Is Basis by Elysium Health a Hoax?

As we age, levels of the co-enzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide NAD+ drop significantly in multiple organs, which disrupts our bodies ability to fight inflammation, disease, and physiological decline  (5,8,10).

NAD+ decrease is described as a trigger in age-associated decline(23), and perhaps even the key factor in why we age (5).

In 2013, Research published by Dr Sinclair  of Harvard stunned researchers by showing that short term supplementation with Nicotinamide MonoNucleotide (NMN)  reversed many aspects of aging, making the cells of old mice resemble those of much younger mice, and greatly improving their health.

Since then, dozens of other studies have been published investigating the efficacy of supplementation with NAD+ precursors such as NMN and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) in treatment and prevention of a wide range of disease including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and more (5,6,7,9,10,11,13,14,15,16,23).


NR and NMN are precursors that are used by our bodies to replenish NAD+ levels.

In 2004 Dr Charles Brenner published a paper showing that the enzyme Nrk1 can catalyze NR directly to NMN (100) which might make it a much more effective precursor to NAD+.  Although NR is unstable by itself, Dartmouth University has patented production methods that combine it with Chloride which makes it stable.

Chromadex has licensed this technology and has been selling NR commercially since 2014 under the brand name “Niagen”.

Basis is the brand name used by Elysium Health to market their Nicotinamide Riboside product.


NR benefits chartNAD+ is a key co-enzyme that the mitochondria in every cell of our bodies depend on to fuel all basic functions. (3,4)

NAD+ play a key role in communicating between our cells nucleus and the Mitochondria that power all activity in our cells (5,6,7)


NAD+ levels decreaseAs we age, our bodies produce less NAD+ and the communication between the Mitochondria and cell nucleus is impaired. (5,8,10).

Over time,  decreasing NAD+ impairs the cell’s ability to make energy, which leads to aging and disease (8, 5) and perhaps even the key factor in why we age (5).


NAD+ is synthesized in humans by several different molecules (precursors), thru 2 different pathways:
De Novo Pathway

  • Tryptophan
  • Nicotinic Acid (NA)

Salvage Pathway

  • NAM – Nicotinamide
  • NR – Nicotinamide Riboside
  • NMN – Nicotinamide MonoNucleotide

The NAD+ supply is not stagnant – it is constantly being consumed and replenished, with the entire NAD+ pool being turned over 2-4 times per day (14).

This recycling is through the salvage pathway, where the enzyme Nampt catalyzes NAM to NMN, which is then metabolized to NAD+.

Nampt is the rate-limiting step in the salvage process (97).

Many studies have confirmed the importance of Nampt in maintaining sufficient NAD+ levels, such as the quote below from a 2016 study that used mice lacking Nampt in muscle fiber:

“NAD content of muscle was decreased by ~85% confirmed the prevailing view that the salvage route of NAD synthesis from NAM sustains the vast majority of the NAD” (97)

These mice exhibited normal muscle strength and endurance while young, but deteriorated rapidly as they aged which confirmed Nampt is critical to maintaining NAD+ levels.

As we age, Nampt enzyme activity is lower, resulting in less NAM recycling, less NAD+, more disease and aging (97,101).


NR had been known for decades, but was not thought to be that important until 2004 when Dr. Charles Brenner discovered the enzyme NRK1 can phosphorylate NR directly to NMN, bypassing the Nampt “bottleneck” (100).

This newly discovered “shortcut” in the NAD+ salvage pathway found that NR can be metabolized directly to NMN to boost NAD+ levels more effectively than NAM.


When taken orally as a supplement, most NR does not make it through the digestive system intact, but is broken down to NAM (97,98,99).

Even when taken at very high dosages, NR has not been detected in the bloodstream in any research (97,98,99).

“This evidence indicates that NR is converted to NAM before absorption occurs and that this reaction is the rate-limiting step ” (98)

“NR has been shown be converted to Nam before being absorbed or reaching tissues” (99)

“we were surprised to find that NR exerts only a subtle influence on the steady state concentration of NAD in muscles. Our tracer studies suggest that this is largely attributable to breakdown of orally delivered NR into NAM prior to reaching the muscle. ” (97)

Note:NAM does elevate NAD+, but is on the “wrong” side of the Nampt bottleneck, which limits it’s effectiveness


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1000s of articles have teased us with the possibility that taking Niagen could halt or maybe even actually reverse some of the signs of aging. Of course there is a lot of skepticism with such claims.

