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nad+ vs nmn

NAD+ vs NMN: The Major Differences Explained

The quest for eternal youth is as old as human history. While we haven’t discovered the magical elixir, the spotlight in recent years has shone on two intriguing molecules: NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) and NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide). These molecules are hailed for their potential to slow aging, improve metabolism, and bolster mental focus. But what are they, and how do they differ?

What is NAD+?

NAD+ is a coenzyme found in every cell in your body and is critical for cellular metabolism. It plays a vital role in transferring energy from the food we eat to vital cell functions, especially the mitochondrial function—considered the powerhouse of the cell.

NAD+ also activates enzymes like sirtuins, which are essential for DNA repair and cell longevity. Researchers found that NAD+ levels decline as we age, leading to a decrease in mitochondrial function, increased risk of disease, and other aging-related issues [1].

What is NMN?

NMN is a precursor to NAD+. That means your body can convert NMN into NAD+ through a series of chemical transformations. Like NAD+, NMN also has a critical role in energy metabolism. NMN has been popularly used as a supplement, intended to boost NAD+ levels in the body. Research in mice has shown that NMN can improve age-associated physiological decline [2]. Learn about how long it takes for NMN to start working here.

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NAD+ vs NMN: What’s the Difference?


The main difference between NAD+ and NMN lies in bioavailability. NAD+ is a larger molecule and can’t readily enter cells. NMN, being smaller and a precursor to NAD+, can easily slip into cells and then be converted into NAD+ [3].

Accessibility and Cost

NMN supplements are more readily available and are generally considered safer for human consumption. They are also more cost-effective compared to NAD+ supplements or intravenous solutions.


Since NMN converts into NAD+ in the body, it might seem like a no-brainer to go for NMN. However, some studies indicate that NMN must first convert into another molecule (nicotinamide riboside) before converting into NAD+ [4]. This additional step could potentially make NMN less effective than direct NAD+ supplementation, although more research is needed to confirm this.

The Benefits of NAD+ Supplementation and Injections

When it comes to anti-aging, enhancing metabolism, and overall well-being, NAD+ supplementation and injections are becoming increasingly popular options. Let’s dig into some of the most compelling benefits:

Cognitive Function

NAD+ plays a pivotal role in brain health. It assists in DNA repair and the maintenance of neurotransmitter signals, which are vital for optimal cognitive function. Some studies suggest that NAD+ supplementation can slow down brain aging, potentially offering protection against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s [5].

Energy and Metabolism

One of the primary functions of NAD+ is to help convert the food we eat into energy. This molecule is fundamental in cellular respiration, taking part in redox reactions to metabolize fat and glucose, thereby converting them into usable energy. This makes NAD+ vital for maintaining robust metabolic health.

Cellular Repair

NAD+ also activates enzymes known as sirtuins, which are key players in cellular repair. These enzymes help in the repair of damaged DNA and control inflammatory responses. As we age, our ability to repair cellular damage diminishes, but NAD+ supplementation can give our cells the boost they need for effective repair [6].

Immune Function

Studies in animals have shown that NAD+ helps in the regulation of circadian rhythms and the immune response. While research on humans is still in early stages, it’s plausible to think that higher NAD+ levels could improve immune function and overall resilience [7].


Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of NAD+ is its potential anti-aging benefits. It’s no secret that NAD+ levels decline as we age. By supplementing with NAD+, the theory is that we can fight off the physiological and molecular impacts of aging, from wrinkles and hair loss to more serious issues like chronic diseases [8].

The Injection Advantage

While oral supplements are convenient, NAD+ injections provide a more direct and potent route of administration. Injections bypass the digestive system, allowing for immediate and higher cellular uptake. This is often recommended for more acute health conditions and is typically done under medical supervision.

So, if you’re interested in leveling up your wellness game, NAD+ supplementation or injections could be worth exploring. But remember, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before adding any new supplement to your regimen.

The Benefits of NMN Supplementation

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), a supplement recently considered for a ban by the FDA is catching a lot of buzz for its potential to transform the way we approach wellness and aging. As a precursor to NAD+, NMN supplementation is essentially a way to boost levels of this crucial coenzyme in your body. So what exactly can you expect from supplementing with NMN? Let’s dive in.

Enhanced Longevity

One of the most publicized benefits of NMN is its potential role in prolonging lifespan. Studies in mice have shown a significant delay in age-related diseases and even an increase in lifespan when supplemented with NMN [9]. NMN is popular amongst many biohacking communities for its longevity benefit.

Improved Metabolic Health

NMN can increase energy production at the cellular level, enhancing overall metabolic health. It’s been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce symptoms related to obesity and diabetes in animal models [10].

Cognitive Health

NMN has been found to improve cognitive functions like memory and learning. In animal studies, NMN supplementation has shown promise in protecting against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders [11].

Cardiovascular Benefits

NMN can help improve blood flow and overall cardiovascular health. Studies have demonstrated that NMN has the ability to activate certain pathways that improve blood vessel growth and, therefore, cardiovascular function [12].

Muscle Function and Physical Performance

Believe it or not, NMN can even give your physical performance a lift. It has been shown to improve endurance and reduce age-associated weight gain, making it beneficial not just for athletes but for anyone interested in maintaining an active lifestyle as they age [13]. Find out why I stopped taking NMN for a short period here.


A key advantage of NMN over NAD+ is its bioavailability. NMN can easily enter cells where it then gets converted to NAD+, allowing for quicker and more efficient absorption in the body. This means you’re more likely to feel the benefits faster.

NMN supplementation presents a multi-faceted approach to improving both quality of life and longevity. But as always, consult your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplementation regimen.

The Verdict: Which Should You Choose?

If you’re healthy and looking for a general boost in vitality and metabolism, NMN supplements might be the way to go. They are easier to find and often less expensive.

For those with more specific medical concerns or looking for a more potent form of therapy, direct NAD+ supplementation through intravenous methods could be more appropriate, although this would require medical supervision.


Before you rush off to buy these supplements, consult your healthcare provider. These molecules are not magic bullets and should be used as a part of a balanced lifestyle.


  1. “NAD+ in Aging, Metabolism, and Neurodegeneration”
  2. “Metformin in aging and aging-related diseases: clinical applications and relevant mechanisms”
  3. “NAD+ Metabolism and the Control of Energy Homeostasis: A Balancing Act between Mitochondria and the Nucleus”
  4. “Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is transported into mammalian mitochondria”
  5. “NAD+ Supplementation Normalizes Key Alzheimer’s Features and DNA Damage Responses in a New AD Mouse Model with Introduced DNA Repair Deficiency”
  6. “SIRT1 Takes a Backseat to AMPK in the Regulation of Insulin Sensitivity by Resveratrol”
  7. “NAD+ metabolism governs the proinflammatory senescence-associated secretome”
  8. “NAD+ Intermediates: The Biology and Therapeutic Potential of NMN and NR”
  9. “Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice”
  10. “Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an NAD+ Precursor, Rescues Age-Associated Susceptibility to AKI in a Sirtuin 1-Dependent Manner”
  11. “NAD+ Repletion Improves Mitochondrial and Stem Cell Function and Enhances Life Span in Mice”
  12. “Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Supplementation Reverses Vascular Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress with Aging in Mice”
  13. “Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is transported into mammalian mitochondria”

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