NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide): Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage


NMN supplements, administered at specific doses, show potential in enhancing insulin sensitivity, improving heart function, and alleviating fatigue with minimal side effects. However, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before considering supplementation.


What is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)?

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a naturally occurring molecule that plays a crucial role in powering the body. Functioning as a type of nucleotide, NMN is integral to various processes within the body, serving as one of the building blocks of DNA.

Inside your cells, NMN undergoes a transformation into another essential molecule known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD, in turn, is indispensable for a range of functions related to metabolism and energy production within the body.

In a simplified analogy, NMN can be likened to raw material, while NAD represents the refined version that the body can effectively utilize. The synthesis of NAD is directly influenced by the availability of NMN in the body, emphasizing the pivotal role NMN plays as a precursor in this vital biochemical pathway.

NMN Benefits

Every cell in your body relies on Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), its precursor, to maintain proper functioning. NMN is crucial for the synthesis of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which, in turn, plays a vital role in regulating various essential cellular functions, ensuring the smooth operation of your cells. These functions include:

  • Energy metabolism
  • DNA repair
  • Gene expression
  • Cellular stress responses

A sufficient supply of NMN is essential for your cells to generate an ample amount of NAD necessary for these critical processes.

As time progresses, your NMN levels naturally decrease, leading to a subsequent decline in NAD levels. This decline may contribute to the health effects associated with aging. Research indicates that individuals with age-related conditions, such as diabetes and liver diseases, often exhibit lower levels of both NMN and NAD. Studies conducted in test tubes and animals also suggest that NMN may play a role in various aspects of aging, encompassing heart and brain health.

Comparison between NMN and NR

If you’re familiar with NMN, you may also come across nicotinamide riboside (NR). NR is another molecule akin to NMN, often utilized as a supplement for promoting healthy aging.

Research indicates that the body has the capability to convert NR into NMN, and subsequently, this NMN is converted into NAD.

Exploring Potential Benefits of NAD

Considering the potential advantages of NAD, it becomes crucial to delve into the research shedding light on its various benefits:

  1. Increased Longevity: NAD activation in cells triggers a group of proteins known as sirtuins, contributing to DNA repair. The activity of sirtuins is associated with increased longevity, contrasting with age-related diseases linked to low NAD levels.
  2. Brain Protection: NAD is believed to regulate the production of a protein that safeguards cells against mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. These stressors are implicated in neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, suggesting a potential protective effect on the brain.
  3. Reduced Heart Disease Risk: Studies in mice have demonstrated that elevated NAD levels in the blood can reverse age-related arterial damage, potentially mitigating the risk of heart disease.
  4. Cancer Protection: Elevated NAD levels may offer protection against oxidative stress and DNA damage, both factors associated with the development of cancer.
  5. Alleviation of Jet Lag: Research suggests that NAD may assist in adjusting the internal clock, offering potential relief from jet lag and other circadian rhythm disorders.
  6. Enhanced Muscle Function in Aging: Studies in older mice indicate that increased blood NAD levels can contribute to improved muscle function, strength, and endurance in the aging population.

It’s crucial to highlight that these benefits are attributed to NAD, not specifically to NMN. Further research on the distinct benefits of NMN and NAD is warranted.

Recent findings indicate that supplementing with NAD alone may not yield the same potential benefits. Instead, a breakthrough in understanding how to restore NAD levels involves providing the precursor, NMN. Professor Andrew Salzman, MD, from Wonderfeel®, emphasizes that delivering NAD orally or via IV is ineffective due to its inability to enter cells. In contrast, providing NMN, the starting material for NAD, exploits a receptor on the cell surface, facilitating its entry and subsequent conversion into NAD by cellular enzymes.

Benefits of NMN Supplementation

Considering the positive impact of NMN on human health, certain experts suggest that incorporating an NMN supplement into one’s routine may assist in counteracting the effects of aging. Some go as far as likening NMN to a metaphorical “fountain of youthTrusted Source,” a characterization supported by evidence from animal models.

Here, we delve deeper into the human research on NMN supplementation, examining potential benefits, safety considerations, and the available data on the most effective dosage. This exploration aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the implications and feasibility of NMN supplementation for human health.

Effectiveness of NMN Supplementation

The potential efficacy of NMN supplements, as suggested by studies conducted in animal models, particularly mice, points to various benefits such as age reversal and enhanced cognitive health. However, the critical question remains: does NMN supplementation yield similar results in humans?

Answering this question proves challenging at present. Research on the impact of NMN supplementation in human subjects is still in its early stages, with only a limited number of clinical trials, considered the gold standard for demonstrating clinical benefits, having been published.

