A third clinical trial is conducted to emphasize the benefits of NMN supplementation and its synergistic effects. Recent studies discovered that nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) improves aerobic exercise in healthy amateur runners. We all know that NMN increases the NAD+ levels in the body, which is the most important molecule for all living organisms. Boosting our NAD+ levels we help get the exercise benefits. The findings of this trial show significant results, which is, NMN increases the aerobic capacity during training as well as improves the utilization of oxygen in the skeletal muscle. Therefore, there is proof that NMN administration will enhance physical performance. Let’s dig a little deeper to figure out what the studies found.
Combination of NMN and NR supplementation
NMN and NR (nicotinamide riboside) are the two most studied NAD+ precursors recently, due to their safety. They increase the NAD+ levels much better compared to other precursors. The treatment with both, NMN and NR together, show a significant NAD+ increase in many tissues in rodents and humans. As we age, the NAD+ levels decrease and we need to replenish them. NAD+ supports our metabolism and energy production. When we exercise we burn energy, and not enough NAD+ can lead to problems with our energy metabolism. Whether we increase our NAD+ levels with NR or NMN supplementation, it will ease the symptoms of many age-related conditions and neurodegenerative disorders.
However, clinical studies show there are limitations in the effects of NR supplementation on cardiovascular function and skeletal muscle. NMN and NR have similar pharmacological effects, but there are some differences. For example, NR was unstable in rodent plasma, while NMN is a more stable compound. NR may increase endurance performance in healthy mice in combination with NMN, but given NR with swimming, shows a decrease. There were also no changes in the body weight reduction and fat when given NR together with training. There is a lack of information on whether NR supplementation together with physical activity has beneficial effects on older people. That’s why we will be focusing on the potential benefits of NMN supplementation together with exercising in athletes.
The findings analysis
We should briefly say that NMN acts as an NAD+ booster, an important protein for cellular metabolism and viability. It is responsible for many biological functions in the body such as DNA repair, heart and brain protection, inflammation, new mitochondria, and energy production, protection from oxidative stress, and many others.
This study is focused on investigating the effects of exercising together with NMN supplementation on healthy amateur runners.
To determine whether the benefits of NMN supplementation can be translated from mice to humans, a six-week investigation was done. In this trial, 48 recreationally, healthy and trained runners were tested. The members were all healthy, without previous medical history. They also didn’t change their diet and daily routines. Four groups were formed, where each group was given different NMN dosages including low dosage (300 mg/day NMN), medium dosage (600mg/day NMN), high dosage (1200mg/day NMN), and controlled (placebo) group. The runners have actively worked out 5-6 times per week, where each training lasted 40-60 minutes. In each group were 10 males and 2 females. During the sessions, they measured parameters such as VO2max, HRmax, VEmax, HRR, and pick power. It is important to mention that before starting the trial no differences between the groups.
After the 6 weeks, the results revealed that the body’s ability to absorb oxygen is improved with the medium (600mg/day NMN) and high (1200mg/day NMN) dosage. Also, the oxygen used from the heart and lungs for energy production was improved at high dosage in runners, compared to those who didn’t take NMN supplementation. Furthermore, the ventilatory threshold is significantly improved at 600 and 1200 mg/day doses with training.
Other key findings were noted, such as endurance improvement achieved with NMN supplementation. NMN administration together with training increased endurance performance in healthy, young, and elderly mice. No adverse effects were reported during the study. Also, no other abnormalities were found on the ECG during training. The NMN supplementation is safe even at high doses such as 1200mg/day.Liao B., Zhao Y., Wang D., Zhang W. Hao X., Hu M. (2021, Jul 8). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34238308/
(VO2@VT1, %VO2max@VT1, HR@ VT1, power@VT1, and power@VT2, Tables S1 and S2; Table 3, were increased significantly from the NMN supplementation compared with baseline.)
Liao B., Zhao Y., Wang D., Zhang W. Hao X., Hu M. (2021, Jul 8). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34238308/
(Oxygen utilization for energy production was improved in a runner that took NMN supplementation, compared to those who trained without it.)
Limitations in the study
Although NMN supplementation together with exercising has synergistic effects, there are still some limitations in the study observed. This combination did not change the body composition or the body mass. By the end of 6 weeks, there were no differences among the groups. In addition, the study was done only 6 weeks, so no long-term effects are investigated.
Also, no significant changes in HRmax, HRR, RERmax, peak workload, peak power, O2- pulse, ΔO2/ΔWR, or VO2max were shown between the control and each of the NMN treatment groups. Another limitation was found in the blood lactate levels. NMN supplementation reduces the blood lactate levels post-exercising in mice. Additionally, there were limitations on participants involved in this study, because most of them were males, so the effects on females remain unknown. Further studies are needed to determine if there are gender limitations and differences. There is also a gap in whether taking NMN supplementation while exercising impacts and improves mitochondria function.
To sum up
The study gives us another perspective of why NMN supplementation has many potential benefits for our health. We should mention that this research is muscle-related because no effects are reported for cardiovascular improvement. Taking NMN will improve endurance performance, and the body’s ability to absorb, utilize and distribute oxygen to the tissues. There are no specific changes in the body mass index (BMI), and body fat. Despite the research found, there is a lack of information about gender influence. However, in athletes, the performance is dose-dependent. NMN shows noticeable effects on anti-aging, which is related to physical activity. The randomized study show significant proves that NMN is responsible for many improvements in this area.