The supplement used in the study is branded as Rejuvant and is marketed by Ponce de Leon Health. Its main ingredient is a patent pending timed-release from of CaAKG, a calcium salt that is used to deliver AKG. AKG is an endogenous intermediary metabolite in the Krebs cycle. Levels of this molecule decline with age, contributing to the body’s progressive dysfunction as this molecule is involved in multiple metabolic and cellular pathways. Those functions include as a signaling molecule, an energy donor, and a regulator of epigenetic processes.
Ponce de Leon Health, based in Fernandina, FL, has developed two anti aging supplements based on CaAKG, one for men that includes vitamin A and another for women that includes vitamin D.
Long term open label trial verifies hypothesis
According chief medical officer Dr Francis Palmer, MD, the theory was that boosting the body’s AKG reservers could cut an individual’s ‘biological age.’ To test the idea, the company set up a long term open label trial. The research design places it somewhere between a short term proof-of-concept pilot trial and a headline-grabbing placebo controlled result.
The trial was conducted by Ponce de Leon personnel as well as researchers associated with medical institutes in Singapore. The company TruMe Inc. also participated in the research. TruMe markets a saliva-based test branded as TruAge that measures DNA methylation as a marker of biological age.
The researchers recruited 42 participants (28 men and 14 women) who took the supplements for four to 10 months. The median age of the female participants was about 64, with a range of 43 to 72 years old. Their ‘biological age,’ as measured in a baseline TruAge test, was a median of about 62 with a range of 46 to 73.
For the men the figures were: median about 63 with a range from 41 to 77; biological age: 62, with a range of 42 to 77.
The subjects were asked to use the supplement for four to six months though a number chose to use it over a longer period. At the end of the self chosen treatment period they were asked to repeat the TruAge saliva test. The Rejuvant supplements deliver 1 gram of CaAKG per dose, and subjects were instructed to take two tablets a day.
The researchers identified a subgroup of 13 individuals who reported no changes in diet, exercise or sleep pattens and who did not alter the type of other suppolemets they were taking. When analyzing this group, the researchers reported an average decline of 9.7 years on the TruAge measurement, which was judged to be significantly significant.
The researchers freely admitted that the chief limitation of the test was that is was not placebo controlled, and more research will be needed to confirm the results.
“Future randomized clinical trials will be required to confirm the findings presented here. Nevertheless, the results in this manuscript suggest that Rejuvant may have significant effects on biological age as measured by DNA methylation of saliva samples,” they concluded.
Dr Palmer said the trial was a promising start, but also reflects the messy nature of real world research, especially when it comes to aging studies. Nematodes and other stand-ins have been used in the past because humans are such inconvenient subjects.
“If you wanted to do a long term study that’s difficult to do because we live such a long time,” Dr Palmer told NutraIngredients-USA.
DNA methylation correlated to many health outcomes
He said there have been a number of biological aging ‘clocks’ developed by researchers in recent years. The TruAge test was chosen because of its ease of use, which would enhance compliance, he said.
“We are not financially connected with TruMe. It’s just one of the vendors we recommend,” Palmer said.
While the biological age reduction, based as it was on a subgroup, can’t be said to be definitive, it is highly suggestive a true benefit, Dr Palmer said. And the TruMe test is an important measure of health status, he added.
“DNA methylation patterns are tightly correlated with agin, disease status and increased morbidity,” he said.
Rejuvant®, a potential life-extending compound formulation with alpha-ketoglutarate and vitamins, conferred an average 8 year reduction in biological aging, after an average of 7 months of use, in the TruAge DNA methylation test
Authors: Demidenko O, et al.