Posted on Jun 23, 2016, 6 a.m.
The Keio University in Japan and Washington University in St. Louis will begin a joint clinical study to test the safety and effectiveness of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) on a group of 10 healthy people.
Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), a compound that has shown to slow the aging process in animals, is now going to be used in a clinical study to test its safety and effectiveness in humans. Keio University’s Research Ethics Committee is going to explore the appropriateness of the idea, and if the plan is accepted, Washington University in St. Louis and Keio University will begin this study in Japan next month. The researchers will then give the compound, nicotinamide mononucleotide to ten healthy people and study whether NMN can improve bodily functions. A research group including Prof. Shinichiro Imai of Washington University found NMN could potentially extend people’s life spans by activating a gene known for its anti-aging effects called sirtuin. Sirtuins are able to silence certain genes, including ones that promote aging. When mice were given NMN, it was found that the compound can reverse age-related eyesight and metabolism deteriorations. “We’ve confirmed a remarkable effect in the experiment using mice, but it’s not clear yet how much [the compound] will affect humans,” Imai said. “We’ll carefully conduct the study, which I hope will result in important findings originating in Japan.” Next fiscal year, the government will contribute full-fledged support to anti-aging studies, promoting research in this field and benefiting the NMN clinical trial.
Nicotinamide mononucleotide is actually a compound that all cells in the body naturally produce. The researchers at Washington University had previously found that this compound restored normal blood sugar metabolism in diabetic mice. They had noticed that mice given NMN also lived longer and aged slower than mice who didn't have it.
Metformin, a drug that has been widely used to treat diabetes for about 60 years, is also being tested on humans for it's anti-aging properties. Metformin has demonstrated it's ability to slow the aging process in certain microbes and mammals. To analyze the advantage outside treatment of diabetes, the Food and Drug Administration has green-lighted a clinical trial in the U.S. for what has become known as the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) study.