Both Dr. David Sinclair and NMN are longevity pioneers:
- Dr. David Sinclair is a pioneer because of his groundbreaking research into aging and longevity.
- NMN is a pioneering molecule because it is one of the first longevity substances that actually has a lot of science behind it.
Dr. David Sinclair, professor at Harvard University, has for decades researched aging, more specifically the role of sirtuins in aging. Sirtuins are proteins that repair DNA damage and maintain the epigenome which regulates gene activity (the epigenome determines which genes are switched on or off).
During aging, DNA repair mechanisms go down, and the epigenome becomes more dysregulated.
David Sinclair researched specific substances that can improve the activity of sirtuins, such as resveratrol, pterostilbene, nicotinamide (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). These substances could improve DNA and epigenomic stability, and mitigate aging. NMN seems to be the most promising of these.
Professor Sinclair is also famous because of his unapologetic view on aging: he believes that it’s possible not to just slow down aging, but even to partially reverse it. This would mean making old people younger again.
This can make sense, given that in recent years scientists have found that it’s possible not just to slow down aging, but to actually reverse the aging process. For example, through epigenetic reprogramming, scientists were able to make old mice young again (R).
David Sinclair has co-founded a company to actually achieve this, called Iduna. This company wants to use epigenetic reprogramming factors (called Yamaka factors) to reverse aging in specific tissues. Iduna is a subsidiary of Life Biosciences, a company that wants to impact aging using the latest technologies.
NMN and aging
However, David Sinclair is also interested in small-molecules to impact aging. One of the molecules he focuses on is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). NMN is converted into NAD+, which is a cofactor of sirtuins and other DNA-repairing molecules.
NMN helps to maintain and repair damaged DNA and the epigenome (R). The epigenome plays a very important role in aging: the older we get, the more the epigenome gets dysregulated, which leads to the wrong expression of genes, and to many other problems in the cell.
Another study even showed that NMN can restore the fertility in old animals (R). This is interesting, given that egg cells are very prone to aging. Egg cells have also much in common with stem cells, given they are the ultimate stem cells: they give rise to a whole new human being. Given the beneficial effects of NMN on aging egg cells, NMN could perhaps also improve stem cell health, which studies seem to indicate (R,R).
Declining stem cell function is one of the reasons why we age. In his book, Lifespan, David Sinclair also describes case reports of elderly, post-menopausal women who started to get their periods again. Studies in mice seem to corroborate that NMN can improve fertility by reducing DNA damage and mitochondrial decline in egg cells (R).
The daily NMN habit of Professor Sinclair
Dr. David Sinclair wrote in his book, Lifespan, that he takes NMN on a daily basis. He adds NMN to his yogurt for breakfast. NMN is orally very bioavailable.
Sinclair takes 1,000 mg of NMN in one dose in the morning. This is a lot. 250 mg of NMN per day would also suffice. In fact, doses between 250 to 500 mg per day could be ideal.
It’s interesting that Dr. David Sinclair takes NMN, and not NR. Given that Dr. Sinclair is a world expert in NMN and NR and similar molecules, it seems he is convinced that NMN is better than NR.
Also, Dr. Sinclair is a co-founder of a company called Metro Biotech, that wants to develop molecules based on NMN to treat aging and aging-related diseases.
David Sinclair seems to believe that NMN is better than NR. And indeed, recent research seems to support this. Studies seem to suggest that NMN has more extensive effects on health and aging compared to NR.
Also, NMN is one step further down the pathway that converts NR and NMN molecules in NAD+, which is the cofactor of the DNA-repairing sirtuins.
We wrote extensively about the difference between NMN and NR on our blog.