You may never look at broccoli the same way again.
Researchers have identified a compound – nocitinamide mononucleotide (NMN), found in avocados, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers and edamame and other natural foods – that has reversed the aging process in mice.
Mice that consumed NMN showed a reversal of cell-based energy loss and a reduction of aging-related signs that include a loss of insulin sensitivity and weight gain.
“We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in aging mice,” said Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, a professor of developmental biology and of medicine, in a news release.
Over a 12-month study, the research team fed mice regular doses of NMN through their drinking water. The NMN-fed mice essentially stopped aging and showed clear signs of acting – physiologically – far younger.
A closer look at the study
The researchers believe that NMN prevents aging by blocking the gradual destruction of energy-creating mechanisms within cells. NMN works by enhancing the production of another substance called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which decreases with age.
Yet past studies had shown that administering NAD directly didn’t work. So the researchers turned to NMN and found that direct doses contained in drinking water had a profound effect.
“We wanted to make sure that when we give NMN through drinking water, it actually goes into the blood circulation and into tissues,” Imai said. “Our data show that NMN absorption happens very rapidly.”
Hopeful that the positive effects on mice will someday translate to humans, researchers kicked off the first phase of a human trial investigating NMN consumption at the Keio University School of Medicine in Japan.
“Since human cells rely on this same energy production process, we are hopeful this will translate into a method to help people remain healthier as they age,” said Imai.