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Can You Take NMN And NR Together?
NMN and NR are arguably the two most popular longevity supplements on the market today. They are both precursors of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme that essentially slows the effects of aging.
As NAD+ boosters, both NR and NMN are being touted as the next big anti-aging supplement. Higher NAD+ levels are associated with a reduction in age-associated physiological decline and conditions such as obesity, metabolic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and chronic fatigue.
But while these two NAD+ precursors have similar functions, they’re also quite different. Here, we discuss the key differences and similarities between the two, how they work, and whether you should be taking NR, NMN, or both at the same time.
What Is NMN?
Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a naturally-occurring molecule that has been found to be an efficient precursor to NAD+. Think of NMN as a raw material necessary in the production of NAD+, a coenzyme that functions as fuel for numerous important biological processes such as increasing cellular energy, fortifying cellular defenses, and repairing damaged DNA.
According to the aging theory, it is DNA damage that causes aging. And the more our NAD+ stores are depleted, the faster we age. Thus, scientists are looking into NAD+ precursors like NMN and NR to serve as supplements to boost our NAD+ levels and slow the process of aging.
What Is NR?
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is another molecule that serves as a building block for NAD+. Despite having a similar molecule structure as NMN, NR is smaller and lacks a certain phosphate group.
Inside the cell, NR is converted into NMN via the enzyme NRK. It is only until NR is synthesized into NMN that it can be converted by the enzyme NMNAT into NAD+.
NMN vs NR: Which One Is Better?
As of this writing, there aren’t any studies comparing the two types of supplements. But the consensus among anti-aging researchers is that NMN is a better option as a longevity supplement than NR. Here’s why:
NMN Is One Step Further Down The NAD+ Pathway
NMN is one step closer than NR is to becoming NAD+. Remember, NR needs to be introduced to a phosphate group before it can be built into NMN and eventually NAD+.
The NAD+ pathway goes as follows:
NR – NMN – NAD+ – DNA repair
NMN Yields More Health Benefits Than NR In Clinical Studies
NMN and NR supplements provide many of the same benefits, including:
- Boosted metabolism and increased lean muscle mass
- Reduced blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health
- Improved brain function and memory
- Restored energy levels and reduced inflammation
However, based on available studies, it appears that NMN administration yields more health benefits than NR. It also appears that NMN administration results in more diverse health benefits compared to NR supplementation.
Many of these benefits were discovered through studies involving young mice and elderly mice, as well as human studies involving healthy men from Japan.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of oral NMN administration:
- Reduced risk of obesity, reduced body weight, and faster metabolism: Studies have shown that increasing levels of NMN can boost metabolism and intensify the body’s ability to convert food into energy. This eventually leads to faster weight loss.
- Reduced risk of diabetes and higher insulin sensitivity: Doctors recommend that those who are at risk of developing diabetes reduce their body weight, as this is a leading risk factor for diabetes. NMN is seen as a potentially effective way of lowering one’s risk of diabetes as well. NMN has also been found to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance in animal models.
- Improved blood flow and circulation: In a study involving elderly mice, NMN was found to restore faltering blood flow and allow essential nutrients to reach tissues and organs.
- Improved endurance and muscle strength: The same study with aging mice found that NMN supplementation led to the formation of small blood vessels lining the muscles and organs. The mice that were administered NMN experienced improved treadmill run times of up to 60% and a doubling of their exercise endurance.
- Boosted cognitive abilities: NAD+ has been found to decrease protein buildup in the brain, which is believed to disrupt cellular communication and eventually contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Reduced inflammation: Inflammaging is inflammation brought on by aging. NMN administration has been found to bring down inflammation and, in effect, curb symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
- Reduced vision problems: NMN supplementation is currently being studied as a way to address dry eye syndrome, a common issue experienced by the elderly. NMN has been proven to increase tear production in elderly mice.
- Improved sleep patterns: In a double-blind study with middle-aged adults in Japan, scientists found that orally administered NMN can improve sleep by reducing the clock repressor PER2. It can also reduce drowsiness in those experiencing fatigue.
- Strengthened anti-tumor cells in cancer treatment: In a non-peer-reviewed report from Beijing, researchers discussed how adding 100 micrometers of NMN to anti-tumor cells boosted their ability to decrease the size of cancer cells.
- Improved fertility: A 2020 study showed that elderly mice who were given a low dose of NMN got pregnant faster and experienced fewer complications than mice that did not.
One of the major benefits of NMN that NR doesn’t have is improved insulin sensitivity in humans. NR does not appear to reduce insulin resistance in studies. In fact, one study involving animal models found that high doses of NR can actually increase the risk of insulin resistance.
NMN is also notable for improving endurance and exercise capabilities in older adults. This is something that NR has not been found to do. NR may actually reduce one’s endurance and muscle strength.
NMN has also been found to help treat symptoms of metabolic and neurodegenerative symptoms.
