- A natural compound found in vegetables may hold the key to fighting aging.
- Supplementation of NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) can slow down the signs of aging.
- Foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame and avocado contain NMN.
The cells ability to produce energy declines with age. The body structure loses its capacity to make a key element of energy production called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). Aging results in loss of insulin sensitivity, weight gain and decline in physical activity. A new study suggests that supplementation of a natural compound can compensate the human body for the loss of energy production and reduce the signs of aging.
A team of researchers from Washington University, St. Louis has found a natural compound called NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) with antiaging properties. NMN is found in foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame, and avocado.
The researchers conducted a study on aging mice and found that the NMN slowed the physiologic decline in older mice. The research showed the older mice could have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice with supplementation of NMN.
Supplementation of NMN has long-term benefits in skeletal muscle, liver function, insulin sensitivity, bone density, eye function, immune function, body weight and physical activity levels. NMN increased energy metabolism by improving the function of mitochondria - a powerhouse of the cell.
Aging mice gained less weight even as they consumed more food. This is because NMN boosted their metabolism and generated more energy for physical activity. The researchers also found that NMN supplementation led to improved insulin sensitivity, better functioning of the retina and increased tear production.
However, the effect of NMN supplementation was not observed in young mice, probably because they are making plenty of their own NMN, said the researchers. Mice that drank NMN dissolved in water had NMN in its bloodstream in less than three minutes. NMN in the blood is converted to NAD in multiple tissues, reducing the signs of aging.
"We wanted to make sure that when we give NMN through drinking water, it actually goes into the blood circulation and into tissues," said Imai.
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.