Is NMN safe ?
I agree with you, they might have been able to think up a better name for it. Something underlining its vital importance in human cellular biochemistry. But vitamin was already taken. And, besides, NMN describes exactly what is it is, nicotinamide mononucleotide. No, it’s not like tobacco, it doesn’t contain nicotine. The nico is there just to say that the molecule has a couple of nitrogen atoms, in addition to oxygen, hydrogen and phosphorus.
NMN, what is it even ?
It’s an enzyme, and as an enzyme, it’s also a protein, since all enzymes are proteins, even though not all proteins are enzymes. NMN is required to make NAD+, a critical coenzyme that helps other enzymes do their ordinary jobs. So, without NMN, and, therefore, NAD+, there’d be no human life.
NMN is actually a derivative of B3 vitamins, meaning that the body itself takes these smaller fragments and puts them together to make NMN. Like a jigsaw puzzle or a Lego set. Inasmuch, it’s a natural product of the human body itself. Not a foreign substance, imported from outside. It is also easily metabolized by the body, implying that if the body decides it has enough, it can break it down into other substances that the body needs.
Even if we can synthetically make it in a factory, they might as well have called it Natural Molecule of Nature or something, rather than the awkwardly sounding nicotinamide mononucleotide. Of course, just because it is a naturally occurring substance, doesn’t automatically mean we should stuff our faces with it.
Did you know that just drinking water can kill you ?
Yes, there is such a thing as water poisoning, despite the body being around two-thirds made of it. If you drink too much water, too frequently, in too short of a time, you will start to experience cramping, muscle twitching, headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, and, at the extreme end, death. Symptoms of water intoxication are, in fact, commonly experienced by marathon runners, elite athletes, and clubbers trying to stay hydrated.
So, the same is true of anything we put into our bodies. It’s a matter of the right quantity. The question about NMN, should thus rather be, how much NMN is safe ? And the only way to answer that question is to study it under highly controlled scientific conditions in actual human beings.
Scientific research about NMN
In clinical trials, we usually do this by giving a small quantity to a group of humans, who have been made fully aware of any expected outcomes and have given their full consent. Then, we watch what happens. Next, we ever so slightly increase the quantity, and watch and, of course, measure again. We repeat this process, within reasonable limits, until we start to see or not any adverse, unwanted effects.
While NMN has previously been tested in even higher doses in animals, and seen only to improve their health, ageing, and physical performance, no clinical trials in humans have ever seen any observable adverse effects, apart from, at worst, and in only a few people, a little stomach ache at ridiculous doses that would give you the same symptoms with practically any other substance. This has led, accordingly, to NMN being certified “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) by the de facto global authority on food and drug safety, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).