Interest in NMN supplements surges 176% in the US – should you test your NAD levels?

Tracking the NMN trend – with booming interest in healthspan and sales of NMN supplements rising, how should the consumer navigate the landscape of NAD testing.

Longevity.Technology: NMN related searches have been soaring over the last two years. With an increased demand of NMN supplements, questions remain about how consumers test their NAD levels. The data in this article was provided by Antlerzz, a healthcare marketing firm specialising in the longevity industry.

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a hot topic in the world of longevity supplements. Research has shown that it boosts NAD levels, a vital molecule that declines with age. This has triggered a surge in interest in NMN supplements. Analysis of search engine data into the NMN supplement industry shows a meteoric rise over the last two years [1]. Interest in NMN-related searches has grown 176% in the US over that period. Across the country, people now search for NMN 128,600 times each month. This is despite the FDA banning the sale of NMN as a dietary supplement as a result of the surge in interest. Surprisingly, this interest hasn’t translated to an increase in people searching for NAD-level tests. So, what is causing this trend and should consumers be checking their NAD levels first?

Improving NAD levels is a global phenomenon

The longevity industry is booming, with the US home to 62% of all longevity companies. Search engine data shows that the US market often sparks interest in other places later. For example, the UK has seen a 480% increase in interest in NMN over the last two years. Globally, interest has risen 200%. The data shows that many people are turning to NMN supplements to boost their health and NAD levels.

The surge in interest in NMN is likely due to several factors. This includes the growing popularity of leading scientists such as Andrew Huberman and Dr David Sinclair. Both have spoken about the benefits of NMN on The Joe Rogan podcast and their social media channels. Rogan has 11 million listeners per episode [2]. For context, popular US sitcom Friends had approximately 25 million viewers per episode [3]. That’s before considering the 4.5m followers Huberman alone has on Instagram.

Affordability and digital marketing driving interest

“The popularity of Dr David Sinclair is forever increasing, and his research into the benefits NMN is getting the plaudits it deserves,” says Alan Graves, CEO of a leading NMN supplement supplier, DoNotAge. “That’s a significant driver.” Scientists and NMN suppliers taking such a keen interest in online marketing appears to have had a profound impact.

TikTok videos related to NMN have received over 114 million views. This is perhaps why 48% of all people searching for the term “Nicotinamide mononucleotide” in the UK are 18-24. This is out of keeping with other trends related to NMN where the majority of people searching for it are in their 30s and 40s. This is a startling statistic, given that NAD levels reduce as we age.

Yet, there are other factors at play says Graves. “You need to couple that with affordability. There has also been a strong drive by us to drive the cost down. Previously a 100gm of NMN could cost £300.” The cost for 100gm of NMN is now a third of that price from DoNotAge.

What are the side effects of NMN?

Such reductions in cost could come at the cost of quality. Yet Graves points out that companies like DoNotAge are “research first. We focus on quality and do a lot of testing for heavy metals etc. which has led to a lot of word-of-mouth referrals.” Some supplement companies have benefited from the interest they have helped generate, and they have achieved this by “passing on the cost savings to the consumer due to economies of scale.”

Yet, that does not stop many other suppliers from continuing to use fillers in their products. This is especially true for suppliers using non-GMP-certified facilities. Surprisingly, despite these concerns, search engine data shows in the US only 2400 people search for the side effects of NMN on average per month. That’s approximately 1.9% of all users searching for NMN. In the UK, only 2.4% of the estimated monthly search volume of 22,900 NMN-related searches look for side effects.

The low interest may be due to studies showing no major side effects of NMN supplements. Even at doses up to 1,200mg, have shown no substantial adverse effects [4]. However, consuming high levels of certain NAD-level boosting supplements can have some impact. This includes nausea, diarrhea, flushing and stomach discomfort.

Antlerzz founders Indi Kalirai (L) and Line Wegner Hausken (R)

How to check your NAD levels

Unfortunately, unless you happen to have a state-of-the-art lab in your basement, there does not appear to be an effective way for consumers to test the quality of NMN supplements that they buy. However, checking whether a company uses GMP-certified facilities and understanding the manufacturing process can help consumers find the best products.

The good news is that consumers can and should check their NAD levels before purchasing NMN. In recent times several companies like DoNotAge and Jinfiniti have appeared, providing at-home testing for consumers. With a single finger prick and blood sample, consumers can determine whether they need NMN to increase their NAD levels.

Understand your NAD levels with a NAD test kit

Providing testing capabilities can come at a cost for supplement providers – if your NAD levels are optimal, why would you need to buy NMN supplements? This is a point not lost on Graves. “It’s about building trust. Hopefully, that will also force other NMN supplement providers to take action.”

Yet, interest in NAD level testing kits remains low according to search engine data. In the US there are only approximately 300 searches per month. Indeed, Graves suggests NAD tests account for less than 10% of the company’s consumer base.

The reason for this low level of interest is likely due to the infancy of the market. People are simply not aware that they can test their NAD levels. Consumers can now take these tests at home, which is a new option. As the market grows, it is only a matter of time before such tests become commonplace, perhaps becoming regular features of health check-ups and monitoring.

The future of testing NAD levels

The surge in interest in NMN supplements is likely due to several factors. As the longevity industry grows, awareness of our NAD levels is becoming more widespread. This is being driven by the online digital marketing activities of commercially savvy NMN companies and leading scientists, keen to attract a new audience. This has made NMN a buzzword in the quest for optimal health. The affordability factor, driven by market competition, has made these supplements more accessible.

Companies that offer at-home testing may be the future of the NMN supplement industry. Their transparency and desire to improve quality are likely to catalyze a shift in consumer understanding.