Studies on mice may reveal potential anti-aging remedies for humans, scientists say. Photo by Anna Tyurina/Shutterstock
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The natural compound NMN was found to reduce signs of aging in mice in a study conducted by scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine.
The study is the latest follow-up to prior research on NMN's anti-aging properties. In the experiment conducted by the research team at Washington University in St. Louis, scientists examined how the natural compound can be used to restore cells' ability to produce energy. The results were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Typically, NMN is consumed naturally in a variety of foods including broccoli, edamame, avocado and cabbage. The research team reports they were able to create a more direct pathway for the compound to interact with cells in the bodies of mice by dissolving it in drinking water.
"We wanted to make sure that when we give NMN through drinking water, it actually goes into the blood circulation and into tissues," Shin-ichiro Imai explained in a press release. "Our data show that NMN absorption happens very rapidly."
The research team studied three groups of healthy male mice beginning at 5 months old. The first was fed water with a high dose of NMN, with the second group fed a low dose and a third group receiving no NMN at all.
Mice who received the natural compound were found to have improved skeletal muscle, liver function, bone density, immune function, and demonstrated elevated levels of physical activity. However, these results were only seen in older mice. The research team suggests the body loses its ability to make its own NMN over time, and thus its effects are more apparent in older test subjects.
Studies on the anti-aging properties of NMN are still ongoing. Researchers are confident the effects observed in mice will be seen with human test subjects.
"We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in aging mice," Imai continued. "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."