Elysium Health’s Basis Just Got $20 Million But Prohealth’s NAD+Ignite Is The Better Deal
Elysium Health’s Basis is a good anti-aging supplement that might be get edged out by Prohealth’s cheaper NAD+Ignite. Here’s what you should know about these clinically tested mitochondrial enhancers.
ELYSIUM HEALTH is a fairly new, one product, anti-aging supplement company that just received $20 million in funding. The investors who shelled out the money aren’t stupid — they reckon that Elysium’s got something good going on, and it appears they do.
Although there are others in the pipeline, Elysium currently has just one supplement. It’s called Basis, which I wrote about in the article, Can Elysium’s Basis Pill Really Make You Younger?, where I quoted this from their website:
Basis works at the cellular level, targeting critical metabolic components that support systems such as energy production, DNA repair, cellular detoxification, and protein folding.
Basis contains two novel compounds. The first, Nicotinamide Riboside, is a precursor of the critical coenzyme NAD+, which is involved in metabolic processes such as energy production, DNA repair, cellular detoxification, the inflammatory response, and protein folding.
The second component is a new polyphenol compound, Pterostilbene, which like the NAD+ precursor, promotes metabolic health. The effects of both compounds have been scientifically validated in numerous laboratories.
Elysium’s investors are doling out $20 million dollars to fund a young company whose only currently available product is made from two widely available supplements, Nicotiamide Riboside and Pterostilbene.
Well, I’m going to venture a few educated guesses to answer that one, and show you an alternative product that just might get you younger, cheaper — assuming that can even happen.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- Why Nicotinamide Riboside might make you younger;
- How Elysium Health’s Basis supplement is grabbing notoriety and money;
- What NAD and sirutins do to potentially reverse aging; and
- Why Prohealth’s new NAD+Ignite could whup Basis, if you care about cost.
Let’s dig in…
Why Nicotinamide Riboside?
As you’ll see in a moment, Nicotinamide Riboside is derived from a common B vitamin that may help delay specific biochemical reactions behind the Mitochondrial Theory of aging, one of 20 theories of aging; namely:
- Oxidative Damage
- Cell DNA Damage
- Mitochondrial Damage
- Tissue Glycation
- Lipofuscin Accumulation
- Chronic Inflammation
- Immune System Compromise
- Neurological Degeneration
- Declines in Hormone Levels
- Susceptibility to Cancers
- Susceptibility to Cardiovascular Disease
- Telomere Shortening and Damage
- Programmed Epigenomic Changes
- Stem Cell Supply Chain Breakdown
- Incorrect protein folding
- Accumulation of Progerin
- Gene mutations leading to hellicase abnormalities
- Increasing mTOR signaling
- Declining hypoxic response
- Micronutrient triage with aging
A real bright and personable fella named Dr. David Sinclair has devoted himself to research focused on discovering the root cause of aging, which for him is about the Mitochondrial Theory of aging, #3 above.
Mitochondria are the organelles in our cells that make chemical energy called ATP. As we age we lose our mitochondrial function and therefore less ATP is produced.
New research suggests that communication between the nucleus in the mitochondria is compromised over time, which reduces ATP. Not good, given that one of major causes of most diseases related to or coincident with aging is thought to be due to diminished ATP production.
The good news is that Dr. Sinclair’s research indicates that this communication can be restored and aging reversed, at least in mice.
Sinclair discovered that a small molecule called NAD is critical to the inter-cellular communication required for ATP. In mouse studies, he increased NAD levels to youthful levels, and within one week the cellular communication was reestablished, the mitochondria got revved up, ATP production increased and the mice become younger.
In fact, two-year old mice whose NAD levels were increased became biologically equivalent to six-month old mice. For a human, this is equivalent to turning a 56 year-old into his or her 36-year old self.
Click here to watch Dr. Sinclair explain why cellular communication is like that of a married couple.
Dr. Sinclair, and others experimenting with repairing and restoring mitochondria use a form of vitamin B3 called NIAGEN® , also known as nicotinamide riboside (“NR”), a proprietary formulation made by ChromaDex, which currently is the only producer of it worldwide.
It’s NR that boosts NAD+ levels and thereby improves mitochondrial and ATP function.
NAD+ enables cells to covert the food that we eat into the energy that we need. NAD+ is also the communication molecule between the cell nucleus and the mitochondria which are the energy producing (aka “ATP”) factories in the cell. If NAD+ levels are low, then communication may be impaired and mitochondria dysfunction may result. When this occurs, everything begins to breakdown.
Basis, Elysium’s One-Trick Pony
They may have just one trick right now, but if Elysium Health’s Basis can really restore mitochondria, that $20 million investment is easily understood.
