Scientists have discovered a compound known as Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) that can slow the physical signs of aging and keep the body’s energy production at its optimum.
It is naturally found in broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame, and avocado and has now been forecast as a supplement. When researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Lois dissolved it in water, it was demonstrated to be present in the bloodstream of mice within 3 minutes, which is a promising outcome for humans.
What does NMN do?
The team of researchers tested the compound on older mice to find out what effect it had on the natural deterioration associated with aging.
NMN not only slowed the deterioration of eye function, bone density, and liver function but also prevented the laboratory mice from gaining weight, despite increasing their food consumption.
It also reduced oxidative stress and reversed age-related arterial dysfunction, which greatly reduces the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Shinichiro Imai, a professor of developmental biology and of medicine and the leader of the study, said: “We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in aging mice. This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice. Since human cells rely on this same energy production process, we are hopeful that this will translate into a method to help people remain healthier as they age.”
How does NMN work?
Experts believe that the key driver of the body’s aging process is a loss of energy production, which is dependent on a key element that is known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).
The body’s capacity to create NAD decreases with aging, but previous studies found that supplementing directly with NAD did not slow the aging of mice at all.
Instead, researchers had to take a step back in the NAD supply chain, which is where NMN became the primary focus. It was demonstrated to quickly convert to NAD in multiple tissues and cells, which had a remarkable impact on the aging process.
“We wanted to make sure that when we give NMN through drinking water, it actually goes into the blood circulation and into tissues,” Imai said. “Our data show that NMN absorption happens very rapidly.”
Can it prevent aging altogether?
The study observed whether NMN had the same anti-aging effect on younger mice, ranging from 5 to 17 months old.
It was found that NMN had no effect on the health or aging process of young mice, which means that it cannot prevent aging altogether.
“NMN supplementation has no effect in the young mice because they are still making plenty of their own NMN. We suspect that the increase in inflammation that happens with aging reduces the body’s ability to make NMN and, by extension, NAD,” said Dr. Jun Yoshino, the co-author of the study.
The clinical trial is still in Phase 1, which means that high-grade NMN is not yet commercially available for human consumption. However, by eating more broccoli, avocado, edamame, cucumber, and cabbage, you will naturally be getting a healthy supply of NMA, a derivative of Vitamin B3.