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What’s the inside story of NMN’s popularity?

With the continuous growth of the global economy and the rising life expectancy, especially after the epidemic, people's attention to health issues has been continuously increased, and the market capacity of drugs and health products has continued to increase. NMN products have attracted much attention in the market, which is the result of these factors.

Many industry insiders have said that the NMN product market is now booming, and hope that it will not become too deified and become a flash in the pan product.

In order to fight against aging, human beings throughout the ages have taken the trouble to raise one "magic" weapon after another.

In 2020, NMN (β - nicotinamide mononucleotide) nutritional supplements, known as "ageless drug" and "longevity drug", have become "new luxury" in the market. Even though the prices are high and the effectiveness of clinical trials is unclear, NMN nutritional supplements, which are paid close attention to by the capital market and the health care products industry, still occupy the best-selling lists and sales growth lists of nutrition and health products on various e-commerce platforms, and nearly 1000 brands have emerged in succession.

To the surprise of industry insiders, after the epidemic, NMN nutritional supplements almost supported the "flow" of the whole health care products industry with their own efforts, smoothly "out of the circle" in frequent media reports, and swept away the depression caused by the chaos of the market before.

Many staff members of NMN nutritional supplements brand company all said that the soaring of "longevity medicine" concept stocks in the capital market directly led to the growth of market scale of products in the consumer side.

Although standing on the wind of the industry, the chaos of the market also makes many raw material manufacturers and brand operators feel "shivering" -- will this kind of material, which does not have a "legal identity" in China and can not be used as food or drug raw materials, usher in more stringent supervision? Will the "negative model" of non-standard production and operation overturn the expectation of the whole industry again?

"Black horse" of the year

According to the latest transaction data of health care industry released by tmall global, during the period of double 11 in 2020, the sales volume of NMN series products will soar. As the product category with the highest growth rate, NMN series products have successfully ranked in the top 5 market segment of imported nutrition track. Its overall sales volume is second only to oral beauty and slimming products, surpassing traditional categories: bone health products (such as calcium tablets), probiotics, bird's nest, known as the "black horse of the year" with the strongest growth.

On the Jingdong platform, on the first day of November 1, 2020, the turnover of healthy, nourishing and health care products of Jingdong increased by more than 200% year on year. From 0:00 to 0:30 on November 11, the turnover of imported health care products increased by more than 2 times. 

"At the level of scientific research, there is clear evidence; at the technical level, it has the ability of mass production on a large scale; and there are also some funny stories about celebrities taking and investing in NMN products." A senior industry analyst said that with the continuous growth of the global economy and the continuous rise of life expectancy, especially after the epidemic, people's attention to health issues has continued to increase, and the market capacity of drugs and health products has continued to increase. NMN products have attracted much attention in the market, which is the result of these factors.

In the scientific research community, NMN has attracted attention even earlier. From 2016 to 2018, the world's top scientific research institutions such as Harvard Medical School, University of Washington and Keio University of Japan published 100 papers in authoritative academic journals such as cell, nature and science to demonstrate the role and mechanism of NMN in inhibiting aging.

Scientists believe that the injection of NMN can prolong the life span of animal testing mice similar to humans. In the experiment, after the mice were injected with β - nicotinamide mononucleotide, the old experimental mice with the remaining two months' life (equivalent to our 60 years old) survived to 4.6 months (equivalent to our 13.8 years), and the life span of the experimental mice was prolonged by 2.3 times.

According to the current published clinical research results, the safety of the product taken under a certain limit has been basically verified in clinical practice. However, it can significantly delay aging and prevent the occurrence of multiple neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. However, whether its anti-aging effect and anti-aging related diseases can be actually produced in human body still needs more clinical trial data as evidence.

In Europe, which is recognized as the most stringent product quality supervision standard, NMN has not been approved as a raw material of food or health care products. In other words, the production and sales of related products in its country will be deemed illegal; in Australia, NMN raw materials are not approved for sale locally, and the related products can only be used for export.

On March 31, 2020, Japan will be granted the only national status of NMN, which will be included in the NMN list.

