UK-based DoNotAge was launched in 2019 with a mission to extend healthy life for as long as possible, for as many people as possible, meaning high quality supplements at prices consumers can afford.
Unlike the background you might expect for a health entrepreneur, the company's founder Alan Graves previously worked in the heating industry and it was only out of personal interest that he began looking into supplements. While reading up on some of the latest research he felt he could see a glaring gap in the market.
“I saw a huge gap between what the scientists were working on and what was available to the consumer – the research is way ahead of what consumers are aware of.
“If you ask the majority of consumers whether they know how to reverse their epigenetic clock, most won’t know what the epigenetic clock is, yet there is so much research into this area.
“Once I realised this huge opportunity I just had to bring together the smart people – scientists and researchers – to help me develop my own line of products.”
says a big contributor to the company's quality promise comes from the fact that a portion of the company’s profits are reinvested into clinical trials.
The startup’s first product, and still its best seller today, is its NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), available in capsules or powder. NMN is a derivative of Vitamin B3 that is shown to increase NAD levels. NAD, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a a coenzyme central to metabolism and as we age our NAD levels decrease. NMN is claimed to reverse vascular ageing, stimulate blood vessel growth and boost stamina.
One serving (two capsules) of the startup’s NMN consists of 1000mg of pure NMN. The brand sells 60 capsules for £85 or 366 capsules for £490.
This bulk buy option has proven very popular with value-seekers and the brand now also offers a ‘subscription builder' in which the consumer can chose how many mg of each product they want and they can pay for a year’s supply to be sent in one bulk package. These packages usually cost around £1,200 with a 20-40% subscription discount.
Graves says this high value proposition has led other brands to also provide bulk purchase options.
“It is a big order to get in one go but we have found people don’t want to pay for shipping every month. Of course we have tested to ensure the products do not lose any quality over the 12 months period.
"It's also forced other brands to offer better value in order to be able to compete.
“Rather than trying to work out how much consumers are willing to pay and using that to decide the price of the products we sell, we first look at how much of the ingredient we need to include in the product in order to be able to provide a health benefit and then we work out how much we can afford to sell the product for at that dose, trying to keep costs as low as possible for the consumer.
“For example, most Fisetin supplements provide about 50mg of the ingredient. Our research shows you need at least 400mg to enjoy a health benefit so we provide 400mg in every capsule. Of course our product then works out more expensive than the lower doses but gram for gram it is much better value.”
The full range now includes 12 different supplements, including: Fisetin, a plant flavonol said to ‘remove zombie cells’ (senescent sells); Resveratrol, shown to increase lifespan by activating sirtuins (signaling proteins involved in metabolic regulation); hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan found in the body's connective tissue which is said to reduce wrinkles, joint pain and protect bone density; quercetin, said to activate sirtuins, boost the immune system, reduce allergy symptoms, and boost NAD by inhibiting CD38 (a glycoprotein found on the surface of many immune cells).
A newcomer to the range is the ‘SIRT6 Activator’, which has quickly become the brand’s second-best seller. The product is derived from seaweed called Fucus Vesiculosus. Graves says it is the first and only supplement of its kind, promising to activate Sirtuin 6 which promotes the repair of DNA and helps maintain genomic stability.
Graves says another USP for the brand is its ‘trust and transparency’, in terms of both the supply chain and the quality and purity of the products.
“Our ‘Do Not Age Quality Guarantee’ guarantees the purity and quality of this product to the consumer’s door, no matter where they live.
“While others only offer lab certificates we actually ensure the product is as good as, if not purer than, the sample that was tested in our certificate.
“We can do this because once the products are manufactured, we refrigerate them all. Then we take a random sample out from the batch and leave it in a warm room for two weeks. After this time, it is then shipped from the UK to the USA to be tested for purity and heavy metals.
“Even after sitting in a warm room for two weeks, then being shipped overseas, Do Not Age NMN is still 99% pure and has the lowest amount of heavy metals. The total time the product has been unrefrigerated is 16 days.
“Finally, when we ship the product, it has been kept refrigerated right up until it is collected by the courier.”
DoNotAge also sells biological age test kits which Graves says assists them in proving their products work.
“Epigenetic markers are what we use to test your biological age, but the first generation tests all looked at a small number of them and have an accuracy range of 5 years either way. We are pioneering next generation sequencing to look at millions and millions of epigenetic markers that gives the world's first true biological age.
“We believe this was a compulsory addition to our offering as we know our protocols work. This gives us the chance to prove it. It helps the community to know what they are doing is working.”
The company currently ships to more than 100 countries and Graves says the age range of the consumers varies hugely, with the average being 45 and many young ‘biohackers’ jumping on these anti-ageing products much earlier in life.
Graves is extending the range further with a ‘Sure Sleep’ supplement launching at the end of this month (November 2021).
“I think that sleep is often overlooked by people that want to look after their health and longevity and at the same time there are lots of people who really struggle with sleep.
“We used to provide a form of melatonin but there’s some concerns around long term use of high dose melatonin due to concerns over whether it can stop the body from producing its own so we created a new product that will encourage the body to create its own melatonin.”