A Small Clinical Trial for Nicotinamide Mononucleotide in Japan

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is one of a small number of molecules that might very modestly slow some of the effects of aging, based on a few initial results from animal studies. Recently, news has emerged of a forthcoming small trial in humans to be conducted by the Japanese research community. NMN is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), important in mitochondrial function, which is in turn important in the progression of degenerative aging. At this point in time skepticism is the appropriate response, however, given the small amount of data for beneficial effects in animals and the past history of this sort of research, which typically starts with hype and ends with nothing of any use. Drugs to tinker with the operation of metabolism in order to modestly slow aging are in any case a bad use of time and effort when there are potential means of rejuvenation that might be developed instead, based on repair of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging. Thus, all in all, this news is of greatest interest for the insight it provides into changing opinions and support for the goal of treating aging in Japanese society:

Researchers plan to begin a joint clinical study in Japan to test the safety and effectiveness in humans of a compound that is gradually being proved to retard the aging process in animals, scientists have said. If approved, researchers plan to begin giving the compound - nicotinamide mononucleotide (see below) or NMN - to about 10 healthy people to confirm its safety. They will then examine whether NMN can improve functions of the human body. The clinical study is scheduled to begin as early as next month. The planned clinical study will use NMN by treating it as food. If it is found to be safe for humans and has any benefits, NMN will likely be distributed as a product similar to "food with functional claims."

Progress in the study of a substance believed to help slow the aging process may reduce medical and nursing-care expenses, according to specialists. How to prolong people's healthy life span is an important task for Japan's rapidly aging society. The study of the reportedly age-retarding substance may make it possible for elderly people to live their daily lives free of restrictions. Starting next fiscal year, the Japanese government will make full-fledged efforts to promote projects aimed at slowing the aging process, using a large amount of budgetary appropriations for this endeavor. The move is expected to promote research activities in this field of study.

Link: http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620


I'm not excited by the NMN study as the original NAD research by Sinclair didn't show a functional improvement in old muscle nor has any follow up study of which I'm aware. Also, reading through the many comments by people on LongeCity who've taken NR to increase NAD+ levels I don't see strong evidence of rejuvenated muscle performance in old people.

However it is very good news that Japan is funding this effort. Both Japan and China are facing an aging demographic crisis. With their rational scientific attitude toward biotech, genetics, and longevity I expect them to lead the development and use of rejuvenation therapies. Of course many will be ineffective but if even a few provide modest life extension that may make the difference for those of us who are already old.

Posted by: Annonymous at June 27th, 2016 7:19 AM

Yes, it is a pity it is not a small clinical trial for the allotopic expression of all 13 mitochondrially encoded genes in the muscle and neurons.

Maybe if you could deliver cas9 proteins to cells (rather than just plasmid DNA for them) to avoid 20 years of expression of the cas9. You'd still have to deliver the DNA for the 13 genes. Maybe a protein or DNA nanocage of some sort could deliver all this material?

Posted by: jim at June 27th, 2016 2:02 PM

I think mitochondrially targeted antioxidants such s MitoQ hold more promise in this area

Posted by: Amomynous at July 11th, 2016 9:45 PM

How do I get to be in a clinical trial for this?

Posted by: Emily French at October 11th, 2016 11:00 AM

@Emily French: You can just buy it, I believe. So look up the dosage in the trial, buy it, and take it. Personally I don't think that's worth the effort versus, say, putting in more effort on a lower calorie diet and regular exercise, but each to their own.

Posted by: Reason at October 11th, 2016 1:00 PM


Is NMN in the powder form stable at room temperature ?


Posted by: Paresh dave at November 20th, 2016 1:24 AM

What dose of nmn was taken in the trial?

Posted by: Lin at March 26th, 2017 6:29 PM

Sinclair himself takes nmn, according to an interview i heard. So that got me interested in it.

Posted by: Susan at May 16th, 2021 3:17 AM
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