It’s been a few centuries since humans ingested mercury for vitality, slept near an old skull to exorcise an evil spirit, or let out some blood to ease a sore throat. While some ancient wisdom endures, the length and quality of our lives have increased through science and technology, not myth. Today, we live in an impressive age of institutions, labs and startups harnessing the insights of science and the power of technology to make products that improve our lives. One company, Elysium Health, a New York-based startup founded by the head of the Science of Aging Lab at M.I.T., Dr. Leonard Guarente, is bringing these advances directly to consumers.
Elysium counts some of the most accomplished scientists in the world among its scientific advisory board, and Guarente is best known for his research on the role of sirtuins, a class of proteins that acts as a key regulator in your cells, controlling our body’s response to stress and aging. That research is the direct inspiration for Basis, Elysium’s first product: a supplement containing two ingredients, nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene, designed to support the long-term health of human cells.
Quick Guide to the Aging Lexicon
Cellular Health: The general state of your health based on how well processes are working on the molecular level.
Metabolism: Hundreds of connected processes happening in your cells, including turning raw materials (food) into energy.
NAD+: A coenzyme (or “helper molecule”) essential to chemical reactions in the body that sustain life.
Sirtuins: Proteins that act as a key regulator in the cell, controlling our body’s response to nutrition levels and stress.
Basis is designed to help cells stay healthy in two ways. The first is by supporting sirtuin activity; the other is by increasing supplies of a coenzyme (a “helper molecule”) called NAD+ that’s essential to many of the fundamental processes in our cells. Sirtuins require NAD+ to work, and both are essential for mitochondrial function (how we produce energy from food), liver health, and maintaining the integrity of your DNA, among other things. And NAD+ declines in all organisms, including humans, as we age.
That’s right: no amount of kale-chewing or kettle bell–swinging can change that. Basis can, though. In Elysium’s recent clinical trial, participants who took the recommended dose of Basis saw their NAD+ levels increase 40 percent within a month and remain at that level for the duration of the eight-week trial. Plus, unlike that vial of mercury or an old skull, the elegant white jar of capsules fits neatly — and safely — in your nightstand.
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.