elysium-health-review

Elysium Health review – Can it fuel your cell with energy and slow down aging?

Rating based on our Elysium Health Review

7 Facts from our Elysium Health Review

  1. Elysium Health location: New York City, New York
  2. Products: Dietary supplements for anti-aging purposes and a biological age epigenetic test
  3. Ordering: Can be ordered from the Elysium Health website
  4. Privacy: Share personal information for purposes such as providing services and marketing
  5. Cost: $40 – $60 per month for supplements; $499 for the Index biological age test (may save up to $200 when combined with a supplement subscription)
  6. Reviews: Good
  7. Complementary products: Nebula Genomics (DNA test that decodes 100% of DNA and provides the ability to explore genetic markers for longevity)
  8. Alternatives: Tru Niagen (starting at $30 per month)

Elysium Health Introduction

This is a review of Elysium Health, a dietary supplement company that aims to translate 25 years of anti-aging research into consumer products. The company is currently involved in preclinical and clinical trials for a number of treatments, including those for skin, microbiome, muscle, cognition, and circadian rhythm issues. 

Elysium health research studies.
Elysium Health research studies.

Their first clinical trial and flagship products are centered around aging. Currently, Elysium Health sells two dietary supplements, one to support cellular health and optimization, and another for long term brain health. The company also sells an at-home epigenetics test that reports a customer’s biological age, rate of aging, and general recommendations for a healthier aging process. 

Elysium Health was co-founded by Dan Alminana, Leonard Guarente, Ph.D., and Eric Marcotulli in 2014. All three co-founders currently sit on the leadership board as COO, Chief Scientist, and CEO, respectively. Their headquarters is located in New York City, NY. Alminana and Marcotulli have backgrounds in Silicon Valley and Dr. Guarente is a research scientist and director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at MIT.  

The Elysium Health Scientific Advisory Board is composed of more than 25 researchers and clinicians, including eight Nobel Laureates. The company claims that their network of renowned scientific advisors contributes to their scientific rigor. Like their competitor, ChromaDex, Elysium Health collaborates with scientific research institutions to access the intellectual property, partnerships, and top researchers. 

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The Science Behind Elysium Health

One of the primary ingredients in Elysium Health’s flagship supplement, Basis, is nicotinamide riboside (NR). NR was originally known as a trace molecule in milk. Later, it was discovered to be a precursor to the compound nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD plays a key role in cellular metabolism and repair, keeping our bodies active and agile. 

While studying yeast, Dr. Guarente discovered a gene, SIR2 that increased the lifespan of yeast when activated. His lab soon learned that NAD was essential for this gene’s function. In humans, NAD levels naturally decline with age, and boosting NAD in mice appears to increase cellular energy. This correlation is why many believe that increased NAD levels will have similar effects in humans.

Basis capsule and ingredients.
Basis capsule and ingredients.

The patent for NR synthesis is held by Elysium Health’s competitor, ChromaDex. Elysium Health purchased both NR and pterostilbene, an antioxidant found in red wine, from Chromadex. They used these two ingredients to create Basis, a NAD supplementation. 

Since then, the relationship between the two companies has dissolved. Chromadex ultimately sued Elysium for patent infringement when Elysium allegedly refused to pay a bill for the NR ingredient. 

Elysium now manufactures a proprietary crystalline version of NR. The patent for this material is pending. NR is manufactured in FDA-compliant and registered facilities. 

In 2018, Elysium Health entered an exclusive license agreement with Mayo Clinic and Harvard University to use NR for dietary supplement applications in the slowing of aging and age-related diseases. Multiple scientists are on the patent application including David Sinclair, Ph.D., co-director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School.

It should be noted that Elysium Health supplements are marketed as promoting cellular health by increasing cellular NAD levels but make no claims of anti-aging. The company published a clinical study in 2017 citing an average of 40% higher amounts of NAD in participants taking Basis. Here, 120 people from 60 to 80 years old took either a placebo or a regular or double dose of the Basis pill for eight weeks. Thus Elysium Health states on its website that Basis was clinically proven to increase NAD+ levels by an average of 40%.

Scientists found the NR supplement to be safe and biologically active. However, no one has yet proven that increased NAD levels have any impact on human aging. 

Elysium Health has a large and renowned scientific advisory board. Critics fear that the company uses the names of respected scientists and flashy marketing to sell a product that has not been scientifically validated. Such critiques come from top scientists like Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier of Harvard University, who wrote a scathing opinion piece in the Boston Globe in 2017. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not required to approve supplements as long as they are safe for human consumption. Because of this, Elysium Health has been able to bypass most federal regulations. The company states on its website that all its statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Review of Elysium Health

Elysium Health is a company that markets dietary supplements, with the goal of increasing cellular health. Although not directly promoted as anti-aging products, supplements like those sold by Elysium Health raise levels of NAD, a molecule that declines with aging. 

