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Are NMN Supplements Safe?

by: Adam Singfield
September 19, 2023

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at breaking down nutrients for energy production. Our cells begin to divide and work more slowly, affecting the way our organs function and fight off diseases.

Good sleep habits, regular exercise, and a healthy diet can slow aging effects and increase our life span. That said, some supplements can give these practices an even bigger boost.

One of the most promising so far is the anti-aging molecule NMN. Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) has been shown to prevent metabolic disorders and reduce inflammation, both in animal studies and in healthy adults. But are NMN supplements safe to take?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at NMN supplements. Read on to find out what their benefits and risks are, and if they’re safe to take for warding off age-related complications.

What Are NMN Supplements?

NMN supplements are a popular, heavily regulated therapeutic drug made with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). NMN is a naturally occurring nucleotide that is derived from niacin, a.k.a. vitamin B3.

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is key to many bodily functions because it regulates many cellular pathways, gene expression, and cellular energy metabolism.

However, as people get older, their production of NAD precursors like NMN goes down. This lowers NAD levels in human tissue, causing slower cell growth and age-related physiological decline. Production of NAD precursors can go down by as much as half by the time an adult reaches their fifties, leading to age-related conditions like brain fog, skeletal muscle aging, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

A clinical study has indicated that NMN supplementation increases NAD levels in the body. These elevated NAD levels could slow aging and its various health problems, potentially even reversing them. Currently, further research is being done on the effects of long-term administration of NMN and other NAD precursors, both in animal models and human clinical trials.

The Benefits Of NMN Supplementation

NMN supplementation helps fight age-associated physiological decline, but what are its health benefits, and how does it work? Here, we describe how NMN benefits your various body systems and functions.

Better Eye Health

Taking NMN can increase your NAD levels, which can increase tear production and reduce inflammation in your eye’s cell membranes. By keeping your retinas from drying out, NMN makes your eyes less prone to injury and prevents eye diseases.

Increased Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity refers to how responsive your body is to insulin. Lower insulin sensitivity a.k.a. insulin resistance leads to excess weight gain, poor glucose metabolism, and metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes.

Animal models showed that NMN supplementation was able to improve insulin sensitivity in aged mice. There is currently great interest in conducting more clinical trials to establish NMN’s effect on energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity in humans.

Reduced Risk Of Obesity

Because of the aging process, our metabolisms slow down, our body composition changes, and our testosterone or estrogen levels drop. We start losing muscle mass and gain more fat mass. despite maintaining the same diet and level of exercise. These changes result in age-associated weight gain, where we pack on the pounds and run the risk of becoming obese.

Taking NMN supplements can boost our levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a crucial enzyme for boosting cellular energy production. High NAD levels also improve mitochondrial functions and cellular repair, helping your body break down nutrients more efficiently. It also regulates blood sugar levels and decreases fat mass, helping you stay leaner and fitter.

Healthier Skeletal Muscle

If you frequently feel body pain despite the same level of physical activity, it may be due to age-associated decline in skeletal muscle repair. Skeletal muscle is responsible for our movement, posture, and joint health.

As we get older, our bodies become less efficient at repairing this, resulting in weaker muscles and increased fatigue. Taking NMN helps with reversing aging in skeletal muscle, improving muscle recovery and oxygen utility.

Improved Cognitive Function

One of the biggest complications of age-related decline is cognitive decline. Aging negatively affects memory and focus. We also run the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other memory disorders.

NMN supplementation increases the body’s nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) levels in the brain’s cellular pathways. This protects neurons and the blood-brain barrier as well as stimulates neuronal DNA repair. Currently, studies are being conducted to see how these properties can improve memory and lower the risk of developing brain fog and other neurological conditions.

Better Cardiac Health

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and people become more prone to developing cardiac problems as they age. As people get older, their blood vessels become stiffer or build up plaque, restricting blood flow and reducing the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively.

NMN increases NAD levels and protects the heart’s cells from DNA damage and oxidative stress. This leads to heart health benefits like improved cardiac function, better stamina, and lowered blood pressure.

Higher Sleep Quality

Poorer sleep quality is one of the age-related conditions that is most often overlooked yet has a profound effect on our physical and mental health.

Our bodies produce lower levels of growth hormone as we age, which reduces our hours of deep sleep and melatonin production. Lowered melatonin makes you more likely to experience sleep disturbances, leading to daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

A clinical study involving healthy volunteers aged 65 or older showed that their sleep quality improved when they started taking NMN. They also experienced longer overall hours of sleep, reducing feelings of drowsiness in the morning.

