Keio University and Washington University in St. Louis are beginning a joint clinical study to test the safety and effectiveness in humans of a compound that retards the aging process in mice. As part of the trial, a compound called nicotinamide mono nucleotide (NMN) was injected into mice leading to an extended lifespan. Now researchers are testing this medical breakthrough in people to see if can improve bodily function and stave off the effects of aging. Assuming the trial is successful this would be the first true anti-aging intervention available on the market.
Nicotinamide Mono Nucleotide
NMN is an organic molecule, or nucleotide, found in a variety of nutritional sources, including milk. Previous studies have shown that it retards the aging process by activating a protein called sirtuin whose functions get weaker as the body ages. Research has revealed that NMN activates the gene responsible for sirtuin. In one experiment, mice fed a steady diet of NMN experienced experienced improvements to age-related declines in metabolism and eyesight. In other experiments, NMN improved their glucose intolerance and lipid profiles. For mice, it’s like an elixir of life, but we still have no idea if it’ll work the same way in humans.
Unfortunately, scientists believe it won’t translate because mice studies, particularly those involving aging, don’t translate well to humans. It’s unlikely that NMN will work as profoundly on humans as it does on mice—a tiny creature with a remarkably “plastic” lifespan.
That said, NMN could have a positive effect on human physiology, and a measureable one at that. Even if the effects aren’t as dramatic on humans as they are on mice, this compound could still be used to boost human health.