What is NMN?
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, commonly abbreviated as NMN, is a kind of vitamin B3 or, more specifically, a niacin derivative. It is a ribonucleotide at the molecular level, a basic structural unit of nucleic acid RNA.
The composition of the molecule’s structure consists of a nicotinamide group, a phosphate, and a ribose group. Inside the cells, NMN is one of the main elements that increase the NAD+ levels. That’s because NMN is one of the direct precursors to the vital molecule Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+)
NMN has recently become a topic of interest among some of the worlds leading scientists as it shows great potential in becoming a primary anti-aging element for drugs as a nutraceutical. By Incorporating NMN into a healthy and balanced diet, you could improve NAD+ levels within your cells, and in turn, give a boost to your body’s longevity gene, Sirtuin.
How Does NMN Synthesize in Our Bodies?
As previously mentioned, NMN is a derivative of vitamin B. Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase or NAMPT is the enzyme responsible for its production in the body. NAMPT attaches the nicotinamide, a vitamin B3, to a sugar-phosphate known as PRPP (5’-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate).
Another way NMN is synthesized is by joining a phosphate group to nicotinamide riboside or NR.
‘NAMPT’ is the enzyme in NAD+ production that has a rate-reducing effect. Meaning that lower levels of NAMPT will decrease NMN production, ultimately resulting in lower levels of NAD+.
Although adding a precursor molecule like NMN can speed up the NAD+ production.
NAD+ supports sirtuins in its activity to maintain integrity of the genome while also repairing damaged DNA. It is essential in sirtuins’ activation. Extensive research and animal testing demonstrated that raising NAD+ levels in the body activates sirtuins, resulting in the increased lifespans of mice, worms, and yeast. Even though the research has brought forward promising anti-aging qualities, researchers are still considering how studies done on animals can be applied and made more effective in humans.
Improving Heart Function
Hypertension results in blocked arteries, enlarged heart, and even strokes. Hence, increasing NAD+ levels protects the heart and, in turn, improves cardiac functions. Studies on mice show that using NMN to boost the NAD+ levels in the heart prevented injuries due to low amount of blood flowing to the organ. Related studies have also demonstrated that NAD+ boosters can give protection against abnormal heart enlargement in mice.
NAD+ plays a crucial role in sustaining mitochondrial activities and flow of energy. Fatty diets and aging tend to reduce the level of NAD+ in the body. Studies on mice show that taking NAD+ boosters such as NMN can alleviate weight gain resulting from age and diet, meanwhile improving their exercise capacity regardless of age. Another study managed to reverse the effects of diabetes in female mice. This paved the way for new ways to tackle metabolic disorders like obesity.
In mice subjects with Alzheimer’s, studies suggest that increasing the NAD+ level can decrease the protein build up disrupting cell communication resulting in enhanced brain function. Increasing levels of NAD+ can also have a neuroprotectant effect that keeps brain cells from dying due to lack of blood flow. Several recent animal studies present new hope of aiding the brain staying healthy with age while improving memory and protecting from neurodegeneration.