The battle to slow the effects of aging isn’t only about preventing crow’s feet and achy joints. It’s also about how you feel, think, and function. A healthspan-promoting nutraceutical regimen that includes a nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplement may offer a safe, effective solution that helps your cells work at their optimal levels much longer.
In an episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast, NMN entered the public consciousness, sparking widespread curiosity about what it does, its benefits, and whether NMN really can reduce the impacts of aging. After all, good publicity is one thing, but does hard science support the claims around NMN supplements?
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about NMN’s benefits, side effects, recommended dosage, and safety.
Based on research in the bestselling book Life Force by Tony Robbins, renew your body from the inside out with the premium-grade formula of Peak NMN™. Surpasses other NAD+ products by including a concentrated dosage of the most stable, long-lasting form of NMN.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
What Is an NMN Supplement?
NMN is a molecule naturally produced in your body, known as a nucleotide. Its levels decline with age, so some people take additional NMN as a supplement.
This essential molecule is vital for helping your cells work optimally, by helping to repair DNA damage, keeping the genetic instructions for everything that happens in your body functioning properly. This may be key to preventing age-related diseases.
Your cells absorb NMN and convert it into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in a form the cell can directly use.
NAD+ is a coenzyme that supports essential reactions throughout the body. These reactions:
Help your cells make energy
Keep tissues from breaking down
Preserve immune function
Support healthy metabolism
When NAD+ levels decline over time, an NMN supplement provides a source for your cells to create more NAD+. Your body can use that NAD+ in several crucial processes.
Do NMN Supplements Work?
The science of how NMN supplements work is still being actively researched. However, small studies have shown that taking NMN is a safe and effective way to boost NAD+ levels.
A randomized, controlled trial from 2022 using 30 participants found that taking a 250 milligram (mg) NMN supplement for 12 weeks significantly increased NAD+ levels. A 2023 study concluded that NAD+ and physical performance levels increased in 80 middle-aged, healthy people during a 60-day clinical trial. Participants tolerated doses up to 900 mg without adverse effects.
How to Check NAD+ Levels
A blood test can show the concentration of your NAD+ levels, measuring results in micrometers. However, the FDA hasn’t approved any NAD+ tests for use in the United States, and there’s little research on the reliability of the home kits available on some websites.
NAD+ is invaluable to helping prevent cell damage associated with aging, but the natural aging process reduces NAD+ levels over time. We lose half of our NAD+ reserve by the time we hit midlife. Reduced levels of NAD+ may play a role in the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and depression.
A regular NMN supplement may help restore your body’s time-depleted NAD+ stockpiles. Studies on mice have shown that mixing NMN with other supplements that support NAD+ levels, like a combination of NMN with resveratrol, can boost NAD+ levels even further. It’s still unclear whether this also applies to humans or if it provides any additional benefits over and above NMN’s NAD+ boost.
5 Possible Benefits of NMN
Smaller studies have shown that taking an NMN supplement may provide several benefits to slow the aging process, including improved longevity, protective effects on brain function, and stronger, healthier muscles.
Your cells convert NMN into NAD+. While your body makes NMN naturally, your NAD+ levels decline over time. Supplementing NMN allows your body to restore its levels of NAD+ to former levels and regain the cell-protecting effects of NAD+.
Animal studies have also shown that NMN benefits may include reducing age-related weight gain, enhancing metabolism, and improving the body's response to insulin — a hormone central to blood sugar control. New studies are looking into the possible use of NMN as an anti-aging skin treatment to reduce wrinkles.
Several human trials support NMN’s effectiveness and safety, and animal studies also demonstrate NMN’s benefits.. Larger, longer-term studies are needed to further explore NMN’s full potential.
Here’s how NMN may protect cells from the impact of the aging process.
1. NMN Supplements May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Your body’s insulin directs your cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream. The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the better they respond. However, your cells can become less responsive to insulin over time, so more glucose remains in your blood. Long-term, this can lead to high blood sugar levels and fatigue.
The results of a 10-week-long randomized controlled trial involving 25 postmenopausal women with prediabetes found that taking a daily 250 mg NMN supplement boosted insulin sensitivity. Some of the study authors declared conflicting investment interests at the end of the study, so a more independent human trial would verify these claims.
2. NMN Supplements May Help the Body Use Oxygen During Exercise
Gasping for breath during a long run? That’s your body seeking fuel for the fire. You need more oxygen when you’re engaged in more intense physical activity. A recent placebo-controlled study on amateur runners showed that taking NMN supplements may help increase aerobic capacity.
The study tested 48 young and middle-aged runners, divided into three groups that took a 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1,200 mg NMN dose for six weeks of training.
Aerobic capacity improved across the board, likely due to the muscles having an increased ability to use oxygen. The amount of extra oxygen increased proportionally with the dosage of the NMN supplement.
As a result, NMN supplements could be a key to unlocking better performance and maintaining physical fitness as you age.
3. NMN Supplements Might Reduce Drowsiness
Feeling awake and alert is central to living your life at its peak. Taking NMN may reduce the drowsiness that interferes with your quality of life as you age.
A recent study of 108 adults compared the effects of a 250 mg NMN dose to a placebo. The study found that those taking NMN in the afternoon performed better in physical tests and felt less tired.
