NMN - The secret supplement to anti-aging from a Harvard Scientist

NMN - The secret supplement to anti-aging from a Harvard Scientist

My doctor Dominique Fradin Read began touting the benefits of NAD IV therapy about three and a half years ago. NAD is a longevity molecule that decreases inside our body as we age. The therapy can be intense- it can make you feel a bit nauseous and your heart can race. I prefer to take the IV slowly for about two hours or more to decrease any side effects. (I do not feel any side effects on the supplement.) You can receive the incredible benefits of this anti aging molecule by taking its precursor NMN in supplement form. NMN forces your body to create more NAD and it’s benefits are outstanding. NMN increases blood flow on the cellular level. Blood flow is needed to oxygenate your cells. When cells are deprived of oxygen, they begin dividing and causing diseases to form. You can say that replenishing NAD levels in the body might be one of the most preventative ways to take care of your health, prevent aging internally and externally, and someday it might be confirmed that it can lessen and prevent grey hair.  NMN protects against heart diseases and increases your metabolism and strength. It lowers the risk of obesity and although more trials are needed, it might have the potential to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s due to its ability to restore mitochondrial function. There are several women who claim that NAD/NMN therapy is what finally enabled them to become pregnant. For me personally, NAD/NMN have significantly improved endometriosis and adenomyosis related pain during my cycle and after. The leg and back pain associated with endo has greatly diminished over the last seven months. My cycles are lighter and the adenomyosis discomfort leading up to ovulation is non-existent. Ovulation seems to have improved but I need more time to gauge this. My doctor is administering these therapies for patients who are in chronic pain and she’s observing incredible results. 

A study in Cell Reports found that giving the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) to mice effectively improves the quality of maternally aged oocytes. This study provides a potential strategy to improve the reproductive outcome of women of advanced maternal age. “Our work expounds a theoretical basis for application of NMN to improve the fertility of aged women and the efficiency of artificial reproductive technologies,” stated the researchers in their study.

High-quality oocytes, a prerequisite for successful fertilization and subsequent embryonic development, are the material basis for the onset of life. In most mammals, female reproductive aging is particularly defined by a prominent decline in the quantity and quality of oocytes and the fluid-filled sacs that contain them (i.e., ovarian follicles). Low-quality oocytes are a common and insurmountable problem for women with advanced maternal age and the main cause of the suboptimal reproductive outcomes. Despite the significance of the problem, strategies to sustain oocyte quality with age have been poorly explored. I take the NMN from @vitalifemd, but you should always consult with your doctor first.

XO Jena

Our Founder Jena recently did an Instagram live with Dr. David Sinclair, Harvard Medical Scientist, which was phenomenal and so interesting. David is currently working with a lab of about 20 people at Harvard on ways to reverse aging and to better understand the aging process and his predominant areas of expertise and research interest are in the fields of epigenetics, epigenetic reprogramming, and the influencer and power of NAD+ and NAD+ precursors such as NMN.

What he has learned, and what he shared with us was absolutely incredible, particularly his actionable tips and tricks around easy-to-incorporate supplements. You can head here to read the full conversation with Dr. David Sinclair, but today, we are going to pick up on NMN - something that Dr. David Sinclair takes every morning for breakfast, alongside resveratrol (high quality of course, and always mixed into his yogurt!), metformin and aspirin.

NMN has been hailed as one of the most revolutionary anti-aging supplements and interventions out there at the moment and so we are excited to go deeper into this and change your ‘WTF is NMN’ to ‘brb, going to purchase’!

Let’s go

Back to basics.

Let’s start with NAD+.

NAD stands for Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and NAD+ is a metabolic molecule that a vast number of proteins in our body *need* to properly carry out their respective functions.

Like collagen (another substance that also plays a part in the aging process), NAD+ levels in the body decrease over time as we start to age (in fact, by the time we hit mid-life, our NAD+ levels have plummeted to half that of our youth!) and so it is good to understand the ramifications of this reduction in NAD+ production over time and as life gets the better of us.

We see this reduction in NAD+ showing up, physically, in the body as:

  • Downregulation and reduction in energy production of mitochondria in the body;
  • Increased levels of oxidative stress;
  • Increased levels of DNA damage;
  • Cognitive impairment and reduction in function; and
  • Increase in inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

Basically, a reduction of NAD+ equals a less effective body - and one that ages quicker.

NAD is so fundamental and critical to the aging process that a recent journal summarized the process of aging itself as a process provoked by a “decrease in systemic NAD+ biosynthesis” and the follow-on defects in weak and susceptible cells, organs, and tissues. On top of that, the World Health Organization just classified aging as a disease - meaning it is now fair game for us to treat aging as something that can be reversed.

