Potential Benefits of NMN
Once inside an animal’s cells, NMN feeds into the production of NAD+, which provides cells with needed energy and is thought to be critical for healthy aging. NAD+ also plays a key role in activating proteins that maintain the integrity of our DNA. Given its central role in so many cellular processes, the potential benefits of NMN extend to nearly all body systems. Below are some of the better-known examples.
Promotes Vascular Health and Blood Flow
We rely on our skeletal muscles for movement, stability and strength. To remain strong and in good condition, these muscles must consume significant amounts of key energy molecules, like glucose and fatty acids. Because NAD+ is required to metabolize these molecules, our muscles need a steady supply of its building blocks, such as NMN.
Studies in mice have shown that NMN protects against numerous aging-related declines in health, such as the stiffening of blood vessels, oxidative stress, our cells’ ability to keep dividing, and even changes in how active our genes are, what scientists call gene expression.
Improves Muscle Endurance and Strength
Studies have shown that mice fed NMN for extended periods of time had better energy metabolism with no obvious side effects. The health of our muscles grows ever more important as we age and our own supply of NAD+ declines.
Protects Against Heart Disease
At least your skeletal muscles get to take breaks. Not only can your heart not take a rest, it can’t even slow its pace much without causing serious problems. The heart’s energy requirement, therefore, is tremendous. And to keep it ticking, it needs to make all the NAD+ it can. This is why cardiac cells need a steady supply of NMN.
Lowers Risk of Obesity
Obesity is linked to a wide array of unhealthy conditions and can be very challenging to treat. There is no easy remedy for obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. While lifestyle adjustments like consistent exercise and a healthy diet are of paramount importance, every little bit helps.
In mouse studies, NMN displays an effect that mimics aspects of calorie restriction (CR). Although CR has been shown to provide numerous benefits to aging and health, it is a difficult regime to maintain over a long period of time. Mimicking its benefits without adhering to such an extreme diet would be undeniably beneficial.
Enhances Maintenance of DNA Repair
The NAD+ made from NMN activates a group of proteins called sirtuins. Sirtuins, sometimes thought of as the guardians of our healthspan, play a key role in maintaining DNA integrity. Each time our cells divide, the DNA at the very ends of our chromosomes grows a tiny bit shorter. At a certain point, this begins to damage our genes. Sirtuins slow this process by stabilizing those end bits, known scientifically as telomeres. In order to function, however, sirtuins rely upon NAD+. Recent studies have shown that feeding mice NMN activated sirtuins and led to more stable telomeres.
Increases Mitochondrial Function
Simply put, we couldn’t live without our mitochondria. These unique cellular structures are known as the powerhouses of the cell. They convert molecules from the food we eat into the energy that our cells use. NAD+ is central to this process. In fact, mitochondrial anomalies caused by the loss of NAD+ may even impact neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Studies done in mice have shown that NMN supplementation has rescued some mitochondrial dysfunctions.