NMN appears to boost endurance in amateur runners, study finds

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

NMN appears to boost endurance in amateur runners, study finds

Related tags: NMN, aerobic, skeletal muscle

Supplementation with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) appears to increase aerobic capacity in amateur runners, say researchers, who think the molecule plays a role in enhancing O2 use in the skeletal muscle.

Additional study findings suggest the combination of NMN and exercise further improves ventilatory threshold among healthy young and middle-aged people.

This improvement of aerobic capacity is a dose-dependent, with large dosage of NMN with exercise seemingly having better effects. Crucially, the improvement is muscle, not cardiac-related.

“NMN as adjunct treatment may help to improve performance during exercise training,”​ the researchers claim

“Exercise training combining with NMN supplementation may be a novel and practical strategy to increase endurance performance of athletes.”

In the six-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-arm clinical trial, 48 young and middle-aged amateur runners were enrolled.

They were then randomised into one of four groups: the low dosage group (300 milligrams per day (mg/day) NMN), the medium dosage group (600 mg/day NMN), the high dosage group (1200 mg/day NMN), and the control group (placebo).

Each group consisted of ten male participants and two female participants. Each training session was 40–60 min, and the runners trained 5–6 times each week.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing was performed at baseline and after the intervention, at 6 weeks, to assess the aerobic capacity of the runners.

Ventilatory threshold

The team from Guangzhou Sport University in China found significant increases in how efficient the body circulated oxygen (ventilatory threshold) in the medium and high dosage groups compared with the control group.

However, there was no difference in VO2max, O2-pulse, VO2 related to work rate, and peak power after the 6-week treatment from baseline in any of these groups.

“These results indicate that NMN supplementation was able to further increase the ventilatory threshold compared to exercise alone.

“The improvement may be attributed to an improved ability of O2 utilisation by skeletal muscle, as no changes in VO2max and O2−pulse and ∆O2/∆WR were observed instead of improvement of cardiac function.

“Our data suggest that skeletal muscle is one of the most sensitive tissues to NMN in humans,”​ the team adds.

What is NMN?

Among the range of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) precursors, nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), two forms of water-soluble vitamin B3, have been the focus of NAD+ precursor research in recent years due to their safety.

Such studies have pointed to NMN administration improving mitochondrial function in various metabolic organs, including skeletal muscle.

Exercise combined with NMN administration further increased exercise endurance and rebuilt the skeletal muscle capillary number and density to youthful levels in elderly mice,

Additionally, it increased the capillary/myofibre ratio in the quadriceps compared to NMN alone or exercise alone in young mice.

Source: J Int Soc Sports Nutr

Published online: doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00442-4

“Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation enhances aerobic capacity in amateur runners: a randomized, double-blind study.”

Authors: Liao, B et al

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