NMN and cancer - dispelling the myths

Does NMN really cause cancer?

The theory starts with a study at Washington University on brain cancer cells( glioblastoma). During the study, the researchers inhibited the enzymes that make NAD+ to see the result of NAD+ depletion in the cancer cells. The cells stopped growing. This concludes that cancer cells need NAD+ to survive. It also shows that depletion in NAD+ levels disrupts tumor cells' growth and further makes them more sensitive to chemotherapy.

NMN and cancer - dispelling the myths

A miss-interpretation

But the study was misinterpreted when it assumed that the concept apply in the opposite direction by association without testing it. A press release was released with a claim that increased NAD+ levels would increase the growth of the tumor cells. Which was not tested and only relied on the opposite theory in the study (the effect of the depletion). 

The true interpretation

The study scope is only discussing one direction of the NAD+ activity, which is the depletion side. Tumor cells (similar to normal cells) is affected by NAD+ depletion. But to conclude the opposite direction without testing, lacks scientific evidence.

The facts about NMN and cancer

Does NMN increase the development of cancer?

Theoretically, if someone already has active cancer, NMN could accelerate cancer growth, just like many other vital components for cell function. Nutritional elements and enzymes necessary for normal healthy cells' growth will also have the same effects on the growth of hungry cancer cells. 

The use of NMN may improve immunotherapies

NMN is shown to enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. Researchers suggest that boosting cellular NAD+ levels with NMN can enhance the effects of immune system-enhancing therapies meant to inhibit PD-L1 function.

NMN to lower the chance of getting cancer

NMN reduces the risk of developing cancer by reducing cellular DNA mutations. Multiple studies showed that supplementation with NMN can significantly lower DNA mutation in human fibroblasts.


There is no evidence that NMN speeds up the spread of cancer. There is a good chance that NMN could lower the risk of getting cancer by doing things like lowering the number of DNA mutations or making immune cells better at finding and killing cancerous cells.

Some research shows that NMN may speed up the growth of cancers that are already there, while other research shows that NMN does not cause cancer to grow.

Cancer prevention is the main goal if you want to live a long and healthy life. In this case, it's possible that NMN is a promising candidate molecule.