What is 1-MNA?

1-MNA (1-methylnicotinamide) is a naturally occurring metabolite of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, the two main forms of vitamin B3.

Numerous studies suggest that 1-MNA affects the proper function of the vascular endothelium and cardiovascular system. Therefore, especially due to its possible impact in reducing the development of atherosclerosis, 1-MNA may be used as a dietary supplement, principally in elderly people.

The mechanism underlying 1-MNA activity is mainly based on regulating vascular endothelial function and maintaining the balance of its secretory functions. The endothelial cells which line the blood vessels not only channel blood throughout the body, but exert remarkable control over the entire vascular system. In fact, the endothelium acts as a highly active metabolic and endocrine organ. The proper function of this biggest secretory organ is therefore important to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

Endothelial dysfunction leads to disruption in its functional balance and contributes to the development of various cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular complications, as well as contributes to conditions in other organ systems leading to diseases such as diabetes, as well as gastrointestinal, hepatic and renal diseases. 1-MNA, through its actions on the cells of the vascular endothelium, stimulates these cells to release endogenous prostacyclin (PGI2), which stands as the strongest physiological blood platelet aggregation inhibitor. PGI2 has anticoagulant properties, along with anti-atherosclerotic properties. Its deficiency results in increased platelet aggregation and the creation of blood clots in arteries. PGI2 may also be responsible for lowering pro-inflammatory cytokine blood levels.

By stimulating endothelial cells to produce PGI2, 1-MNA reduces the level of inflammatory markers (high sensitivity C-reactive protein; hsCRP, Tumour Necrotic Factor-α; TNF-α, interleukin 4; IL-4) and contributes to cardiovascular system protection against the creation of blood clots, vascular atherosclerosis and the development of inflammation, as well as their related diseases.

1-MNA stands as an innovative molecule, patent protected globally.

Sources of 1-MNA

1-MNA is an endogenous compound (produced mainly in the liver), being the metabolite of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. It can also be obtained directly from foods containing vitamin B3. In humans, close to 60% of niacin is metabolised into 1-MNA (Menon et al., 2007 – Literature  >>). Dietary intake is responsible for only a very small proportion of the 1-MNA total pool in human body.

Food products with the most significant 1-MNA content (Taguchi et al., 1986Literature  >>).

Undaria pinnatifida (Wakame seaweed) - 3.2 mg/100 g of the product
Green tea leaves - 3.0 mg/100 g of the product
Chicken gizzards - 2.4 mg/100 g of the product
Celery - 1.6 mg/100 g of the product
Chinese black mushrooms - 1.3 mg/100 g of the product

Features of 1-MNA:

  • natural and physiological substance of vitamin origin
  • safe and well tolerated
  • known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic properties
  • decreases the level of inflammatory markers
  • important in proper vascular endothelial function and stimulates the endothelium to synthesize endogenous prostacyclin (PGI2)
  • stimulates vascular endothelial secretory function, and hence it prevents its dysfunction
  • reduces and/or prevents the occurrence of blood clots and inflammation by stimulating PGI2 synthesis 
  • increases sirtuins (Sirt1) stability and prolongs life in a biological model of ageing
  • novel, promising molecule with anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic activity
  • according to leading research centres 1-MNA may prolong human life!

As far as humans are concerned, 1-MNA is mainly produced in the liver, during the metabolism of niacin as a result of the enzymatic degradation of nicotinamide catalysed by nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) (Felsted and Chaykin, 1967; Pissios, 2017– Literature  >>). Once formed, it is transformed to the pyridones: 2-PYR and 4-PYR. While both pyridones are formed, 2-PYR is the main metabolite of 1-MNA in humans. (Sugihara et al., 2005– Literature  >>).

Diagram A. Metabolic pathway of nicotinamide (1 – cytochrome P450, 2 - nicotinamide N-methyltransferase, 3 – aldehyde oxidase) (Chlopicki et al., 2007Literature  >>).

For many years, the level of 1-MNA in urine and plasma was mainly perceived as a “niacin” biomarker, despite the fact that nicotinic acid and nicotinamide displayed a number of therapeutic properties and were successfully used for treating a significant number of diseases.

Current studies indicate that 1-MNA influences the proper function of the vascular endothelium and cardiovascular system. Due to its possible properties of  limiting the development of atherosclerosis, it may be used as a form of supplementation in adults, especially in the elderly. It is worth mentioning that as far as humans are concerned, the ability to produce 1-MNA decreases with age.