On this episode of Lifespan News, Ryan O’Shea discusses a study showing that NMN increases NAD+ in human beings.
The results of a recently published human trial suggest that NMN may have an anti-aging effect in humans, but are these results to be believed? We’ll explore the study, and some additional information you’ll want to consider, in this episode of Lifespan News!
NMN, short for nicotinamide mononucleotide, is a naturally occurring molecule and a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD. NAD serves many critical functions in our cells, and a growing amount of evidence suggests that as we age, our levels of NAD decline, increasing our risk of age-related diseases.
NMN is marketed as a supplement and an NAD booster. There have been multiple animal studies suggesting that NMN slows down aging, and the goal of this study was to determine if NMN supplementation has similar benefits in humans.
The study involved 66 healthy subjects aged between 40 and 65 years old. Participants were given capsules containing either 150mg of NMN or starch powder once a day following breakfast for a period of 60 days.
By the end of the study, NAD levels for the NMN group were increased 38% compared to baseline. The results of the 36-Item Short Form Survey, which is frequently used to measure quality of life, showed that the NMN group rose 6.5%, while the placebo group rose 3.4%., but these results were not statistically significant.
The study participants were also analyzed using the Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance, which shows how much insulin the pancreas needs to regulate blood sugar levels. The numbers rose significantly, 30.6%, in the placebo group, while there was little change, 0.6%, in the group taking NMN. The researchers suggest that this demonstrates an anti-aging effect of NMN.
Additionally, by the end of the study walking endurance increased by 6.5% in the NMN cohort, while the placebo group saw an increase of 3.9% – a number which had remained unchanged since day 30. It is unknown if a longer study would have revealed even better results, or if the benefits of NMN supplementation had been achieved by this point.
Overall, the study does suggest that there is a clear and significant increase of NAD levels following the administration of NMN.
Now for the caveats. This study, which was published in the peer reviewed journal Frontiers in Aging, was conducted in China by an employee of Effepharm, the company that makes and markets the brand of NMN, known as Uthever, that was used in this study.
So, to clarify, a Chinese company that sells NMN conducted this study using their product. Clearly, it would be in their financial interest for the results of that study to make their product look good. While this does not necessarily mean that the data and their interpretation should be discounted, these facts should be considered when evaluating the results. The other caveat is that the size of the trial was only 66 people, which is quite small.
However, given the mechanisms by which NAD has been shown to work in mice and other animals, there is good reason to believe that it may work in a similar way in humans, and this study does seem to indicate that there are benefits.
When there’s more to share, we’ll have it for you here. I’m Ryan O’Shea and we’ll see you next time on Lifespan News!
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June 7, 2022
It should also be noted that the effects on “aging” were not tested. This was simply a single variable result of higher NAD levels after X weeks.
Generally speaking: It is still not clear to anyone, anywhere whether decreasing NAD levels are are a protective feature of aging or a cause of aging. For all we know, the human body reduces NAD levels in old age as a measure to prolong life.
Supplementation is jumping the gun.
Correlation is not causality.
June 7, 2022
Hi James, Interesting observation. Do you have any background in nutrition or the medical field. What other types of studies have you looked at? Or just an observation from this article? I like how you pointed out your thoughts. thanks
June 8, 2022
I’m not impressed
Ant I Aging
June 8, 2022
Haha 30 days to make a dent in 64 years of aging? Human studies are just starting. Keep an open obkevtive mind and if mice could talk they would echo and then go beyond that. Sirtuins are a family of enzymes, participating in cellular stress responses and damage repair. They’re also involved in insulin secretion, and the aging processes and aging-related health conditions, such as neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes. The activation of sirtuins requires NAD+. So Despite the skepticism stated above it really does seem that we’re getting Is much much closer to cause-and-effect
June 8, 2022
I take an NAD+ booster and have been taking it for almost 18 months now. I take nicotinamide ribocide rather than nmn and my hair is going back to my dark black but it’s a rather slow process. After corresponding with a hair expert she made me realize that it was only the new hair that was coming out with the pigment in it and the older non-pigmented hair (i.e. gray hair) will slowly be replaced by the pigmented hair as the older hair dies and falls out. Lumemlearning.com has the following that describes the process this way:
“Similar to the skin, hair gets its color from the pigment melanin, produced by melanocytes in the hair papilla. Different hair color results from differences in the type of melanin, which is genetically determined. As a person ages, the melanin production decreases, and hair tends to lose its color and becomes gray….”
