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Another Magic Pill to “Reverse” Aging. We Set the Record Straight

It’s the latest “next big thing” in the search for eternal life: A $60-a-month subscription for a pill that purports to reverse the aging process on the cellular level. Called Basis, it hails from a company raising millions in the tech sector and packing its advisory board with A-list scientists. If you’re a midlifer (and we guess you are), you’ve probably been served up Elysium’s ads just about every time you log onto social media.

Ready for a closer look? The science at the core is sound – sort of. According to a 2015 report in Science, nicotinamide adenine riboside  (NAD+) is, indeed, a coenzyme found in all living cells, and it does decrease as we age. It acts with several enzymes to stimulate various cellular structures.

While it’s possible that boosting this coenzyme could help our cells live longer, scientists are only beginning to study this, and there are myriad factors affecting cellular health. Basis is careful to point out that their supplements’ benefits appear on the cellular level, so you shouldn’t expect to visual proof staring back at you from the bathroom mirror, nor will your knees suddenly love a good, vigorous uphill run.

Also worth noting: Over-the-counter use of NAD+ has FDA approval, and has been found safe “for use as a source of vitamin B3.” Vitamin B3 is niacin, found in turkey, peanuts, and mushrooms. The supplement’s other ingredient, pterostilbene–plentiful in almonds and grape leaves. (You can get hella mushrooms and almonds for $60 a month, too.)

Sorry, ladies. Like Michael Pollan says, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” That’s your best age-well strategy.

–Amy Keyishian

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