crystallization, filtering, drying and grinding, testing with quality control, and the packaging of the final product.
To simplify the manufacturing process there are two stages:
nicotinamide → nicotinamide riboside (NR), and then nicotinamide riboside → β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
Let’s take a closer look:
1. Nicotinamide → NR: After adding ribose and water to nicotinamide, and then adding nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, NR is finally obtained through the catalytic reaction of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase.
2. NR → NMN: We then add adenosine triphosphate and nicotinamide riboside kinase to NR after a nicotinamide riboside kinase catalytic reaction. This is followed by hydrolyzation → extraction → purification → concentration → recrystallization → drying and grinding → quality assurance and checks → NMN.
All these stages are conducted in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that has exceptionally high standards. Every batch undergoes rigorous testing to ensure that there are no heavy metals or any other form of contamination. At Youth & Earth, we take it a step further and have our NMN third-party tested by labs in the UK and in Europe. We also have a stability report and our NMN is stored in a special cold facility while awaiting manufacturing and packaging.
You can view all our lab reports on our product pages.
How much NMN should I take daily?
Although David Sinclair takes 1 gram of NMN daily, When working out how much you need to take, it’s important to consider how the NMN is administered and its bioavailability.
NMN is administered in four options that will affect how much NMN actually makes it into your blood system: powder, sublingual powder, standard capsules, and gastric-resistant capsules.
To understand bioavailability, one has to understand the First Pass Effect. This a well known but not commonly discussed topic in the supplement industry.
In a nutshell, it refers to how much of a substance is destroyed or processed by the liver before it actually passes into the blood system. Here is a video that explains the concept.
Because of the first-pass metabolism, oral consumption of NMN is much less effective than sublingual or gastro-resistant capsules. When NMN is taken orally (either when eaten or mixed with a liquid) most of it is destroyed by the stomach acid. The remaining NMN is then metabolized by the liver. How the liver metabolizes NMN can have a huge impact on bioavailability. It may be that only a fraction of NMN actually makes it into your system.
When taking NMN (or any medication or supplement) is taken sublingually, it is absorbed across the mucous membranes (under the tongue) and passes directly into the bloodstream. From there it travels straight to the brain and other organs, bypassing the “first pass effect” from the liver.
It is for this reason, that we believe taking sublingual NMN or in a gastric-resistant capsule is the most effective and efficient. It may require lower doses than taking NMN powder orally or in standard capsule form.
It’s not to say that 1 gram is not efficient. But, as we know, NMN is expensive and if you are on a tight budget, you may be able to reap the same benefit by taking a smaller dose of delayed-release or sublingual powder.
Liposomal NMN has the potential to have the greatest impact in the long term, but currently, NMN in liposomal liquid or gel form is likely to be ineffective as we know NMN degrades in water and is unstable. Given that to make this form you require water, it’s hard to imagine that the NMN will be maintained anywhere near the same purity. The only form of liposomal NMN we would recommend would be in capsule form.
If you take a high-quality supplement with excellent bioavailability, like Youth & Earth’s NMN, then we recommend the following dosages that are based on customer feedback:
How long does it take for NMN to take effect?
If you take sublingual NMN according to directions, it will entire your bloodstream directly and should start to take immediate effect. Researchers found that oral administration of NMN in water converted into NAD+ within 15 minutes and levels continued to rise over an hour. Keep in mind though that the NMN in these studies was not given sublingually.
However, it’s important to note that will all supplements, to really feel a benefit, they must be taken over a prolonged period of time. We would typically recommend 3 months.
How will I know if NMN is working?
The first sign should be that you are feeling more energetic, have longer endurance, and don’t get so tired as easily. Other signs might be weight loss, elevated blood glucose levels dropping, feeling “fit” when performing cardiovascular activities, and increased overall performance physically and mentally. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different and you might not experience the same effects as others and in the same amount of time. Rest assured our NMN is of the highest quality with a high level of bioavailability and, with ongoing use, you’re sure to feel the difference.
Can NMN help with chronic conditions?
Yes, NMN could very well be the gateway to modern therapy and demonstrates several benefits in myocardial and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Along with the most recent discovery of its anti-aging properties, most of the benefits are attained through the synthesis of NAD+. NMN, however, shows far better penetration through plasma membranes and doesn’t have the side effects of insomnia, fatigue, and anxiety often exhibited in higher direct doses of NAD+.
Here are some of the ways that NMN can help with chronic conditions:
Reverses oxidation and improves age-related blood flow issues
The process of aging and many of its age-related complications are directly linked to the depletion of NAD+ in our bodies. The restoring of NAD+ levels have shown to increase the lifespan of subjects. NMN being the precursor of NAD+, can provide these beneficial effects as well.
Deterioration of the vascular system and oxidative stress are common occurrences during the aging process. NMN proved to effectively reverse vascular depletion and oxidative stress.
Decreases age-associated weight gain
Age-associated increase in body weight and obesity-related complications, including a decrease in energy metabolism and locomotor activity, age-dependent insulin insensitivity, and higher triglyceride levels were reversed by a 12-month NMN intervention. NMN’s success in this preclinical study prompted researchers of Washington University School of Medicine of St. Louis and Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo to commence a collective research program for the phase I NMN clinical trial. A positive outcome of this study could curve a new direction for anti-aging treatment strategies.
Other research has shown that NMN may reduce age-associated weight gain in a dose-dependent manner. NMN at a dose of 100 and 300mg/kg administered over 12 months showed a body weight reduction of 4 and 9% respectively, compared to the control group.
