The 2019 Undoing Aging conference brought together leaders in the field of longevity and age-related diseases.
The event took place in Berlin in May this year. The city wasn’t a random choice, as Berlin is said to be home to an inspiring concentration of innovative start-up companies that are focused on revolutionizing smart nutrition and healthy food.
This year, Amazentis was invited to present and learn from a diverse group of attendees, including scientists, clinicians, investors, and bloggers working to improve lifespan and “healthspan” across the globe.
As a scientist at Amazentis, I was there to present the data on the anti-aging effects of Urolithin A, a natural compound produced by the gut microflora upon ingestion of elements that are abundant in pomegranates as well as some types of nuts and berries.
The Amazentis data was unique at the conference in that it presented a new and efficient strategy to improve healthspan, effective in the simple C. elegans roundworm model as well as in humans. These results showed that Urolithin A enhances the function of mitochondria, small organelles that are key to maintaining cellular health, thereby improving the muscle activity of older animals.
The conference was also a great opportunity to present the data on our first-in-human clinical trial, recently published in the journal Nature Metabolism.
Urolithin A was orally administered in both single and multiple (4 weeks) daily dosing to 60 healthy elderly subjects in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. The trial showed that regular Urolithin A dosing during 4 weeks is safe, bioavailable, and effective in improving mitochondrial health.
People were excited about the research and the clinical data on Urolithin A (presented pre-publication at the time of the Undoing Aging event).
On the other hand, I was inspired to see and interact with so many people interested in advancing the field of longevity. I noticed more than just scientists or venture capitalists. I saw curious people from diverse walks of life who wanted to learn more about aging. They wanted to discover everything from new strategies that slow down aging to how to improve age-related muscle decline. On a more personal level, they wanted to know what to give their family members to make them feel better.
Many people came to ask questions on Urolithin A. Here the two most frequent ones.
Is Urolithin A safe? Yes, it is. The first-in-human clinical trial showed that Urolithin A is safe, bioavailable, and has beneficial effects on the health of mitochondria in human skeletal muscle.
Do I have the right bacteria to produce Urolithin A? A key question. We need to not only eat the right foods but also have the right bacteria in our guts to produce Urolithin A, and we know that any individual has approximately 30% chance of being a Urolithin A producer. As a result, traditional nutrition relying on a balanced diet might not be enough for the right nutrients to be absorbed. Instead, “smart nutrition” or a personalized approach to nutrition is key to optimizing diet.
To truly address aging, we need to find a balance between keeping the big picture in mind and continuing to understand what is happening at the cellular level. By attending conferences such as Undoing Aging, we can connect molecular-level research with other innovative technologies to improve not just our lifespan, but our “healthspan”.