5 Reasons to Start Taking an NMN Supplement While You're Young
NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) supplements have risen rapidly in popularity in recent years — and with good reason, as this compound has been linked to a healthier aging process and delay of age-associated bodily decline. But are NMN supplements only beneficial for older adults? The short answer is no — let’s take a look at the leading reasons why you should start taking NMN while you’re still young.
The Nitty-Gritty of NAD+
The underlying reason why NMN is so supportive of healthy aging is due to its role as a precursor to another compound called NAD+, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD+ is a vital molecule that every cell in our body needs — without NAD+, we’d die instantly.
The primary role of NAD+ is as a coenzyme that helps other enzymes to function correctly. These enzymes aid hundreds of processes inside our bodies, ranging from brain cell growth to repairing DNA to assisting mitochondria — our cells’ energy powerhouses — to generate energy from food. Essentially, NAD+ plays a critical role in maintaining cellular and metabolic functions, which translates to better health and longevity of our cells, organs, and bodies as a whole.
If NAD+ is so crucial to our health, you may wonder why we can’t just supplement with NAD+ itself. Put simply, NAD+ cannot easily cross over membrane barriers to enter cells — it would first have to be converted into NMN before it could be taken up by the cell. So, as a direct precursor to NAD+, NMN supplements can essentially skip a step and rapidly boost NAD+ inside cells. In this way, NMN supplements support the functionality of the enzymes and proteins that keep our bodies alive and kicking.
What Are the Benefits of NMN?
NMN supplements have been studied for their involvement in supporting brain health and cognition, blood flow and cardiovascular health, muscle strength and physical performance, and skin, eye, and reproductive health. While the majority of these studies have been done with animals or cell-based cultures, they are still a valuable stepping stone for supporting the use of NMN in humans.
The first trial that tested NMN in humans was done in 2020, with a clinical study assessing the effects of a single dose of NMN in a small group of ten adults. The researchers reported that a one-time administration of NMN, in amounts ranging from 100 to 500 mg, was safe and well-tolerated, causing no adverse side effects.
Since then, one recent study found NMN to support better blood sugar sensing in the skeletal muscle of postmenopausal women, which is linked to better metabolic health. In another recent trial, healthy young adults who took NMN supplements had improved aerobic function while exercising. Overall, the research on testing NMN supplement use in humans is still in its infancy, but the available evidence thus far is encouraging.
5 Reasons to Take NMN Supplements While You’re Young
While many of NMN’s benefits stem from its connection to delaying aging and its associated conditions, there are plenty of reasons to start taking NMN supplements before reaching retirement age.
1. NMN Supplements Can Support Healthier Skin
As early as our 30s, the appearance of our skin can start to go progressively downhill. What begins as minor crow’s feet and sunspots in our earlier years can develop into deep wrinkles and crepe-like, rough, or sallow skin as we get into later life. One way to prevent or slow down this decline may be by supplementing with NMN before things go from bad to worse.
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, especially from UVB rays, is considered the most significant external factor that causes photoaging — the term for premature skin aging due to repeated light exposure.
Several studies have looked at how boosting NAD+ levels in the skin prevents photoaging or supports a healthier external appearance. One recent experiment found that adding NMN to mouse and human skin cells led to protection against UV-related damage by suppressing oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Another study showed that skin cell recovery after sun damage was supported by increasing the enzyme needed to produce NMN. Lastly, a third study found that a combination of NMN and healthy bacteria boosted antioxidant activity, diminished skin-related inflammation, and enhanced skin thickness and collagen production — our skin’s most abundant protein.
With the results from this research, young or middle-aged adults could consider taking NMN supplements to benefit skin health — especially if often exposed to the sun.
2. NMN Supplements Support Female Fertility
Although women can now get pregnant later in life than previously thought possible, pregnancy is often thought of as an aspect of reproductive health that affects mainly younger women. Beginning in a woman’s mid-30s, both the number of viable egg cells and the chances of becoming pregnant naturally decrease year after year, leading to about 15% percent of women being affected by impaired fertility.
While assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are becoming more widespread, boosting NAD+ levels could be a simpler way to support fertility. Although the available research is limited, two studies with mice lend credence to this theory.
A recent study published in Cell Reports found that female mice supplemented with NMN for ten days had reversals of the age-related drop in egg numbers, leading to increased egg quality and function. Notably, the highest number of mature eggs were obtained at lower doses of NMN, with 200 mg per kg of body weight per day (mg/kg/day) boasting better results than the higher amount of 1,000 mg/kg/day.
Similar results were seen in a February 2020 mouse study, showing that lower doses of supplemental NMN best improved egg quality and fertility markers than higher doses.
3. NMN Supplements Support Liver Health After Alcohol Intake
Up to two-thirds of American adults enjoy drinking a glass or two to unwind at the end of the day — but may not want the deteriorating liver health that comes along with it. As younger adults are more likely to drink in excess, which will lead to liver trouble in the future, it would be wise to support our livers on the days we do imbibe.
Boosting liver NAD+ levels with NMN may be one way to protect against alcohol-induced liver damage. One study with mice found that those who consumed alcohol daily for six weeks had significant detrimental effects on liver health, while every-other-day injections of NMN prevented this damage. Although more research is likely needed, this study suggests that boosting liver NAD+ with supplemental NMN may be a beneficial way to bolster liver health once you surpass that second glass.
4. NMN Supplements Support a Healthy Weight
People of any age are susceptible to unwanted weight gain, but being overweight in your more youthful years is linked to both excess weight in older adulthood and an increased risk of poor health outcomes. Plus, the children of overweight or obese females are more likely to experience higher weights with detrimental metabolic effects, making it advisable to maintain a healthy weight in younger adulthood.
