NMN vs NR - The Truth
Many of our customers have asked us what is the best:
NMN or NR?
There has been a move away from Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) supplements since 2019 and even more so in 2020 towards Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) and Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) supplements.
They do have one thing in common - they are both NAD precursors.
And regardless of the debate between NR fans and NMN fans, they are on the same team.
The dietary supplement, Vitamin B3, encompasses nicotinamide, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide riboside (NR) which are NAD precursor.
Many NR proponents make the case that because NMN has to be degraded to NR in order to cross the membrane of some cells, it is a better route for people to increase their NAD levels.
However, this may not be the case with NMN as you will see why...
Molecules: NMN vs NR
NMN & NR molecules are smaller than NAD+ molecules and NAD+ is 2x the size of NR & NMN.
Out of the two, NR is smaller, and NMN needs to be broken down to fit into the cell.
All 3 molecules have a low molecular weight and are absorbable through our capillaries under our tongues (sublingual) that deliver straight to the bloodstream.
This allows the molecules to bypass the stomach and liver.
Both NAD+ & NMN are widely taken sublingually as the taste is palatable, whereas NR has to be taken in pill-form like TruNiagens nicotinamide riboside supplement.
Another downside to NR is that it is not stable by itself and therefore it needs chloride to make it stable which is why you'll see this added to the ingredients in TruNiagens NR supplement.
The taste of Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride is unpalatable as powder-form also which is why it needs to be taken in capsules or pills.
Because it has to be taken in capsule form, it must pass through the stomach and liver where it's metabolised to the less effective nicotinamide.
Bioavailability of NMN & NR
In layman terms, bioavailability means how much of something is absorbed into your bloodstream that has an effect.
The main argument between both sides on the NR & NMN teams is around the bioavailability of each one.
Both NMN and NR are mainly digested in the GI tract + liver before they move from your heart to the rest of your body.
If NR does reach your bloodstream, it is unstable and almost instantly degraded.
In the Nikiforov study, it showed the degradation of NR to NAM in less than 60 minutes and the stability of NMN maintaining levels in the blood.
However, NMN was shown in old mice to be absorbed directly from the gut into the circulation within 2-3 minutes.
SUMMARY: Studies show NR supplementation does not increase NR levels in considerable amounts (i.e. the juice is not worth squeeze), but Nicotinamide Mononucleotide is found in the blood at 10x the levels compared to NR.
Human Study Shows Safety of NMN
There has been a human study of NMN which studied 10 men in Japan on single doses of 100mg, 250mg & 500mg.
In all 3 dosages, no adverse effects were found.
NAD+ wasn't measured, but MeNAM 2Py 7 4Py (metabolites) were - both are end products of NAD+.
The measurements of these two metabolites showed an increase over 3 hours and they appeared in the blood of the men within 60 minutes.
This is in stark contrast to the study Dr Brenner carried out where he consumed 1,000mg of NR.
Dr Brenner's levels of Me2Py & Me4Py only started to increase after 162 minutes.
When you take an NMN supplement sublingually, you will notice an immediate effect compared to an NR supplement which you may not feel anything from.
Can You Take NMN and NR Together?
There have been no studies on taking NMN & NR together, and it would be best to test both separately and find which one you respond better to.
You may be wasting your time (and money) taking both NMN & NR together as studies show that the majority of the time, NMN is turned into NR which is then turned into NAD+.
However, a professor from Washington University, Shin-ichiro Imai, showed in his study that NMN can turn straight into NAD+ without having to turn into NR via a new pathway - it is noted that the conversion to NAD+ from NMN happened only in the cells of the gut.
In regards to performance, a study showed that NMN did increase endurance at 200mg dosage, whereas NR didn't - this could be due to NMN having a higher bioavailability than NR.
Both NR and NMN have shown to increase Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD Levels), but the recent studies are showing the efficacy of NMN now the research behind NMN is catching up with NR.
Clinical trials will be able to show us a definite conclusion as to which is the best out of the two, and until those clinical trials accumulate, we won't be able to draw a definitive answer.
What they both do, however, is act as NAD precursors and increase NAD levels.
The ultimate goal for everyone here is to increase NAD+ in the body.
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