When you’ve been in the longevity and wellness industry for as long as we have, you meet other people passionate about the field. One of those exceptional people is Dr Nichola Conlon, the founder of Nuchido.
When you first meet Dr Nichola, you’ll be taken aback by how down-to-earth she is. Although she comes from a science background, she can easily relate to a complete novice. It's clear she entered this industry to help people and that's exactly why we've decided to pick her brain and learn how Nuchido can help us achieve longevity.
When asked about her background she shares:
"My background is actually in drug development. And so before I founded Nuchido, I worked developing drugs that were designed to slow cellular ageing, which sounds kind of crazy, but ageing is our biggest risk factor for a lot of the diseases that drug companies are trying to cure or treat.
Therefore, there’s a real interest within that industry to look at the root cause of a lot of these issues, and evidence now shows that if you can slow your rate of cellular ageing even just a little bit, you may be able to have a big impact on many different chronic age-related diseases.
Seeing how that was the field I worked in, I noticed a couple of things that bothered me. The first was that I was continually exposed to cutting-edge science that was amazing, and had real potential to change people's lives, however, the drug development process was extremely slow. This meant that a lot of the science wasn’t going to reach people for another 15 to 20 years.
The second thing was that when it came to ageing, there were actually a lot of well-known molecules that weren't necessarily drugs but were natural and could work very well as supplements for improving cellular health.
And because these molecules were well known, drug companies, unfortunately, weren’t interested in them because they couldn’t patent them. So this meant that a lot of things that we were researching went into the bin.
For me, that was hard to believe. I was witnessing this cutting-edge science that people could be using now, but nobody was doing anything about it. So I left that world in 2017 and founded Nuchido.
The whole mission behind my brand is how do we take all of the credibility in terms of testing and discovery mechanisms from the pharmaceutical industry and bring it into the supplement industry.
That way the consumer market can get this science and these molecules to people so they can actually be benefiting from them now. So our mission in Nuchido is literally to translate the science of ageing into products that consumers can access immediately."
This type of approach is one of the biggest factors that differentiates Nuchido from other companies selling supplements. The focus on science, with access to cutting-edge research, helps them create a product that provides tangible results.
Nuchido specialises in NAD supplements. NAD+ are crucial molecules that transfer electrons from one molecule to another within cells. Without them, our cells wouldn’t be able to generate energy to survive and carry out their functions.
As we age, our NAD+ levels decline, which could lead to accelerated cellular ageing.
"The main issue with the other NAD supplements that are available is that they fundamentally do not address the reasons why NAD is declining in our bodies. A lot of the products out there are what we would call precursors to NAD.
What these supplement companies do is determine that NAD has declined in someone’s body and they recommend a supplement to fix it. But they are basically just putting more raw material in the body and hoping the body converts it to NAD.
However, the main reason NAD declines in the body is not because our body has a shortage of raw material, there's absolutely no evidence to show that at all.
The main reason why NAD declines is that our cells actually become less efficient at making and recycling it. They also start wasting a lot of NAD.
Knowing that these are the fundamental reasons why NAD is declining, we decided to make a product that actually fixes these problems. So instead of ignoring the root causes of the decline, we're actually trying to resolve them. Our product contains multiple different ingredients that actually boost the levels of the enzymes that make and recycle NAD and also inhibit some of the other processes that waste it. And when you use this approach of actually addressing the problems, you get a much larger and more sustained increase in NAD."
Seeing how Nuchido’s mission is to simplify the science of longevity, we were interested to find out what are some real-life examples of this.
"I think one of the really easiest ways to get people to understand how they can change their lifestyle is to get them to think about how our bodies are designed to live, not how we're living right now.
Evolution takes place over millions of years, meaning the bodies that we live in today haven’t been designed with a modern lifestyle in mind, but with the way our ancestors used to live. So if you think about it, our daily lives consist of eating pretty much continuously throughout the day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, shakes, and generally not exercising very much.
Although we go to the gym and exercise, we don’t do it enough compared to what we're designed for. We mostly sat on our bums all day. So this is an issue because our bodies are actually designed to be more like a hunter-gatherer style of life.
Meaning, we should be on our feet all day looking for food, going for long periods without actually eating, instead of being continuously fed all the time.
