7 Facts from our Elysium Health Review
- Location: New York City, New York
- Products: Dietary supplements for anti-aging purposes and a biological age epigenetic test
- Ordering: Can be ordered from the Elysium Health website
- Privacy: Share personal information for purposes such as providing services and marketing
- Cost: $40 – $60 per month for supplements; $499 for the Index biological age test (may be combined with a supplement subscription to reduce costs)
- Reviews: Good
- Complementary products: Nebula Genomics (DNA test that decodes 100% of DNA and provides the ability to explore genetic markers for longevity)
This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
December 29, 2022
Table of Contents
- 7 Facts from our Elysium Health Review
- Pros and Cons
- The Science Behind Elysium Health
- Review of Elysium Health
- Other Elysium Health Reviews
- Nebula Genomics
Pros and Cons
- 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
- Effectiveness in anti-aging has not been proven in human trials
- Pterostilbene may increase LDL (bad cholesterol) levels
Elysium Health is a dietary supplement company aiming to translate 25 years of anti-aging research into consumer products. Above all, the company is involved in preclinical and clinical trials for several treatments, including those for skin, microbiome, muscle, cognition, and circadian rhythm issues.
Its first clinical trial and flagship products center around aging. Currently, Elysium Health sells four dietary supplements, one to support cellular health and optimization, one for a strengthened immune system, one for metabolic health, 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.
Biological age differs from chronological age in that the former takes into account genetics and lifestyle, while the latter strictly refers to the number of years one has been alive.
In 2014, Dan Alminana, Leonard Guarente, Ph.D., and Eric Marcotulli co-founded Elysium Health. All three are currently on the leadership team as COO, Chief Scientist, and CEO. The headquarters are 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.
Eight Nobel laureates are among the more than 25 researchers and doctors who make up the Elysium Health Scientific Advisory Board. In short, the company claims that its network of renowned scientific advisors contributes to its scientific rigor. Like its competitor, ChromaDex, Elysium Health collaborates with scientific research institutions to access intellectual property, partnerships, and top researchers.
|Before taking supplements like Elysium Health, you may want to learn more about your genetics! Our Whole Genome Sequencing decodes 100% of your DNA and identities all aging-associated genetic markers. Click here to learn more!|
The Science Behind Elysium Health
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is one of the main ingredients in Elysium Basis, the most popular supplement made by Elysium Health. Experts originally identified NR as a trace molecule in milk. Later, scientists discovered it was a precursor to the compound nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is important for the metabolism and repair of cells, which keeps our bodies active and flexible.
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 decline with age, and boosting NAD in mice appears to increase cellular energy levels. Specifically, this correlation is why many believe that increased NAD levels will have similar effects in humans.
ChromaDex, Elysium Health’s competitor, owns the patent for NR synthesis. Chromadex supplied Elysium Health with both NR and pterostilbene, an antioxidant found in red wine. Scientists created Basis, a NAD supplement, using these two substances.
Chromadex ultimately sued Elysium for patent infringement when Elysium allegedly refused to pay a bill for the NR ingredient. Since then, the relationship between the two companies has dissolved. The Chromadex and Elysium Health lawsuit is ongoing.
Due to the lawsuit, Elysium now manufactures a proprietary crystalline version of NR. The patent for this material is pending. It manufactures NR 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 to slow aging and age-related diseases. Multiple scientists are on the patent application, including Elysium Health’s David Sinclair, Ph.D., co-director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School.
Elysium Health promotes cellular health by raising NAD levels but make no anti-aging claims. 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 aging through human studies.
Elysium Health has a large and renowned scientific advisory board. However, critics fear that the company uses the names of respected scientists and flashy marketing to sell a product not 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. On its website, the company states that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated all its statements.
Review of Elysium Health
Elysium Health markets dietary supplements that 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 five products: Basis, Signal, Format, Matter, and Index (an epigenetics test).
Elysium Basis Review
Basis is Elysium Health’s flagship supplement. In brief, it contains two ingredients designed to boost NAD+: nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene. Customers take two capsules every morning, with or without food. The company recommends it for long-term use, suggesting that the NAD-boosting activity may only be maintained if customers continue to use this product.
As a supplement, Basis is considered safe for human consumption. In particular, it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and contains no artificial colors or flavors. The company manufactures it in FDA-compliant and registered facilities and quality check it 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
Elysium Signal Review
Signal’s goal is to improve metabolic function by supplying declining metabolites. It also supports mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cells that play a role in metabolism, the converting of food into energy. The supplement contains NMN, a precursor of NAD+ and SIRT3 Activation Complex. Therefore, this blend contains ingredients that activate SIRT3, a metabolic enzyme that supports new growth and maintenance of mitochondria.
In November 2022 the FDA announced the withdrawal of the New Dietary Ingredients (NDI) status of NMN effectively excluding NMR from the definition of a dietary supplement. The FDA explained that NMR “has been authorized for investigation as a new drug” and thus cannot be sold as a supplement. As of December 22, the FDA has yet to enforce this ban so it remains to be seen how long Signal will remain available.
Customers should take two capsules every morning with or without food.