Chromadex has been producing the only commercially available form of Niagen and supplies it to 20 or more different companies that put their own brand name on the bottle and sell to customers.

Elysium Health is only one of these sellers, although they have fairly deep pockets and extensive connections among top researchers in the field.

They have also enlisted 6 Nobel Laurete scientists to serve as advisors to the company, which lends a great deal of credibility.

However, these scientists have had no significant role in researching,creating or testing Basis or either of the ingredients used.


Elysium Health makes a change to the formula for Basis

Basis contracted to buy Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride (often referred to as NR, or the brand name Niagen), and combine it with another off the shelf product from Chromadex, Pterostilbene.

But in June 2016, Elysium got into a contract dispute with Chromadex and later sued Chromadex for abusing the patent process.

Their goal seems to be to invalidate Chromadex patent(s) so they could produce their own version, which appears to be what they are doing now.

Elysium has changed the product information on their website to list “Nicotinamide Riboside”, without the Chloride.  A key patent Chromadex has licensed the rights to involves adding the Chloride to make it more stable.

This new ingredient used by Basis likely has the same effects in the human body, but we don’t really know for sure.

It seems Elysium Health plans to go forward with this revised formula for now, and continue to use previous test results obtained with their prior  formula that used Chromadex Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride.  It will be interesting to see how that strategy holds up going forward.

Elysium Health has some very slick Marketing people

So now they have changed their product to use a slightly different ingredient, but want to smooth it over and not cause customers to worry about it.

Their answer is to portray the change as something they did on purpose – to MAKE THE PRODUCT BETTER.

When a customer questioned the change, this is how they answered on their Facebook page:

Hi Anne–

Thank you for reaching out to us with your questions. I’d be happy to provide additional information for you here!

From the start, Elysium has always been committed to bringing superior, high-quality supplements to market. As part of that effort, we have established a new supply chain, located in the United States, that utilizes a proprietary process to produce Nicotinamide Riboside — the first of its kind for the production of Basis, and this does fully meet the GMP standard as outlined by the FDA. We believe our vertically integrated supply chain benefits our customers as it enables us to better manage manufacturing, packaging, shipment and eventually the expansion of our new product line.
While the specific Basis formulation and the amount of each ingredient have not changed, this new production process has allowed us to take an exceptional product and make it even purer. This reflects our ongoing commitment to being a trusted source for our customers by continually exceeding the highest standards in the industry.

In regard to your question about GMO’s, this does not apply to Basis as we don’t have food products in our ingredients eligible for genetic modification. Basis is produced by nature identical synthesis, meaning that the active molecules are constructed to be nature identical. This process is preferable to attempting to distill down the ingredients from food as the final product is purer than what the bi-product would be via distillation.
If you have other questions or if there is anything we can do to help, my team can be reached directly here or by email at or phone at 888-220-6436.

Pretty slick, I thought. No, they didn’t substitute something they just threw together to get around the patent and supply problem – they made something more pure and trustworthy.

I don’t know who is going to with the legal battles between Chromadex and Elysium Health, but I see Elysium as way ahead in the marketing department even if I don’t really trust their honesty.


Why Logo White red You’ll find very little mention of Niagen in the sales and marketing literature about Basis.

Elysium would like you to think that Basis is some exclusive formula created by their founders.

In fact, they purchase Niagen from Chromadex like several other brands.

The research and testing that has generated so much excitement has been done with Nicotinamide Riboside from Chromadex.

There has been no research published to show that Pterostibene makes Niagen work any better.

[box]Conclusion: ALL Niagen comes from Chromadex, there is no proof that Basis is any more effective than other brands of Niagen.[/box]


dollar sign moneybagBasis is available only thru their website for $60 a bottle, which would last for one month if taking 2 pills per day (250mg of Niagen).

Recent research indicates that the optimum dosage for maximum increase in NAD+ levels is at least 250mg per day, or more.

