Elysium Basis May Not Be What You Think It Is

9 December 2017 (21 October 2016)
Lincoln Cannon

Elysium Basis

Elysium Basis is hot. It seems like just about everyone interested in dietary supplements has begun talking about this product and the company behind it. And quite a few longtime users of nootropics and geroprotectors have begun subscribing to the $50 per month service, in hopes that it will deliver cellular detoxification, DNA repair, and energy production.

Elysium has orchestrated a smart marketing campaign. It showcases a formidable science advisory board, consisting of over 20 scientists from prestigious research and industry institutions. And it appeals to over 30 peer-reviewed clinical studies as evidence that Basis may be an effective geroprotector, to slow or perhaps even to repair aging.

Most of the excitement is around Nicotinamide Riboside, which is one of two active ingredients in Basis. Nicotinamide Riboside is a B3 vitamer, found naturally in small amounts in milk, whey protein, and yeast. It is also possible to synthesize Nicotinamide Riboside in large amounts.

Elysium Basis Is Not Unique

Despite impressions from its marketing, Elysium did not discover the process for synthesizing Nicotinamide Riboside. In fact, it doesn’t even directly use the process itself. That’s because the process is patented, and another company owns the patents. That other company is Chromadex. And Chromadex sells Nicotinamide Riboside under the brand name Niagen.

Furthermore, and again despite impressions from its marketing, Elysium is not even the only company that sells Niagen to consumers. Chromadex provides large quantities of Niagen at wholesale prices to many distributors, who in turn incorporate Niagen into their consumer products.

Elysium Basis is just one example. Easy to find on Amazon.com, other examples include HPN N(R), Jarrow Formulas Nicotinamide Riboside, Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator, Live Cell Research Niagen, Nectar7 Niagen, Thorne Research Niacel, and Thrive Now Health Niagen 300. For consumers only interested in Nicotinamide Riboside, all of these other products are less expensive than Basis, when normalized for dosage of Nicotinamide Riboside per dollar. And for consumers who are also interested in Basis’ other active ingredient, Pterostilbene, some of the other products are still less expensive, even after factoring in the separate purchase of Pterostilbene on Amazon.com.

Elysium Basis May Not Be the Best Geroprotector

Despite impressions from its marketing, Elysium has not included the most well-researched geroprotectors as ingredients in Basis. To illustrate, let’s take a brief look at the kinds of studies that Elysium references on its website (21 October 2016):

In summary, of the 30 studies that the Elysium website references (the list of "all studies" actually references a few of these twice), none are studies of Nicotinamide Riboside or Pterostilbene supplementation on humans. Most (21) are studies of related metabolism, which is important for establishing context for the probable safety and efficacy of studies on humans. Five are studies of Pterostilbene on non-humans. One is a study of Resveratrol (related to Pterostilbene) on non-humans. And three are studies of Nicotinamide Riboside on non-humans.

Beyond the studies that the Elysium website references, Chromadex has sponsored one completed study of Nicotinamide Riboside supplementation on one (1) human:

And the third-party supplement review website, Examine.com, notes one study of Pterostilbene supplementation on humans with minor magnitude of effect:

By way of comparison, consider the number of studies on humans for substances in my lists of top tier nootropics and top tier geroprotectors. All of them have at least two peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on significant numbers of humans. And most of them have more. Some even have dozens of such studies. And the listed studies are only those on humans. For all of these substances, there are many more studies on non-humans and related metabolism.

I think Nicotinamide Riboside and Pterostilbene have potential to become top tier geroprotectors, but more evidence is needed. Chromadex recognizes the need, and it is sponsoring additional clinical trials, the next of which will include 140 healthy adults using various dosages of Nicotinamide Riboside for eight weeks. I look forward to the results. And I hope they're awesome! In the mean time, however, available evidence indicates there are more dependable options.


Elysium Basis probably is not the best investment of your supplement budget. It does not include the most well-researched geroprotective ingredients. And even if you have a large enough budget to acquire both well-researched and more-speculative ingredients, there are less expensive and equally convenient ways of acquiring Nicotinamide Riboside and Pterostilbene.

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