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The science behind health supplement NMN

Auckland University of Technology and Australian health products company, EZZ Life Science, have completed the world’s first review of research into the anti-aging supplement Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).

AUT pharmacologist Professor Jun Lu, worked with an international team of scientists to review all known studies on NMN, a compound derived from fruit, vegetable and animal sources, which is commercially available as an anti-aging product.

In the Journal of Advanced Research (impact factor, 10.48), Professor Lu and co-authors note previous studies on cell cultures and mice where NMN supplementation has provided positive therapeutic results for various age-related complications. One preclinical and one clinical human trial have also been carried out on safety concerns and a few more clinal trials are being conducted.

Studies have shown that NMN helps the body generate Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a compound that supplies energy to cells and activates a protein, sirtuin, to regulate cellular health. As the body ages, NAD levels are depleted. This depletion is associated with reduced energy production in mitochondria (the part of the cell which transforms chemical energy from food into energy for cells), oxidation, DNA damage, cognitive impairment and inflammation.

NMN is a precursor to NAD and aids in its absorption. The introduction of NMN is aimed at slowing down this process by elevating NAD levels in the cells.

Professor Lu says the in vitro and in vivo studies with cell cultures and mice are promising. However, with an influx of NMN based products on the global market, more clinical trials are needed to find out the effectiveness and safety of NMN supplements, says Professor Lu. Further clinical studies on the safety and toxicology of NMN are urgently needed.