As we grow older, the vigor we once had as healthy adults diminishes. Age-related diseases are common in older adults, such as cognitive decline, decreased insulin sensitivity, and even an out-of-sync circadian rhythm. Despite aging being a known fact of life, many people still desire to preserve their health. If we can preserve items like vintage furniture in an almost-perfect state like they’re good as new, why can’t we do the same for our bodies?
To address aging concerns, more medical researchers have transitioned their studies toward resolving not only age-related concerns but also the aging process itself. Through this scientific research, the reasons behind growing old have been uncovered, as well as the elements that can be changed to promote healthy aging.
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What causes age-associated physiological decline?
The human body is made up of millions of cells that, at the molecular level, repair or replace themselves whenever they become damaged. Studies on the causes of aging note that our bodies undergo natural wear and tear for many reasons, including, but not limited to, oxidative stress, telomere shortening, mutations, and aggregation of proteins. These often lead to a gradual increase in DNA damage that drives many age-related diseases.
To combat these issues, aging science research has honed in on specific processes that can be targeted with pharmaceuticals. In one study, investigators pinpointed the decrease in NAD+ levels as one of the factors responsible for the aging process.
What is Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)? Why is it crucial to our bodies?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a naturally occurring molecule in almost every living being. The molecule is an essential coenzyme to the function of the mitochondria, which is responsible for energy metabolism. In addition to providing energy, NAD+ drives metabolic processes that repair DNA damage and maintain cognitive function. As we age, declining NAD+ levels can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, which makes it difficult to produce cellular energy, carry out biological processes, and sustain healthy bodies. Through animal models, scientists have been able to identify ways to overcome this depletion, such as the use of NMN.
What is Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)? What are its health benefits?
Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a precursor molecule to NAD+. Through an NMN transporter, the anti-aging molecule can enter cells and alter its form to NAD+, enabling the body to increase NAD+ levels. Currently, NMN supplements are continually tested via clinical trials for their benefits. These dietary supplements have been shown to improve bodily functions through neuronal DNA repair, improved metabolism, and better sleep quality, to name a few.
As mentioned, animal models were first used to observe the anti-aging effects of NMN supplementation. In a 12-month study, the Washington University School tested the oral administration of NMN supplements on older mice, finding that age-related physiological decline slowed due to altered NAD+ metabolism. Some other potential benefits observed in older mice were:
- Improved energy metabolism
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Enhanced physical activity
- Ameliorated eye function
Given these beneficial effects, NMN looks to be the promising anti-aging compound that many people are looking for. However, there still needs to be more extensive NMN research on humans before its released to the greater public.
Are NMN supplements safe to use?
Although aged mice have been the subject of most experiments, more human trials are already underway. A study on older Japanese men notes how after 12 weeks of NMN supplementation, the aged men had more than double blood NAD+ levels with improved walking speed and grip strength. No side effects were found with the daily consumption of 250mg NMN supplements. In fact, these findings support that NMN could mitigate the effects of muscle aging and fight the aging process.
Today, there are still ongoing clinical trials testing the various benefits of NMN as well as its efficacy and safety. Keio University School of Medicine is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials, assessing the long-term administration of NMN in healthy adults. This will likely provide greater insight into the safety and effectiveness of NMN supplementation in humans.
Through constant developments in the medical field, it’s only a matter of time before NMN will become popular in preventative medicine. The dietary supplement can complement healthy habits such as exercise, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition— ensuring healthier aging in the years to come. If you’re interested in learning more about the global NMN market and NMN research, you can visit this website here: www.nmn.com