NMN vs NR: Here’s What Differentiates these NAD Precursors

By Baran Dilaver

Anyone exploring the most effective way to raise NAD levels is going to run across NMN and NR pretty quickly. Both nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN, and nicotinamide riboside, or NR, are precursors to NAD, and research confirms that supplementing with either increases NAD levels for healthier aging. But if they have the same basic effect, what makes NMR different from NR? And does one work better than the other? Here’s what differentiates these NAD precursors.


From a molecular standpoint, both NAD precursors are largely the same. NMN, however, has an additional phosphate group, which makes it physically bigger. Both NMN and NR are considered safe for human consumption, and both use the same pathway to boost NAD. The big difference is what happens inside the cells in the conversion to NAD, which is, after all, the goal.

NMN is the immediate precursor to NAD, and it actually behaves as a sort of go-between for NR and NAD. In order for NR to convert to NAD in the cells, it must first be converted to NMN. The process itself is fairly elaborate, but in simple terms, taking NMN directly eliminates the conversion step inherent to the NR process. Interestingly, this understanding is relatively new. In 2019, a specific transporter, Slc12a8, was identified, which is particular to NMN and serves as a kind of oversized doorway that lets this bigger molecule through. Before this discovery, some scientists thought that due to its size, NMN was too big to cross cellular membranes and needed to convert to NR before it could enter the cell and begin NAD biosynthesis.

Additional Considerations

If both NMN and NR have their own methods of making it in the cellular doorway to increase NAD, you may rightly be wondering what difference it makes which one you take. You’ll find different opinions on the topic, and here at Wonderfeel, we see the value in both molecules. The truth is, if boosting NAD levels is the goal, you can get the job done with NMN or NR.

Perspective view of two blue steel doors.

With that being said, the Wonderfeel Youngr™ formula does use NMN, simply because we see it as the most efficient option. Up until recently, NMN was extremely expensive and difficult to produce. It’s still the new kid on the block, but the interest is there and the science is advancing at a rapid clip. One of the latest clinical trials in April 2021 confirmed that NMN effectively raises NAD levels. And by combining a high dose of NMN with antioxidants including ergothioneine and resveratrol, strong activators of sirtuins (the proteins that use NAD to regulate cellular health), and hydroxytyrosol, one of the most potent antioxidants in our patented Youngr™ NMN, we can effectively promote both sirtuin activation and increase NAD levels.

Research into NAD precursors, including NMN, is ongoing — and exciting! Here at Wonderfeel, we look forward to bringing you the latest studies and discoveries in cellular science. In the meantime, treat your cells to a Wonderfeel Youngr™ NMN subscription and enjoy the many benefits that come with increased NAD levels.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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