In a seminal 2016 study, researchers showed that supplemental NMN effectively halted an age-associated bodily decline in mice. NMN suppressed body fat gain, enhanced energy metabolism, and promoted physical activity — all of which are vital to supporting a healthy weight.
5. NMN Supplements Support Physical Performance
In addition to supporting healthier weights, supplemental NMN may enhance muscle growth, endurance, and physical performance — qualities that many younger adults aspire for. In one of the few available human studies on NMN, a China-based research team found that combining NMN with exercise increased several markers of aerobic function in healthy adults aged 27 to 50 in a dose-dependent manner. This means that the higher doses of NMN (1,200 mg per day) produced a more significant effect than the lower doses of 300 mg.
In rodents, those that combined exercise with supplemental NMN exhibited increased blood flow and running endurance, suggesting that boosting NAD+ can support various aspects of physical performance.
How Much NMN Should I Take?
With few human studies to go off of, the NMN doses that have been used in the available research in people range from 100 to 1200 mg per day. Hopefully, future research will better elucidate a smaller range of the ideal NMN dose to take.
Younger adults should not need to take as much NMN as older adults because younger bodies naturally produce more NAD+ than older bodies. Plus, bodyweight could be considered, with larger bodies requiring more NMN than smaller ones.
One influential study in mice found that NMN doses of 100 mg/kg/day were sufficient to alleviate most age-related symptoms of bodily decline. If translated to humans, the dosage for an average adult under age 50 and weighing 60 kg (132 pounds) would be 500 mg per day. If the under-50 adult weighed a bit more, at 90 kg (198 pounds), the estimated dose could be up to 750 mg per day. However, we don’t know for sure the exact recommended doses at this time.
What Are the Side Effects of NMN?
NMN is generally considered a safe compound to take, as evidenced by the clinical study from 2020 that assessed the effects of NMN in ten adults. The one-time administration of NMN, in doses ranging from 100 to 500 mg, was found to be safe and well-tolerated with no adverse effects.
In this study, the researchers found no immediate or significant changes to sleep quality, eye function, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, or body temperature. Overall, this study provided valuable information about the short-term safety and tolerability of NMN. However, more long-term research is warranted with varying ages, sexes, and ethnicities, as this sample size was small and included only healthy Japanese men between the ages of 40 and 60.
Similarly, the other two previously mentioned human trials assessing NMN in postmenopausal women and healthy athletic adults did not report any adverse effects. Plus, animal studies that test NMN in longer-term or higher-dose situations do not exhibit noticeable or significant side effects.
NAD+ Boosters Bolster Health At Any Age
Overall, the evidence on the benefits of NMN is growing rapidly, with many researchers looking at how these NAD+ precursors support health at all ages of the lifespan. While younger adults typically don’t experience the same bodily decline as older people, there are plenty of reasons to consider supplementing with NMN before you reach elderly status. From fighting back on sun-damaged skin to preserving fertility to facilitating physical performance, boosting your body’s NAD+ stores may be a valuable way to bolster your health for years to come.
Visit our shop to choose the right NMN Supplement for you
Assiri MA, Ali HR, Marentette JO, et al. Hum Genomics. 2019;13(1):65. Published 2019 Dec 10. doi:10.1186/s40246-019-0251-1
Bertoldo MJ, Listijono DR, Ho W-HJ, et al. NAD repletion rescues female fertility during reproductive aging. Cell Reports. February 2020:1670-1681. doi:10.1101/721985
Das A, Huang GX, Bonkowski MS, et al. Impairment of an Endothelial NAD+-H2S Signaling Network Is a Reversible Cause of Vascular Aging [published correction appears in Cell. 2019 Feb 7;176(4):944-945]. Cell. 2018;173(1):74-89.e20. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.008
Feng Z, Qin Y, Huo F, et al. NMN recruits GSH to enhance GPX4-mediated ferroptosis defense in UV irradiation-induced skin injury [published online ahead of print, 2021 Oct 6]. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2021;166287. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2021.166287
Irie J, Inagaki E, Fujita M, et al. Effect of oral administration of nicotinamide mononucleotide on clinical parameters and nicotinamide metabolite levels in healthy Japanese men. Endocr J. 2020;67(2):153-160. doi:10.1507/endocrj.EJ19-0313
Katayoshi T, Nakajo T, Tsuji-Naito K. Restoring NAD+ by NAMPT is essential for the SIRT1/p53-mediated survival of UVA- and UVB-irradiated epidermal keratinocytes. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2021;221:112238. doi:10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2021.112238
Liao B, Zhao Y, Wang D, Zhang X, Hao X, Hu M. Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation enhances aerobic capacity in amateur runners: a randomized, double-blind study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021;18(1):54. Published 2021 Jul 8. doi:10.1186/s12970-021-00442-4
Miao Y, Cui Z, Gao Q, Rui R, Xiong B. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Supplementation Reverses the Declining Quality of Maternally Aged Oocytes. Cell Rep. 2020;32(5):107987. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107987
Mills KF, Yoshida S, Stein LR, et al. Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice. Cell Metab. 2016;24(6):795-806. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.09.013
Zhou X, Du HH, Ni L, et al. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Combined With Lactobacillus fermentum TKSN041 Reduces the Photoaging Damage in Murine Skin by Activating AMPK Signaling Pathway. Front Pharmacol. 2021;12:643089. Published 2021 Mar 25. doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.643089