NMN, also known as nicotinamide mononucleotide, is a molecule within the body that helps with the likes of our metabolism and the repair of our DNA. In other words, it helps keep us young and fresh-looking.
However, as we age, our levels of something called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) slows down. NMN helps produce NAD+. So the theory is to supplement the NMN in our bodies to help produce more NAD+ to combat the aging process.
So, does NMN make you look younger? Below, we dive deeper into the theory and take a comprehensive look at the research and studies conducted to date.
We also look at the benefits, side effects and safety of NMN supplements, as well as the forms it comes in, dosage recommendations and the best prices and costs for purchasing the supplement.
What Is NMN And NR?
As mentioned above, NMN is a molecule that plays a vital role on a cellular level within the human body. It’s just one molecule in what is a complex web, with each one feeding off the other in a cyclical way.
NMN is important in the production of NAD+, the decline of which occurs as we age. NMN supplies NAD+ with what it needs to keep cells full of energy and therefore healthy.
Along with NMN is another molecule called NR, or nicotinamide riboside. This is a form of vitamin B3 and comes before NMN in the cycle to becoming NAD+. As part of the cycle, NR is converted into NMN through specific enzymes in the cell. NMN then becomes NAD+.
NMN and NR are therefore discussed closely when it comes to anti aging supplements. Let’s explore the theory in greater detail.
Does NMN Make You Look Younger? The Theory
Let’s answer the big question: does NMN make you look younger?
The theory behind it suggests it could be the case. As we’ve discussed above, NMN is needed by NAD+ to help keep cells healthy and packed with energy. The theory then is that with more NAD+ available within each cell, they may not deteriorate as quickly, meaning it slows down the aging process.
If we boil this down further, supplying the body with extra NMN can improve our mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the cellular powerhouses responsible for energy production. As we age, mitochondrial function tends to decline. So by boosting our body’s mitochondrial function with NMN, it could help to keep our cells healthy.
That’s the theory, let’s take a look at the research and studies conducted so far, as well as those taking place right now. You can also check out our comprehensive article on NMN and how it can reverse aging here.
NMN Anti Aging Benefits: Research And Studies
As with many theories in the world of science, it’s one thing to come up with it and another to prove its efficacy in reality.
NMN is still a relatively new type of supplement but a growing body of scientific research is building up behind it. When we take NMN, often orally, it’s absorbed at a swift rate by our bodies and is converted to NAD+. A lot of studies therefore look at the effect NAD+ has, but also how NMN supplements can support it.
A number of early studies into the effects of NMN and whether it makes you look younger have used mice as test subjects. The results have so far proven overwhelmingly positive.
Like in humans, NMN is quickly converted into NAD+ within the tissues in mice. In one study by Mendelsohn AR, et al (2014), NMN helped restore the skeletal muscle in older and aged mice.
In another promising study by Wang X, et al (2016), published in Brain Res, NMN helped slow the cognitive decline of a model of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. It helped improve the survival of neurons which are targeted by the illness, and improved energy metabolism and overall health.
Other studies, also conducted on mice, have suggested NMN’s potential benefits on the aging of the brain. For example, a study by Mills, Yoshidia, Stein et al (2016), published in Cell Metabolism, found NMN supplementation mitigated some of the psychological effects seen in mice as they grow older. This study also looked at the effect over a longer period of time.
So the science to date does seem to suggest that NMN supplements could make you look younger. You can also see this research article by Dr Christopher Shade who reviews the science behind NMN and takes a deep dive into its anti-aging properties.
Ongoing Studies Into NMN
There’s also a body of work currently being conducted on NMN and humans which could produce some interesting results.
One study which is currently ongoing in 2023 is sponsored by Haukeland University Hospital and seeks to look at the effect of NMN and NR on NAD+ replenishment in the brain. The study involves providing healthy subjects with dosages of both NMN and NR with repeated blood sampling and brain scans in between. The aim is to see if these supplements have any effect on a cellular level. The results should make for interesting reading once released.