There Is More Research On NMN Than NR
Though NR supplements are plentiful, it seems that these days, more biotech companies are putting their time and resources into NMN. In the future, it may be easier to acquire NMN instead of NR.
NMN Is More Stable
Unlike NMN, NR is quite unstable in the bloodstream as it can easily degrade into vitamin B3. When administered orally, NR is turned into nicotinamide (NAM) or vitamin B3 in the gut. As such, taking an NR supplement may not even lead to increased NAD+ levels as you just end up taking an expensive B3 vitamin.
Can You Take NMN And NR Together?
Since there haven’t been any studies on taking the two types of supplements together, there are no known negative effects of doing so.
However, taking NMN and NR together may just end up being a waste of time and money, as NMN and NR have more or less the same effects anyway.
Types Of NMN Supplements
There are several different ways that you can take NMN. These include:
Powdered NMN is one of the cheapest and most readily available forms of the supplement. It also allows for more flexibility in terms of how you want to take your daily NMN supplements. For example, you can dissolve the powder into water or add it into a smoothy or bowl of yogurt for breakfast.
Sublingual NMN is said to provide a powerful energy boost upon administration, making it a favorable option for those who prefer to take their supplements in the morning.
The intranasal administration of NMN is believed to be one the fastest and most effective ways for delivering it into your brain, as nasal sprays bypass the blood-brain barrier. However, intranasal sprays aren’t quite as common as other forms of the supplement yet.
NMN capsules are popular for their stability in the gut and bloodstream. Capsules provide a more constant level of NMN in the body compared to the short bursts of other forms of NMN.
Acid-resistant NMN tablets have slower release times than capsules, meaning that they’re capable of elevating and sustaining NAD+ levels in the body for much longer.
That being said, you’ll require fewer doses of NMN tablets than other forms of this supplement.
NMN lozenges are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream via the blood vessels in the mouth. This allows the NMN to circumvent the gastrointestinal tract and become absorbed into the blood much faster than other forms of the supplement.
How Much NMN Should You Take In A Day?
The recommended dose of NMN varies depending on the individual’s age, weight, and health condition. According to recent studies, 250 mg of NMN taken orally can improve muscle function in men aged 65 and over and improve insulin sensitivity in older women without any known adverse effects.
As mentioned, leading NMN researcher Dr. David Sinclair is said to take 1 gram of NMN each day and reports no detrimental side effects.
That being said, 1 gram a day can be expensive for the average person. As such, those who are just getting into NMN supplementation can start with a low dose of 100 mg a day and move up to 250 to 750 mg later on.
What Are The Side Effects Of Taking NMN?
Clinical trials with 10 healthy Japanese men showed that taking 500 mg of NMN daily yields no adverse effects. Dr. David Sinclair, a leading anti-aging researcher, reportedly takes 1 gram of NMN a day without any serious side effects.
Recent research shows that NMN and NR pose no notable health risks in doses lower than 1,200 mg.
Can You Take NMN With Other Supplements?
Since NMN is found naturally in our cells and our food, it’s one of the handfuls of supplements that can be taken alongside other kinds of supplements and medication.
What other anti-aging supplements should you be taking? Here are just a few of the most popular longevity supplements out there that complement or have no negative effect on NMN:
- Trimethylglycine (TMG): This is an amino acid that boosts heart health and reduces the risk of liver disease. NMN and TMG work hand-in-hand because TMG requires NAD+ to facilitate cardiovascular function.
- Resveratrol: This naturally occurring antioxidant is found in foods like grapes, pistachios, peanuts, and certain berries. Dr. Sinclair takes this alongside NMN as he believes they work in synergy to activate DNA-protecting sirtuin genes.
- Vitamin D3: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, decreased bone density, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is 600 international units (IU) for those aged 1 to 70 and 800 IU for those older than 70. You can take up to 4,000 IU a day without any negative effects.
- Collagen: This protein helps maintain the structure and elasticity of the skin. Low levels of collagen are associated with signs of aging such as wrinkles and dry skin. Collagen, along with other similar supplements such as biotin, is known to improve skin elasticity, hydration, and roughness. Collagen can be taken in powdered or capsule form.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This antioxidant is produced by the body and has a key role in energy production and damage protection to cells. CoQ10 supplements are believed to help reduce oxidative stress and improve heart health. They do this by lowering blood pressure and keeping oxidized cholesterol from building up in your arteries.
There is no definitive evidence that taking NMN and NR together yields any negative results. However, given that NMN and NR produce similar effects in the body, taking both at the same time may just end up being a waste of money. Since NMN appears to offer more potential benefits than NR, you’re likely better off just taking NMN.
Frequently Asked Questions About NMN
Is NMN better than NR?
Current studies seem to suggest that NMN offers more benefits and is easier to use as a supplement than NR.
Are NMN and NR safe?
Yes, studies have shown that up to 1,200 mg of orally-administered NMN and NR had no lasting detrimental effects on subjects.
Is NMN more stable than NR?
Yes, NMN is more stable in the bloodstream. NR can unfortunately degrade easily into vitamin B3.