NMN vs NAD: Which is Better?

the pursuit of everlasting youth

Recently years, the pursuit of everlasting youth is more and more popular in the world. Today we will discuss the supplement that slows down, pauses, or even turns back the process of aging. Maybe you have already guessed it right: it's NMN! As the precursor of NAD, NMN supports your body’s production of NAD.

Have you ever heard of NAD? It serves many critical functions in our cells like the repair of DNA and the activity of SIRTUIN genes. We will die in 30 seconds without NAD in our bodies. It declines as we age. So if we can increase NAD levels according to foods or supplements, forever young won't be a mere fantasy.

confusion about NAD

You may have some confusion: Why don't we take NAD straightly? Why is NMN so magic? Can I Supple it with food? Read on to explore the answers!

What is NAD? How to Increase NAD Levels?

NAD, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, plays a vital role in our body and overall health. It sounds amazing but in fact, it exists in every cell in our body.

The level of NAD declines as we age. This decline leaves us at greater risk for neuro and muscular degeneration, declines in our cardio-metabolic health, and our capacity for repair and resiliency.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that boosting NAD levels increases insulin sensitivity, reverses mitochondrial dysfunction, and extends lifespan.[1][2]

So it's important to increase NAD level, especially over 30 years old when internal NAD decrease quickly.

How Do I Increase My NAD Levels?

Scientists have done lots of researches about this. For example:

Adjust Dietary Regimen: In the state of ketosis, you use fat for energy instead of glucose. This technique increases the ratio of NAD to NADH, thereby protecting your body from oxidation.

Practicing Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting is a more sustainable way of introducing your body to longer periods without eating, raising your NAD levels in much the same way as ketosis.

Notice, a high fat-diet may not be advisable if you have diabetes, heart disease, or increased LDL cholesterol. So it's the safest and most convenient way to supplement with NAD.

However, NAD is 663.43 g/mol, that's a large phosphorylated molecule. It's twice the weight of one molecule of most NAD precursors, such as NMN which is 334.22 g/mol. So NAD molecule can't cross cell membranes and get into cells.

If we want more NAD, we have to take something that transforms into NAD. That's called the NAD precursor, like NMN.

Besides, NAD molecule is sensitive to light and heat that degrades quickly when exposed to light and heat. So we can't supplement it directly and have to rely on the precursor.

Any more effective ways to increase NAD levels naturally?

Except extra supplementation, healthy lifestyle is also very important. A combination of vegetarian and fiber-rich food can increase the vital gut microbiome metabolism maintaining a healthy cellular pool of NAD.

An inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diets with saturated fatty acid and sugar can significantly reduce the NAD and rapidly prompt the cell to age.

A healthy regimen of NAD supplements like NMN with a healthy diet may easily reverse aging by 10-15 years!


What is NMN? How Does it Work?

NMN, or Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, is a Vitamin B3 (niacin) derivative. It has 3 parts of which it is composed:

A nitrogenous base

A phosphate group, and

One sugar molecule

Unlike other nucleotides, however, the primary purpose of NMN is to make up nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).

For this reason, since NMN is a precursor to NAD, there is no need to take both an NMN and NAD supplement.

It exists in fruits and vegetables, breast milk and animals, but its content is very low, so daily diet alone cannot effectively supplement this ingredient.

As the precursor of NAD, NMN levels fall with age so as does NAD. Studies indicated that aging itself has also been shown to significantly compromise the body’s conversion of NMN to NAD.[3]

So we should supplement it extra. NMN will chemically transform into NAD in your cells.

When you think about NMN vs. NAD, remember that these two molecules work together to metabolize energy in your cells. The relationship between them is as close as fish and water. In your body, you can't have NAD without NMN.


Whats the Differences Between NMN and NAD?

These two molecules are closely related in our body. One cannot do without the other. While they also have some differences.

At the molecular level, NMN(334.22 g/mol) is much smaller than NAD(663.43 g/mol). NMN is more stable than NAD and more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

More than a precursor, NMN can be added directly to cells without converting to NAD. This phenomenon is made possible by newly discovered transport proteins that increase in number after NAD levels drop off.

In this form, NMN contributes to cell energy and allows each of the previously mentioned anti-aging properties promoted by cells with adequate ability to grow and regenerate.

All in all, they are the best partner that can help you to turn on your longevity pathway. We will introduce the benefits of NAD(also NMN) specifically.


7 Benefits of NAD

As the most popular anti-aging product in the market, here are the seven main benefits of NAD that scientists have found including[4]:

1 Healthy Aging: Telomeres become shorter as we age. Studies have shown that NAD can stabilize the ends of telomeres and prevent them from shortening to prolong cells' life-span.

NAD appears to boost the activity of sirtuins to slow down the aging process.

2 Brain Health: Clinical trials have indicated that NAD assists with repairing damaged DNA of the brain and other nerve cells. It also improves the learning curve and memory consolidation.

NAD turns on specific proteins, which protect the brain from oxidative damage.

3 Optimize Blood Sugar: Some research supports the effects of NAD on regulating insulin sensitivity.

For instance, oral supplementation with NAD showed favorable results regarding glucose control in diabetic mice.

4 Kidney Health: Our two kidneys filter out toxins from blood and help keep electrolytes stable. NAD seems to safeguard kidney function and prevent them from enduring oxidative damage as we age.

These properties are due to the anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects of NAD and SIRT1.

5 Heart Health: NAD can restore vascular elasticity and prevent endothelial (artery wall) damage – A process that triggers all blocked arteries.

NAD improves blood flow and appears to play a role in treating congestive heart failure.

6 Helpful to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS): CFS is caused by reducing ATP (energy) production. In a 2015 study, research indicated that combining NAD with co-enzyme Q10 boosted ATP (energy) levels on a molecular level. NAD optimizes the process of converting food into energy(ATP).

7 Improve Athletic Performance: A study showed that amateur runners who received NAD had higher aerobic capacity and increased oxygen use by muscles. There were no dangerous side effects noted.


The Bottom Line

In conclusion, we need to increase the level of NAD after 30 years old by supplementing the precursor like NMN. We can't take NAD directly as it's too large to be absorbed and unstable. NAD and NMN are in close relation in our bodies to slow down aging and delay various age-related diseases.

If you want to know more about NAD or try it, please leave a message or visit the homepage. You will get more!


FAQ about NMN vs NAD:

Q: How much NMN a day please?

A: No more than 1000mg. 1 gram per day is what Dr. Sinclair takes.


Q: If the purpose of NMN is to raise NAD levels then why would I buy NMN when I can buy straight NAD? Please explain!

A: NMN absorbs into the cell to create NAD. NAD outside the cell isn't absorbed as well as NMN. NAD floating around the body freely does stuff, repairs, activates other things.


[1] 10. Suave AA. NAD+ and vitamin B3: from metabolism to therapies. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2008. March;324(3):883-93

[2] 11. Lee CF, et al. Targeting NAD+ Metabolism as Interventions for Mitochondrial Disease. Sci Rep. 2019. February 28;9(1):3073.

[3] Imai S. Diagnostic and therapeutic applications of a novel plasma metabolite, Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), for age-associated metabolic

[4] 7 Studied Benefits of NAD and NMN—From Healthy Aging to Improved Energy Levels. Nov 2022 

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