An Experiment in Longevity
As the CEO of a technology executive search firm, we are a nerdy recruiting practice. That is why we share our favorite technology recruiting scenes from the hit HBO series Silicon Valley, It is also why scientific experiments hold a certain “shiny object” appeal. As a result, my husband and I have started taking the Elysium Health nutraceutical Basis as an experiment in longevity.
(For the record, I have no direct or indirect relationship with Elysium. I have not been paid for the above post. I simply find the science interesting.)
The Science of Elysium
Elysium Health has turned chemicals that lengthen the lives of mice and worms in the laboratory into the over-the-counter vitamin pill that people can take to combat aging. Only thing is there can be a huge difference between what works in the lab on other life forms and what works on live human beings. So, my friends, while this may extend our lives — while it is possible — it is, by no means, certain.
MIT Technology Review put it this way:
This means there’s no guarantee that Elysium’s first product, a blue pill called Basis that is going on sale this week, will actually keep you young. The product contains a chemical precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD, a compound that cells use to carry out metabolic reactions like releasing energy from glucose. The compound is believed cause some effects similar to a diet that is severely short on calories—a proven way to make a mouse live longer.
A Skeptic’s Reasoning
So why take longevity vitamins that may not work? Hmmm. Well, the company has five Nobel Prize winners advising it including neuroscientist Eric Kandel, biologist Thomas Südhof, origin-of-life theorist Jack Szostak, and the 2013 laureate in chemistry Martin Karplus. I’m taking a flyer on their collective intelligence. If it doesn’t work, all it costs me is the $60 per month for the supplement. If it works, well, we’ll be making history.
Update: Since first writing the above post, a local physician told me that he and a number of his patients have started taking the supplement. He reports that they observe greater energy and that their hair has gotten thicker and is growing faster. As for the fountain of youth thing. The jury is still out. That said, I must confess that I have not been compliant taking the supplement. I have not taken the supplement consistently enough to observe any change. Upon hearing the news from the doctor, I set a reminder to take the supplement daily to see if I observe the same results that the physician has observed. I will keep you posted on how the experiment goes. If you also take the supplement, let me know your thoughts.