The most relaxed regulation is in the United States. According to the relevant provisions of the FDA, NMN can be used as the raw material of nutritional supplements only through filing. "If something goes wrong, you will be held responsible. If there is no problem, you will be ignored." Therefore, most NMN products are produced in the United States.

In fact, these twists and turns and disputes, far from affecting the NMN nutritional supplements in the Chinese market. In November 2020, at the third China International Import Expo held in Shanghai, there were international famous nutritional food companies GNC (jian'anxi) and Hong Kong laiweijian and other dietary supplement companies, bringing the latest NMN products to the Expo.

When will "domestic trade" and "brush up" be closed

With the popularity of NMN market, more and more NMN products appear in the public vision. However, behind the prosperous scene of competing for the best, some products have changed from cross-border sales to "domestic trade" circulation, some shops have forged false transactions and crazily "swiped orders", and agents have solicited people to "join in" to earn franchise fees, and then distribute these products that should not be sold directly in the domestic market layer by layer, which is suspected of pyramid selling.

In China, as NMN is neither a food raw material nor a pharmaceutical raw material, the root of NMN's circulation in the domestic market as a nutritional supplement depends on a policy dividend.

In 2016, the announcement on publishing the list of cross-border e-commerce retail import commodities, commonly known as the "positive list", was officially released in 2016. Fish oil, unmixed vitamins and derivatives were included in the positive list in the second batch. Through the business to consumer (B2C) sales form, a single single to the customs to pay tax purchase. The upper limit of commodity limit for enjoying preferential tax policy is RMB 5000 for single transaction and RMB 26000 per person per year for annual transaction.

As a category in the "positive list", NMN can only enter China through cross-border e-commerce channels. For example, it is illegal to enter China through general trade, i.e. import in bulk by trading companies. In addition, according to the relevant provisions of Announcement No. 194 of the General Administration of Customs in 2018, consumers are not allowed to resell the purchased cross-border e-commerce retail imported goods.

"It is not allowed to produce and sell NMN products in China, but only through cross-border e-commerce mode. How did these NMN products from Taobao store enter China? It's either smuggling, or selling "fake drugs" without drug or health food batch numbers. " A senior industry personage disclosed that it has become a common routine of similar "domestic trade" brands to increase the sales volume of stores by "brushing orders" and then recruiting agents to earn "franchise fees".

An agent said that around September 2020, he saw NMN products become popular on the Internet. After searching for a certain number of network sales and recruiting agents, esment purchased nearly 100 bottles of NMN products of the brand at one time. He linked the product link to the newly applied Taobao store for "secondary sales". As a result, he only sold three bottles in more than a month, and the product fell into his hands when he couldn't sell it. He wanted to return the product and was rejected again. He felt that he had become the leek harvested by the "IQ tax".

Who holds the key to youth?

As Yuval herali said in a brief history of the future, with the progress of science and technology, the three major factors that determine history before, plague, war and famine are no longer the main players in the world. The major issues of human society in the future will be longevity, happiness and immortality.

"Rejuvenation" is in line with the ultimate desire of human beings, and the research on "anti-aging" products has never stopped. Over the past century, scientists have found that the content of NAD + in organisms will decrease with age. For middle-aged mice or middle-aged people, the NAD + content in the body is only half of that when they are young, which may lead to the decrease of NAD + dependent sirtuin (longevity protein) and PARP protein (DNA repair enzyme) activities.

NAD + is an important coenzyme widely distributed in human cells, which participates in more than 200 redox enzyme reactions, and is the energy providing molecule in each cell. Supplement NAD + to improve its level in human body is regarded as an important breakthrough of "anti-aging".

Since NAD + molecule is large and can not be absorbed after eating directly, it is necessary to increase the content of NAD + by adding small molecular precursor. NAD + has five major precursors in human circulation: tryptophan (TRP), nicotinic acid (NA), nicotinamide (NAM), nicotinamide ribose (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Which one is more effective? How to control safe dose? It has become a hot topic in academic circles.