Healthier Skin

Wrinkling, age spots, fine lines, and crow’s feet are just a few of the effects that aging can have on our skin. Taking NMN increases our NAD levels, and NAD’s boosting effects on cell metabolism improves skin cell growth.

Tumor Suppression

NAD has been found to mitigate DNA damage, boost DNA repair and maintain healthy gene expression. It has also shown the potential to fight off cellular senescence, which happens when damaged or aging cells stop dividing. These properties have increased interest in NMN’s potential as a cancer-fighting treatment, particularly for treating liver cancer and improving cellular immune response.

The Risks Of NMN Supplementation

NMN dietary supplements pose little to no risk to our health and are safe to take daily to fight off age-associated physiological decline. Animal studies and human clinical trials for NMN research have both shown no serious side effects in any of their subjects. However, there may be some risks if you take more than 1,200 mg/day.

When NMN supplementation doses exceed this recommended amount, you may experience the following:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach discomfort

Avoid these unpleasant effects by starting with your minimum recommended dose, then slowly increasing it when you see no adverse effects.

Is NMN Safe To Take?

Yes, NMN supplements are safe to take and they have many benefits to human health. A clinical trial measured the safety of NMN supplementation in ten healthy Japanese men, observing the effects of taking a single dose of 100 mg, 250 mg, and 500 mg on different occasions. Each dosage was tolerated with no significant changes to their body temperature or blood pressure.

While NMN is a safe anti-aging supplement, improper storage or overly high dosage can lead to side effects. Here are some basic guidelines you should follow for proper NMN intake.

Don’t Exceed Your Maximum Daily Dosage

Depending on your age and body weight, there is a recommended daily dosage. Studies with a mouse model recommended an effective dose of 100 mg/kg to reduce the adverse effects of aging. However, humans don’t need as large a dose to get similar effects.

For adults who are less than 50 years old, it’s recommended that you start with 250 mg/day, then increase to a maximum of 500 mg/day after two weeks. Adults who weigh over 90 kg or adults older than 50 years old can start with a higher daily dose of 500 mg/day, then increase their dose to a maximum of 1 g/day.

It takes time to see the positive effects that NMN has on our physical and mental health. However, don’t be impatient and suddenly increase your dose too quickly. Wait at least one week before increasing your dose by 250 mg. Monitor any negative side effects and reduce your dose if an increase leads to discomfort.

Store Your Anti-Aging Supplements Correctly

Always keep your NMN supplements in a cool, dry place out of reach of children or in your fridge. High temperatures or exposure to moisture can cause nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) to degrade. When it breaks down into nicotinamide, it can cause headaches, nausea, and liver toxicity. Keeping your anti-aging supplements in good condition will ensure that they’re safe for consumption.

Throw Out Expired Supplements

Always check the label of your anti-aging supplements to find out the expiry date. Expired supplements may still be somewhat effective, but past their expiry date, their components will start breaking down. They will be less potent or can even cause negative side effects, so throw out your supplements if they’re past their best-by date.

What Are The Different Types Of NMN Administration?

There are four primary ways that you can take NMN for anti-aging. Here’s a quick breakdown of each method.

  • Capsules: Delayed-release capsules are one of the most common and popular ways to take NMN because of their slow release and stability. Because these capsules release a precise dose in the small intestine, they are less likely to trigger gastric irritation. This method of oral administration allows any nicotinamide riboside in your liver to break down and elevate your NAD levels.
  • Tablets: Acid-resistant tablets allow NMN to be taken via oral administration and slowly released into your bloodstream. This increases your nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) levels for a longer period of time. This method is recommended for those who are wary of experiencing side effects from absorbing high doses of NMN quickly.
  • Powder: NMN powder can easily be mixed into your drink of choice. Alternatively, you can dissolve the powder under your tongue. Known as sublingual administration, this method allows for rapid absorption and fast elevation of NAD levels.
  • Lozenges: Those with sensitive digestive systems may prefer taking lozenges, as this method allows you to quickly absorb NMN into your bloodstream without it passing through your gastrointestinal tract. While it’s less likely to trigger gastric irritation, it may have more side effects as it rapidly elevates NMN in your body.

Get NMN Supplements From Reputable Sources

Not all anti-aging supplements are created equal. Some may have NMN, but not in sufficient doses to help with age-related conditions. Others may be made by unreliable manufacturers who don’t observe good quality control. Find the best supplements by keeping the following tips in mind.

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