Some more recent studies have sought to examine the tolerance levels and effect of NMN in healthy adults. One particular study, launched in 2021 in France, is examining a supplement of 400mg per day over a 28-day period. The results are yet to be published but will make for interesting reading once revealed.
An important thing to remember is that there are many preliminary studies on humans. While the results so far have been encouraging, more research into the long-term effects of NMN supplements has yet to be completed. It can also help to get specialist advice from a healthcare professional, especially those with experience in the anti-aging field.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking NMN?
While we’ve focused mainly on the anti aging benefits of NMN, there are other benefits suggested by studies and research. Here’s a breakdown:
- Repairing DNA - it sounds like a funny concept, but our DNA can become damaged. NMN has been found to enhance the repair process, which can lead to improved skin health, skin elasticity, and cellular repair, for example.
- Support With Diabetes - some studies conducted on mice that have induced-diabetic conditions suggest that NMN can help regulate insulin and glucose levels.
- Cardiovascular Health Benefits - studies conducted on animals have explored the impact of NMN supplements on our heart. Findings suggest that it can improve blood vessel function and reduce oxidative stress.
- Neurological Health And Improved Cognitive Function - some studies have suggested that NMN can help improve cognitive health and protect brain cells.
As mentioned above, more studies are ongoing and the range of benefits NMN supplements can have when it comes to anti aging appears to be expanding all of the time.
Are There Any Side Effects To NMN?
If you've searched: "does NMN make you look younger" you may also be curious as to whether there are any side effects.
To date, there are no widely reported adverse effects relating to NMN. Studies are still ongoing, and further insights may be gained, but at present, provided dosage guidelines are followed, NMN supplements do not carry side effects.
With that said, if dosages are exceeded, some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea or an upset stomach.
Studies that explore the effects on pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding have also not been conducted widely. You should therefore avoid taking NMN supplements without consultation from your doctor. The same applies if you’re on prescription medication as sometimes they can interact and cause adverse reactions.
As for the science behind the long-term taking of NMN, one study conducted on mice by Caton PW, et al (2011) found that a daily dosage of 300mg per kg, taken orally, was tolerated and safe after one year.
While this isn’t a definitive study as it hasn’t been conducted on humans, if you maintain a dosage within the safe and recommended levels and consume as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, you’re unlikely to encounter side effects.
You can also begin taking NMN supplements at a lower dosage level to see if encounter any side effects.
What Forms Does NMN Come In?
There are three common forms of NMN. Some forms are more readily available to purchase than others:
- Capsules and tablets - this is one of the most common types of NMN supplements available to buy. It’s also one of the most convenient to take and should be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
- Powder - sometimes you can buy NMN anti aging supplements in a powder form which you can mix with water or add it to food. It’s helpful if you like to customize your consumption habits.
- Under the tongue - it’s also possible to buy drops that you can place under your tongue. Absorbing NMN through your mucous membranes can allow for quicker absorption compared to ingesting it.
How Much Do NMN Supplements Cost?
If you’re interested in buying NMN supplements, you’ll find that prices can vary depending on the quality of the product. It’s always important to be aware of any low-quality items on the market. Spend time checking reviews to see what other customers think and only go for a product you feel comfortable with.
As for prices, premium products can be as high as $150, however, you’re likely to receive several months supply for this price.
For the likes of good quality NMN powders, you can expect to pay between $50 and $90.
The higher the milligram level, the higher the price too. For example, 300mg capsules will cost less than 500mg ones.
So does NMN make you look younger? Here’s a summary:
- NMN when consumed orally can quickly convert to NAD+ within our bodies.
- The scientific studies conducted so far suggest NMN can boost NAD+ and could offer anti aging benefits.
- One study found it can slow the deterioration in cognitive function of mice suffering from a model of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Another study found that NMN supplements can help slow the aging of the brain, and another suggests that it can help rebuild skeletal tissue as we age.
So the results from NMN research suggest that it can help make you look younger. However, further research needs to be conducted and it’s promising to see that a number of studies are already underway.