In 2014, before NMN became popular, Leonard Pershing Guarente, a geneticist at MIT, founded Elysium Health's company, the only product of the company is the NR compound preparation based on grass planted by Pan Shiyi on his microblog. You can buy this "blue pill" for $50 a month, and enjoy the service of "long-term health beneficial to body cells" and "better health".

In December 2013, Guarente's student and Harvard University Professor David Sinclair began to "speak for NMN". He published a paper in the world authoritative journal Cell, saying that after using NMN to enhance NAD + for one week, the life span of laboratory mice was prolonged by 30%.

Sinclair repeatedly stressed in public that he and his family are taking NMN every day. His own physiological age is at least 10 years younger than his actual age. He is keen on claiming that aging can be cured like a cold and that human beings can no longer be troubled by aging. His exaggerated words and deeds make Sinclair one of the most controversial figures in the scientific community.

Many people think of him as an exaggerated salesman who exaggerates his achievements and potential. Although Sinclair often emphasizes that he is not a doctor; he does not recommend anyone to do what he does; there is no solid evidence that any of his practices are helpful to human beings, and he will not endorse or cooperate with any company's NMN products.

However, Sinclair, as the flow leader in the anti-aging field, undoubtedly plays an important role in promoting the market-oriented development of NMN. Since 2016, NMN has been made into dietary supplements in Japan, the United States and other countries. It entered the domestic market around 2018. After a period of circulation in the circle of "anti-aging geeks", NMN will become popular in 2020.

In some we media articles, NMN is described as a "elixir of life" to attract people's attention. In fact, the mechanism of human aging is affected by a variety of complex factors. If you do not maintain a healthy and regular lifestyle, you may not be able to realize your dream only by taking a few pills.

future market

As one of the ultimate problems that human beings have been trying to solve continuously, life expectancy has been paid more attention. According to a report released by the market research company Zion market research, the global anti-aging market will reach US $191.7 billion in 2019, an increase of 8.3% year-on-year.

In recent years, with the growth of consumer health awareness and anti-aging demand, China's health care products industry has developed rapidly. According to the statistics of China Association for impact on health care, the market size of China's health care products industry has rapidly increased from 160 billion yuan in 2009 to nearly 400 billion yuan in 2019, with a compound growth rate of 9.5% in the past 10 years. The import volume of the industry will reach 13.4 billion yuan in 2019.

In developed countries, health industry has become a powerful driving force to drive the growth of the whole national economy. The added value of health industry accounts for more than 15% of GDP. In China, health industry accounts for only 4% - 5% of GDP, which is far lower than that of developed countries. China is the country with the largest elderly population in the world. At present, there are 249 million elderly people over 60 years old in China. The anti-aging products represented by NMN have a huge consumer market.

According to the NMN industry in-depth report "anti-aging health care products NMN, 100 billion market is expected" issued by CITIC Securities on July 13, this year, the NMN product space is relatively large. Every 1% increase in the penetration rate of domestic health care products under the current price is expected to correspond to the market space of 30.4 billion yuan, which is expected to reach 100 billion yuan in the future.

According to the research report, in the long run, the price of NMN and its upstream raw materials nicotinic acid and nicotinamide products have a large space for decline, but the progress depends on the speed of the production process. Technology leakage or large-scale expansion of production capacity may lead to a rapid decline in product prices, and investment returns are not as expected; there is also uncertainty about the sales scale that can be realized in the future.

In fact, NMN is not a new product that gives us a shortcut to longevity. It exists in the human body and is also rich in some fruits and vegetables. NAD + transformed from it, like "energy factory", provides vitality for cells and is the key to maintain body function.

However, the problem it has to face is that most of the clinical data on the positive efficacy of NMN are still concentrated in the animal experiment stage. Although there are many clinical trials in progress, what kind of effect will be produced by its real effect on human body still needs to be confirmed by further scientific research data in the future.

In the popularization and sales of products, one-sided promotion makes consumers mistakenly believe that as long as NMN is used, it can improve or reduce various aging phenomena related to age. Such information will lead to health hazards and new health problems.

(excerpt from Arctic Finance and Economics)



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