When we think about getting older, we contemplate the external. We imagine aching backs, graying hair and wrinkled skin. But scientists are different. They think about aging on the inside — at the cellular level. Aging, through the lens of science, is the deterioration of body tissue. What we see and feel is just a result of that process, and there isn’t an anti-aging cream to slow it down. But there are labs and startups harnessing the insights of science and the power of technology to make products that improve our lives from the inside out. One company, Elysium Health, a New York-based startup founded by the head of the Science of Aging Lab at MIT, 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 act as a key regulator in your cells, in controlling our body’s response to stress and aging and on NAD+, a coenzyme that plays a key role in metabolism. 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 NAD+ that’s essential to many of the fundamental processes in our cells. Sirtuins require NAD+ to work, and both are essential for ATP synthesis (the source of cellular energy), supporting the body’s circadian rhythm, liver health, and maintaining the integrity of your DNA, among other things. And NAD+ declines in all organisms, including humans, as we age.
In Elysium’s 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. The company is pursuing more clinical trials and working on research for future products with Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge. Products that, unlike wrinkle cream, address health from the inside out.
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.
Read the Profile of Elysium Co-Founder, Dr. Leonard Guarente, on Elysium’s Blog
Dr. Leonard Guarente is the co-founder of Elysium and the Director of the Glenn Lab for the Science of Aging at MIT. Read the Story