NMN, NAD+ and cellular energy – all you need to know

Scientific research keeps providing discoveries that can boost longevity and allow us to lead healthier and fuller lives.

If you haven’t heard about NMN, NAD+ and cellular energy yet, here’s an all-in-one primer on them. 

Why does your body need NMN?

NMN, short for nicotinamide mononucleotide, is a naturally occurring molecule in all life forms. At the molecular level, it is a ribonucleotide, a basic structural unit of nucleic acid RNA [1].

In terms of longevity supplements, NMN is in the forefront of those deserving a place on the shelve, as research is yielding good data on this reliable NAD+ activator and antiaging molecule [2]. Simply put, NMN could stand for Need More NAD+.

NMN has been shown to successfully suppress age-related weight gain, improve energy metabolism and physical activity, enhance insulin sensitivity and eye function, improve mitochondrial metabolism and contain age-linked changes in gene expression [3].

What are the natural sources of NMN?

The good news is NMN is found in vegetables and fruits, so making them a part of one’s everyday diet can help to increase NMN levels. However, many supplements contain levels of NNM that are higher than could possibly be absorbed from natural sources.

In replenishing NAD+, you are making an effort to counter a natural age-related depreciation. Therefore, those hoping to recreate the effect of supplements by food alone might be disappointed, although eating the correct types of food can still have an incremental effect on NAD+, reducing the speed of decline rate and promoting some anti-aging effects.

Which foods will have the most NMN? A 2016 study found the following:

  • Avocado and tomato: 0.26 to 1.60 mg per 100 g.
  • Cabbage and cucumber: 0.25-1.88mg of NMN/100g.
  • Raw beef, meat and shrimp: produce lower amounts of NMN at approximately 0.06 to 0.42 mg per 100 g.

But the devil is in the detail, so here is the lowdown on foods that are rich, natural sources of NMN:

Avocado is the NMN superfood among these NAD+ foods, furnishing generous amounts of NMN- 0.36-1.60 mg in 100g of product. This raw source of NMN is filled with vitamins B6, C, E, and K – plus it includes folate, healthy fats, potassium and protein. 

The omega-3 in this NAD booster food significantly benefits muscle endurance and eyesight and lessens the risk of stroke. Due to these components, avocado is said to improve anti-inflammatory pills’ effectiveness and may double the significance of NMN supplements.

However you favour eating your avocado, you can score all the healthy benefits from this NMN-rich fruit. From the recipes out there, the Mexican guacamole seems to retain all the types of nutrients for your NAD+ recharge by blending tomato and avocado NMN supplies with flavonoids from olive oil and spices.

Broccoli and cabbage: as family members of cruciferous vegetables, these are abundant sources of minerals, NMN and vitamins.

For every 100 g of broccoli and cabbage the 0.25- 1.12 mg and 0.00 -0.90mg of natural NMN is a considerable amount of NAD+ booster nutrients, which are also found in broccoli sprouts.

A study performed at the Washington School of Medicine revealed that broccoli NMN might hold out against aging-related muscle and skeletal deterioration and weight gain, plus improve insulin sensitivity and eyesight in mammals by augmenting the levels and activity of NAD+ molecule.

Broccoli and cabbage are multifaceted vegetables that fight disease and aging in several ways. They get their vibrant colouring from phytonutrients, powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds fighting cellular damage – promoting DNA repair and interfering with toxins from entering the human organism.

You can keep your cabbage and broccoli frozen or fresh and consume them by steaming, boiling or enjoying them raw. Do not bin those broccoli stems as they contain most nutrients and NMN supplies – instead, whip up a delicious soup or have them sweet and crunchy as a healthy snack.

Edamame is a natural source of NMN: studies indicate that immature vegetables (baby greens) are incredibly healthy foods to incorporate in your diet. Edamame or immature soybeans is one of them.

Comparable to broccoli sprouts, it is a natural source of vitamin A, K, calcium, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin and zinc, turning into NMN in the body. One cup of edamame has 0.37-1.68 mg of daily NMN, around 120% of daily folate and 33% of protein.

Various studies confirm the health and slow aging advantages of edamame, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, shielding the immune system and playing a role of a potent antioxidant [4].

Although there are contentious opinions about the anti-cancer features of edamame, science has concluded there is evidence it can lower the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer development.

Tomato and cucumber are antioxidant and NMN foods: whether you regard tomatoes as fruits or vegetables – their health benefits are unchanged. Tomatoes have 0.26–0.30 of NMN in every 100g, in addition to vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium.

They get the red colour from lycopene, a potent natural antioxidant and heart health protector. Furthermore, due to this component, tomatoes can protect your skin from harmful sun rays and avert cancer cell development. An additional mineral, chromium, is thought to balance blood sugar, lowering the risk of diabetes.

Tomatoes are uncomplicated to grow in your garden by simply tossing dried seeds on the soil. Ripe tomatoes are ready to supply health benefits and NMN reserves in the form of cream soup or fresh tomato juice. Triple the natural NMN intake by assembling a continental summer salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions.

To make your NMN intake through the edamame even more flavourful, you can boil them and add them to brown rice, salad or even eat them uncooked with a pinch of lemon juice or salt.

Be aware that edamame can trigger an allergic reaction in children and infants, especially in the oesophagus – the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Evidence of an allergic reaction could include difficulty in breathing, itchy welts forming on the skin or swelling; should this be the case, consult your doctor, and avoid eating edamame until given the all-clear.

Other natural NMN sources and foods for longevity 

Aside from the scientifically proven types of NMN foods, here are other NMN sources.

