DoNotAge founder talks democratisation of longevity supplements and the need for testing to prove efficacy.
Supplements provider DoNotAge is on a mission to make longevity more affordable. Offering everything from NMN and resveratrol to hyaluronic acid and fisetin, the company has its initial sights firmly set on biohackers and the “bio-curious”, and hopes that the wider consumer market will follow.
Longevity.Technology: Our freshly-released Longevity Supplements market report concludes that it is likely a supplement will soon be proven to have a positive impact on aging. DoNotAge is of a similar mindset, and is banking on longevity supplementation becoming mainstream in the near future. We caught up with the company’s founder and CEO Alan Graves to learn more.
With an advisory board boasting the likes of University of Rochester professor Vera Gorbunova, director of the Rochester Aging Research Center, it’s clear DoNotAge is serious about its longevity objectives.
“The mission is to extend healthy lifespan for as many people as possible, so it’s about making sure we remove as many barriers as possible,” says Graves. “So when we work out pricing, the question we ask ourselves is, what is the lowest price that we can provide this for and still sustain ourselves?”
Selecting longevity supplements
While still a young company, only founded in 2019, DoNotAge is growing fast. Graves indicates it already has around 10,000 customers worldwide, and product selection is key to the company’s strategy.
“We first need to see that a product moves the needle enough in terms of reversing biological age, or your happiness in life,” says Graves. “Once it passes that test, then we look at if we can either increase the quality of what’s available on the market, or, if it’s already the best quality, can we reduce the price to the consumer? And if we can’t do either of those things, then we won’t release the product.”
The company spends a lot of its time looking at the latest clinical studies and published papers, and consulting with its advisory board, before deciding which supplements to consider producing itself.
“Once we know something is safe, and we see potential, that’s when we might start our own testing process,” says Graves, going on to explain that DoNotAge has its own network of consumer testers, which it uses to gather feedback on its supplements. “Although it’s not particularly scientific, if we see that 50% of a cohort report feeling nauseous, then it might not be the best product for us.”
From biohackers to bio-curious
In terms of its target customer, Graves is clear that longevity still has some way to go before hitting the mainstream.
“We knew we had to get the biohackers’ attention first, and that’s what we did throughout 2019 and 2020,” he says. “The cohort that we’re going after are the bio-curious people that are looking into longevity – just dipping their toe. And it’s about educating those people. The faster and the more people we can get in, the faster we will reach longevity escape velocity. And that’s the ultimate goal.”
Proving longevity supplements work
In addition to testing prior to releasing a product, DoNotAge is also keen to test its customer base in order to gain some measure of whether its products are having the desired effect. Working with epigenetic age testing firm Chronomics, the company recently conducted its first round of tests and found that its customers are around one year younger on average.
Graves points out that “many of those are ‘before’ tests [carried out before the customer has started taking a supplement] so better results should be available within 6-12 months.”
“The reason we needed to provide this testing is because we want to show a tangibility,” he adds. “It’s not good enough to say ‘take this and you’ll feel better’ – we need people to have tangible results.”
Looking ahead, Graves reveals that DoNotAge is working on a new supplement, in collaboration with Gorbunova and her lab in Rochester.
“Unfortunately, I can’t speak about it too much, but it will be out in the next couple of months,” he teases, before hinting that it may play a role in genomic instability and increasing brain function in older adults. “It’s very promising – it’s a natural product, and already being used in various other ways, so it’s generally recognised as safe.”