Consumer-facing dietary supplement retailers don't typically become ingredient suppliers. But in 2019, after renowned Harvard University researcher Dr David Sinclair's heavily publicised research on the anti-ageing benefits of NMN, the ingredient became wildly popular.
With that surging interest has come an unprecedented amount of fraud and adulteration, putting consumers and the entire NMN industry at risk.
"There are numerous disreputable companies ripping people off on Amazon. Those flooding the market with adulterated and fake NMN are not in it for the long haul. And because this is a 'feel-the-difference' ingredient, fraudulent NMN can ruin the entire category," observes Nancy Dayton, CEO of ProHealth Longevity, a well-established online retailer that has been selling best-in-class NMN to consumers for three years.
"Because we are on the front line, we knew the spike in the number of retail suppliers and products wasn't logical. We wanted to protect ourselves and others from what was going on. Our first step was to shore up the integrity of our supply chain and formalise our relationship with Effepharm, manufacturers of Uthever, the only soon-to-be GRAS NMN.
"Now, in addition to selling Uthever NMN direct to consumers, ProHealth Longevity is the authorised distributor to the industry worldwide with exclusive trademark rights in the US." The partnership makes sense. ProHealth Longevity is celebrating 33 consecutive years as a Better Business Bureau A+ rated company known for providing the highest quality supplements. Effepharm is a leading global biotechnology manufacturer serving pharmaceutical, nutrition and healthcare industries, to provide our customers with the world's best NMN.
NMN is a natural metabolite of vitamin B3 and a precursor to NAD+ which supports myriad functions essential to health and healthy aging. NAD+ levels decline in human tissue by at least 50 percent between the ages of 40 and 60. Taking NMN boosts natural NAD+ production, and provides the body with energy for gene repair and stimulation.
Sinclair's work on resveratrol, NR and now NMN has resulted in the fastest and most significant growth in NMN sales, both direct to consumer and on Amazon. "The innovators and early adopters are on to this product, which explains the sales velocity," comments Dayton.
Fake or adulterated
ProHealth Longevity formalised its Uthever NMN distribution partnership with Effepharm about nine months ago. But instead of a systematic promotional campaign to announce the deal, both companies immediately got to work exposing the adulterated and counterfeit products. "Websites and Amazon accounts have been hacked, including our own. Companies are falsifying Certificates of Authenticity and other documentation," confirms Dayton. "It's difficult for co-manufacturers and consumers to tell the real, high-quality material from the fake, low-purity ingredients."
According to information released by Effepharm: More than half of the NMN products tested contained zero NMN and some products had less than 80 percent purity. There were suppliers selling ordinary nicotinamide (low-cost vitamin B3) as NMN.
Stresses Dayton, "We have integrity. We care about people's health. It is essential for us to call attention to this dire situation, so that our industry and consumers can be assured they are getting stable, authentic, pure and safe NMN."
Effepharm's clinical trials
Effepharm has recently completed a multi-center, randomised, double-blind, parallel design, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of its Uthever NMN, which is manufactured in strict accordance with USP standards.
It is anticipated that results of this largest and most comprehensive human clinical trial on NMN to date will be published in the near future. Additionally, ProHealth Longevity is conducting its own multi-center, placebo-controlled clinical trial, an unusual step for an ingredient wholesaler/retailer.
"ProHealth Longevity's Uthever NMN one-kilo powder packs are some of our top sellers, so it was not much of a jump for us to start selling the raw materials to manufacturers and wholesale customers in 5kg to 25kg and 100 kilos pack sizes. We have the capacity to sell large quantities in the hundreds or thousands of kilos per month," observes Dayton. "We're seeing explosive growth in private labeling because we're a trusted source. Wholesalers are confident that they'll have the benefit of repeat sales because their customers are getting the real ingredient."
She adds, "It makes a lot of sense for reputable wholesalers to buy their NMN from us because we are a proven advocate for consumers. We are in the unique position of providing a level of confidence and peace of mind for our industry partners. By choosing Uthever NMN, you are guaranteed a stable, authentic, pure and safe product consumers can trust."