A Keio University-Washington University in St. Louis research team announced on July 11 that it has begun a clinical trial of a medication with possible anti-aging effects.
Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) has been shown to rejuvenate nerve tissue and certain internal organs in animal studies. The current trial is the first conducted on humans, and if NMN is shown to be safe, researchers hope it will have applications in the prevention and treatment of aging-related diseases.
NMN is in fact produced naturally by many organs in the body, and then converted into a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD activates the protein sirtuin, a protein involved in aging control. However, the amount of NAD in a person's system declines as they age, causing their eyes and regenerative functions to decline, as well as diabetes and other illnesses.
In studies on mice, administering NMN was shown to improve diabetic conditions and halt the deterioration of nerve tissue and blood vessels.
The Japan-U.S. research team has started its clinical trial on 10 healthy men aged 40 to 60. Over six months, the subjects will take different doses of NMN, and the researchers will take blood samples and track the men's blood pressure and body temperature to assess the effects of the medication including its safety.
"We are thinking that it may be possible to compensate for the decline in naturally produced NMN with certain foods or supplements," said team member and Keio University professor Hiroshi Ito.