Review of Elysium Health Products  

Elysium Health currently sells three products: Basis, Matter, and Index (an epigenetics test).

Basis

Basis is Elysium Health’s flagship supplement. It contains two ingredients designed to boost NAD: nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene. Customers are instructed to take two capsules every morning, with or without food. It is recommended for long term use, suggesting that the NAD boosting activity may only be maintained if customers continue to use this product.

Elysium Health Basis.
Elysium Health Basis.

As a supplement, Basis is considered safe for human consumption. It is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and contains no artificial colors or flavors. It is manufactured in FDA-compliant and registered facilities and quality checked by independent, third-party labs. 

Elysium Health claims to this product:

  • Promotes a healthy cellular aging process
  • Activates sirtuins, which play a key role in cellular health
  • Supports cellular energy and helps maintain healthy DNA
  • Maintains hundreds of integral processes in your cells

Matter

Matter is marketed as a supplement to increase brain health with age. It was developed in partnership with the University of Oxford. The ingredients in Matter include a B vitamin complex patented by Oxford that claims to slow brain atrophy. It also contains fast-absorbing omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which further support cognitive health. 

Elysium Health Matter.
Elysium Health Matter.

High levels of the amino acid homocysteine have been correlated to age-related problems, including brain atrophy in healthy older adults. Plasma homocysteine is regulated by certain B vitamins, which were utilized in the patented B vitamin complex developed at Oxford. 

In a two-year Oxford clinical study,  168 adults over 70 years old with mild memory concerns participated in a 2-year study. The B-vitamin complex in Matter reduced homocysteine levels and slowed the rate of brain atrophy by 30% compared to a placebo. In certain brain regions, the rate of grey matter atrophy was slowed by an average of 86%. 

Elysium Health provides the disclaimer that individual results may vary and not everyone may achieve results.

Elysium Health claims this product:

  • Features a clinically proven B-vitamin complex patented by Oxford to slow brain atrophy as you age
  • The B-vitamin complex slows age-related grey matter atrophy in regions important for learning and memory by an average of 86%
  • Includes omega-3 fatty acids with enhanced bioavailability and antioxidants called anthocyanins to further support cognitive health

Review of Elysium Health Index Biological Age Test

Index is an at-home test designed to track how fast customers have been aging based on epigenetics. Elysium Health provides a cumulative rate of aging and biological age in their report. The overall biological age is meant to quantify how a customer’s general health would compare to a person of average health at that age. Specifically, the analysis looks for DNA methylation (a natural process that tends to suppress gene transcription) in a customer’s genome. While methylation isn’t the only epigenetic modification to occur, it is common and corresponds closely with other age-related biomarkers. 

Genetic, lifestyle, environmental, and temporal factors impact DNA methylation. Lifestyle includes choices like fitness, diet, smoking, drinking, etc. Along with the cumulative rate of aging and overall biological age, the Index report provides recommendations on how customers can improve their biological age through lifestyle changes. 

The science behind Index

Epigenetics is different from genetics. Most at-home DNA Tests, like those purchased from 23andMe, Ancestry, or Nebula Genomics, analyze the underlying genetic code. This code provides insights into things like health-related predispositions, character traits, and ancestry. The DNA genome is fixed. 

Epigenetics involves changes caused by modifications that turn genes on or off, not the code itself. Ultimately, epigenetic changes regulate cellular activity. Unlike the static DNA genome, epigenetics is dynamic throughout a lifetime.

Morgan Levine, Ph.D., professor at Yale School of Medicine and Elysium Health’s Bioinformatics Advisor, was instrumental in the creation of Index in 2018. Today, the analysis is powered by the proprietary Elysium Health chip, developed in partnership with Illumina. The chip uses the Algorithmic Platform for Epigenetic Examination (APEX) to assess and analyze epigenetics from a saliva sample.

Elysium Health Index.
Elysium Health Index.

Index has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition or assess the risk of any disease or condition.

Taking an Elysium Health Index Test

Customers follow the instructions to collect a saliva sample and mail it to Elysium Health’s CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited lab for analysis. At the lab, technicians extract DNA and determine sites on the genome where an epigenetic biomarker called DNA methylation has occurred. Methylation occurs when cellular machinery adds a chemical group to a DNA strand, turning off that gene. 

DNA is loaded onto the proprietary Elysium chip and scanned to create a customer’s methylation profile. They analyze the profile and use it to assess a customer’s biological age. It should be noted that Elysium Health’s science can determine a biological age for different tissues in the body. The “overall” age provided in the Index report is an average of the various ages of different tissues. 

About six weeks after receiving the sample, customers will receive an email indicating that their results are ready. Results can be accessed through an online Elysium Health account. Index is intended to be taken regularly over time in order to assess how lifestyle changes continue to affect biological age. 

