Does Basis by Elysium really work? That's always been the question in my mind for this anti-aging NAD booster supplement. Another group asking questions are people suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. In this Elysium Basis review, you'll discover if its the real deal by learning about the Elysium ALS clinical study. You'll also learn about the pros and cons, how much it will cost and side effects too. By understanding the big picture of this sirtuin activator supplement, you'll have a better idea of whether it's right for you.
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious medical disease that damages the nerves of the brain and spinal cord which control movement. This causes a progressive loss in muscle control and muscle strength. Many with ALS eventually lose the ability to walk.
For some, even talking and swallowing can become difficult. As the disease progresses, those afflicted with ALS may eventually be confined to a wheelchair. ALS is not the same thing as multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by the immune system attacking the nerves of the body. In contrast, nobody knows what causes ALS.
To many, ALS is known as Lou Gehrig's disease after the famous baseball player (see the 1940's movie Pride of the Yankees). Many also know it as the disease which afflicted physicist Steven Hawking.
What Is Elysium Basis?
Elysium is a dietary supplement company. Their flagship supplement is called Basis. The supplement is touted to support the following benefits:
- Promote healthy aging
- Activate sirtuins (proteins that seem to be involved with aging)
- Maintain healthy DNA
- Support cellular energy production
These effects are said to be achieved mostly by raising our production of a molecule called NAD. The molecule, NAD helps us make cellular energy (called ATP). As we grow older, our mitochondria don't work as well, causing us to make less NAD.
So, the theory is by raising NAD levels, the mitochondria in our cells will be healthier. Better cellular health may mean less disease and maybe a longer life. Previous research has noted Elysium Basis might raise NAD levels by 40%.
Elysium Basis Ingredients
Two capsules of the Basis supplement have these ingredients:
Nicotinamide riboside is a form of niacin (vitamin B3). There are clinical studies on nicotinamide riboside. Most of the research involves lab animals and isolated cells but the supplement can raise NAD in humans.
Pterostilbene is found in blueberries and nuts. The human research on pterostilbene is less plentiful. It's related to resveratrol, which is found in red wine. Because it's an antioxidant, it is sometimes said to be better than resveratrol. Research needs to be done to confirm this.
Both supplements can also be purchased separately:
Elysium Basis ALS Study
So, is Basis effective for ALS? To find out, researchers in Spain conducted a study involving 27 men and women in their 50s who had ALS. The people were randomly split into two groups:
- Elysium Basis group (they call it EH301 in the study)
- Placebo group (brown sugar was used)
A few other things to know
- People took 1200 mg of Elysium Basis per day
- Everyone ate a Mediterranean-style diet and consumed 2300 calories per day
- This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (the best kind)
- The study lasted 4 months
After 4 months:
- Those taking the Elysium supplement showed significant improvements in speech, handwriting, swallowing and salivating. In contrast, those taking the placebo got worse. To figure this out, researchers used an ALS rating scale (called the ALSFRS-R).
- The supplement appeared to improve muscle strength. Those taking the placebo got weaker. Researchers determined strength by using an ALS rating scale (called the MRC grading scale).
- The supplement improved lung function (forced vital capacity) by about 20% compared to those taking the placebo
Things To Know About This Study
- 27 people started the study and 20 people completed it
- everyone continued to take their ALS medication (riluzole) during the study
- there were some differences in the two groups which may have played a role in the results
- no one was able to stop taking their medications after the study
- three of the researchers have worked for Elysium, the company that makes the Basis supplement. The primary researcher, however, had no association with the company.
The 1 year Follow Up Study
After this 4-month study ended, the researchers asked the people in the Elysium Basis group if they wanted to keep taking it for the next year to see what happened. Everyone said yes. What did they find after the 1 year?
- There was no further loss of muscle strength or declines in swallowing ability, salivation, speech, or handwriting. There were no further improvements either.
- Lung function decreased by about 11% after 1 year
It's unfortunate the researchers did not give the supplement to those in the placebo group. It would have been interesting to see what happened to them after 1 year.
ALS Elysium Study Pro/Con
Here is a brief rundown of the good and no so good about this study
|Some ALS symptom improvement after 4 months of use
|No further improvement in ALS symptoms after 1 year of use
|This was a placebo-controlled study
|This was a small study (20 people)
|The study included both men and women
|The study used a higher dosage than most people take
1 Where do you find Elysium Basis?
The supplement is not sold in stores. You can purchase directly from the company (ElysiumHealth.com). It may also be found online at sites like Amazon.
2 What dosage improved ALS symptoms?
The researchers used 1200 mg per day. To get this much, you would have to take 8 capsules per day to reach the 1200 mg dosage.
3 How much does it cost?
If you're thinking of taking this for your ALS symptoms, it will be expensive. A container with 60 capsules costs about $40 a month. If you were to aim for 1200 mg per day (what the ALS study used), you'd need about 240 capsules each month.
This will cost about you $180 each month. If you were to take the supplement for 4 months (as people did in this study), your cost would be about $720. If you took it for 1 year, the price would be $2,160. Discounts are available if you sign up for a subscription, but even then, it will be expensive.
4 Is it covered by health insurance?
Probably not but the only way to know is to ask your insurance company. Another option is to show the Basis ALS study to your doctor. Your doctor may know how to get it covered by insurance. No guarantees though.
5. How can I raise my NAD levels without supplements?
See this review for several ways to naturally raise your NAD levels.
Elysium Basis vs Tru Niagen
Tru Niagen, made by the Chromadex company is the other big name in the world of NAD activator supplements. Both Chromadex and Elysium have big-name Ph.D. scientists in their camps and their share of research. Both supplements also have nicotinamide riboside (a form of niacin) as a key ingredient.
The Basis supplement also has pterostilbene while Tru Niagen does not. Do this mean Basis is better than Tru Niagen? We don't know. Neither company has conducted a head-to-head study to see which is superior.
It's not known if Tru Niagen or other NAD activators like NMN help ALS.
Elysium Basis Side Effects
For healthy people, the supplement is generally considered safe. No significant side effects were linked to the supplement in this investigation. In this study, three of the people who took the Basis supplement had to stop. The reasons included injury, hepatitis and profound mental depression.
Here are some things to consider when trying this supplement. This list is not complete:
- Start with less than recommended for the first week
- If pregnant or breastfeeding speak to your doctor first
- Stop taking the supplement at least 2 weeks before surgery
- Talk to your doctor if you take any medications
- Some research has found pterostilbene may raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels
Research or not, those with ALS need to ask their doctor before they try this or any other dietary supplement.
Does Elysium Basis Really Work?
This study suggests the Elysium Basis supplement may improve some ALS symptoms after 4 months of use. Some of those benefits may persist for up to 1 year while other benefits might not. While this sounds encouraging, a larger investigation needs to be conducted. It's not known which of the two ingredients in the supplement – nicotinamide riboside or pterostilbene – or their combination was responsible for the observed benefits.