While I can find no testing or measuring indicating it, it appears that the melanocytes are being rejuvenated by NAD+ boosters like NMN that others are taking and the NR that I am taking.
If it was instantaneous then as the non-pigmented hairs as they grow out the color would change halfway down the hair shaft. We could find none of these bi-colored hairs on my and my wife’s head (who’s hair is almost completely back to her natural color) . It appears for us that it is simply the newer hairs that are growing out have pigment while the older “gray” ones that are going to die and fall out are the product of Aging. So somehow NAD+ boosters are causing new follicles that start growing out a new hair shafts to be rejuvenated but the old follicles that were growing nonpigmented hair are not being rejuvenated they just have to die out and replaced by the newer follicles or at least newer or rejuvinated melanocytes. One always has to be very careful about physical observation and drawing conclusions because there could be some other process going on. But from what we know about hair pigmentation it appears that the melanocytes are being reactivated or rejuvenated or something.
Do we call the gray hair producing follicles senolytic follicles? Are the color producing new follicles non senolytic or normal cells? Is this happening throughout our body or only in our skin or maybe even just limited to the hair follicles? I don’t know but I find it exceedingly fascinating. This and many other observations by other people that NAD + seems to be doing something in the human body is a positive result. For reasons set forward by the first commenter (James) we cannot conclusively say that NAD+ boosters are anti-aging. On the other hand the evidence is clearly suggestive that something positive is happening in the human body of those who are taking NAD+ boosters. It will be years before we know for sure but I do not have years. Under average life span tables I should live probably only another ten to fifteen years or so because I’m 74. I will use the brain that God gave me to look at literature and take reasonable steps because I am convinced that over the next 10 to 20 years we will know significantly more about this then we do now.
BS, JD, citizen scientist
June 9, 2022
The important thing from this study is the documented increase in NAD levels. A 38% increase from baseline, on a 150mg oral dose, is very encouraging.
Many people supplementing with NMN follow the regimen used by a famous Harvard longevity scientist, who takes 1000 mg orally, daily.
Long term studies will need to be done to track the effects of increased NAD levels on various aging related biomarkers, but the theory that boosting NAD levels will improve these markers is scientifically sound. It’s time now to start quantifying these effects.
Hopefully, with studies using a higher dose than this current study did.
June 10, 2022
From a scientific point of view this dosing issue is going to be a very very sophisticated and difficult issue to study. We know that 70 year olds have lower levels of NAD + then 50 year olds. This is fairly good evidence that a 70 year old is going to have to take a higher dosage than a 50 year old and probably a much higher dosage than the 50 year old. If the Thousand mg dosage you mentioned is the proper dosage for 52 year-old like the Harvard longevity scientist, then the seventy-year-old will need to take more to get the same level of NAD+. Also the lower NAD+ levels have been damaging the body of the seventy-year-old for a lot longer time than the 50 year old. This is probably generally true for a lot of the molecules that have been noted to go down as we age. This also means that people who do studies like the one mentioned above are going to have trouble determining the effects of the dosage if they use a broad age range of people in their sample. The low dosage may have a different effect on the body for a 40 year old who already starts out with a higher level of NAD+ then a person who is 70. As a general rule medical people tend to start at at very low doses because they’re worried that they’re going to cause of problem and then they work up to higher dosages. Many of these molecules are generally accepted as safe and don’t appear to have a problem with higher dosages like drugs like aspirin and acetaminophen do.
It could be that the NAD+ level increases for 40 year old is causing and incredible and positive anti-aging affect but for the 65 year olds that were part of the study it wasn’t doing that much for them because the dosage was too low. There is going to have to be a lot more sophisticated studies which were also going to be more expensive to get to the bottom of a lot of these various molecules. Great comment.
July 3, 2022
I’m a 53 year old doctor and been on nmn for 5 years. The results are spectacular for me despite autoimmune myocarditis. My strategy has been to use simultaneously senolytics. It makes sense. Nmn has triggered a relapse of my autoimmune disease despite immunosuppressant I believe on couple of occasions but to no lasting effect. I also take an array of senolytics to counterbalance the effect nad boost might have on senescent cells which I certainly have a few off in my condition… I’ve had to stop nmn or reduce dose from 500mg on occasions but always went back to it believing the science was sound and personally proven right. Last 6 months TMG also dealt with the fatigue side effect which had started after 3 years of use. Not sure howlong more will continue but being able to do 8 different sports at the level I did in my 20s is addictive. Not losing hair and losing my greys also :)
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