In fact, the best evidence on recommended dosage will hopefully soon be available from a recently completed study sponsored by Elysium Health themselves.

This study of 120 elderly patients tested blood NAD+ levels of 250mg and 500mg of Elysium Health Basis vs placebo.

Once this study is published we’ll have a lot better idea if one bottle per month is sufficient


If you know that Basis is Niagen + Pterostilbene, and start searching for “Niagen”, you quickly realize you can get the same thing for 1/2 the cost or less elsewhere.

Screenshot 2016-01-25 15.21.18

[box]Conclusion: Since ALL Niagen comes from Chromadex, there is no difference in the quality among brands[/box]

What does Basis do?

The field of Anti-Aging supplements is littered with scams and hoax products that are supposed to miraculously stop the aging process.

It is for that exact reason that Elysium Health DOES NOT market Basis specifically as an anti-aging pill.

Rather, they focus on some specific areas that their pill may help with such as:

— DNA repair
— Energy production
— Cellular detoxification
— Protein function

Basis – Conclusion

  • Niagen plus Pterostilbene (similar to Resveratrol)
  • Pre-eminent antiaging researcher as cofounder of company
  • 6 Nobel laureate scientists on advisory board
  • By far the most expensive Niagen on the market
  • One bottle a month may not be enough for optimum results



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28 thoughts on “Is Basis by Elysium Health a Hoax?”

  1. Is there anectodal reporting of weight loss with Basis or other Nicotinamide Rriboside brands? I am experiencing unwanted weight loss while taking Basis but don’t know if that is coincidental. Also, thank you for your report since I did not know of the production of the compounds in Basis.

    1. Anecdotal reports in the forums here and here, note (roughly in order of occurrence):

      • increased energy
      • smoother/clearer skin
      • improved vision
      • hair regrowth
      • better sleep
      • weight loss
      • improved performance in the gym

      Of course, there is no way to tell if those are due to placebo effect (wishful thinking)

      2 different studies that are already completed and will hopefully publish soon DO monitor weight, which implies the researchers think it’s possible they will see some weight loss.

  2. What if one combines NIAGEN with other products like PQQ (pirroloquinolin quinone) + UBIQUINOL +PRODUCT B (ISAGENIX) to obtain TELOMERE support, and maybe other molecules that have proven to be effective againts celular malfunctioning like AMBROTOSE from MANNATECH that as you know by supplying GLYCANS to cells drastically improve their interaction according to thier propietary investigation.
    I´m very interested in beginning to try NIAGEN.
    Thanks in advance for your kind reply.

  3. I have been taking Basis for almost a year. I subscribe yearly so only pay $40 per bottle and take two per day as suggested. I lost weight (about 10 lbs) with zero effort after taking Basis for about 3 months and have kept it off. This was an unexpected development.

  4. Personal testimony is always interesting but rarely clinically significant. The research to date on humans only hints at effective dosage levels which seem to be somewhere between 300mg and 500mg a day. This shows the drug is safe and effective in raising NAD+ levels in the blood.

    The only evidence for slowing or reversing aging is in other species and at different dosages. The mouse data used dosage levels in excess of what’s recommended here.

    And, importantly, we all need to keep in mind that this is a very complex issue. For starters, we don’t really know what aging is. We also don’t much about how to measure it — counting moments on this earth is just a starting point. There are dozens of different elements involved. We don’t know which, if any, are impacted by NAD+ (with or without) other compounds like resveratrol. We don’t know about various interactions with life-style, diet, exercise, stress levels and a host of other factors. There’s little understanding of individual differences in response to the compounds or to susceptibility to placebo effects.

    And, yes, despite all these known unknowns, I’m taking nicotinamide riboside at the recommended 250mg/day — I regard it as a secular version of Pascal’s wager.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I’m 68 years old and I have been on a ketogenic diet for the last two years. Since the mitochondria is a key organelle when in ketosis I thought would give it a try for enhancing the level of NAD.

    2. Your comment regarding not knowing what causes aging is poignant. I always think about this when the global warming discussion arises. We really have no idea what causes temperature trends – are we in a trend or normal fluctuations? – and are just trying something to alleviate a fear.

