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.

Why?

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:

  1. Oxidative Damage
  2. Cell DNA Damage
  3. Mitochondrial Damage
  4. Tissue Glycation
  5. Lipofuscin Accumulation
  6. Chronic Inflammation
  7. Immune System Compromise
  8. Neurological Degeneration
  9. Declines in Hormone Levels
  10. Susceptibility to Cancers
  11. Susceptibility to Cardiovascular Disease
  12. Telomere Shortening and Damage
  13. Programmed Epigenomic Changes
  14. Stem Cell Supply Chain Breakdown    
  15. Incorrect protein folding
  16. Accumulation of Progerin
  17. Gene mutations leading to hellicase abnormalities
  18. Increasing mTOR signaling
  19. Declining hypoxic response
  20. Micronutrient triage with aging
Dr. David Sinclair's research focuses on the mitochonria.

Dr. David Sinclair

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:

  1. Elysium’s founders and advisors are world-class — some even being Nobel Laureates;
  2. It’s selling a lot of its flagship supplement, Basis;
  3. It has other products in the works; and
  4. 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.

NAD rebuilds Mitochondria

Illustration by Elysium Health

 

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.

Mitochondrial Function

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

Gene Expression

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.

DNA Maintenance

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 Signaling

Calcium serves as a messenger with a role in muscle contraction, cell growth, neurotransmission, and other activities.

Metabolic Health

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.

Liver Health

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.

Circadian Rhythm

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.
Duration Eight weeks.
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.

Nobel Laureates

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.

From Elysium Health. Click pic for more info.

Bottom Line: Elysium Health just got $20 million despite the fact that they don’t make or control the most important ingredient (Nicotinamide Riboside) in their only product (Basis). I think they were able to attract such funding because of the popularity of their brand (and subsequent sales of Basis), the stature of  their Founders and Advisors (seven of whom are Nobel Laureates), their pipeline of future products (which I know nothing about at present) and the enviable success (and rarity) of their human clinical trails, so far.

 

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, Founder Prohealth

Rich Carson, Founder of Prohealth

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.

Gabe Macon, Prohealth manager

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?

Answer: Price.

The Basis/NAD+Ignite Price Comparison

 

NAD+Ignite is cheaper than Basis

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.

Bottom Line: You get more for your money with Prohealth’s NAD+Ignite.

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.

 

Prohealth's NAD+Ignite offers much more Niagin than does Elysium's Basis for less money.

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!

Stay tuned!

 

NAD+Ignite with Niagen

Click pic for more info.

 

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Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 15 comments
W. Corey Trencg - December 11, 2016

Joe,

We’re all hopeful. A month to go and I have been on Basis for a year. Will continue, pending your article. I have missed days. I wonder if blood levels are still maintained at a day or two missed in a week?

I sleep better and wake up better. This has been a clear and continuing effect for me. I drink less coffee. That has also continued.

I am 62 and a caregiver. Any advantage, even if perceived, I will take.

Now, this is really subjective. I have noticed an improvement in my memory and vocabulary. You are a writer, so you know how important cognitive ability is. I wish I could say that there was a perfect correlation, I just began to notice words coming out of my mouth, or pen, that caused me to have a double-take experience. Strange, I know.

Exercise-wise, I do what I like and when I like it. Once an avid aerobic exerciser, at 60 I began to do much less. I prefer the golf range and walking nine holes 5 – 7 days a week. My joints and muscle tightness I work on by various stretches, semi-faithfully. Find chiropractic care helpful. For over 10 years, Egoscue’s Pain Free is a favorite book. I have had arthritis, but no operations. None anticipated. Yes, I tend to spend much time on mind work, finding hours tick by. But, that’s the life I like and prefer.

You do great work for us out here. NR offers promise, it seems. Look forward to your reporting and analysis.

Reply
Jean Marie Lescohier - December 11, 2016

The new ProHealth product sounds like it has potential but the price goes up to over $132.00 a month. One would require a noticeable affect at that point.

Thank you, Joe!
Jean Marie

Reply
Angele - December 11, 2016

Read somewhere that niacinamide or even niacin are the less expensive versions, which take the same path for longevity. Is this possible and if not why? I take low dose aspirin + 250 mg niacin + 500 mg metformin daily and sometimes switch up the niacin for niacinamide. Once a month on an empty stomach I do the IP6. Alpha-lipoic Acid once a week. Don’t have diabetes or any other health issues so would like your opinion because it would be interesting to know if feeling this good (have a lot more energy and stamina than ever before but have drastically changed diet also) is placebo & am I going overboard? The more one reads the more supplements one adds:-)
Thanks for your very informative site and newsletter. Look forward to them!

