NMN supplements have become extremely popular the last few years as an anti-aging intervention.
The rise in popularity can largely be attributed to David Sinclair’s 2019 book, Lifespan, where he discusses NMN and the research from his lab at Harvard.
Since then, more research has continued to pour out about NMN and its link to longevity.
I’m usually skeptical of new products, and definitely skeptical when its popularity rides on the backs of one person and their bestselling book.
However, in the last few years, I’ve heard recommendations from other doctors I trust, like Dr. Peter Attia. And Sinclair has the respect of other great scientists in the public eye, like the prolific Andrew Huberman. Additionally, recent research continues to affirm its potential.
To me, then, I see NMN as an emerging intervention for anti-aging, and I’m looking much closer at the research. Clearly there’s something there, and the emerging questions over the next few years will be who it’s for, at what doses and frequency, and what’s the best way to take it?
Okay, for starters, what is this molecule we’re talking about?
You can see this fancy-looking molecule right here. With its sexy-looking phosphate group (that phosphate has really been hitting the gym lately), and its ribose sugar to let you know it’s always up for a good time.
On a conceptual level, you may remember a molecule called NAD+ from high school biology and the dreaded Krebs Cycle. NMN is a precursor to NAD+. If you have more NMN, you’ll make more NAD+.
So to grossly oversimplify complex scientific processes, NMN plays a critical role in energy production. Remember that whole “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell” thing. Well, that’s where NMN is working its magic. Inside the mitochondria.
Practically speaking, NMN has extensive research as an anti-aging molecule.
On a mechanistic level, NMN can improve our health and longevity by providing fuel for a class of enzymes called “sirtuins.” Sirtuins are enzymes that help turn genes on and off as needed. Basically, these sirtuins can “turn on” longevity genes that keep us feeling young and spry. NMN can increase NAD levels, which increases sirtuin activity, which is, researchers are discovering, one of the key mechanisms for slowing down aging.
Think of sirtuins like Mike Wazowskis of the cell, always keeping the Sulleys on task. You can’t have a successful cell without them.
Sirtuins also increase during exercise and fasting, both of which have shown as key players in improving longevity.
Again, I’m oversimplifying complex processes here, so if you want to go into the nitty-gritty, I suggest first listening to some podcasts with Sinclair, or diving into the research yourself. Maybe at some point I’ll write something more substantial on it.
Today, we’re here to talk about action steps, and the best NMN supplements so you can take advantage of this purported fountain of youth.
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Best Overall: Renue by Science Citrus Sublingual Powder
Best Liposomal: Renue by Science Liposomal Capsules
Best Bulk: Renue by Science Micronized Powder
You’ll see Renue by Science featured several times in this list, and that’s for a few reasons, which we discuss in the How We Ranked section of this article. One of them, though, is because longevity is what they do. It’s their whole thing, and they’re damn good at it. All their products are not only third-party tested, but tested in an FDA-approved facility.
(This comes in contrast to most of the supplement industry, which is not FDA approved so companies can put almost whatever crap they want in their products and get away with it.)
Most NMN products won’t live up to the hype because NMN when ingested on its own isn’t particularly bioavailable. This is a fancy way of saying your stomach acid destroys the NMN before it gets to the cells.
In contrast, Renue by Science’s powder you take sublingually. This means you put the powder under your tongue and allow it to dissolve, increasing the amount you actually absorb.
It comes in a citrus-flavored powder which is quite delicious. Imagine a Fun Dip-esque experience, except something that’s good for you.
Okay, if you aren’t a fan of healthy Fun Dip, Renue has a liposomal capsule version. As I said, a lot of the NMN in normal capsules succumbs to your stomach acid. In contrast, liposomal capsules are surrounded by a protective layer, so it makes it into your bloodstream.
This means you can take a lower dose, and not waste your money. There are a few liposomal NMN products, and Renue has the best cost per gram, the strictest third-party testing, and they specialize in these products, making it our top choice.
If you’re looking for a buy-in-bulk option, Renue by Science also carries NMN at just $1.45 per gram. That’s about four times the value of most other products. It’s not liposomal, but it’s not a capsule you swallow either. It’s sublingual. So you just put the powder under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Early research shows this isn’t as bioavailable as liposomal options, but it’s better than just straight NMN that you swallow.
So while this is the most economical option, it’s the worst tasting one too. Now, it’s not terrible. It’s not as bad as unflavored leucine (that shit is terrible.) But it does have a bitter taste. Kind of like a weird-tasting lemon, is how I would describe it.
If you’re a wuss about things that taste bad, I’d go with either a capsule option or a flavored sublingual option.
If you pride yourself on stomaching unflavored supplements, then this is the choice for you.
Codeage Liposomal NMN has a similar profile to Renue’s liposomal NMN. However it also has some additional ingredients. Each serving has 150mg of trans-resveratrol, which is also a promising ingredient in anti-aging research. It also has quercetin, which can help with heart health, so if longevity is your priority, this could be an all-in-one product for you.
One of the knocks on NMN is it can make you feel a bit fatigued, and Codeage’s product contains b vitamins to keep your energy up.
This product is pricier than others, and resveratrol is a powerful ingredient that’s not for everyone, so unless you want both, stick to a pure NMN product.
Codeage is cGMP certified and third-party tested.
Quicksilver scientific specializes in liposomal products. Unlike the previous two products, these don’t come in capsules, it comes in spray. This product also maintains strict third-party testing and a focus on high deliverability.
The knock on Quicksilver’s NMN is that it’s a much smaller dose per serving. Each serving has only 50mg of NMN, compared to Active and Codeage which have 250mg and 500mg per serving respectively.
