In an earlier post, I wrote about the dietary supplements industry, which is largely unregulated by the FDA, to the detriment of the American consumer. Well here is a recent news story showing how a company is looking to take advantage of this lack of regulation:
An anti-aging pill that is backed by five Nobel laureates and some serious science — albeit on mice — “is wading into the murky world of dietary supplements,” the Boston Globe reports, in order to avoid all of the testing required by the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to be sold as a medicine.
The active ingredients in the pill, which is called Basis and will cost $60 for a 30-day supply, “are nicotinamide riboside, a substance that makes NAD and is found in traces in many foods such as milk, and pterostilbene, an antioxidant found in blueberries,” reports Stefanie Friedhoff, who adds that both are available individually as supplements.
“There have been a lot of new findings in the past five years identifying some extremely promising compounds that promote wellness and health. [We want to] make them available for people to improve their health before they get sick,” Leonard Guarente, Elysium Health founder and its chief scientific officer, tells Friedhoff.
“Elysium Health was founded in 2014 to bring scientific validation to the world of consumer health products,” according to its website. “Our team of researchers and collaborators comprises the world’s top 0.01% of scientists and clinicians, including multiple Nobel Prize winners and numerous other thought leaders, pioneers, and innovators who are at the top of their fields.”
The company “hopes to elude the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and death at the same time,” is the way Karen Weintraub puts it in the MIT Technology Review. Indeed, “with Elysium, Guarente and his colleagues are entering an industry with a mixed reputation,” Friedhoff writes.