Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a molecule that's found in all living cells. More precisely, NMN is a ribo-nucleotide which is a foundational piece of RNA.
It's a nucleotide derivative of nicotinamide and may play an essential role in energy production and metabolism.*
When taken as a supplement, NMN is thought to support levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in our cells.* NAD is an important coenzyme involved in cellular metabolism. NMN is often referred to as a direct NAD+ precursor.
Today NMN is often used to help support healthy aging, muscles, endurance, and performance.* Let's review some current scientific research around NMN and NAD+.
NAD+ levels decline with age
NAD+ is a critical molecule involved in numerous metabolic reactions, including energy production in nearly all cells. NMN is known to be a precursor for NAD+ and oral administration of NMN has been shown to boost cellular NAD+ content.* NAD+ levels are thought to decline with age. This decline in NAD+ may also be associated with aging.
NMN may help support healthy NAD+ levels and healthy aging
In one recent study, the administration of NMN, the precursor to NAD+, was shown to increase NAD+ levels in healthy adults.* That increase in NAD+ levels is one of the key reasons why there is a growing interest in using NMN to help support healthy aging.*
NMN to help support exercise performance
A study showed that nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation may enhance aerobic capacity in amateur runners. Results showed that the oxygen uptake (VO2), percentages of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), power at the first ventilatory threshold, and power at the second ventilatory threshold increased to a higher degree in subjects receiving NMN.*
Another study in Science, showed that NMN may increase muscle sensitivity insulin sensitivity in prediabetic women. That study also showed that NMN might have increased collagen production in the studied group.*
Several studies have been conducted on different types of subjects, including mammals. These studies may indicate that NMN might also play a role in energy production, brain functions, including cognition, and blood sugars.
An example of such studies is how the NAD+ or sirtuin pathway might modulate longevity by activating mitochondrial UPR and FOXO signaling. Another research discusses the potential of NMN to help increase blood flow and endurance.
The list of studies around NMN and NAD+ in this article is certainly not exhaustive as other research are being conducted worldwide. You can also learn about niacin to get a better overview of vitamin B3.
More human studies are needed before we can make any additional conclusions on the additional benefits that NMN has on health.