4. Higher NAD+ Levels May Help Aging Muscles Maintain Performance
NMN supplementation may have longevity benefits by restoring NAD+ levels that would otherwise gradually decrease during aging. Among these is the impact of NAD+ on muscle performance.
A 2017 study found that the endurance, strength, and muscular function was higher in older mice with higher NAD+ levels.
This animal study looked at overall NAD+ levels rather than at the direct effects of taking an NMN supplement. However, it still demonstrates the powerful potential impact of addressing low NAD+ levels on supporting muscle longevity.
5. NAD+ Could Support Cognitive Function
Another aspect of aging that can prevent you from living at your best is a gradual decline in mental sharpness. NAD+ may help with this by controlling a protein called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC-1α).
This protein may protect brain cells against inflammation-induced oxidative stress and keep their mitochondria (energy centers) functioning normally during aging.
This research again revolves around the broader importance of NAD+ levels rather than directly addressing NMN supplementation.
NMN Side Effects
An overwhelming majority of studies have found that NMN supplements are safe and well-tolerated. In fact, no studies have reported toxic or harmful side effects, according to a 2022 review.
As with any new formulation, researchers will continue to monitor the long-term health impacts of taking an NMN supplement. However, it’s worth noting that your body makes NMN naturally, so it makes sense that supplementing this molecule would be safe.
The highest well-tolerated dose of NMN in a human study was 1,200 mg, but dosages as small as 250 mg have shown positive effects on health through research. No broader guidelines on NMN supplementation are currently available, and manufacturers issue their own instructions for dose and usage.
Dosage is highly personal. Some people can feel the benefits of an NMN supplement with lower doses, while others may need a higher dose to feel the effects.
Taking too large a dose might cause nausea, mild headache, jitters, and sleep disturbances in some people. If you experience this, reduce the dose to a lower amount you have tolerated better and see how this affects the benefits for your unique physiology.
Lifeforce’s Peak NMN™ supplement provides a 375 mg dose of NMN, along with other ingredients like white mulberry extract and berberine that can help your body be more resilient to stress.
While everyone will respond differently, Lifeforce physicians generally recommend:
Starting with a single capsule daily
Increasing the daily dose by one capsule every three days
Maintaining the highest dose at three daily capsules
Dosage timing can make a difference in the effectiveness of an NMN supplement. In one study, an afternoon dose was the most effective for reducing drowsiness. It’s best to take Peak NMN™ before afternoon or evening mealtimes. This dosage schedule can support the way your body processes carbs eaten during the meal.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the best NMN supplements.
Do NMN Supplements Work?
Several randomized, controlled trials on humans support the ability of an NMN supplement to boost NAD levels, improve physical performance, and protect cognition during aging. However, more comprehensive studies are necessary to better understand their mechanisms and long-term impact on the effects of aging.
How Do NMN Supplements Work?
NMN supplements give the raw materials for your body to make NAD+ — a powerful coenzyme that causes essential chemical reactions throughout your body. These reactions may protect cells from the effects of aging.
What’s the Relationship Between NAD+ and NMN, and Why Would Someone Use an NMN Supplement?
Your cells make NMN naturally and convert it into NAD+. However, your NAD+ levels decline over time as part of the natural aging process. Supplementing NMN lets your body restore its former NAD+ levels and recapture the cell-protecting effects of NAD+.
How Much NMN Do You Need For it to Be Effective?
Studies have shown that taking 250-1,200 mg of NMN can produce beneficial effects and are well tolerated by most adults.
Is NMN Safe?
Yes, NMN is safe. No studies have reported adverse effects. However, taking too high a dose may cause nausea, mild headaches, restlessness, and interrupted sleep.
How Can You Check Your NAD+ Levels?
A blood test can confirm your current NAD+ levels and some test kits are commercially available. However, it’s unclear whether the tests are reliable, as their accuracy hasn’t been researched.
What Happens When You Stop Taking NMN?
The body produces NMN naturally, so discontinuing the course of an NMN supplement won’t hurt you. Your NAD+ concentration would simply return to its level before supplementation.
However, you may not continue to benefit from the potential longevity boost, blood-glucose control, and sharper cognition that NMN supplementation can facilitate. Long-term studies haven’t yet taken place, so it’s unclear whether the benefits from a temporary course of NMN supplements would continue after they are stopped.
NMN supplements can help you safely maintain your NAD+ levels and provide the raw materials your cells need to reduce the effects of aging. This can preserve and protect how you move, how your brain works, and the effectiveness of your blood sugar control.
You can’t stop time from progressing. However, you can feel your best at any age with the right tools and support. Learn about the Lifeforce membership and discover how our team of clinicians can keep you at your peak, with regular blood testing, expert clinical support, one-on-one health coaching, and discounted nutraceuticals.
Based on research in Life Force by Tony Robbins, improve your energy and optimize your health with the Lifeforce system. Our monthly membership empowers you with everything you need to track your body, get expert guidance, and take the right steps to live at your peak.
This article was medically reviewed by:
Julia Afridi, DO, ABIHM Board Certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Consult a physician if pregnant/nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition. Do not use if inner seal is broken or missing. Store in a cool, dry place. Keep out of reach of children.