One of the most pressing health issues for all people is related to metabolism, which can ultimately be reduced to the energy the body produces and consumes, in relation to diet and the presence of physical exercise.
The cellular capacity to manufacture energy decreases as we grow older, for reasons that still baffle the scientific world.
However, the steady loss of efficiency in our energy supplies may be a key factor contributing to this situation and an important reason for the aging process as well.
A new study, published Oct. 27 in the journal Cell Metabolism by scientists at the Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis, says that giving healthy mice a natural compound named nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) compensates for the loss of energy production.
Among the results, the compensation in reducing the energy production, as well as other typical aging signs such as gradual weight gain, loss of insulin sensitivity or less physical activity, are some of the most important.
"This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice," noted Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, and professor of developmental medicine.
As we age, the body starts to lose the potential to create nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is an essential element when it comes to energy production. Previous research conducted by Imai and a co-senior author revealed that NAD is only effective when not given directly to mice. This led the experts to the conclusion that they should come up with an indirect form of administration in order to improve the levels of NAD in mice.
So NMN was what they've come up with, a composite that would pass as an indirect source in the supply chain. The substance is also found in natural food products. From broccoli, to cabbage, or avocado and cucumbers, the new study suggests that all these vegetables can be used to slow the aging process.
According to the research, it only takes 3 minutes for the composite to appear in the mice's blood, if administered by dissolving it in water. Consequently, what the researchers proved is that once present in the blood, NMN will immediately be transformed into NAD on the level of multiple tissues.
Among the many positive effects of this supplementation, the scientists found that liver function, bone density, insulin sensitivity, skeletal muscle, eye function, body weight and immune function all improved, exclusively in older mice.
More research is needed before making this product available to the large public, and the researchers plan on conducting more experiments on the matter in order to improve this anti-aging formula.