Consider these four factors:
- Elysium’s founders and advisors are world-class — some even being Nobel Laureates;
- It’s selling a lot of its flagship supplement, Basis;
- It has other products in the works; and
- Basis is undergoing human trail to prove its effectiveness, something almost unheard of for a supplement.
The aforementioned ChromaDex supplies NR to Elysium and — as we’ll get to in a minute — to a new Basis competitor, Prohealth.
Elysium then combines 250 mgs of the NR they source from ChromaDex with 50 mgs of a resveratrol-type polyphenol called Pterostilbene, and — viola — you have two capsules (one serving) of Basis.
Yes, Basis is simply a formulation of two ingredients (compounds) — Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Pterostilbene in capsule form. The compounds restore levels of the coenzyme NAD+ (which declines in humans beginning in our 20s) and supports healthy sirtuin activity.
The Pterostilbene is a powerful polyphenol created by plants to protect against internal and external stress. It is available in the human diet only in trace amounts in certain types of berries.
Pterostilbene is more bioavailable than other plant-derived compounds in the same family, meaning that it’s more readily absorbed by the body, and lab studies have shown that it may improve metabolic health, in particular by activating sirtuins.
What are sirtuins?
Sirtuins are a class of proteins that help regulate important biological pathways that can turn our genes on and off to control our body’s response to nutrition levels and stress.
Sirtuins require NAD+ to function. NAD+ declines in organisms as they age, including in humans, and sirtuins depend on NAD+ to function.
Click here to see what NAD+ and sirtuins affect genes, DNA, stem cells, liver and metabolic health, etc.
What NAD+ and Sirtuins Do
NAD+ and sirtuins are essential to metabolic health. Since sirtuins are dependent on NAD+, their functions often overlap.
The mitochondria turn nutrition into energy by generating ATP, a molecule that transports energy within cells. ATP is the main, and most efficient, energy source for cellular function
Sirtuins use NAD+ in the regulation of gene transcription, which means that they turn genes on and off to control our body’s response to nutrition levels and stress.
Our DNA is constantly exposed to naturally-occurring factors (e.g., reactive oxygen species or “free radicals”) and external stress (e.g., UVB light), that can harm its structure. When our cells are functioning properly they monitor and correct the mistakes, leading to a more stable genome.
Stem Cell Maintenance
Organs depend on stem cells for regular maintenance, so having a healthy number of functioning stem cells is essential to overall well-being.
Calcium serves as a messenger with a role in muscle contraction, cell growth, neurotransmission, and other activities.
Sirtuins assume a variety of roles in response to stress to maintain health in the cell. Likewise, NAD+ is essential to a whole category of processes known as oxidation-reduction (or redox) reactions. The most important redox reactions in humans are part the process in which our cells convert raw energy, in the form of food, into the type of energy that our body can use: ATP.
The liver is central to all metabolic processes in the body, from breaking down fats for energy to modulating the level of blood sugar. These metabolic processes depend on NAD+.
Unfolded Protein Response
After being translated from mRNA to a linear chain of amino acids, proteins are folded into a three-dimensional shape that corresponds with their function. Proteins that aren’t properly assembled are destroyed before they ever leave the cell.
The cell’s — and body’s — memory for, and response to, nutritional and environmental cues, which among other things helps govern our sleep and wake cycle.
(From Elysium Health’s Basis page.)
The Basis Clinical Study
Though there are only two widely available ingredients that make up Basis, it’s effects are said to be monumental:
In our [Elysium’s] first clinical trial participants who took the recommended dose of Basis saw their NAD+ levels increase an average of 40% and remain at that level for the duration of the trial.
That claim is underscored by the maker of NR (“NIAGEN®“), ChromaDex, which touts:
n a recent human study, one serving of NIAGEN® increased NAD+ levels by 33% in 8 hours.
Elysium says this about their clinical study:
[We] conducted a first-in-humans study demonstrating clearly that Basis can increase NAD+ levels in the blood safely and sustainably. The study, which was placebo-controlled, randomized, and double-blind, found that in participants taking the recommended dose of Basis (250mg NR and 50mg pterostilbene), NAD+ levels increased from baseline in whole blood by an average of 40% at four weeks and maintained that increase for the duration of the trial. The study confirmed that Basis is an effective NAD+ precursor in humans and is a vital first step to elucidating how Basis supports human health.
Elysium Health Clinical Test On Basis
|Participants||120 healthy men and women aged 60-80.|
|Randomized||Patients assigned to different groups (placebo, recommended dose, double recommended dose) randomly to avoid bias.|
|Double-blind||Neither the participants nor the researchers know which participants belong to each group.|
|Placebo-controlled||The control group of a study receives a placebo (an inert substance) to account for effects of treatment that don’t rely on the treatment itself.|
|Safety Parameters||Biomarkers tested to determine the safety of the product, including CBC, electrolytes, kidney function, liver function.|
It’s pretty much unheard of that a supplement will got through the scrutiny and expense of doing clinical human trials to learn if a supplement performs as advertised, so I tip my hat to Elysium for doing this, as I guess did their investors.
