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NMN increases cellular energy metabolism through AMPK activation.

  • NMN increases the activity of AMPK by 1,200% when used to treat human breast cancer cells.
  • As we age, the concentration of NAD+ decreases. This is because NAD+ is an essential molecule for cell energy synthesis, and it’s known to decrease in abundance as people age. However, NMN can help to increase double the concentration of NAD+ in humans, which could be really beneficial for our health.
  • NMN might have anti-aging benefits because it increases cellular NAD+ levels and stimulates AMPK activity, and these results back that up.

What is AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK)?

AMPK is an enzyme found in our cells that plays a critical role in energy metabolism. It’s like a switch that regulates how much energy we take in and expend. AMPK is activated when we’re low on energy, to help us restore balance.

NMN Can Double NAD+ In Humans

Because NAD+ plays a fundamental role in cellular health, boosting levels could help slow down the aging process. Research has shown that nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) can nearly double NAD+ in humans.

Increasing NAD+ levels has also been linked to better metabolic parameters like insulin sensitivity in prediabetic women and muscle oxygen utilization in long-distance runners.

We don’t know the precise mechanism yet, but we do know that increasing NAD+ levels confer these benefits.

In the Journal of Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences, it’s shown that treating human MCF-7 breast cancer cells with 1 mg/mL NMN in culture raises AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity by 1,200%.

The findings suggest that by increasing NAD+ levels, NMN could improve the longevity-associated processes activated by AMPK, including enhanced mitochondrial health and autophagy.

This study suggests that supplements like NMN can help cells produce energy and fight the effects of aging. Yamamoto and colleagues wanted to see what effect NMN would have on AMPK activity, so they gave 1 mg/kg of it to MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and measured the AMPK activity. 

Over the course of 24 hours, the researchers found that AMPK activity increased an astounding 1230.5% after one hour, 506.5% after 12 hours, and 849.2% after 24 hours compared to cells without treatment.

(Kawakami et al., 2022 | Journal of Biomedical Research & Environmental Sciences) NMN dramatically increases the activity of the metabolic health-promoting protein AMPK. After treating MDF-7 human breast cancer cells with 1 mg/mL NMN, AMPK activity increased over 1,200% after one hour, over 500% after 12 hours, and approximately 850% after 24 hours. These results highlight the impact of NMN treatment on increasing AMPK activity.

These findings suggest that NMN treatment can amplify AMPK activity, which promotes processes like mitochondrial production and autophagy – both of which have anti-aging effects.

AMPK has been getting a lot of attention in aging research recently. AMPK regulates cellular energy balance, protects mitochondrial function, and facilitates a cell debris-cleaning process called autophagy.

AMPK is a molecular energy switch that helps to produce ATP.

Age-related faltering of AMPK activity has been linked to reduced energy levels in older adults.

So, if we increase AMPK activity, we can slow down aging and live longer.

The research team led by Yamamoto tested the effects of treating cancer cells with NMN on intracellular NAD+ levels and found that NMN increased NAD+ levels within the MCF-7 cells by more than three times. These results show that NMN increases NAD+ levels in human cells as previous findings have shown.

(Kawakami et al., 2022 | Journal of Biomedical Research & Environmental Sciences) NMN triples intracellular NAD+ levels in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Human MCF-7 breast cancer cells were treated with 1 mg/mL NMN in culture. Light absorbance was then measured to detect the presence of NAD+. Compared to non-treated cells, those that received NMN had more than triple the NAD+ concentrations within them. These results support that NMN treatment substantially increases NAD+ levels in human cells.

What happens to cancer cells when you test them with NMN?

NMN may help keep breast cancer cells young by enhancing the activity of the cell energy-regulating AMPK.

A big problem with the study was that it only looked at a single type of breast cancer cell that might have already had issues with AMPK activation.

Yamamoto and colleagues didn’t have to use cells from diseased tissues like breast cancer. They could have used other cell lines, like endothelial cells.

A limitation of the study is that it uses breast cancer cells, and we don’t know much about how diseased tissue affects AMPK activity and NAD+ levels.

To see if NMN has an impact on aging, future studies could look at blood plasma ATP levels.

The recommended dose of NMN is between 250 mg and 500 mg, so we could test the effects of different doses.

This experiment could take a few months to find out if NMN potentially boosts AMPK activity and NAD+ levels and if it also results in higher ATP production.

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