NMN vs Zinc

NMN vs Zinc

Understanding the nuanced world of dietary supplements can be a daunting task. Today, we pivot our magnifying lens towards two supplements that have sparked discussions and grabbed attention in the health community due to their diverse properties: Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) and Zinc. Both appear to offer a myriad of health benefits, but comparing these two is akin to comparing apples to oranges. They operate in different spheres and can target distinct health issues.

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, often referred to as NMN, is a derivative of vitamin B3 and a precursor to NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide). NMN has risen to spotlight primarily due to its potential in delaying the aging process. As we age, the level of NAD+ in our bodies decreases, which results in a myriad of aging signs such as energy loss, decreased metabolism, and cognitive decline. By supplementing with NMN, our bodies can naturally facilitate the production of NAD+ to counteract these aging processes (1).

Numerous animal studies show promising potential for NMN. One particular research by Washington University School of Medicine found that mice treated with NMN showed better age-related parameters such as insulin activity, energy metabolism, and plasma lipid profile (2). However, human studies on NMN are limited and more arduous work is required to solidify its benefits in humans.


On the other hand, Zinc, an essential trace mineral, plays diverse roles in our body, ranging from boosting the immune system to promoting cell growth and repair. It is a part of more than 300 enzymes that keep the body functioning optimally.

Unlike NMN, the health benefits of Zinc are extensively studied and established in humans. One of Zinc's most potent benefits is its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Zinc supplementation can help to lessen the severity and duration of common cold symptoms, and it may reduce the incidence of infections, especially in those who are deficient (3).

In addition to its immune-supporting role, Zinc also contributes to reproductive health, vision, taste, smell, and skin health. Studies consistently link Zinc deficiency to a range of health problems, particularly related to immune response, cognitive function, and growth retardation in children (4).


One thing is clear when comparing NMN and Zinc - they serve distinct purposes. However, this doesn't mean you have to choose one over the other.

For those considering NMN, it's crucial to remember its potential lies primarily in promoting longevity by boosting NAD+ levels. If this aligns with your health goals, NMN might be a supplement worth considering, albeit remember, human studies validating these benefits are few. Also, remember to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation regiment (5).

As for Zinc, it's a tried and trusted supplement with a broad spectrum of health benefits. If you fall into any of the risk groups for Zinc deficiency - vegetarians, pregnant or lactating women, alcoholics, or those with gastrointestinal diseases - dietary supplementation may be necessary. For others, a balanced diet incorporating a range of Zinc-rich foods such as oysters, beef, and pumpkin seeds should suffice (6).

To sum it up, NMN and Zinc work differently and serve diverse purposes. When considering which supplement to take, it's essential to evaluate the potential benefits in the frame of your health goals and consult a healthcare provider for valuable personalized advice. Understanding what our bodies need and nourishing them appropriately can go a long way in fostering optimal health and well-being.


  • (1) Sinclair, D. A., & Guarente, L. (2014). Small molecule allosteric activators of sirtuins. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 54, 363-380. Link
  • (2) Mills, K. F., Yoshida, S., Stein, L. R., Grozio, A., Kubota, S., Sasaki, Y., Redpath, P., Migaud, M. E., Apte, R. S., Uchida, K., Yoshino, J., & Imai, S. I. (2016). Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice. Cell Metabolism, 24(6), 795-806. Link
  • (3) Prasad, A. S., Beck, F. W. J., Bao, B., Fitzgerald, J. T., Snell, D. C., Steinberg, J. D., & Cardozo, L. J. (2007). Zinc supplementation decreases incidence of infections in the elderly: Effect of zinc on generation of cytokines and oxidative stress. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(3), 837-844. Link
  • (4) King, J.C., Brown, K.H., Gibson, R.S. et al. Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND)-Zinc Review. J Nutr 146, 858S-885S (2016). Link
  • (5) FDA 101: Dietary Supplements. (2022, February 12). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Link
  • (6) Foods high in Zinc. National Institutes of Health. Link
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