Every adult dreads growing old. Many assume that our bodies naturally wear down with time, leading to the common body issues that seniors face at their age. It’s undeniable that these physical ailments are difficult to deal with— no wonder why people continue to dream of fountains of youth or elixirs of life today.
But is this desire still fiction, or has medicine advanced enough to make this a reality? While the majority of aging science research has focused on treating age-related diseases, current discussions in the field are pushing toward classifying aging as a disease. So, how will this new “illness” then be treated?
The source of age-associated physiological decline
Research on aging science has been looking for the specific source driving the aging process. However, as pointed out by a review on successful aging, this isn’t a single-dimensional concept but rather something that encompasses multiple considerations.
Physical, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects have a great influence on how older adults age. It can be challenging to pinpoint a specific solution since the potential triggers vary immensely. Rather than tackling an impossible problem, scientific research now focuses on the biological aspect of aging and how it can be reversed with the help of pharmaceutical products.
Combatting reduced levels of essential molecules
As mentioned earlier, human bodies wear down over time. Although we have the molecular machinery for self-repair, excessive cellular damage can drain our body’s resources.
Much like a battery powering a system, it’s important to top our body with essential molecules that drive energy production and cell growth. So, where do you begin?
Human bodies rely on the naturally occurring molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD+, which acts as a ‘helper’ molecule to different bodily functions and boosts self-repair. However, as mentioned, production is in decline, especially in older adults. This is where nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) steps in.
What is NMN? What are its health benefits?
As you cannot consume NAD+ raw, researchers are using a direct precursor to NAD+ to support cellular health. NMN or nicotinamide mononucleotide is a form of dietary supplement that can be taken via oral administration. By consuming NMN, your body will have improved NAD+ metabolism and, ultimately, higher levels of NAD+.
Increased NAD+ levels provide a plethora of health benefits that can promote healthy aging. A 12-month-long NMN research study on mice showed that NMN combats age-related decline. Through the oral administration of dietary supplements on older mice, Washington University discovered potential “anti-aging” effects such as:
- Suppressed weight gain and enhanced energy metabolism – Age-associated weight gain stems from fat retention. Through growing energy production from NAD+, the body has greater cellular energy and can even fight metabolic disorders.
- Increased insulin sensitivity – Raised levels of insulin leads to greater blood glucose metabolism that helps lower blood sugar levels.
- Enhanced physical activity levels – A study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that NMN supplementation enhanced blood flow and skeletal muscle uptake of oxygen, leading to better exercise endurance.
- Improved eyesight – Macular degeneration often causes the degeneration of a region of the retina. Investigators restored eye function by repairing mitochondrial dysfunction, a common driver of eye degeneration.
Are NMN supplements safe for humans?
Mice were able to experience NMN benefits, but what about humans? Are NMN supplements safe? If so, how much can we take?
These questions were answered in a . Old, healthy Japanese men took NMN supplements for 12 weeks. The health parameters of participants were regularly measured. They found that after NMN supplementation, the NAD+ levels of the subjects doubled, their walking speed increased, and they had improved muscle strength. Although more research needs to be done, there are currently no known safety concerns associated with NMN supplements.
Before you can start taking any of these, it’s crucial first to seek professional medical advice. The dosage may vary from person to person, with the recommended amount ranging from 250mg to 750mg. With more human trials underway, NMN may be one of the fountains of youth that we’ve been searching for.
If you’re interested in learning more about research on NMN, you can check the latest news here. By staying informed, you can confidently move forward and take steps to extend the best years of your life.