      1. Uh…see also the rest of his comment about Pascal’s Wager. How is it not the safest bet we can make to assume it’s important to sigNIFicantly prioritize taking care of your environment? We really DO have an idea of what causes temperature trends.

  5. I have not taken Basis, but I have taken Naigen for the last 1.5 years.

    I have no doubts at all as to its effectiveness. From my experience and comparing it to the experience of others, I have come to the conclusion that to see a real, immediate benefit in energy levels, the more impaired one is in producing ATP ADP, the greater and more immediate result one will see. The less impaired, the smaller and less immediate result in changes to ones level of energy, if any, will be seen.

    I come to that conclusion given I have a methylating defect that impairs my ability to produce ADP ATP. I had, for 10 years without knowinig what was causing this, tried to describe how it feels like this: imagine you are a tall office building, with all the lights on, the copiers and other machines humming, the ventilation system running, coffee makers perculating, etc. Now imagine the power went out and the back up generator kicked in. How well can this tall office building run now? Not very well. I had hardy been able to walk or engage in a normal level of activites of daily living for many years. Doctors didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to communicate. Then I discovered my methylating defects. Then I discovered Niagen shortly afterwards.

    I decided to try it.

    People may have a hard time believing this, but within 10-15 minutes of taking my first capsule, I felt like I had been plugged into a nuclear power plant. Energy at levels I had not experienced for years suddenly surged through me. Where I had been mostly confined to a recliner, I was now able to walk freely and go pretty much anywhere I wanted to. 2 months later, I was walking up hills. I found that as long as I continued to take it when I noticed symptoms returning, I was fine and could do much I could not do for the past many years. I found if I didn’t take it, many of my symptoms would return quickly.

    Through trial and error I found I maintain fairly well on 1000 mg a day, needing to take more when demands on my activity levels increase.

    What I did not see was any rejuvenating effects in my skin. At first. For the previous few years I had noticed that my skin was aging fairly fast. I had lost the elasticity in my face. Trying to pinch my cheeks was like trying to pinch a taught fabric covering a chair. Couldn’t be done. The backs of my hands had been taking on the look of an elderly woman’s hands, more translucent, papery, shiny, thin. About 4 months after I started taking Niagen, I was at my daughter’s wedding and I was very sad that nothing had changed in this regards.

    A month later, I happened to rub my cheek absentmindedly, and suddenly realized elasticity had returned to my face – it had become soft and pliable and I was easily able to pinch my cheek. I looked at the back of my hands, and they now looked much, much younger. Gone was the translucent, papery, shiny look. They looked years and years younger. I was amazed and obviously very happy.

    A year later this is still true. I expect that I probably need to take larger doses, given my situation, to experience other benefits reported sooner than later, but right now I am just happy to have a good deal of my life back and am incredibly grateful for the discovery of Niagen and advances being in this area of science.

    They say those with an experience are never at the mercy of those with an argument. I know Niagen works beyond a shadow of a doubt. I’m living it.

    1. I read your post because I desperately trying to find some help, I also have the same as u did, and living in pain all the time. I don’t know what brand to buy, I am so happy for you and I hope and pray for the good to continue helping you.

  6. I have been looking for a real supplement for literally years, have tried many, none work. Thinking of trying GenF20 until I stumbled upon this. Can anyone tell me if GenF20 works or should I just go straight for Niagen? I’m using myself as a guinea pig to see it anything works in order to help my father who really needs it. Thank you very much

    1. Really funny, but I read the label on Basis. I was already taking Resvervatrol and Pterostilbene. There are several companies that offer both. Same with Niagen. My advice is buy something of the strength you want that comes without fillers. For the Pterostilbene, since it’s from berries, go for non-GMO organic.

  7. It’s very important to remember that the more Basis one orders the lower the cost — it’s not $60 a month but $50 a month if you subscribe to the monthly order rate and as of this writing it can be as low as $40. I’ve been taking it for a number of months now and I’m very happy with the product. If you go to their website you’ll see a wealth of information and can decide for yourself.

