Can You Increase Exercise Metabolism and Lose Weight with NMN?

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Can You Increase Exercise Metabolism and Lose Weight with NMN?

The fast answer to Can you increase exercise metabolism and lose weight with NMN? is a definite, research-proven, "Yes"... if you're a mouse.

My guess is that you're not a mouse, so why should you care that exercise metabolism and weight loss are improved by NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) supplementation in mice?

You should care because given that NMN may be able to increase exercise metabolism and weight loss in mice, there's a decent chance it will for you. And that's precisely why the most renown NMN researcher, Dr. David Sinclair and his family, supplement with NMN. And, as I've reported, thousands of others, like myself, do as well. You can read more about the NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) booster, NMN, and anti-aging, here.

The thing with mice - and most every animal model whose aging pathways have been studied (yeast, worms, fruit flies, dogs and monkeys) - is that their metabolic and stress-resistance pathways relevant to aging are, as scientists refer to it, "conserved". This means that all animal species, from the lowly yeast fungus to the mighty human, seem to have evolved with a similar or same aging pathways, even though we don't have the same lifespan. These pathways are based on so-called nutrient signalling.

The Aging Pathways Associated with Caloric/Dietary Restriction Are Conserved Across Animal Species

In their research paper, Why Is Aging Conserved and What Can We Do about It?, Drs. Jason N. Pitt and Matt Kaeberlein point out that:

"There can no longer be any reasonable debate over whether shared environmental and genetic modifiers of longevity exist; several have been identified, and more will almost certainly be found"

The authors go on to say that the conserved, aging pathways are associated with nutrient signalling, which have to do with dietary restriction (DR), also often referred to as caloric restriction (CR). They both involve a reduction in nutrient availability (aka, food) in the absence of malnutrition (meaning, that the restriction in food is not sufficient to cause malnutrition).

In order for organisms to survive when nutrient levels are disrupted, it is vital for cells to react and respond quickly to any changes. [1]

A variety of different DR interventions have been shown to extend life span in a diverse array of organisms, including numerous studies in yeast, nematodes (worms), fruit flies, mice, and rats, and rhesus monkeys. [2, 3]

While human DR/CR doesn't have the same impact on lifespan as it does in other animal models studied, it does provide numerous benefits, such as a greatly lowered risk for most degenerative conditions of aging, and improvements in overall health biometrics.

Recent studies show that the practice of CR will extend the lifespan of a healthy human, but current data are insufficient to separate the benefits of caloric restriction on various healthspan biometrics (fasting blood sugar, body composition, blood pressure, etc.) to that of overall life expectancy. That said, It's plausible that CR could confer benefits at least as good as those resulting from exercise. If so, it could mean a difference of 5-10 years of life, as well as numerous health benefits.

What Is Exercise Metabolism and What Does NMN Have To Do With It?

Hopefully, you now have a sense for how aging pathways associated with dietary/caloric restriction have been evolutionarily conserved over thousands, if not millions, of years throughout the animal kingdom. This is the reason it's plausible that the improvements in exercise metabolism and weight loss that mice experience from NMN supplementation might confer to humans as well, although that's not been proven.

Before I address the studies that indicate how NMN supplementation boosts exercise metabolism in mice, let's define exercise metabolism with the help of WebMD, which makes these three simple points about exercise metabolism:

  1. Your metabolism contains all the things necessary for your body to turn food into energy and keep you going.

  2. Muscle cells need lots of energy and burn lots of calories -- a lot more than fat cells, even when you're couch surfing.

  3. Anaerobic and aerobic exercise boosts exercise metabolism, especially if you're improving lean body mass (increasing muscle, decreasing fat).

"What does exercise metabolism have to do with NMN", you ask?

Exercise has known beneficial impacts on the metabolic outcomes of obesity. Exercise improves metabolism by up-regulating (boosting) mitochondrial activity through increased levels of NAD+. Recent studies suggest that the NAD+ precursor NMN, a derivative of niacin, acts as an exercise mimetic by increasing NAD+ levels.

What all that means is that exercise is known to improve metabolism in all animal models studied, including us, and this happens via increasing NAD+, a coenzyme essential for life. NMN can also do this -- at least in mice -- by mimicking the effects of exercise has on boosting NAD+.

Let's examine two studies that support this contention.

Research Demonstrates That NMN May Effectively Improves Exercise Metabolism and Weight Loss

There are many research projects that have studied how NAD precursors boost the age-related decline in this essential coenzyme involved in cellular energy metabolism and energy production, with particular focus on exercise metabolism and body composition. I will share the findings of two recent publications.

(1) A study funded by National Health and Medical Research Council and published in 2017 in Science Reports found that 18 days of NMN supplementation had similar beneficial effects to nine weeks of exercise in a mouse model of maternal obesity."Maternal obesity" refers to mice bred to have increased adiposity and liver triglycerides, and decreased glucose tolerance, liver NAD+ levels and citrate synthase activity. These mice were designed to be fat (and had many associated physiologic conditions associated with being fat) in order to test if NMN supplementation might have similar effects on the mice as would exercise; and it did.

(2) In 2019, a study published in May in the Journal of Biomedical Science came to similar conclusions as the one cited above. It found that NMN or nicotinamide riboside (NR) administered to obese mice can prevent the reduction in NAD levels.

Along with NMN, NR is a NAD-booster (or precursor); meaning that this molecule can help increase the level of NAD in all animal models studies, including us. In this study, those mice taking NR experienced suppressed weight gain when fed a high-fat diet, because the NR enhanced energy expenditure, much like exercise would. Mice that took NMN exhibited both higher energy expenditure, were more physically active and the weight gain typically experienced as they age was suppressed.

The authors conclude:

"Thus, administration of NAD precursors [NR and NMN] can ameliorate diet- and age-associated weight gain, and nutritional intervention using NMN and NR may be a promising strategy against obesity."

I'd like to point out that, ProHealth Longevity has its own brand of several NMN products, and we also carry a NR brand. We believe that the research clearly shows that both of these NAD precursors are effective at improving NAD levels as we age, which is very important given that NAD is essential for our metabolic health, yet declines precipitously as we age.

One last thing that's worthy to mention is that scientists are confident that NMN supplementation is safe for humans, but human clinical trials underway to determine if it is as beneficial to us as other animals have yet to be published.


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