NMN Supplements: How They Work, Benefits & Precautions

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NMN supplements are NAD precursors that support energy metabolism, cardiovascular health, a strong brain, and good holistic well-being.

Currently, NMN is under investigation as a new “drug,” making the legality of supplements containing this ingredient somewhat questionable. However, many people still purchase and take NMN products, and we want you to understand how to decide if it’s best for you.

If you want cutting-edge advice from judgment-free medical experts, PrimeHealth’s inviting team will help you determine if supplements to increase NAD levels are right for you. They will formulate a treatment plan with you that works for your unique situation. Schedule a free consultation today!

Disclaimer: We may receive a small commission from products you purchase via links in this article.

What is NMN?

NMN stands for nicotinamide mononucleotide. It’s a naturally occurring, bioactive molecule that helps synthesize the essential coenzyme NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). NMN in supplement form is meant to help you increase your NAD+ levels.

Normal NAD+ levels may support healthy aging, improved insulin sensitivity, strong metabolism, regulated blood pressure, and delayed cognitive impairment.

As you age or experience excess UV exposure from sunlight, NAD+ levels drop. Most adults experience a 50% drop in NAD+ levels by middle age. NMN supplements may help NAD+ return to healthy levels.

Is NMN just vitamin B3? NMN is not vitamin B3, although they are related. NMN is derived from vitamin B3 (niacin), so some may misleadingly call NMN “a form of vitamin B3.” NMN is a naturally occurring compound derived from B3, but that does not make it B3.

This anti-aging supplement may come in NMN powder, liquid, or capsule form. 

In our experience, liposomal NMN supplements are the most effective! Check out our favorite.

Benefits of NMN Supplements

NMN’s primary potential benefit is increased NAD+ levels.

What is NMN supplement good for? The NMN supplement is good for healthy NAD+ levels, which have proven health benefits that include:

The Impact of NAD+ on Anti-Aging

The most prevalent benefit of NAD+ (and therefore NMN supplements) is anti-aging, or healthy aging. As we age, our natural NAD+ levels drop. Supplementing with NAD precursors, such as NMN, increases your NAD+ levels and helps slow or reverse age-related conditions.

NAD+’s anti-aging benefits may be due to NAD’s pivotal role in energy production and sirtuin activation. Sirtuins protect against disease, sustain genome integrity, promote DNA repair, and may even increase lifespan by slowing down the aging process.

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) added a classification: “aging-related” diseases. As the conventional healthcare world increasingly acknowledges that age-related diseases may be treatable — not lost causes — we look for potential treatments such as NAD supplements.

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How is NMN converted to NAD?

NAD+ can be synthesized in 3 ways:

The salvage pathway is the only one that involves NMN. Multiple long-named enzymes convert vitamin B3-derived compounds, including NMN, into NAD+.

The enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase produces NMN from nicotinamide. Then the enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase converts NMN to NAD+.

Side Effects of NMN

What are the side effects of taking NMN? Normal doses of NMN (< 1,200mg/day) should not cause adverse side effects. In rare cases, large doses of NMN (or a sensitivity to an NMN supplement) might cause adverse effects like:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Lung problems
  • Muscle problems

Talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you experience any side effects when taking NMN supplements.

Recommended Dosage

Research has found NMN health benefits may occur at doses as low as 250 mg/day of NMN.

A maximum of 1,200 mg of NMN per day should boost NAD levels without adverse side effects in most individuals.

In his book Lifespan: Why We Age — And Why We Don’t Have To (2019), Harvard University’s distinguished anti-aging researcher, David Sinclair, claimed to take one gram (1,000 mg) of NMN every morning.

Dietary Sources of NMN

Below are the most common dietary sources of NMN, in rough order of highest NMN concentration to lowest:

  • Edamame (Japanese soybeans)
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Cabbage
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Shrimp
  • Raw beef

Read more: Nutrition & Mental Health

The FDA Has Banned NMN — Here’s What to Know

In November 2022, the FDA banned the sale of NMN supplements in the USA. This does not confirm nor deny its efficacy in treating multiple health conditions. In fact, it’s only because of NMN’s potential efficacy that it’s being investigated as a potential drug and, therefore, not technically eligible for sale as a dietary supplement.

Here’s the context:

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 states that dietary supplements cannot contain ingredients that have been authorized for investigation as a new drug. This legislation is meant to prevent pharmaceutical companies from having to compete with natural supplement companies who are bound by fewer regulations.

In December 2021, a pharma startup called Metro International Biotech is believed to have requested the FDA to ban NMN as a dietary supplement. They did this so they could continue to investigate NMN as a drug with expensive clinical trials.

In November 2022, the FDA wrote to Inner Mongolia Kingdomway (a supplement manufacturer) that they were no longer allowed to market NMN as a dietary supplement. This was a change to the FDA’s previous stance of allowing NMN to be marketed as a supplement.

Technically, the FDA only forbade Inner Mongolia Kingdomway from marketing NMN as a supplement. Although it makes sense for others to follow suit, some manufacturers have chosen to continue shipping in the US, waiting to see if the FDA will actually enforce their decision.

Supplements do not require FDA approval to be marketed, sold, or purchased. However, legal action can be taken against the seller if there is evidence of misleading labels. 

Any supplement health claims must be followed by the disclaimer: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

Other Ways to Increase NAD in the Body

NMN supplements are not the only way to increase NAD in your body. Below are the best ways to increase NAD levels:

  • NAD+ IV therapy or intramuscular (IM) injections: Rapid and efficient IV or IM therapies promote whole-body wellness at a reasonable cost. IV or IM injections are the most bioavailable ways to increase your NAD levels. Learn more about NAD IV therapy.
  • A diet rich in NAD precursors: Eating more vitamin B3 or tryptophan (both NAD precursors) should increase your body’s NAD biosynthesis. To increase NAD levels, eat more animal products (fish, poultry, egg whites, milk), brown rice, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts, and legumes.
  • Regular exercise: Exercise does deplete NAD+ but requires your body to synthesize more. Physical exercise not only helps prevent anxiety and obesity, but it also trains your body to produce NAD+ at higher rates.
  • Limited sun exposure: Sun exposure causes ultraviolet (UV) damage to your DNA, depleting NAD+ to repair that DNA. Avoid long-term sun exposure, and your NAD+ won’t have to be used for DNA damage repair; it can be used for other health benefits.
  • Chronic stress relief: Chronic stress can deplete NAD levels and cause metabolic dysfunction. Consider meditation, a walk in the park, or these vitamins for stress relief.
  • High-quality supplements: NMN is not the only NAD precursor. NR (nicotinamide riboside), a multivitamin including B3, and even resveratrol supplements can support healthy levels of NAD+.

PrimeHealth has helped hundreds of people like you figure out the right combination of supplements, lifestyle changes, and targeted treatments for your unique situation. Schedule your free phone consultation today!


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