Today, we want to highlight a press release from Ponce de Leon Health that talks about the results of a pilot consumer trial that the company has recently concluded. The company claims that it has been successful in reducing the epigenetic age of participants by an average of 8.5 years with its dietary supplement Rejuvant.
Ponce de Leon Health initially worked with Dr. Brian Kennedy, who was, at the time, based at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, searching for compounds that were generally recognized as safe (GRAS) but that had the potential to influence aging in mammals. The company screened over 300 GRAS compounds and identified compounds that could modulate a number of pathways that are linked to aging. These compounds affected the mTOR pathway, blocked the proinflammatory secretions made by senescent cells, affected genomic stability pathways, aided in ammonia detoxification, and supported protein homeostasis.
Dr. Kennedy subsequently joined Ponce de Leon Health as its Chief Scientific Officer, and the company has been busy testing and preparing to translate these findings to people. Its strategy has been to test its products on mammalian models that closely emulate human aging in order to give the best chance of translating beneficial results to us.
For the consumer testing discussed in this press release, the company gave participants Rejuvant and measured their epigenetic ages using DNA methylation testing. This supplement contains a proprietary form of calcium alpha-ketoglutarate, which the FDA considers to be GRAS. The company believes that Rejuvant works by slowing down the rate of age-related DNA methylation and reducing the inflammation caused by senescent cells, two proposed reasons why we age.
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla., June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ponce De Leon Health, Inc. (“Ponce de Leon”), a longevity company focused on reversing epigenetic aging, today announced the results of pilot research suggesting that Rejuvant® LifeTabs®, reduced the biological age of customers by an average of 8.5 years. The biological age was assessed by way of a DNA biomarker test that measures DNA methylation. Of the subjects in the analysis, two-thirds showed a statistically significant reduction in biological age. The analysis was based on data from subjects who had taken Rejuvant LifeTabs for a period of four to six months. Rejuvant, a dietary supplement, is Ponce de Leon’s first commercial product.
The data were independently compiled by Dr. Yelena Budovskaya, Ph.D., co-founder and lead scientist of TruMe Labs, a pioneer in the emerging field of epigenetic aging testing. Ponce de Leon is a distributor of TruMe’s TruAge Index, a take-at-home, non-invasive epigenetic age test. The subjects included in the analysis represent all 17 customers who had taken a TruAge test at the time of their first purchase of Rejuvant, as well as a second test after taking the supplement for four to six months. The TruAge Index measures DNA methylation, which is growing in acceptance by longevity researchers as an important biomarker of biological aging.
All formulations of LifeTabs contain the proprietary active ingredient LifeAKG™, which was shown in recent preclinical animal studies to increase lifespan (the length of life) and healthspan (the length of healthy life) in mammalian models. Ponce de Leon has eight patents pending for inventions arising from its research and development activities.
Ponce De Leon is currently enrolling participants for a larger, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, to be conducted at Indiana University Medical Center later this year.
The Company’s Chief Medical Officer, Francis R. Palmer, M.D., stated that “although at this stage we only have consumer data, these findings are very promising. We are only aware of one other published trial where researchers were able to show a reduction in biological age in humans as measured by DNA methylation. In this other trial, modest reductions in biological age were observed in a small number of subjects who were treated with a combination of prescription drugs for a year. The Rejuvant results are suggestive at this time but it showed a greater average reduction in biological age, achieved in six months, using non-prescription compounds.” Added Palmer, “we expect our human clinical trial results to corroborate the encouraging data we have now, and we believe this will have a meaningful impact on both the scientific and consumer communities.”
The Company’s CEO and Founder, Tom Weldon, commented “the pilot research data appears to be consistent with our earlier mammal results but we appreciate the need for a more robust study to validate this data on lifespan and healthspan research. We look forward to conducting that study later this year and adding to these positive findings. The potential for Rejuvant to reverse epigenetic aging, as measured by DNA methylation testing and other measurable biological markers, may profoundly benefit not only the individuals who take the product, but also the economies and societies in which they participate and live.”
Obviously, this has yet to be proven conclusively in human trials, and the company is busy preparing to launch a larger-scale trial later this year to that end. Until those results are published, we are going to reserve judgment, but the initial animal data is certainly promising, and the concept of slowing epigenetic changes down is plausible.
Finally, CEO and founder Tom Weldon of Ponce de Leon Health will be presenting a talk at the Ending Age-Related Diseases 2020 online conference hosted by Lifespan.io on August 20-21, offering you a chance to learn more about this line of research.