The Surprising Benefits of NMN for Chronic Illness

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The Surprising Benefits of NMN for Chronic Illness

If you have a debilitating chronic illness like fibromyalgia, ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome) or Lyme disease, chances are you haven't spent a lot of time thinking about or studying the topic of longevity. I know I had zero interest in the subject. I've had fibromyalgia and ME/CFS for 30 years and just getting through most days was a challenge. I felt like trying to extend my life was only asking for more years of pain, fatigue and the dozens of other symptoms that accompany those illnesses.

Then about three months ago, as ProHealth was preparing to launch its new Longevity website, I was asked to read several of the articles that would be posted on the new site. Many of the articles focused on a new product called NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide). I had never heard of NMN, but the more I read, the more fascinated I became.

The first thing that captured my attention was the personal story of Harvard professor and researcher Dr. David Sinclair. In 2014, Sinclair - best known for his work on aging and longevity - was listed as one of Time magazine's “100 most influential people in the world.”

As he studied NMN, Sinclair became so convinced of its benefits and safety, he began taking it himself and giving it to his family. The results were quite impressive.

  • Before beginning to take NMN at age 47, Sinclair had his blood tested and was told he had a biological age of 58. After taking 500 mg of NMN for three months, he was tested again. In just three months, his biological age had dropped to 32.
  • After having her left lung removed, Sinclair's mother was told she would probably only live about another year. Unwilling to accept that, Sinclair gave her NMN and she lived another 20 years.
  • Since taking NMN, Sinclair's 77-year-old father feels decades younger and has taken up mountaineering.

    What Is NMN?

    After learning of the remarkable results Sinclair and his family were experiencing, I began wondering if NMN could also offer health benefits for people like me who were living with chronic illnesses. Although I wasn't particularly interested in living longer, I was extremely interested in feeling better for whatever time I had left. So I dug deeper to find out just what NMN is and what it does.

    I learned that NMN is a precursor of NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). Why is NAD+ important? Because NAD+ is a coenzyme found in all living cells. It is required for all of the body's fundamental biological processes and is absolutely essential for life. I also discovered that our NAD+ levels decline as we age. By the time we reach 50 years of age, we only have 50% of the NAD+ we had at birth.

    What really piqued my interest, though, is the fact that NAD+ helps transfer energy from fatty acids and glucose to the mitochondria (the power plants of our cells), which converts them to ATP (cellular energy).

    We know that mitochondrial dysfunction is an important component of illnesses like fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, so any vitamins and supplements that can improve mitochondrial function get my attention. Since the mitochondria are the energy producers for virtually every cell in the body, improving the function of the mitochondria can have wide-ranging health benefits - including improved energy. That's probably why an increase in energy and endurance is often the first improvement people notice when supplementing with NMN.

    My Personal Experience with NMN

    At this point in my quest to learn more about NMN, I decided it was time to try it myself.  So about three months ago, I began taking 500 mg of NMN each morning. I felt like I noticed a difference the first couple of days, but I didn't think any supplement would work that fast, so I waited to see if it was really the NMN, or if I was just having a couple of those rare "good" days. 

    After two weeks had passed, I knew it had to be the NMN that was making a difference. I had gone from struggling to work 20 hours a week to working almost full-time. The best part is that I've been able to maintain that work schedule for three months now.

    One of the most interesting things I've noticed is the type of increased energy I've experienced. It's not a big burst of energy where I feel like I could run a marathon or even clean the whole house. Rather, it's a subtle, sustained energy that allows me to keep going hours after I would normally have collapsed into bed, exhausted.

    The word I've used most to describe what NMN has given me is stamina. Instead of brief surges of energy that are quickly depleted, I have a steady supply of enough energy to do my work or complete household tasks. Yes, I still get tired - especially since I've significantly increased my workload. But it's more of a “normal” tired, not the state of utter exhaustion I've lived with for so many years.

    Considering the fact that I'm 70 years old, this kind of improvement is even more amazing. When I was 50, I felt like I was 70. At that time, I couldn't imagine how much worse I would feel in 20 years.  But thanks to NMN, at 70, I now feel more like I'm 50 - or more accurately, how I should have felt at 50.  

    Over the years, I have used - and continue to use - several different supplements to improve my energy levels (Ubiquinol CoQ10, NADH, thiamine). Although they've all helped to a degree, I have to say that NMN has to be the best supplement for energy I've found.

    Best Supplement for Energy... and More!

    Increased energy is not the only benefit NMN can offer for people with chronic illnesses. Because NMN is a precursor of NAD+, increasing our NMN levels thereby increases our NAD+ levels. And increased NAD+ levels can help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with a variety of chronic illnesses. In addition to boosting energy and stamina, increased NAD+ levels can help improve a number of other health factors, including muscle strength, neurological function, body weight, heart health, vision, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol and triglyceride levels and gene expression.

    Although harder to measure than energy, I feel like NMN has also helped improve my cognitive functioning abilities. It seems like I'm thinking more clearly and am able to organize my thoughts better.

    Because NMN improves mitochondrial function and the mitochondria are the engines that run every cell in the body, I anticipate seeing additional improvements in other health parameters as well.  But even if the increase in energy and stamina is the only benefit I get, I'll be happy. I'm already feeling better than I thought would ever again be possible.

    Show references


    George Tait Edwards: How To Live A Healthy Long Life.

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