Reply
Joe Garma - December 11, 2016

Hi Angele. Frankly, I’d have to do some digging to respond to your question in an informative and cogent manner. Like w/ all health interventions, there’s debate about everything. In fact, specific to your niacin/niacinamide habit, longevity expert Vince Giuliano writes a long and detailed posts that basically threads the needle concerning it’s anti-aging value, and concludes that it might be dose dependent. See http://www.anti-agingfirewalls.com/2010/03/30/niacin-or-niacinamide-supplementation-%E2%80%93-good-or-bad-idea/

Interesting that you take Metformin given that you don’t have diabetes. This is something that I’ve thought to do, cause as you probably know, Metformin is being studied (as is Rapamycin) to learn if it has anti-aging properties. If you haven’t already, read my post on Metformin (and Rapamycin). You’ll realize that your positive experiences on it are not uncommon: https://www.garmaonhealth.com/two-anti-aging-drugs-supplements/

Reply
Joe Garma - December 11, 2016

Jean, depends on the dose. If you take one capsule with 333 mgs per day of Prohealth’s prdouct, you’d consume 83 mgs more Nicotinamide Riboside than what’s in Basis’ daily dose of 250 mgs. At that rate of consumption, the Prohealth product will last two months, or $30 per month.

Reply
Joe Garma - December 11, 2016

Thanks for taking the time to comment, W. Corey. Comments like yours provide a great service for readers trying to discern what actions they might take to improve their health.

Reply
annie - August 31, 2017

Your questions may be answered here:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4040764-chromadex-response-claim-niagen-just-expensive-vitamin-b3

interview/discussion with Dr Brenner that has lively discussion in the comment section. Dr Brenner discovered NR to be a NAD precursor.

Reply
Curtis - January 10, 2018

What is going on with ProHealth’s NAD+ Ignite? As of January 2018 I can’t find it for sale on their site nor on Amazon.

Update please.

Thank you.

Reply
Joe Garma - January 10, 2018

Curtis, I don’t work for Prohealth. Suggest you call them: 800-366-6056.

Reply
Mark - January 11, 2018

Also wondering why they don’t sell on Amazon anymore, you may have snagged the last 4 bottles! Also I tried calling (product not even listed on their website) and on hold a long time, gave up, filled on online contact form so maybe will get an email reply.

Reply
Joe Garma - January 11, 2018

Mark, one big thing that might be hampering a quick response from Prohealth is that their business has been disrupted first by the fires in southern CA and now by the floods there. I have forwarded your inquiry and Curtis’ (see Comments) to Prohealth’s General Manager via email and got an autoresponder message about him needing to work out of the office etc.

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Janette - January 30, 2018

So, has it been taken off the market? I need some more but it can’t be found. What gives?

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Joe Garma - January 30, 2018

Janette, my sense is that the supply of niagen from the manufacturer, Chromadex is in short supply, at least for Prohealth. You might try Life Extension’s product, http://amzn.to/2BDVX3l, or Elysium’s Basis, https://www.elysiumhealth.com/product-plan

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Janette Dollar - February 5, 2018

Thanks Joe. I emailed ProHealth and I got a response but it didn’t make a lot of sense. Something about they couldn’t get it from the supplier anymore, but they could sell it in a lower dose…? Sounds pretty sketchy, like someone strong-armed the competition. Perhaps you can understand better what they are saying here? Here is the response I got:

“Hello,
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience Chromadex the manufacturers that own the register trademark Niagen we use in the NAD+ Ignite want to be the exclusive sellers of their Niagen so unfortunately we no longer have it in stock and we can no longer produce the product so it has been discontinued. Below are links to our website for a product that we carry from Life Extension with Chromadex Niagen in a 250 mg. 30 capsule N1420 Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator 250 mg. for $39.95 and we are selling two bottles of item N1420B Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator 250 mg.at $79.90. Warmest regards.”

Reply
Joe Garma - February 5, 2018

Janette, yes, what Prohealth wrote to you coincides with my understanding. One reason I had recommended the Prohealth product is because it offered the most niagen for the money, but given that they can no longer acquire it from the supplier, Chromadex, you might consider either the Life Extension product mentioned, or the one (called “Basis”) from Elysium Health.

Reply

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