FDA Strips NMN Of Dietary Supplement Status—Will NAD Be Next?

NMN Banned

If you purchase the anti-aging supplement NMN on Amazon, you’ll have to find a new supplier, as the world’s largest online retailer banned the sale of beta-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) products starting March 14, 2023.

The announcement by Amazon follows a decision late last year by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to strip NMN of its New Dietary Ingredients (NDI) status. This essentially means that NMN will no longer be considered a dietary supplement. 

For those that take NMN, this decision by the FDA and subsequent banning by Amazon is very concerning. 

What Is NMN? 

NMN is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) and stands for nicotinamide mononucleotide. If you’re familiar with amino acids, the building blocks of protein, nucleotides are the equivalent for your DNA and RNA. The genetic blueprint instructions and the proteins involved in carrying out those instructions heavily depend on nucleotides. 

NMN has generated excitement in the field of anti-aging. This is because NMN converts into another substance that’s considered by experts in the anti-aging field to be a molecular fountain of youth: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD. 

NAD, found in each and every approximately 37.2 trillion cells in the human body, plays a key role in energy metabolism. The amount of NAD in your body depends upon the amount of raw, precursor ingredient—NMN—you have. 

The natural aging process, however, depletes the body of NMN, and, consequently, NAD. Thus, if you want to have abundant energy, along with a robust response to oxidative stress and DNA repair, you need sufficient NMN to convert into NAD. For people in their 40s, 50s and beyond, taking an NMN or NAD supplement is the simplest and most effective way to ensure adequate levels of these molecules that may prevent premature aging and cognitive decline

Thankfully, as you’ll find out shortly, you can skip the middle molecule by taking an NAD supplement or by receiving an NAD intravenous (IV) injection. But only if the FDA doesn’t ban NAD as the agency has done with NMN, and also had attempted to do with NAC (N acetyl-cysteine), that is until enough public feedback resulted in the agency delaying its decision. 

Now let’s find out why the FDA has banned NMN as a dietary supplement…

Why Is NMN Banned?

The FDA is investigating a specific form of NMN called beta-NMN as a drug, or drug-like substance. Beta-NMN is the predominant form of the molecule that’s available in supplement form. If the FDA pulls all NMN supplements from the market, the only way to get it would be via prescription. 

Considering NMN has been a dietary supplement for several years, why the sudden consideration of it for drug status by the FDA? 

Critics of the FDA’s stripping of NMN’s status as a supplement point to actions by the Harvard University genetics professor, David Sinclair, and the company he co-founded, Metro International Biotech. Sinclair’s company lobbied the FDA to grant drug status for its proprietary beta-NMN. 

According to FDA policy, two criteria must be met for a substance/ingredient to be considered a drug or possess a drug-like action. First, the ingredient must be investigated as a new drug, and second, the ingredient must be the subject of peer-reviewed, published research studies. However, even if both criteria are met, it does not result in the automatic removal of an ingredient’s status as a supplement. 

Furthermore, it is not known exactly when Metro International Biotech submitted to the FDA its request to investigate its proprietary beta-NMN as a drug. The request likely came within the last few years, considering that the company’s co-founder, Sinclair, went on record in 2021, expressing the desire for his branded NMN to be granted FDA approval for disease therapy. 

MNN: A Supplement Never Before Considered For Drug Status

What is known is that before Metro International Biotech’s lobbying efforts, NMN had been granted NDI status by the FDA, meaning it was marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement after October 15, 1994. The move to revoke NDI status by the FDA is highly unusual and has been widely met with criticism by those in the dietary supplement industry, who believe the agency’s decision and the subsequent action taken by Amazon to ban NMN is unfounded. 

According to Natural Products Insider, Natural Products Association (NPA) President and CEO Dan Fabricant, stated the “FDA’s habitual neglectful abuse of the law should scare anyone in the dietary supplement industry.” Fabricant added, “If the agency can exclude NMN from the definition of a dietary supplement despite the science, what’s to stop them from doing it to a different ingredient?”

How To Increase Levels of NAD Without NMN

As mentioned, NMN is a precursor molecule of NAD, perhaps the most important substance in the body to prevent premature aging and to support the body’s overall energy levels. 

The good news is that NMN supplementation is actually not necessary for increasing levels of NAD in the body. Instead, you can take a supplement called Nadovim, which contains NAD as well as the anti-aging antioxidant, CoQ10, herbs (bacopa, cat’s claw), minerals (magnesium), and amino acids that support anti-aging. 

The ingredients in Nadovim, including NAD, have been shown to protect the brain against stressors that may lead to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, Nadovim supports cardiovascular health, among several other functions. 

Nadovim is also advantageous considering its high bioavailability, meaning your body has an easier time absorbing NAD than many NMN and NAD-precursor supplements. 

In addition to Nadovim, people can increase their levels of cellular NAD with the help of functional medicine practitioners, such as those at the New York Center for Innovative Medicine, who offer NAD IV injections.

Will NAD+ Be Banned?

Considering that the FDA is making it increasingly difficult to obtain NMN as a dietary supplement, and that NMN is a precursor to NAD, will the agency move to ban NAD in the future? Will the FDA kowtow to a biotech company that is working on a proprietary form of NAD? Will Nadovim no longer be for sale in the near future? 

It is difficult to predict what the agency will do. However, the good news is that NAD therapy has shown great promise in addiction recovery and withdrawal symptoms along with weight loss. If the FDA banned NAD, it would make it much more difficult for people to obtain NAD therapy. The agency would likely be flooded with public comments demanding that NAD be kept available for purchase without a prescription, echoing what happened with NAC, which remains, for now, available as a dietary supplement. 

But in the meantime, to be safer than sorry, you may want to stock up on anti-aging NAD supplements such as Nadovim while you still can. 


Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.

At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.

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Meet the Author

Judd Handler

Judd Handler is an Encinitas, CA-based natural health writer and a graduate of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) and a certified Metabolic Typing Advisor.
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