NMN and Mental Health: Depression

NMN’s rising advantage in the science and health industry is continuously producing results that benefit a lot of health concerns that need concrete solutions. A recent study links the relationship between NMN supplementation and its helpful effects on mental health, particularly in depression.

Alleviating Depressive-like Behavior

In this study, it shows that NMN has a promising ability to alleviate depression-like behavior in a mouse model of CORT-induced depression.

Depression is a big mental health concern and has drastic effects on an individual’s health and life in general. In the study, it is shown that NMN could alleviate depression-like behaviors by improving mitochondrial energy metabolism by means of enhancing the activity of SIRT3. Transcriptome and metabolome analysis demonstrated that NMN inhibited CORT-induced lipid synthesis, stimulated β-oxidation and glycolysis, and improved the TCA cycle to enhance ATP production in mitochondria.

NMN has been shown to stimulate oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria, which is the metabolic pathway where cells use enzymes to oxidize nutrients.  

How was the study conducted?

  • Mice were subcutaneously injected with corticosterone (CORT; 20 mg/kg) each day for 6 weeks
  • Another group was given an additional NMN dose (300 mg/kg) by oral gavage in the last 2 weeks
  • Transcriptome analyses (complete set of transcripts in a specific type of cell or tissue to come up with a new understanding of the genes), metabolome analyses (detects changes in the endogenous metabolites generated by the biochemical pathways), and transient gene knockdown (a DNA of an organism is genetically modified) were conducted in primary mouse cells

What do the analyses reveal?

The analyses revealed that in depressed mice, NMN reduced the mRNA expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis, stimulation of β-oxidation and glycolysis, and increased production of acetyl-coenzyme A for the tricarboxylic acid cycle.

Another important point in the study is that NMN supplementation increased NAD+ levels to enhance sirtuin (SIRT)3 activity, thereby improving mitochondrial energy metabolism in the hippocampus and liver of CORT-treated mice. 

While there are indeed limitations of this study as to the size of the sample group and the lack of using more than one type of primary mouse cell, the study provides solid evidence that emphasized NMN’s necessary role in cellular energy production and as an effective treatment for depression.

NMN as a NAD+ Precursor

NMN is one of the five precursors of NAD+, which are molecules that turn into NAD+ after a series of chemical transformations. Alongside NMN are Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), Nicotinic Acid (NA), Nicotinamide (Nam), and Tryptophan (Trp). NMN is derived and a compound of NR and NAD+, an anti-aging and effective therapeutic agent to the body.

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