NMN supplements have been highly sought in China since July, with brands such as Doctor’s Best, Gene Habour, and EZZ enjoying huge commercial success.
Amid the NMN wave, there has been an influx of products into China.
An example is GNC China which unveiled its first NMN product during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) last month.
“The NMN ingredient has been popular in the US and Japanese markets in the past two to three years. We believe that the trend will spread to China and thus started to research on the ingredient and developed our own product,” Samuel Huang, CEO and GM at GNC China told NutraIngredients-Asia.
NMN, as well as nicotinamide riboside (NR), is said to be the precursors to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) – an important coenzyme that participates in various energy metabolism pathways, including glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation.
Huang said GNC’s first NMN supplement will be launched concurrently in China and the US this month. The product made in the US will be sold into China via cross-border e-commerce.
In the US, GNC is already selling a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) supplement under the brand Source Naturals.
Huang said since NMN could help DNA repair and provide vitality, the company hopes to cater to the needs of working adults in their 30s all the way to the seniors.
Asked how the product could stand out from its competitors, he added that the company placed high focus on the product’s purity, efficacy, and quality control.
Aside from NMN, the company showcased over 100 products during the expo, and nearly half of the products were unveiled for the first time.
In the past year alone, the company had released more than 33 new products in China, with the brand’s business up by nearly 150%.
NMN for brain health
GNC China is planning to launch more NMN supplements targeted at improving brain health, Huang revealed.
At the moment, the NMN product that is launched is a single ingredient supplement.
Further expanding the range, the upcoming plan is to launch new products that contain NMN and other ingredients that could provide a synergistic effect in improving brain health. The plan is to launch such a product in the middle of next year.
Potential ingredients could include pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and resveratrol.
The company is also a member of the newly formed Tmall Global NMN Merchant Alliance.
Huang said the purpose of the alliance was to set in place standards to regulate the NMN supplement market.
“With NMN enjoying high popularity, many products these days are trying to be associated with NMN, although they do not contain the ingredient at all.
“Some even claimed that NMN is a ‘longevity pill’, claims which are not scientifically-backed can destroy the industry,” he said.
As such, the purpose of the alliance is to set rules and standards to regulate product quality, marketing, and consumer communication.
Human clinical trials
At the same time, GNC China is already starting on human clinical trials using its NMN product.
The trial, lasting for one month, will be tested on healthy individuals from different ages.
The parameters measured include the NAD+ levels post supplementation.
The company is also conducting animal studies using its product.
Huang said that the purpose was to find out if there was an optimal amount of NMN supplementation for population of different ages.
“We want to find out NMN at what dosage amount will exert the most effects for different ages. The point that we want to find out is at what age should one start anti-ageing supplementation regime.”