Okay, this one isn’t an NMN product, it’s a direct NAD product. Now, there are differences here, but practically speaking, the benefits are similar.
This product avoids the stomach and mouth altogether. It’s probably the fastest way to your bloodstream. Let’s use our street smarts here and remember that this is why people usually snort drugs. It’s fast-acting.
The bottle also comes with a remarkable 120 servings for a reasonable price. Again, Active by Science is proving they’ll have the best prices on the market and remain among the highest quality. (Not to mention the innovative nasal spray.)
It doesn’t top our list because it’s not technically an NMN product, but if your goal is anti-aging, it should still be on your shortlist of considerations.
Ultra Health prides themselves on producing pharmaceutical-grade products, and they have the documentation to back it up. There’s little question about the quality. The downside to this product is the bioavailability question. It comes in a capsule, but it’s not liposomal, so more of the NMN will likely be destroyed by our stomach acid.
However, it is competitively priced and a pure product. If you decide to go for a non-liposomal or sublingual NMN supplement, be sure to read our section on how to increase absorption, so you still get the most out of it.
Morphogen Nutrition’s MorphoVITA product is another all-in-one longevity supplement. Each serving contains 250mg of NMN along with Sibinol (a derivative of resveratrol) and a full gram of broccoli sprout powder.
All of this is packed into a third-party tested, competitively priced product. The knock on this product is the bioavailability of the NMN, because it’s not sublingual or liposomal.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive longevity product, MorphoVITA is a solid option. Also, Morphogen is a small company built on transparency and integrity, and I can personally attest to their quality.
ProHealth Longevity also has a lozenge option. Lozenge is a fancy term for a cough drop-like experience. It’s like a little candy. Per dose, this is about 4x more expensive than the sublingual powder they have, but compared to other companies, the price is still decent.
Double Wood Supplements is another quality company with third-party testing. Their NMN product has been around quite a while and they use organic ingredients in their product. It’s competitively priced, but not the best price around. And they don’t use a liposomal or sublingual delivery, so you’re going to lose out on a bit of bioavailability.
A bunch of factors went into the ranking system. In reality, the whole one-through-ten ranking system isn’t perfect, as some products might suit you better than others based on a number of factors. So here’s how we made our decisions, and you can use it to help you decide which product is best for you.
The supplement industry is filled with crap. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which means supplement companies get away with mislabeling their products, putting in banned and dangerous substances, and more.
For any supplement, that’s why it’s important to choose companies with third-party testing and GMP (good manufacturing practices) certification. Every product on our list fulfills this. For us it’s a prerequisite.
We gave companies a nudge if they take this to the next level. Companies like Renue by Science and Ultra Health display their results transparently, and UltraHealth even uses pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
Straight NMN won’t all make it through your stomach. You’ll lose some to digestion. A liposomal delivery protects the NMN so you absorb it more. Or you can bypass this all together and go with a sublingual delivery system, which comes in the form of some powders or even lozenges. Finally, nasal delivery is a great option.
Early research shows liposomal delivery has the highest percentage of delivery, so you can take the lowest dose and get the most effect. The nasal delivery is most unclear, and may even be better. We just don’t know yet.
If supplements taste bad, or if you have to mix them a ton, or if there are other roadblocks, then you’re less likely to take it. The experience needs to be able to fit into your routine. That’s why we bias good-tasting or capsule products over unflavored powders, even if they’re the best value.
The maxim goes that the best workout is the one that you do, and the same goes for NMN supplementation. If something, like a good-tasting product or a simple delivery system, will help you actually take it regularly, then do that.
Finally, we only selected products that weren’t outrageously priced for what you’re getting. We gave a nudge to those which are even better priced, like Renue’s bulk powder.
The delivery system is one method to increase absorption. But it’s not the only way. While the research is super early and this is purely speculative right now, some have reported that anything high in a flavonoid called apigenin can improve absorption of NMN. Parsley, chamomile, celery, and artichokes are foods high in apigenin.
So grab a cup of chamomile tea or sprinkle some parsley on your dinner. I personally love using celery as a spoon for my peanut butter jar.
It’s unclear if this will help, but these are all healthy foods anyway, so at the worst you’ll just be… eating healthier.
Yes, you can. Broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, and tomatoes mark a few foods that have high NMN. Raw honey also seems to help. Like all supplements, they’re meant to supplement. Eating a high-veggie, nutrient-dense diet will always be the foundation.
The truth is, if you want to live longer and have a higher quality of life, supplements won’t really do anything if you’re not exercising regularly (by doing something like one of our training programs), eating a nutritious diet with lots of vegetables, and getting high-quality sleep. That’s the best life-extension protocol out there.
NAD is at its highest in the morning and its lowest in the evening at the onset of sleep. Actual, NAD and one of the sirtuin genes it actives, SIR1, help regulate our circadian rhythm. Generally the best time to take NMN is in the morning.
Anecdotally, some people have used NMN while traveling to combat jet lag, with great success.
Of course, we have to define “young” here. I’m thinking of people under, let’s say, 30. I haven’t seen any convincing research that it’s going to be effective for you people. And I think when we look at the mechanisms, there are diminishing returns.
NMN works because it restores NAD levels, but young people already have very high NAD levels. In theory they could go up even higher, or they could be tapped out. I haven’t seen any research one way or the other.
A more effective strategy would be to get your NAD blood levels tested so you know your baseline. Then you can see a drop off, and know when to start taking an NMN supplement. That’s what I’m personally doing (I’m 23), so I’ll let you all know in a few years.
For more on longevity-related products, you can check out our list of The Best Glutathione Supplements, which is a great supplement for overall health, and The Best Berberine Supplements, which targets another longevity mechanism, The AMPK proteins.