β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) has been growing in popularity in China at breakneck speeds. However experts aren’t jumping on this fast train as there are many unanswered questions and potential dangers in taking this supplement.
Chinese news ifeng.com highlighted news of a man taking NMN produced by a company in China called Gene Harbor that resulted in liver damage. The article further questioned that company’s safety certificates and the founder’s academic background.
One thing is for sure, NMN has not gone through the rigors of scientific testing to prove its safety or efficacy. This is why many international health experts are questioning the use and the marketing tactics of NMN. For example in China, it is being claimed as a fountain of youth, longevity product and many other medical claims in order to boost sales, which of course is illegal because NMN is not an approved health food or general food ingredient in China.
China National Food Industry Association did some investigating and found NMN was being sold on e-commerce platforms in its raw “industrial” powder form and not only questioned the legality of this, but also its safety in an article published on August 25, 2020. The author, Mr. Cheng Zhipeng stated the following:
“Consumers who directly consume industrial raw materials obviously pose great safety risks. On the one hand, because NMN has not completed the approval of the national food safety risk assessment department, my country does not have the quality standards and quality supervision requirements for food-grade NMN raw materials, and the products sold have no standards to follow.”
“Consumers cannot determine the daily consumption, and there is a risk of over consumption. In addition, since there is no supervision, it is not ruled out that unscrupulous merchants use niacinamide and niacin with great side effects to pretend to be NMN.”
The article in its entirety (Chinese language) can be found HERE.
Shuzheng Consulting based in Beijing recently held a webinar to discuss NMN and its explosive popularity. The consensus among the four health experts was there needs to be more scientific research on NMN and that it will be difficult to get China’s National Health Commission to approve it because there are no international approvals or references to go by.
Nicotinamide Riboside or as its known “NR” was mentioned during the webinar as being a better option due to its international approvals and the numerous amounts of research and safety evaluations. It would be less challenging for China to consider approving NR due to the amount of research and safety documentation already in existence.
In the case of NMN, investors obviously were looking at potential profits before considering the regulatory standing of NMN in China or the rest of the world and those profits could have potentially be very high considering NMN is being sold online in China for US$250 per bottle.
Now that NMN has grabbed the attention of many health and legal experts as well as health organizations in China, it would seem that those potential profits could soon dry up especially in the light of the above mentioned consumer safety issue. (Source: HPA-China)