Elysium Health’s claims to this product are:
- Increasing levels of the critical coenzyme NAD+ by 40% via the highly efficient precursor NMN
- Activating sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) to protect and generate new mitochondria to support cellular energy
- Helping maintain insulin sensitivity, essential to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, in muscle
- Supporting vascular health—critical for your athletic endurance
- Supporting brown fat thermogenesis, a cellular process which converts sugar and fat into heat to help maintain body temperature and support a healthy metabolism
Elysium Format Review
Format supports the immune system. At this time, it contains two systems, a daily immune supplement (composed mainly of vitamin C, a free radical defense complex, and an autophagy activation complex) and a senolytic complex.
Senolytics are a class of compounds that target senescent cells, which accumulate with age and can cause inflammation and other health problems.
Customers should take the daily immune supplement (two capsules) for overall immune system maintenance, while the senolytic complex should be taken on two consecutive days (4 capsules each day) each month.
Elysium’s claims for this product are:
- Supports your body’s natural immune defense
- Provides both daily and monthly immune system support
- Helps maintain healthy aging cells and reduce inflammation
- Incorporates a novel senolytic complex to target age-related cell damage
- Contains three complexes that help protect against the effects of aging
Elysium Matter Review
According to the website, Matter increases brain health with age. It was developed in partnership with the University of Oxford. On the whole, 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.
Scientists have correlated high levels of the amino acid homocysteine to age-related problems, including brain atrophy in healthy older adults. Plasma homocysteine is regulated by certain B vitamins, and are thus 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 gray matter atrophy was slowed by an average of 86%.
Elysium Health disclaims 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 its 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, on the other hand, changes in response to lifestyle and environmental factors. It 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.
Epigenetic modifications can reverse or accelerate the effects of aging. When DNA methylation begins to decrease, it can indicate accelerated aging. The Index test measures this methylation rate to identify a customer’s biological age compared to their chronological age.
Morgan Levine, Ph.D., professor at Yale School of Medicine and Elysium Health’s Bioinformatics Advisor, was instrumental in the creating Index in 2018. Today, the proprietary Elysium Health chip powers the analysis, a technology the company developed in partnership with Illumina. The chip uses the Algorithmic Platform for Epigenetic Examination (APEX) to assess and analyze epigenetics from a saliva sample.
The FDA has not reviewed or approved Index and 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. Secondly, technicians extract DNA at the lab 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.
Technicians load DNA onto the proprietary Elysium chip and scan it to create a customer’s methylation profile. It analyzes the profile and uses it to assess a customer’s biological age. Markedly, it should be noted that Elysium Health’s science can determine the biological age of 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 the results are ready. Users can access their results through an online Elysium Health account. The company intends for customers to take Index regularly over time in order to assess how lifestyle changes continue to affect biological age.
Other companies that offer epigenetic tests are Muhdo, myDNAge, Toolbox Genomics, and TruDiagnostic.
Review of Elysium Health Costs
Each bottle of supplements contains 60 capsules, enough for 30 days.
- One-time-purchase: $60/bottle
- Paid monthly: $50/bottle
- 6 months prepaid: $45/bottle
- 12 months prepaid: $40/bottle
Index Biological Age Test
- Index: $499
- Index with a 6-month Basis subscription: $619
- Index with a 12-month Basis subscription: $779
- Index is not currently covered by insurance.
Popular coupon websites such as Coupons.com and RetailMeNot often run Elysium Health discount codes from 10% to 33% off.
Elysium Health collects information from customers who visit its 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 saliva samples, genetic information, and health data. Genetic information is data collected through the processing of the saliva sample for genetic or epigenetic information, including customer results. On the other hand, 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 to research new products. Elysium Health will not use genetic information for purposes of marketing or advertising. Furthermore, the company de-identifies any genetic information it shares.
It will not use a customer’s personal information for research without consent. Customers can grant permission for their de-identified personal information by completing a Research Consent Form.
Additionally, it protects data for the Index biological age test with industry-standard encryption. Saliva samples sent through the Index test are stored for three months before being destroyed. It will keep the sample longer if the customer opted in to use it for research.
Other Elysium Health Reviews
Elysium Health has a 3.4 star rating on Trustpilot but only six reviews. The positive reviews came from customers who said that they felt the products made them feel better. The low reviews were mainly from customers who had trouble canceling or pausing monthly subscriptions.
There are also reviews for the products on the company’s website. The products all have about a 4.4 star rating. Most of them, including the Index test, only have around 20 reviews. The main product, Basis, has almost 150 reviews.
At Nebula Genomics, we aim to empower you to discover more about your genome, including your genetic markers for longevity. Understanding how your DNA affects things like eating habits, health, and fitness can give you an idea of how well you might be able to reach healthier cells.
DNA tests give customers insights into their genetic aging process. For instance, you may be 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. Experts have associated other genes 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 reported in the literature. When they understand how their genes naturally affect 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, our Whole Genome Sequencing data is of the highest quality and can be used by physicians and genetic counselors.
Elysium Health offers two dietary supplements related to cellular and brain health. Basis, its 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 regarding 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 in trying a test like Index if you can afford the $499 price tag. 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.
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 hefty price tag.
Although people hope these supplements are the fabled “fountain of youth,” there is currently no clinical evidence linking the role of the supplements’ role to lifespan 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.
An alternative energy boosting is Tru Niagen (starting at $30 per month).
If interested in other at-home lab testing and health products, you may want to check out:
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Did you find our Elysium Health review helpful? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.