NAD+ is an important player in this aging process though - and a recent study looking at the long-term administration of NAD+ and the physiological impact in mice, found that​ NMN supplementation actually:

  • promoted physical activity in the mice;
  • suppressed age-associated body fat/weight gain;
  • enhanced the energy metabolism of the mice;
  • improved insulin sensitivity and plasma lipid profile; and
  • increased poor eye function; amongst other things.

NAD? It’s the real deal - very powerful.

And NMN? Where does that come in?

Good question. NMN is the behind-the-scenes superstar in the fight against aging.

NMN is a precursor to NAD+ and what this means by being called a ‘precursor’ is that NMN+ actually develops and changes into NAD+ within the body through a series of chemical transformations and structural changes.

Research has also shown that aging and the process of aging also slows down the speed at which our bodies convert NMN to NAD+, so just like NAD+ efficiency decreasing over time as we age, NMN efficiency at converting into NAD+ also reduces.

The key takeaway is how intertwined and interlinked NMN and NAD+ are in the process of fighting off aging. And they are very powerful!

A research study published by Christopher Shade (Ph.D.) in the Integrative Medicine (Encinitas) 2020 Feb journal (linked here) calls NMN a ‘fountain of youth’, and, when discussing the power of NMN, the journal quotes researcher Shin-ichiro Imai.

Shin-ichiro Imai believes that NMN may improve the metabolism of an adult and increase its efficiency of the metabolism to that of someone ten or even twenty years younger than their biological age shows!

This ties into Dr. David Sinclair’s personal experiences that he shared with us in our Instagram Live. His blood markers (at nearly 60 years old) reflect those of a 31-year-old), and he feels better than he ever has!

Ok, I’m sold. Where can we get NMN from and how does it work in the body? 

We thought you might be!

At Agent, we always love to start with any supplement changes through our diet and, the good news, is that NMN can be found naturally in small amounts in some fruits and veggies, such as cucumbers, edamame, broccoli, avocados, and cabbage.

However, in most mammals, NMN is more frequently synthesized from vitamin B3 in the body (rather than from NMN directly). When this happens, an enzyme called NAMPT then catalyzes and sparks the conversion of the nicotinamide (in the vitamin B3) up into NMN, which then acts as the precursor to NAD+ and enables the production of NAD+ by the body.

Vitamin B3 is found naturally in foods too - particularly beef, liver, eggs, dairy, poultry, fish, legumes, and whole grains, as well as fortified cereals (although they arguably advise to stay away from these because of their processed and high-sugar nature). 

Vitamin B3 can also be produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan - which can be found in oats, bananas, prunes, tuna, cheese, chicken, peanuts, and chocolates, amongst others.

If, however, you don’t think you can get enough of these ingredients into your diet, supplementing at a higher dose is always possible as long as you are clear on the correct guidance and the quality of the product you are supplementing with.

Should everyone take NMN?

It is recommended, at present, that adults between 30 - 60 years of age will most benefit from the incorporation of NMN into their daily routine and regime.

This is predominantly because, before the age of 30, your body is effectively producing NMN and additional supplementation is not required.

And for those who want to supplement? What’s the standard dose?

Again, with dosing, it’s important never to self dose and self supplement, and we always advise you to seek medical guidance before incorporating a new supplement into your regime.

However, general guidelines suggest that approximately 500mg of NMN per day is sufficient to benefit from the vast array of physiological effects.

People over the age of 65 are thought to be able to safely take 750mg per day, and some people will dose even higher, up to 1000mg, but as always, seek medical advice before deciding how to self-supplement.

And is it a forever supplement?

Clinical trials are still ongoing in relation to measuring the safety of NMN with long-term or ‘forever’ administration. They are exploring the impact and effects of dosing for 24 weeks with doses ranging from 200 - 300mg/day. We will wait to hear on advancements and changes on guiding recommendations and more clinical studies start to wrap, but, for now, we know that Dr. David Sinclair has been taking 1 gram of NMN daily, along with high-quality resveratrol, metformin, and aspirin - with no adverse effects.

So, could a simple pill or powder in the form of NMN be the solution to our aging problems? We don’t know for certain, but as science advances its understanding of how to reverse aging, we are starting to better understand how NMN and NAD+ can work together to slow the aging process.

And if Dr. David. Sinclair is anything to go by? We trust him 1000%! 

By Louise Rumball and Jena Covello / @iamlouiserumball