Mushrooms: 100g of mushrooms contain 0.0-0.01 mg. While raw beef, and shrimps: 0.06-0.42mg of NMN. Although these products have a trace amount of NMN, they are worth supplementing to your healthy, nutritional diet.

Despite the minimal amount of NMN, these foods are an excellent addition to the other NAD+ boosting dishes, enabling you to strengthen your health, support your microbiome, stimulate the immune system, and slow down aging.

While the following foods do not contain NMN, they still promote longevity and maintain telomere length.

Coffee: almost everyone’s favourite antioxidant and heart protector. Drinking two to three cups of black coffee daily may help you slow down cellular aging

Green tea: especially tea made from roots is said to sustain telomere length and activate sirtuins.

Nuts: are natural sources of fuel, brain function stimulators and cancer-fighting components. A handful of nuts can aid in staying full and healthy for a long time throughout the day.

Seeds: play a vital part in healthy metabolism and cardiovascular health. Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds have Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, enhancing brain function and helping to preserve telomeres length

 Whole grains: increase your body’s natural defence system and balance blood sugar

Including these in your diet will help to stimulate levels of NAD+ (to some degree) and help reduce the effects of aging. A healthy diet, nevertheless, will have additional benefits which can keep you healthier and younger for longer. Integrating this with exercise can also boost NAD+ levels and make you generally less susceptible to the health risks you are taking NMN to avoid.

What is the relation between NAD+ and NMN?

NMN is the direct precursor or predecessor of NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), an essential molecule required for life and cellular functions [5]. It is crucial in forming NAD+ since the latter is not as bioavailable.

Additionally, consuming it straight in supplement form is complicated. That’s why researchers shifted their attention to other molecules like NMN. 

Once it enters your body, NMN can be used to create NAD+ through a biochemical reaction. Therefore, augment with NMN as the approach goes, and you will boost your levels of NAD+. With this knowledge, NAD+ supplements are in people’s regimens, especially those looking for new ways to combat the onset of aging.

Why is NMN crucial for your body and cellular energy? 

As we age (starting around our late 30s into our 40s), NAD+ levels plummet – aging itself significantly compromises how the body converts NMN to NAD+[4]. Aside from aging, additional factors that cause oxidative stress to the cells like not sleeping properly and fatigue, are to be taken into consideration.

Even though numerous studies have demonstrated that boosting NAD+ levels improves insulin sensitivity, reverses mitochondrial dysfunction and prolongs lifespan, the aging body’s process of cellular energy needs some outside assistance from the supplements we choose to take.

What is the ideal dosage of NMN?

Although there are no reported side effects, there is still no consensus on the right amount of NMN dosage. Supplement providers will often have suggestions on the correct levels based on their investigation and observations. Some will propose differing the doses according to weight, with heavier people being recommended more elevated doses.

NMN supplements frequently come in sizes between 100 and 500 mg, with doses of between one and six tablets. Make sure to look at the manufacturer’s label to confirm how much they recommend taking.

Instead of being concerned about safety, many people will concentrate more on cost and understanding how much NMN is required to achieve the desired effect. Since NMN is so challenging to manufacture, products tend to be reasonably costly. You will therefore be perceptive to guarantee you take as much as you need and no more.

Clinical interpretation of NMN supplements is still evolving, with each trial and the continuous data improving our understanding further. Those studies have demonstrated so far that it presents authentic benefits in terms of health and life span and that side effects are minimal.

Before and after effects of NMN supplements

How do NMN supplements change our bodily functions for the better? Here are some examples:

  • Better brain process: scientists discovered that dispensing the NMN molecule in mice helps blood vessel dilation, which improves brain blood flow to help it function more effectively. 
  • Boost eye function: lower levels of NAD+ have been shown to contribute to neurodegeneration in the eye and eyesight loss. By replenishing NAD+, it should be achievable to decrease this decline and improve vision [6].
  • Enhanced muscle endurance: NMN supplements are also being monitored to improve general fitness and conditioning levels. NAD+ metabolises fatty acids and glucose, which muscles utilise to support their structure and remain healthy.
  • Fighting obesity: NMN has also been linked to lower levels of obesity. One study found that a three-week NMN treatment in mice resulted in improved liver and plasma triglyceride levels, reduced fat mass and better glucose tolerance.
  • Heart function: the human heart continues at a steady pace throughout your life and consumes a massive amount of energy for which it depends on NMN. A study uncovered that treating older mice with NMN and SS-31 could improve heart function [7].
  • Improving mitochondria function: We cannot live without mitochondria – and it cannot live without NAD+. These cell powerhouses are vital for metabolism and converting molecules from the food we eat into energy.
  • Protection against diabetes: low insulin sensitivity levels are a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Here, the body becomes less reactive to insulin levels in the bloodstream, which can raise the risks of gaining weight and, ultimately diabetes. 
  • Repairing DNA: NMN creates NAD+, which can trigger sirtuins – which play an important role in maintaining DNA integrity. A study found that giving activated sirtuins could stabilise telomeres, reduce DNA damage and contribute to the reduction of liver disease [8].

Selecting a supplement that meets these crucial benchmarks will guarantee you’re in the most suitable position to experience the numerous advantages to health that boosting NAD+ with NMN can offer.

[1] https://www.nmn.com/what-is-nmn
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238909/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238909/
[4] https://nad.com/what-is-nad
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7LdTxv_AUU
[6] https://www.nmn.com/news/nmn-treatment-dry-eye-disease
[7] https://www.nmn.com/news/two-molecules-improve-heart-function
[8] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190328150722.htm

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.