NMN In Food
Apr 25, 2021

NMN Nicotinamide Mononucleotide is a safe and naturally occurring vitamin B3 metabolite already found in our bodies.

NMN can also be found in tiny amounts (less than 2mg/100g-food) in various foods sources such as edamame, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, avocados, mushrooms, tomatoes, raw-beef and shrimp.

NMN is relevant because it is the most effective way to boost NAD+ levels. There is a new awareness that NAD+ declines with aging and that supporting and replenishing the NAD pool is critical in promoting good health & wellness. In 2013, Harvard scientists used NMN to show that some aspects of the aging process could be reversed.

NMN molecule in food

NMN molecule in food

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) or Nicotinamide-1-ium-1-β-D-ribofuranoside 5′-phosphate is a type of bioactive nucleotide which is naturally formed by the reaction between a phosphate group and a nucleoside containing ribose and nicotinamide. Generally, it exists in two anomeric forms namely alpha and beta. The beta anomer is the active form between these two with a molecular weight of 334.221 g/mol. NMN is naturally abundant in various types of food [3]. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage contain 0.25–1.12 and 0.0–0.90 mg NMN/100 gm, fruits like avocado, tomato contain 0.36–1.60 and 0.26–0.30 mg NMN/100 gm, whereas raw beef has 0.06–0.42 mg NMN/100 gm [3]. NMN is also used as a substrate for prokaryotic enzymes like NadM in Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, NadR in Haemophilus influenza, NadM/Nudix in Francisella tularensis.

8 Benefits of NMN

Quite remarkably, this study showed that old mice could be made young, thin, and energetic again with NMN. Indeed, they convincingly showed that you could reverse aging with NMN. Below are the eight key findings of this study.

1. Lower body weight

In this study, mice fed low-dose NMN lost 4% of their body weight. Those fed high-dose NMN powder lost 9% of their body weight.

To translate these findings, a 9% weight loss in a 200 pound person would be the equivalent of losing 18 pounds. Even more remarkable was that even though the mice on NMN ate much more, they still lost weight!

2. Increased energy/better mitochondrial function

The mitochondria is the energy power plant of cells. In this study, mice given NMN were much more energetic and had better energy production from their mitochondria.

3. Less diabetes

Mice on NMN showed much better insulin sensitivity. Better insulin sensitivity means less diabetes. Even heavier mice on NMN showed better insulin sensitivity.

4. Lower cholesterol and triglycerides

Researchers found that NMN also dropped cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, this drop was primarily seen in those mice on high-dose NMN.

5. Less activation of aging genes

As NMN and NAD both activate the SIRT1 longevity gene, these Washington University researchers observed marked activation of longevity genes and suppression of aging genes.

6. Improved eye sight

Researchers found that the retinas in mice functioned much better with NMN supplementation. Also, the older mice were even less likely to suffer from dry eyes.

7. Increased bone density and muscle

Mice treated with NMN also had stronger muscles and bones. Interestingly, the 513 genes that cause loss of muscle and bone density with aging were all suppressed with NMN in this study.

8. Better immune system function

Lastly, NMN treated mice showed better immune function. Better functioning of the immune system means less infections and and less cancer.

what foods contain nmn

6 Foods Naturally High in NMN(what foods contain nmn)

Even though a quick search on Amazon will give you many NMN supplement choices, none of these have been studied. Even if these supplements are “pure,” no one knows what effects they may have to your body. As many studies evaluating supplements in humans often produce unintended side effects or toxicities, it is always best to get everything you need from natural food sources.

Fortunately, NMN is found naturally in many foods. Below are the six foods highest in NMN.

1. Broccoli

2. Cabbage

3. Cucumber

4. Edamame

5. Avocado

6. Tomato

In addition to NMN, eating more of these six foods will help your overall health in so many other ways. However, I should point out that if you want to reverse aging with NMN, you will have to eat large amounts of each of these foods. Sadly, the NMN in a few stems of broccoli is hardly enough to even begin to boost NMN levels.

nmn content in food

NMN Is Contained in Various Natural Foods

Finally, we found that NMN was indeed contained in some daily natural food sources (Table 1). For example, vegetables such as edamame (immature soybeans), broccoli, cucumber, and cabbage contained 0.25–1.88 mg of NMN per 100 g. Fruits such as avocado and tomato also contained 0.26–1.60 mg/100 g. Raw beef meat and shrimp contained relatively low levels of NMN (0.06–0.42 mg/100 g). Given that human red blood cells contain ∼50 mg of NMN as a total (unpublished data), a physiologically relevant amount of NMN might be absorbed from various daily food sources to our body and help sustain NAD+ biosynthesis and many physiological functions throughout the body.

Where is nmn found

Where is nmn found

NMN is found in fruits and veggies such as avocados, broccoli, cabbage, edamame, and cucumbers. So does this mean that if we binge on veggies that we'll live forever? Not exactly. The supplement that the mice drank was much higher in NMN than vegetables are. While we are unable to eat enough veggies to replicate the exact effects of the study, heading for the produce aisle could still prove to have some anti-aging perks. "Eating these veggies might have some accumulative effect on the neuro-body connection," says study author Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, professor at Washington University School of Medicine.

NMN in Broccoli(How much nmn in broccoli)

Now a study conducted on mice at the Washington University School of Medicine has revealed that the NMN in broccoli helps your body use energy more efficiently, slows age-related weight gain, boosts eyesight, and improves insulin sensitivity. In other words, it staves off many of the negative effects of aging.

NMN diabetes

In diabetic males, NMN did improve impaired glucose tolerance, but the effect was milder compared to the females (Figure 2D). Different from females, GSIS in males was enhanced at 15- and 30-min time points in IPGTTs after NMN administration (Figure 2E). Using primary pancreatic islets isolated from diabetic males, we also confirmed that both NAD+ levels and GSIS were enhanced by NMN (Figure S2). On the other hand, insulin tolerance remained unchanged in males (Figures 2F), suggesting that NMN exerts its major effects on different target tissues between males and females. Although the reason for this sex difference is currently unclear, these results demonstrate that NMN treatment can ameliorate impaired glucose tolerance by improving either insulin sensitivity or insulin secretion in HFD-induced diabetic mice.

How is nmn manufactured

NMN is produced from B vitamins in the body. The enzyme responsible for making NMN in the body is called nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). NAMPT attaches nicotinamide (a vitamin B3) to a sugar phosphate called PRPP (5’-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate). NMN can also be made from ‘nicotinamide riboside’ (NR) through the addition of a phosphate group.

‘NAMPT’ is the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of NAD+. This means lower levels of NAMPT cause decreased NMN production, resulting in decreased NAD+ levels. Adding precursor molecules like NMN can also speed up NAD+ production.

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