  8. Has anyone treated successfully peripheral neuropathy with Basis? Or with supplements with the same ingredients? I did read on a Facebook post that it did “cure” peripheral neuropathy from one person but this of course was anecdotal, still it seems like it could help based on the mitochodrial healing which is claimed (or proven in studies, I need to check). Thanks.

    1. Contact me and I can put you in touch with Psychologist friend who has found a way to alleviate a significant number of his symptoms of Familial Periphial Neuropathy.
      michael 954 205 4996

  9. I don’t understand the numbers on this page. Every time I look at it I see the same number of same doses for $60 whether you go with Basis or with the niagen and pterostilbene supplements suggested here. Where do you get the half the cost claim? I looked around on the web and found similar pricing and then went with Basis because I could get it for only $40 by getting a year’s supply.

    What am I missing?

  10. 41 yo male here…,
    I’ve been taking Basis for about 4 months, personally the product makes wonders when it comes to the purpose of Viagra,
    I have not experienced any weight loss, or improvement in my skin face or hands,
    One day I took 10 capsules just to experiment, next day I experienced light muscle soreness as though I had worked out,

  11. As a soldier exposed to possible sarin gas and possible oil well fires that I saw right in front of me, the entire Army 3rd Armour Division was positioned in the middle of the burning Kuwait oil fields for over two months. 605 burning oil wells in an area of 2,200 square meters and many soldiers have never received any help from the VA because they can not prove a service-connection by way of the Pentagon to verify the soldiers involvement. I am one such soldier that has been sick as a dog with afirmities from every system in my body. Once out of the Army I used my GI Benefits to go to community college and take major biology course prerequisites for nursing like Anatomy and Physiology so I could understand what is happening. Since taking Basis and all the supplements that support each cell individually……cellular respiration increased dramatically. My health improved quickly as I continued to add more of the proper supplements that supports homeostasis. I also take everything from Steven Gundry less the lectin blocker. Specific nutrition from food is just as beneficial as any supplements, pressed dates, ghee, manuka honey, not eating processed sugar of any kind, not eating any meat with antibiotics and the best vitamin Supplement is made in Hawaii from kelp and sea algae….this is not a advertisement HAWAIIAN SPIRULINA !

  12. The FDA says aging is not a disease, so it wont fund studies. However, post polio is, and the rate of functional decline can be episodic and rapid, ending up totally paralyzed in a respirator (modern iron lung). If the FDA or whoever, would do outreach to post polio, since we are motivated and acutely aware of our condition, our reports on NAD+ or whatever, would be informative.

  13. Basic is bull. Just another pill to reap profits from hopeful people. Eat food not too much mostly plants will have a more profound effect on your life than taking a pill to keep you healthy

  14. I have been taking Basis for well over a year. I had rotator cuff surgery last April. When I saw the doctor the next day, he said people rarely look as good as I did after surgery. I healed up within a month, I did PT (the PT was shocked at how I improved so fast) and I can move my arm well over my head. My incisions healed immediately and my pain was almost none after 3-4 days. Hardly took pain pills. All of the busing from surgery went away within a week. I am in good health but at 63, lets face it, not a spring chicken. I read that one of the founders had a serious biking accident and his entire face was cut and bruised. He healed in four days. This is my experience. Haven’t lost weight but I think I am counter balancing that.

  15. My wife has horrendous thin skin challenges which just with slight scratching turn in to purple bruising — she is 61 and she has tried everything on the planet but so far nothing has worked to thicken the skin — do you think Basis may help this ailment ?

  16. I had been curious as to determining weight-loss causation, slow and gradual, over the last 3(?) months or so. I had wanted to believe it was my conscious decision to eat less. However, honesty compels me to maybe attribute the 10 or 15 pounds lost to my usage of Basis, first at 2 pills/day and then 4/day over the past few months.
    The other reported effects are harder to see, but I will probably continue using Basis, even if it *does* seem a bit pricey.
    At age 68, it also made me run the thought-experiment “how long would I have to take Vitamin C to come to the conclusion that it was good for me?” (or would I just sort of accept that Linus Pauling knew what he was talking about?)
    There are many unknowns in life. This “Basis” question may be another one. That being said, I will continue to take it. There is only “one time around” in life.

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