In recent weeks it has been reported on message boards that the color of Elysium Health’s Basis product has changed. Since those rumors surfaced it has also adjusted its webpages and removed the references to the Dartmouth College patents which are used the produce Niagen (previously included in Basis), the only GRAS approved version of Nicotinamde Riboside by the FDA. It is well known that Elysium Health has refused to pay its large outstanding bills to supplier Chromadex and other alleged unsavory behavior probably to arm wrestle its supplier into submission. Chromadex however decided not to play ball and has since terminated the supply contracts and is in litigation (great blog to follow that here). Altogether this indicates that Elysium’s Basis no longer contains Niagen but another substance which according its product description is nicotinamide riboside. The source of that substance is unknown.
It raises some questions. The clinical study of Elysium Health, that it regularly refers too on it website, is done with Niagen. Is this study still valid if Basis contains a compound that is not identical to Niagen? Given that the color of Basis has changed it seems almost certain the compound is not identical. Technically Niagen is not nicotinamide riboside but nicotinamide riboside chloride this gives the compound its stability and shelf life. Its also the reason for the off white color. So what is in Basis that makes it white? What makes it stable? And also how is it produced? Is it done with a method that makes it safe for human consumption? Nicotinamide Riboside is notoriously difficult to manufacture in ways suitable for human consumption.
Alternatively is Elysium Health simply violating the manufacturing patents of Dartmouth College and trying to cover that up with small changes to the salt group to change the color? Afterall they are trying to invalidate the Dartmouth College patents which is placed into colorfull context here.
Without Elysium Health bringing clarity consumers may never know what they consume. It adds to unknowns about this privately owned company with its marketing facade of science. For example one would probably never expect either that Elysium Health is partly owned by a Chinese company called iKang (iKang SEC Filings put Elysium Health in the search and open the pdf) which one could speculate should be able to find Chinese parties to create some version of Nicotinamide Riboside. Of course it could also be that Leonard Guarente the science officer and co-founder and his team have invented a new way to manufacture NR that is perfectly safe, if you ask me its time he reveals what is in his goods to the consumers!
While Elysium Health says that Basis is manufactured in the US it does not state that the ingredients are manufactured in the US. NR is mentioned as ingredient in the product description