NMN vs NR: Which One Should You Take?

nmn vs nr

With the global anti-aging market set to skyrocket from $62.6 billion to a whopping $93 billion by 2027, it's clear: Botox and retinoids are now as essential as morning coffee and Wi-Fi.

But while we slather on creams and queue up for fillers, a new showdown is happening in the supplements aisle: NMN vs. NR.

These two heavyweights—NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) and NR (Nicotinamide Riboside)—might sound like high school chemistry terms, but they’re the latest champions in the battle against aging. 

Promising everything from enhanced vitality to improved skin health, NMN and NR are vying for the title of ultimate anti-aging supplement. But which one should you choose?

Let’s break it down... 

NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) Explained

What is NMN?

NMN might sound like a mouthful, but it’s simply a nucleotide derived from ribose and nicotinamide. Think of it as a direct ticket to NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), as it converts into NAD+ through a straightforward enzymatic process.

The Role of NMN in Your Body

NMN is vital for ramping up NAD+ levels, a coenzyme that supercharges energy metabolism and keeps your cells in top shape.

The Benefits of NMN

  • Cellular Energy Production: NMN gives your mitochondria—the powerhouses of your cells—a major boost, enhancing energy production.
  • DNA Repair: It helps activate sirtuins, those nifty proteins that handle DNA repair and gene expression.
  • Longevity and Anti-Aging: By improving how your cells function and cutting down on oxidative stress, NMN might just be your ticket to a longer, healthier life.

Read more NMN benefits here.

Where to Find NMN

You can get a dose of NMN from foods like broccoli, avocado, and edamame, though in small amounts.

NMN Supplements

NMN supplements come in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and powders, making NMN easy to add to your daily routine.

NR (Nicotinamide Riboside) Explained

What is NR?

NR is another player in the vitamin B3 family and a precursor to NAD+. It’s a close cousin to NMN but needs an extra step to transform into NAD+.

The Role of NR in Your Body

NR steps up NAD+ levels, bolstering cellular energy production and supporting overall health.

The Benefits of NR

  • Cellular Energy Production: Just like NMN, NR supercharges your mitochondria by boosting NAD+ levels.
  • Neuroprotection: NR is a guardian for your brain, protecting neurons and encouraging the growth of new ones.
  • Metabolic Health: It’s also been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and overall metabolic function.

Where to Find NR

You’ll find NR in trace amounts in foods like milk and yeast.

NR Supplements

NR is widely available in dietary supplements, especially in capsule form, making it an easy addition to your wellness arsenal.

Key Differences Between NMN and NR

Both NMN and NR are crucial for boosting NAD+ levels. While both achieve the same end goal, their pathways to NAD+ are distinct.

Conversion Pathways to NAD+

  • NMN: Directly converted to NAD+.
  • NR: Must first convert to NMN before becoming NAD+.


Bioavailability refers to how well your body absorbs a substance. While most human research has focused on NR's bioavailability, some clues suggest NMN might be the absorption champion. Rodent studies showed NMN hitting their bloodstream fast and turning into NAD+ shortly after.

Efficacy in Raising NAD+ Levels

While both are effective, some studies suggest NMN might boost NAD+ levels more efficiently due to its direct conversion pathway.

Safety and Side Effects

Both NMN and NR seem like good sports, with minimal side effects reported. But remember, everyone's body is different. It's always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine.

Read more NMN side effects here.

Quick Comparison Chart




Molecular Size



Conversion Pathway

Immediate precursor to NAD+

Requires conversion to NMN via NRK enzyme

Transporter Specificity

Specific transporter identified in mice

No specific transporter identified

Salvage Pathway

Utilizes the salvage pathway of NAD+

Utilizes the salvage pathway of NAD+


Safe for human consumption

Safe for human consumption


Requires cold storage to prevent degradation

Requires cold storage to prevent degradation

Cell Type Preference

Some cells prefer NMN due to specific transporters

Some cells prefer NR; e.g., liver cells convert NMN to NR first

Gut Microbiome

Gut has more NMN transporters; beneficial for gut health

Gut benefits from NR, but fewer transporters present

Benefits Comparison

Anti-Aging Effects

Both NMN and NR are top contenders in the fight against aging. They elevate NAD+ levels, keeping your cells youthful and healthy. However, NMN might have a slight edge as it converts directly to NAD+, potentially acting faster.

Cognitive Function and Brain Health

NR shines as the neuroprotective champion, safeguarding brain health. NMN also supports cognitive function and overall brainpower, making it a solid choice for comprehensive mental well-being.

Metabolic Health and Weight Management

For metabolic health, NMN's direct NAD+ pathway gives it an advantage. It may be more efficient at boosting metabolism and maintaining insulin sensitivity.

Cardiovascular Health

By increasing NAD+ levels, NMN can significantly enhance cardiovascular health. Improved blood vessel function and reduced inflammation contribute to a strong, healthy heart.

Overall Energy Levels and Vitality

When it comes to boosting energy, NMN leads the way. By raising NAD+ levels, it can significantly enhance your overall energy and vitality, leaving you feeling more alive and ready to tackle the day.

Choosing the Right Supplement for You

nmn supplement

Assessing Individual Health Goals

Think about your top health priorities. Want to sharpen your brainpower, feel more energized, and support your metabolism efficiently? NMN might be your perfect match.

Considering Age and Lifestyle Factors

Your age and lifestyle can influence which fighter you choose. NMN's direct NAD+ boost makes it a great option for people of all ages, ensuring you get the most out of your supplement.

Evaluating Current Health Conditions

Certain health conditions might make NMN a more strategic choice due to its efficiency and direct pathway. Always consult with a healthcare professional to confirm it's the right fit for your specific needs.

Consulting with Healthcare Professionals

Before adding any new supplement to your routine, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial. They can ensure it aligns with your health goals and needs, helping you choose the right supplement for your personal journey.

Practical Tips for Supplementation

  • Dosage: Stick to the recommended dosages on the label or follow your healthcare provider's advice (usually 250mg to 500mg per day).
  • Timing: Take NMN with food for better absorption. Consistency is key, so aim for the same time each day.
  • Supplement Synergy: Some supplements, like resveratrol or quercetin, can amplify NMN's effects. Talk to your doctor before combining supplements.
  • Monitor & Adjust: Pay attention to how your body responds and adjust dosages if needed. If you experience any side effects, consult a healthcare professional.

So, Which One Should I Take?

Deciding between NMN and NR comes down to your unique health goals, lifestyle, and current health conditions. Both supplements pack a punch by boosting NAD+ levels and promoting overall wellness. 

But if you're looking for the most efficient and powerful option, NMN stands out.

Chat with healthcare professionals, think about your specific needs, and make a smart choice to supercharge your health and well-being.

Ready to buy NMN?

Supercharge your health journey.
Explore the potential of NMN.

Shop Pure NMN Supplements


AlphaCell is your go-to for high-quality NMN supplements. Our products are rigorously third-party tested for purity and potency, so you get the results you deserve.