In a recent study, NMN was administered to obese subjects to compare its improvement of NAD+ levels in comparison to exercise. NMN showed it was capable of increasing NAD+ in both the muscle and liver whereas exercise only increased NAD+ in the muscles. It further showed to also improve metabolic disorders like glucose intolerance similar to exercise.
All-in-all NMN shows the potential to help reverse the weight gain that comes with aging and it shows therapeutic potential in helping the battle against obesity.
May help treat diabetes
NMN has shown its potential as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. The primary characteristic of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance which is caused by oxidative stress and various other factors. These are all corrected by NAD+. A fatty diet and aging contributes greatly to this type of diabetes and is usually linked to the reduction of NAD+.
To correct the high-fat diet and aging-induced type 2 diabetes NMN was administered in high-fat, diet-fed female and male diabetic subjects. All of them showed significant improvements in insulin intolerance. In the case of age-induced diabetes, NMN corrected glucose intolerance in both male and female diabetic mice.
May help with Alzheimer’s Disease and Intracerebral Hemorrhaging
NMN has shown promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s as it focuses on and nurses the causes of this disease. A recent study demonstrated its ability to directly target and treat the underlying causes namely a decrease in oxygen consumption rates (OCR) and NAD+.
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), bleeding on the brain, is a neurological disorder responsible for 10-15% of all strokes. NMN may improve the condition. A study on collagenase-induced ICH showed that NMN treatment increased intracerebral NAD+ concentration post-ICH and provided protection against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or motor neurone disease) and ischemic stroke. Although this intervention failed to improve the localized bleeding it successfully improved the conditions mediated by ICH, suggesting NMN as an efficient ICH treatment.
NMN may help prevent ischemia-reperfusion injury
Ischemia occurs when a part of your body does not get sufficient blood. Ischemic events cause the amount of oxygen and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels found in cardiac muscles to decrease. Reperfusion is the process of resupplying blood to these tissues which have gone through ischemia.
Ischemia followed by reperfusion is a deadly condition dealing with severe tissue damage. Ischemic preconditioning or IPC is the body's way of counteracting this deadly condition. IPC induces Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) a NAD-dependent protein responsible for generating oxygen free radicals. This provides the body with a countermeasure to oxidative stress and injury caused by ischemia and reperfusion.
NMN has shown the ability to activate SIRT1 mimicking the action of IPC to improve ischemia-reperfusion injury. Apart from this, NMN provided during ischemic events promotes cardioprotection. NMN has also shown it’s potential as a protective treatment against ischemic brain injury.
Currently, there are limited medical strategies to protect the heart and brain from ischemia-reperfusion injury. NMN has shown to be a successful means during clinical trials and could be the strategy in combating this disorder in the future.
Is NMN safe?
Yes, a clinical trial was conducted in 10 healthy men to investigate the safety of NMN in single oral dosages of 100, 250, and 500mg. NMN did not cause any significant changes in heart rate, or blood pressure, and was safely and effectively metabolized in healthy men without any harmful effects.
The researchers concluded:
The single oral administration of NMN was safe and effectively metabolized in healthy men without causing any significant deleterious effects. Thus, the oral administration of NMN was found to be feasible, implicating a potential therapeuitc strategy to mitigate aging-related disorders in humans.
In a long-term study in mice, oral NMN was administered for 1 year at 100 and 300 mg per kg of the bodyweight daily. Even at dosages much higher than those advertised for humans, the tests showed no adverse side effects or signs of toxicity.
Should I take TMG (trimethylglycine) with NMN?
If you have been taking NMN for a long period, it might be a good precaution to take TMG to prevent any potential methylation issues. In short, methylation is a crucial biochemical process that occurs in every cell in the body and our bodies have a pool of molecules called methyl groups that it uses for this process. If there is a lack of methyl groups, the body might not be able to perform all the critical functions of methylation which could lead to health conditions.
When NMN is converted into NAD+, nicotinamide (NAM) is formed. High levels of nicotinamide are bad for our bodies and in order for our bodies to get rid of it, it needs to be methylated into N-methyl nicotinamide, that’s then excreted and, in order to do that, the body draws on our pool of methyl groups.
However, this might cause a lack of methyl groups to perform all the other critical functions that require methylation. To prevent this from happening, you can take TMG which donates a methyl group. It’s important to note that in a podcast with Dr. Mercola, Dr. Sinclair mentioned that he takes TMG only as a precaution because the research is unclear at this stage.
For more on TMG, read What is NMN and Are There Any Side Effects?
Research into NMN is ongoing and, so far, it’s showing great potential to slow, if not reverse, the signs of aging. NMN is a safe and effective way to naturally raise the levels of NAD+ within the cells of your body and, with it, all the benefits of optimized NAD+ levels.
If you are needing to regain your youth, strength, and health, then try Youth & Earth’s cutting-edge NMN today. Our high bioavailability means that you don’t need to take as much as other NMN products, making your order go so much further. You can also rest assured knowing that you are taking a supplement that is of the highest standard, backed by third-party evaluations.
As with all supplements, you will see the most benefit if you make lifestyle adjustments such as moving more, eating a healthy diet, managing your stress, and ensuring you get sufficient rest. Discover the secrets to feeling younger for longer in Lessons From the Blue Zones - Feel Younger for Longer.
The opportunity to stay young, live long, and love life is at your fingertips. Contact us today with any questions about NMN or any of our products, we’re eager to hear from you.
“Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar.”
John Glenn - Oldest person to board a US Space Shuttle at the age of 77
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.