Could an unassuming little white pill that has been shown to reverse diabetes in mice, slow the ageing process? The buzz is all about an actual supplement in the here and now- not some futuristic, fantasy movie, and its name: Nicotinamide Mono-nucleotide.
This substance is a naturally occurring compound in the body- and is also found in milk. (Drink up?) It works by helping convert food into fuel. It also helps to stop the loss of vital neural stem cells that are missing a protein (thanks to the aging process) and are key in producing Nicotinamide Mono-nucleotide (NMN) in our bodies.
Allure.com’s Daily Beauty Reporter’s article tells us that in recent studies by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, some lucky mice, were given nicotinamide mono nucleotide (NMN) in their drinking water. Not only did their blood sugar levels even out but they lived longer and aged more slowly.
“We gave the mice NMN in their drinking water for 12 months,” says Liana Roberts Stein, a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University. “And at the higher dose, we saw a rescue of the neural stem cell pool in aged mice.” (NMN) is a precursor of NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine nucleotide) and NADH biosynthesis. However, NMN should not be confused with nicotinamide riboside (NR) and other available compounds already on the market. They may have certain similar properties, especially at a genetic level but NMN is decidedly stronger than NR.
Another experiment, this time by by Professor David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School has also resulted in exciting findings. When he and his colleagues injected NMN into two year-old mice, improvements to muscle (a reduction in muscle atrophy) were noted after only one week. The mice also showed improved insulin resistance and reduced inflammation, making the older mice indistinguishable from younger ones.
Dr Nigel Turner, a pharmacologist at the University of New South Wales, puts it very clearly. “It’s like a 60 year-old being similar to a 20 year-old on some measures”. Professor Sinclair added: “If these results stand, then ageing may be a reversible condition, if it is caught early”. A research team from Keio University in Japan are also taking a close look at the supplement and general trials are slated to begin next month.
Is the fountain of youth now available in a little white pill? We humans shouldn’t toss out our anti-ageing moisturizers just yet. Often what works on our little furry friends does not work in the same way on humans. But until then we can always dream.
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