Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is an orally available NAD+ precursor that promotes anti-aging, reduces oxidative stress, and improves cellular metabolism. It also provides beneficial effects in vivo, improving the immune system, and protecting against hemorrhagic shock. NMN is a promising molecule for therapy. Here we discuss the biosynthesis of NMN, NMN pharmacology, and potential uses of NMN as a therapeutic.
NMN is produced in the body from nicotinic acid. NMN is converted to NAD+ by NRK1 and phosphorylation. The pathway from nicotinic acid to NMN is known as the salvage pathway. This pathway is found in mammalian cells. Another pathway, the de novo pathway, is found in cyanobacteria. NMN has been explored as a NAD+-boosting supplement in humans.
NAD+ is essential for many cellular functions. It plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression, cellular energy generation, DNA repair, and mitochondrial function. In addition, it plays an important role in the anti-inflammatory responses of the body. Because of its important roles in regulating cellular function, NMN is a potential therapeutic for several diseases, including diabetes.
NAD+ is produced through various biosynthetic pathways, including the salvage, de novo, and Preiss-Handler pathways. Among these pathways, the salvage pathway is most prevalent in mammalian cells. NMN is a direct precursor of NAD+ molecules and is therefore considered a highly efficient strategy for boosting NAD+ levels.
Supplementation with NMN has also been investigated in mice as an anti-aging intervention. Studies showed that NMN supplementation suppressed age-related adipose tissue inflammation, improved mitochondrial function, and enhanced neuronal function.