Having Nobel Laureates on board must have helped, too.
Before we move on to Prohealth, Elysium’s new competitor, I’d like to present the formidable stable of brainiacs that have so ably built Elysium’s brand, and no doubt was a big part of why they were able to attracted the $20 million investment.
Here are the seven winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry and physiology or medicine in areas of research including neuroscience, complex chemical systems, and biochemistry who are involved in the company.
Enter Prohealth’s NAD+Ignite, The Basis Competitor.
Before I get into how Prohealth’s new NAD+Ignite might become an able competitor to Basis, a disclosure is in order.
Rich Carson, the Founder of Prohealth, is a college friend of mine. Over the 20+ years of Prohealth’s existence, I’ve regularly worked with his staff on various aspects of the business. This connection does not bias me toward the supplements that Prohealth makes or resells, but it does make me want him and his company to be successful.
At the beginning of this year, I told Rich and his able General Manger, Gabe Macon, that I was going to take Basis for 12 months and pay attention to what, if anything, happened that I could discern.
From time to time they asked me what I thought, and I told them something about which they’re already keenly aware, that unless you control for everything else you’re doing — like a real experiment does — it’s hard to tell what some new supplement you begin taking may do or not do.
Now nearly a year of religiously taking my two capsule suggested dose of Basis every day, I can confidently report that I have no idea if I’m like that two-year old mouse that’s now prancing about like a six-month old.
Could it be because the 250 mgs dose of NR was too low, or because I’m healthy enough that Basis, in effect, had little to “heal”?
Which brings me to Gabe Macon’s (the Prohealth manager) response to my question of his experience using a much higher dose that his NAD+Ignite product offers at 333 mgs per capsule.
This is what Gabe told me:
I’ve been taking 725 mgs per day. I felt nothing at lower doses and am having success at this higher dose, so you might notice the same thing.
Most suppliers are saying 250 mgs is the dose, but it is only 125 mgs per cap. Somewhat deceptive because many people assume a dose is one cap, especially with the milligrams being so small.
You’ll notice our product is more of a yellowish orange color because that is much closer to the color of the raw material.
Many of the bad review of Niagen [NR] have to do with it being expensive and users not feeling anything. Once you crank that dose up is when I thing the product start to really shine.
How will Prohealth’s NAD+Ignite compete with Basis?
The Basis/NAD+Ignite Price Comparison
Both NAD+Ignite and Basis get their NR from ChromaDex. Elysium adds Pterostilbene, which is a good thing. Prohealth does not add any other supplement yet, though they’re considering adding PQQ, about which I’ll write about later if they do.
Elysium Health’s Basis costs $60 a bottle ($50 if you get a year’s supply). Given that a bottle of Basis contains 7.5 grams of NR and 1.5 grams of Pterostilbene, a $60 bottle costs $6.67 per gram for the combined ingredients.
Prohealth’s NAD+Ignite costs $60 a bottle. A bottle of NAD+Ignite contains 19.98 grams of NR, but no Pterostilbene. To make the comparison fair, we need to add the price of Pterostilbene.
Amazon.com offers a wide range of Pterostilbene supplements.
Jarrow Formulas Pterostilbene is a good brand, and provides 3,000 mgs per bottle for $12.11. That’s twice the amount of Pterostilbene contained in a bottle of Basis, so we’ll add $6.05 (one half $12.11) to the price of NAD+Ignite.
Thus, NAD+Ignite and Jarrow’s Pterostilbene can be purchased for $66.05 ($60 + $6.05), yielding a total of 21.48 grams (19.98 + 1.5), which comes out to a cost of $3.07 per gram — less than half the cost of Basis.
UPDATE: Prohealth had to increase the price of NAD+Ignite by $5.00 because of concerns by the manufacturer that the low price would undermine the perceived value of the Naigen. Nonethless, you would still pay half of what Basis costs, including the bottle of Pterostilbene.
My Experience With Nicotinamide Riboside
As mentioned, I’ve been on Basis for nearly a year and can’t say I noticed anything that I can confidently point to Basis as the cause. Certainly, this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t.
Perhaps a 210 pounder like me needed more than the 250 mgs of NR per day suggested by Basis.
What’s next up for me is to try NAD+Ignite. I ordered four bottles from Amazon and expect it later today.
My intention is to begin with the suggested dose of 333 mgs per day for a week, and then add another 333 mgs to see if the dose matters for me, as it does for Prohealth’s manger, Gabe.
Of course, I’ll report my finding on this site. If you’re not a Subscriber, become one, so you don’t miss a thing!