Review of Elysium Health Costs

Basis and Matter dietary supplements. Each bottle contains 60 capsules, enough for 30 days.

  • Individual bottle: $60/bottle
  • Paid monthly: $50/bottle
  • 6 months prepaid: $270/bottle
  • 12 months prepaid: $480/bottle

Index Biological Age Test

  • Index: $499
  • Index with a 6-month Basis subscription: $150 off, total price = $619
  • Index with a 12-month Basis subscription: $200 off, total price = $779
  • Index is not currently covered by insurance.

Review of Elysium Health Privacy Policy

Elysium Health collects information from customers who visit their website, including name, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth, purchase, and ordering history. 

Customers who order the Index biological age test also provide their saliva samples, genetic information, and health data. Genetic information is information collected through the processing of the saliva sample for genetic or epigenetic information, including customer results. Health data includes information voluntarily provided by the customer on surveys including health history and ancestry. 

Elysium Health uses information collected to provide goods and services and for marketing purposes. Customers may opt-in to allow the company to use their genetic information for research into new products. Elysium Health will not use genetic information for purposes of marketing or advertising. Any shared genetic information is de-identified. 

Customer’s personal information will not be used for research without the customer’s consent. Customers may provide their consent for their de-identified personal information through a Research Consent Form

Data for the Index biological age test is protected with industry-standard encryption. Saliva samples sent through the Index test are stored for three months before being destroyed. The sample will be kept longer if the customer opted in to use their sample for research. 

Other Elysium Health Reviews

Elysium Health Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A funded clinical trial shows that Basis increases NAD by 40% in human subjects
  • Contains both NR and an antioxidant ingredient
  • A scientific advisory board that includes eight Nobel Prize winners

Cons

  • Effectiveness in anti-aging has not been proven in human trials
  • Pterostilbene may increase LDL (bad cholesterol) levels

Nebula Genomics

We finish our Elysium Health review by taking a look at a complementary product.

At Nebula Genomics, our goal is to empower you to discover more about your genome including your genetic markers for longevity. By understanding how your genome influences things like eating habits, health, and fitness, you can gain insight into how well you may be able to achieve healthier cells. 

Additionally, DNA tests allow customers the chance to gain insights into their genetic aging process. For instance, maybe you are interested in the human equivalent of the gene that Dr. Guarente, the Chief Scientist at Elysium Health, discovered in yeast. 

In humans, this gene is SIRT1. It codes for a NAD-dependent enzyme important for cellular regulation. It is also the basis of Elysium Health’s claims for its cellular health supplement products. Other genes have been associated with aging, including FOXO3, IGF1R, SIRT3, and APOE

With our gene analysis tool, you can examine these genes (and many more) and identify relevant genetic variants that have been reported in the literature. By understanding how their genes naturally affect their aging, customers can better decide whether taking any supplement, including ones that promote age-related health, is right for them.

Nebula Genomics offers the most comprehensive genetic testing through whole-genome sequencing. With our new 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service, we determine 100% of your DNA. This means that you are not limited to certain sections of your genome or specific analyses. 

You can sequence your DNA today and go back to it to analyze new questions. Even if you are not interested in cellular health supplements today, you may find you have questions later. Your DNA can then provide you with more information, possibly saving you money by targeting your supplement search. 

Genome sequencing allows customers the freedom to explore many genetics-related questions. Furthermore, Nebula’s CLIA-certified lab data can be used in consultation with genetic counselors and medical providers.

Summary

Elysium Health offers two dietary supplements related to cellular and brain health. Basis, their flagship product, contains an ingredient that boosts NAD levels in the body. Since NAD decline is associated with aging, people hope that increasing NAD will decrease the effects of physiological aging. Although trials are ongoing, there has been no clinical evidence that NAD levels affect the aging process in humans. 

Although Elysium Health’s clinical trial demonstrated its product did not cause significant side effects and was effective, there have been safety concerns with regards to toluene contamination and raised LDL levels. As a supplement, there is almost no regulation needed by the FDA. 

Overall, the science to support the calculation of biological age based on averaged epigenetic analysis is still in its infancy. There is no harm to trying a test like Index if you can afford the $499 price tag. And you might gain insights into targeted ways to improve your general health. TeloYears offers a similar test that tracks cellular age based on a different factor, telomere length, for $89. 

Overall, Elysium Health products may increase cellular energy and help customers feel younger. There appear to be few risks in taking the supplements, aside from a large price tag. 

Although people hope that these supplements are the fabled “fountain of youth”, there is currently no clinical evidence linking the role of the supplements to life span or other health benefits. 

Genetic factors influence aging as well. A whole-genome sequencing product like the one offered by Nebula Genomics can help you understand those factors and inform your decision to purchase dietary supplements.

Did you like out Elysium Health review? You can find more reviews here!

Did you like our Elysium Health review? You can find more reviews here! In particular, you might be interested in these articles:

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