For instance, a studyTrusted Source investigated the effects of a daily intake of 250 milligrams (mg) of NMN over a 10-week period in postmenopausal women with prediabetes and overweight or obesity. Those who received NMN exhibited heightened insulin sensitivity and signaling. Notably, it’s worth mentioning that two authors involved in this study are identified as inventors on patents related to NMN use.

Another recent studyTrusted Source explored the impact of NMN on amateur runners during a 6-week exercise training period. Participants, aged 27 to 50, took oral NMN supplements at varying doses (300, 600, or 1200 mg per day) or a placebo. Those receiving NMN, in addition to regular exercise training, experienced increased aerobic capacity at the end of the 6 weeks, with higher doses showing greater improvements, potentially linked to elevated oxygen intake.

In another studyTrusted Source focusing on Japanese adults aged 65 or older, participants received either 250 mg of NMN or a placebo for 12 weeks. While NMN supplementation did not demonstrate a significant improvement in sleep quality, participants who received NMN in the afternoon showed enhancements in overall drowsiness and muscle responsiveness compared to the placebo group or those taking it in the morning.

These studies contribute valuable insights, yet further research is imperative to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness, safety, and optimal dosages of NMN supplementation in humans.

Addressing Aging Concerns

As individuals age, both NMN and NAD levels undergo a natural decline, prompting many researchers to explore the potential of NMN supplementation in addressing age-related health issues.

A study involving 10 Japanese men revealed that the intake of NMN at varying dosages (100, 250, or 500 mg) resulted in increased levels of NMN byproducts in the blood, including NAD.

Age-related insulin resistance, a factor contributing to the heightened prevalence of diabetes in older adults, is a concern. While specific studies on the effects of NMN supplementation in this regard are lacking, available research suggests a potential role in maintaining or restoring insulin sensitivity with age.

To fully understand this potential benefit, additional studies focusing on the effects of NMN supplements in humans are essential.

Moreover, the consumption of NMN supplements has demonstrated the ability to reduce drowsiness and enhance muscle responsiveness in older adults. This dual impact holds promise for improving both physical and mental well-being as individuals age.

These studies contribute valuable insights, yet further research is imperative to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness, safety, and optimal dosages of NMN supplementation in humans.

Natural Ways to Boost NMN Levels

Increasing your NMN levels can be achieved through the consumption of NMN-rich foods, as naturally present in various dietary sourcesTrusted Source:

  • Avocados: 0.36 to 1.60 mg per 100 grams
  • Broccoli: 0.25 to 1.12 mg per 100 grams
  • Cabbage: Up to 0.9 mg per 100 grams
  • Tomatoes: 0.26 to 0.30 mg per 100 grams
  • Raw Beef: 0.06 to 0.42 mg per 100 grams

Additionally, small amounts of NMN can be found in cow’s milk, cucumbers, and edamame.

Studies conducted in mice indicate that the gut readily absorbs NMN. However, further research is necessary to understand how the consumption of NMN-rich foods may contribute to an increase in NAD levels within your cells. Exploring this aspect further will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits of incorporating NMN-rich foods into your diet.

Recommended Dosage

Determining the optimal dosage for NMN supplements proves challenging due to the limited available data. Existing studies have shown health benefits with doses ranging from as low as 250 mg of NMN per day to a maximum of 1,200 mg daily.

To date, only three studies, including those previously mentioned, have explored the effects of NMN supplements across various doses. Notably, safety does not appear to vary significantly across the different doses of NMN employed.

In the studyTrusted Source involving amateur runners, it was observed that the aerobic benefits of NMN supplementation were more pronounced at higher doses (1,200 mg) compared to lower doses (300 mg). However, no discernible difference was noted in the benefits observed between a high dose and a medium dose (600 mg). These findings emphasize the complexity of determining the most effective NMN dosage, underscoring the need for further research to establish clear guidelines.

Key Points to Consider

A considerable number of individuals, including experts, propose that the consumption of NMN supplements could offer diverse health advantages. Despite animal studies showcasing the reversal of numerous age-related health effects, the available evidence in humans remains limited.

Initial studies indicate that incorporating NMN supplements at doses of up to 1,200 mg per day might yield health benefits associated with insulin sensitivity, aerobic function, and fatigue, with minimal risk of adverse side effects.

Prior to introducing any supplements into your dietary regimen, it is crucial to engage in a discussion with a healthcare professional. This dialogue is essential to comprehensively assess your individual circumstances, considering potential risks and benefits tailored to your specific health needs.

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