Many of us spend much of our lives searching for the fountain of youth. Researchers have contributed to the cause with new products released seemingly every day. The latest discovery is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Could this essential enzyme be the answer?
What is Nicotinamide Mononucleotide?
So what the heck is NMN anyway? It’s an essential enzyme that plays a role in various cell functions like DNA repair, cell growth and survival, and metabolism. It has yielded impressive results in clinical trials – contributing to a million-dollar market for NMN supplements.
Various studies have shown it to improve several metabolic functions. As a result, it is often found in cosmetic products and dietary supplements. The NMN market was valued at $253 million in 2020. It isis projected to reach $386 million by the end of 2027.
It’s All About the NAD+
NMN’s effects are due to it being a source of NAD+. NAD+ is critical to cell growth, energy metabolism, stress resistance inflammation, circadian rhythm, and neuronal functioning.
NAD+ levels decrease as we get older. This leads to increased signs of aging such as wrinkles, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative disease. Exercise, healthy eating, regular sleep, and certain supplements can boost NAD+ levels.
What Studies Reveal
Studies show that stimulating NAD+ metabolism with NMN supplements increases lifespan, suppresses age-related weight gain, enhances energy metabolism, and improves insulin sensitivity. Animal study subjects that use it regularly have the metabolism and energy levels of younger mice.
It protects against accelerated aging and neurodegenerative diseases. It repairs DNA and damaged mitochondria. It improves memory in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease and increases lifespan.
However, more research is needed to determine its effects on human study participants. Studies conducted so far show that it produces little to no benefits in humans. However, findings reveal that NMN is not inert nor does it seem to produce harmful side effects.
NMN and Skin Treatments
NMN may be effective in producing anti-aging benefits in the skin. Animal studies show it protects mouse skin from UV radiation, the main cause of premature aging. But it must be delivered intragastrically because it can not be absorbed by the skin.
More studies are being conducted to determine NMN’s effects on human skin. Researchers are investigating whether it will be effective in suppressing aging by activating cell division, mitochondrial activity, and hyaluronic acid production. They have developed a cream that combines NMN with hyaluronic acid which is being tested on middle-aged people.
NMN is showing some promising results, but more studies are needed to determine its effectiveness. Researchers are facing roadblocks in terms of funding and incentives, but advancements are being made. It is hopeful that in time, it will be appropriately regulated so more people can take advantage of its benefits.