Clare Johnston is a journalist with a keen interest in all things related to anti-ageing. Today, we're diving deep into the world of a supplement that's been making waves in the field of longevity - NMN, or Nicotinamide Mononucleotide. NMN is part of a group of related supplements, including NR (Nicotinamide Riboside) and niacin, that scientists believe can boost our levels of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), a coenzyme present in every cell of our bodies. NAD+ plays a pivotal role in our health, energy levels, and longevity.
For months now, Clare has been following the research on NMN and the intriguing claims made by scientists like Dr. David Sinclair. Her interest isn't just academic; She wanted to explore NMN's potential for herself and for her ageing parents, both in their 80s. To help her navigate the world of NMN and choose the right supplements, she was joined by the brilliant Dr. Elena Seranova for this interview. Dr. Seranova boasts a Master's in translational neuroscience, a Ph.D. in stem cell biology and autophagy (the body's process of clearing out old cells), and is the founder of NMN Bio, a supplier of anti-aging supplements.
Today, we're delving into the core of NMN - what it is, why Dr. Seranova believes it's the best NAD+ booster, and how it could potentially turn back the clock on aging. We'll also discuss its other benefits, including improvements in skin health, hormone regulation, and weight management. Additionally, we'll address the FDA's recent decision regarding the sale of NMN in the U.S. as a dietary supplement and what this means for consumers.
The Science Behind NMN and Aging
Our conversation starts with Dr. Seranova's background. She explains that her journey into the world of NMN began during her Ph.D. research at the University of Birmingham, focusing on aging and neurodegeneration. Her research led her to study NAD+ metabolism, revealing that NAD and its related compounds, such as NADH, played a significant role in cellular function.
Dr. Seranova highlights the commonalities among neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, emphasizing issues related to autophagy (the process of cellular self-cleaning) and mitochondrial dysfunction. These issues are prevalent in these diseases, contributing to their symptoms.
The Role of NMN in Boosting NAD+
NMN's significance lies in its ability to increase NAD+ levels efficiently. While other NAD boosters, like niacin and NR, require multiple steps to convert into NAD+, NMN takes just one step. This direct conversion makes NMN highly effective in a shorter period.
She further explains that NAD+ is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the cell, particularly in processes such as DNA repair and epigenetic regulation. Sirtuins, often called the longevity genes, depend on NAD+ to perform these functions. The decline in NAD+ production as we age can lead to a decrease in cellular function.
Benefits of NMN Beyond Anti-Aging
While the conversation revolves around anti-aging, Dr. Seranova mentions that NMN users have reported benefits beyond just aging gracefully. Some users have noticed improvements in their skin, which Dr. Seranova attributes to NMN's activation of collagen production pathways.
The Importance of Starting Early
A crucial point emerges in their discussion: the optimal age to begin incorporating anti-aging interventions. Dr. Seranova explains that NAD+ production peaks at around age 25 and starts declining from there. By the late 20s and early 30s, many people begin to experience a decline in energy and focus, often related to hormonal changes.
To preserve optimal cellular function and enjoy decades of health and vitality, Dr. Seranova recommends considering anti-aging interventions in your late 20s or early 30s. It's not just about supplements; a holistic approach that includes a healthy diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors is essential.
NMN Supplements: Capsules vs. Powder
NMN supplements are available in both capsule and powder forms. Dr. Seranova clarifies that there is currently no evidence suggesting one form is superior to the other. Capsules and tablets have shown efficacy in studies, while some individuals prefer placing NMN powder under their tongue for rapid absorption.
NMN vs. Niacin: Why NMN Excels
When discussing NAD+ boosters, the conversation naturally turns to niacin (a form of vitamin B3). Dr. Seranova explains why NMN is considered superior. While niacin can boost NAD+, it requires several steps within the cell to do so. NMN, on the other hand, is a direct precursor to NAD+, needing just one step for conversion. This efficiency makes NMN the most potent NAD+ booster.
FDA's Stance on NMN: A Regulatory Perspective
One of the pressing questions surrounds the FDA's decision to restrict the sale of NMN as a dietary supplement in the U.S. Dr. Seranova provides clarity, stating that the FDA's decision doesn't ban NMN but restricts its sale as a dietary supplement. Existing vendors can continue to sell NMN in the U.S. This decision seems to revolve around the claims made by some NMN supplements and their backup through clinical trials.
Dr. Seranova points out that FDA regulations apply within the United States, allowing companies like NMN Bio, based in the UK, to continue shipping NMN supplements to the U.S.
The Unresolved Questions
The conversation ends with Dr. Seranova hinting at the political and interest-related aspects surrounding the FDA's decisions and the need for further discussions on these topics.
In conclusion, NMN holds promise as a powerful anti-aging supplement, and while regulatory issues persist, its potential benefits continue to intrigue scientists and consumers alike. The conversation with Dr. Elena Seranova sheds light on the science, practical considerations, and ongoing debates in the realm of anti-aging.
Stay tuned for more insights into the world of anti-aging as we explore our experiences with NMN supplements in the coming weeks.