There's no denying it: we're getting older. And as every new day adds to the ticker, you've probably noticed that yesterday's workout or last night's happy hour just doesn't seem to wear off as quickly as it once did.
This phenomenon does, in fact, have some scientific reasoning. As your body ages, you build up a lifetime's worth of microscopic damages at the cellular level. Every time you strain your body — whether that be through an extended run or a long night out — your cells become worn out. As the "scars" continue to add up, your cells grow weaker and weaker and fending off these stresses.
A heavier hangover every once in a while can be manageable, but not addressing this cellular damage can have some nasty consequences like chronic illnesses and shortened healthspans.
To combat this cellular deterioration, Mikra's CELLF aims to bring balance to your body. Using clinically-tested formulas with the goal of preventing cellular breakdown, this latest nutraceutical could be the answer to extending healthspans through improved energy, deeper sleep, boosted cognitive function and more. "We wanted to make sure we could impact your health as much as humanly possible rather than trying to go for simply, 'Oh, you feel better, you have more energy,'" says Mikra founder and CEO Faraaz Jamal.
To see if this latest supplement was more science or snake oil, we put our bodies to the test, running a seven-day trial run of the nutraceutical gel. What we found was definitely interesting...but first, it helps to understand what's under the hood of this daily supplement targeting oxidative stress.
What is oxidative stress, and how does it affect cellular health?
According to Jamal, every time you stress your body, you cause damage to your cells. And as the wear-and-tear piles on with age, you become less able to fight off new stresses. This is the premise of oxidative stress. "As you get older, your body's ability has degraded over time, and you just don't have enough of that power left, so the damage builds up and eventually, you just become sidelined," he adds.
Jamal also states that this weakened cellular structure and enhanced oxidative stress can be a perfect breeding ground for chronic illnesses; a fact he faced head-on growing up. After being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at 18, Jamal once believed his diagnoses were the cause of bad genetics.
"When you're in a hospital bed and with a computer," he rebutted, "You search a lot. So, humans mapped the genome in 2003 and there was a lot for me to search with [...] I got really interested in the [biohacking] premise of, 'Okay, well, maybe I can do something here.'"
While Jamal continues to surmount his diagnoses every day, this interest and passion in nutraceuticals and biohacking has fueled Mikra's drive toward combating chronic pain and illnesses through the defense against further oxidative stress.
"Mikra was essentially born out of that desire. I really want to try and increase as much healthy life that people actually have by producing nutraceuticals that can actually impact that on various levels," he says.
How does Mikra's CELLF work?
To optimize absorption and give your cells the helping hand they deserve, CELLF uses a gel construction that prioritizes function over form, according to the brand. The nutraceutical is made in an oxygen-deprived environment in microsomes that are less than 20 nanometers, making the compound easier to digest for its full range of benefits.
CELLF encapsulates the active nutrients in a two-stage liposomal-lactoferrin complex. Essentially, this means the supplement can travel further into your gut unscathed, which allows for full absorption to occur in your jejunum — the second portion of your small intestines — which allows for a more effective transfer of nutrients to your cells. Other supplements can often be destroyed by your gastric environment, rendering the effects useless before they're able to activate. This effective transfer allows CELLF to do its intended job, improving your energy levels, providing deeper sleep, boosting cognitive function, defending against inflammation and allowing for quicker recovery time.
Now that the science portion of the program is out of the way, let's dig into the meat and potatoes of this daily supplement.
What's good about Mikra CELLF?
The single-serving packaging makes daily dosage easy to manage
While supplements have become part of our daily intake, having to jump through hoops for proper consumption can be a pain. Thankfully, Mikra's CELLF is packaged in single-serve, 10 mL sachets. According to Mikra, you should take one packet daily with or immediately following a meal, preferably in the morning.
We opted to add CELLF to our normal breakfast routine of coffee and a protein bar. The supplement was easy to squeeze through the opening, and didn't have a horrible mouthfeel — think thick honey, with a little bit of grit.
The effects are noticeable, depending on your health history
According to Jamal, CELLF is designed to work for any user — but generally speaking, those age 30 and older could see more benefits, given their body's extended exposure to oxidative stress. Jamal adds that some of the more immediate effects that can be noticed when taking CELLF included deeper sleep, improved cognitive function and more energy throughout the day.
As with any supplement however, the effects are subjective and highly related to your health history.
"Heavy smokers, heavy drinkers [...] they feel a lot healthier. They feel a little bit more energetic and things like that," Jamal states. "Individuals who train quite a bit find the recovery time and sleep a little bit deeper. But, generally speaking, if you're above 30 and you're kind of hitting that wall, that's where CELLF's mostly going to benefit [them]."
With this person-to-person understanding, we took a careful look at how our body reacted to this new nutraceutical. One of the first effects was an improved cognitive awareness. The typical brain fog we experienced, particularly in the morning hours, seemed to dissipate with ease, and we were able to maintain focus on projects and other tasks much easier than previous weeks. We also felt a slight uptick in energy as the days closed out, which could be a testament to the improved sleep quality.
What's not ideal about Mikra CELLF?
The taste is not appealing, but, thankfully, doesn't linger for long
Despite only being comprised of a handful of natural and organic ingredients, CELLF is not the tasty treat you'd want to welcome your morning with. Almost medicine-like, the gel features natural almond butter, MCT oil, oleic acid from olive oil, vanilla bean extract, milk and other components.
While the taste isn't the greatest — which Mikra is well-aware of — the flavor doesn't not linger on the tastebuds for long. Once swallowed, we barely noticed any residue on our tongue, but proceeded with caution. On our second and third doses, we chose to take the "down the hatch" approach with a quick swallow-and-go. This helped curb any unwanted gags.
The oxygen-deprived, small-batch manufacturing process has led to supply chain issues
Because of the strict manufacturing conditions placed on CELLF, Mikra cannot make much in one batch. As a result, it is difficult to maintain a steady supply chain, which can deter potential users. According to Mikra's site, orders placed now can expect a ship date in mid-July. This fact hinders the effectiveness of the product, as CELLF — like any supplement — shows more effectiveness if taken habitually.
Thankfully, however, Mikra offers single-month and three-month subscription services, so you don't have to worry about placing an order every time you run out. These cancel-anytime services can help you take the strain out of your healthy diet, so the only "stress" is the oxidative stress being vanquished.
The cost can be off-putting
There's a ton of testing and clinical trials behind every dose of CELLF. And with that comes a higher price tag. At over $3.25 per serving, this supplement doesn't come cheap.
Plus, there are other options out there that tackle oxidative stress in a more wallet-friendly manner. For example, probiotic supplements, like Ritual's Synbiotic+, can help improve energy and overall health by improving your microbiome in a daily, take-anytime capsule.
With that said, the cost is the result of Mikra standing behind its product. Numerous clinical tests have been done and monitored, according to the brand, to ensure the ingredients contained within CELLF are dosed at where they need to be for optimal performance, as well as the natural and organic structure of everything contained within the gel. It is an investment, but its an investment worth considering, in our opinion.
Mikra CELLF: The Verdict
While the taste does take some getting used to — and we can't say for certain whether we'd run into supply chain issues down the road — CELLF seems to be an easy, effective way to biohack your healthspan for longer, more prolonged performance. The effects have been a welcomed addition to our daily routine, and despite the higher cost per serving — that cost is minimized with monthly or three-month subscriptions — we will continue to turn to CELLF for defending against oxidative stress.
Time is undefeated, and we feel its record every time we wake. With Mikra's CELLF, you can try and extend the fight, or at least recover from the day — or an untrained marathon — a little easier.