And what this means is that a lot of the repair systems in our body simply don't get activated because they only get activated when our bodies are put under a little bit of stress. So through a prolonged period without food or intense exercise, we don't get those pathways activated as much.
With that being said, my advice is to move more and eat less. So instead of thinking, well, society told us that we have to eat breakfast. Do we really need it or could we actually be going longer in the morning and wait until lunchtime to eat?
That way, our body has a chance to go into that state of actually activating some of the repair pathways. Think about doing more exercise to actually induce some of the cellular stress response pathways that are going to help actually repair our bodies and make our bodies more resilient."
This is amazing insight! Being in the longevity industry, we're always looking for new advice and experiments that can be replicated.
"You know, longevity is two parts. It's about living a long life, but also a healthy life. I always talk about long longevity and healthspan, and I think there is a lot of publicity about crazy technologies and drugs and all sorts of things that you can be doing to improve longevity and health span.
But actually, it's very important to get the basics right. So before you start investing any time, money or effort into any more advanced therapies, I think it's really important to get the diet, the exercise, and the sleep nailed first.
These are really important things that people often underestimate. And I always talk about almost getting your house in order and making sure that the basics are covered. And one way that you can actually do this is by doing a very simple blood test which can be used at home and tell you all sorts of things about deficiencies like cholesterol levels or hormones.
The other thing with blood tests is a lot of age-related chronic conditions are preventable if they're detected early. This could happen while people look healthy on the outside. But inside there are other things going on. And if you can detect these things early, you can prevent a lot of damage quite easily with simple lifestyle changes or supplements or things like that. So, yeah, get your house in order before embarking on any expensive longevity hacks."
GlycanAge is a blood test that can tell you a lot about the processes going on in your body. It tells you the age of your immune system and depending on your results, our specialists can help you understand what lifestyle changes are needed.
"Within my field, working in longevity and healthspan and trying to incorporate things into people's lives, I’ve always been asking my team “How do we measure this?”.
How will we know if something is working? You can't measure just how long someone lives, and it’s very hard to put a number on how well someone is ageing or not. So when I first heard about GlycanAge, I was really excited because not only is there a huge amount of research behind the test to prove that it actually works, which is always important, but it's also really simple.
All you have to do is a finger-prick blood test, and even more importantly, the results are really simple to interpret. It's an age and you do not have to be a scientist to know that there's a number and you want it to go down.
For me, it's it was really exciting when I first came across GlycanAge because this was an opportunity to actually get the average person to have an opportunity to be able to measure how well they are ageing.
Unfortunately, when it comes to things like ageing, a lot of people are still in the mindset that they should see some change, maybe to a wrinkle on their face. And, you know, and if they don't see something sort of miraculous, like a ten years younger face, then maybe it's not working.
But if you can show them what's happening inside and explain that everything that’s important in terms of ageing ultimately happens on the inside. And actually, your cells aren't as young as you think you are, and that needs to change."
Hearing Dr Nichola talk about the science behind GlycanAge is heartwarming. We’re proud of all the research we’ve done over the years and continually make sure to research new ways glycans can be used to diagnose and prevent different diseases.
When you’re a brand that focuses on science, your process isn’t as fast as that of your competitors. Here’s what Dr Nichola had to say about that -
"It can be frustrating sometimes. All of us in Nuchido are absolutely passionate about bringing out science-backed products and also the education that goes with it so that the average consumer can actually make sense of what is often quite complicated science.
However, we live in a world where people just expect things instantly. Luckily for us, there is a slow shift in that. Consumers are becoming a lot savvier about the products that they are buying and they actually want to know what they are spending their money on.
So if you don’t have a lot of good evidence behind the product, especially when it comes to things like supplements, having a celebrity promote them won’t cut it.
People actually want to know
- How is it being tested?
- What type of results can they expect?
- What evidence have you got?
- How many people have trialled it?
I think it's good that consumers are starting to have a mindset shift. But as you know, science is slow and we've run a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study.
That was a very expensive and time-consuming thing to do and trying to get consumers to understand that the fact that we've done that is to have a more credible claim than other supplements on the store shelves can be challenging.
Sometimes consumers assume that every brand does rigorous testing like us, but unfortunately that’s not true. There are brands that make themselves sound scientific when actually they're not. On the other hand, we're not pretending to be scientists, we actually are. And so, yeah, I think we’re slowly going in the right direction."
Educating your consumer pool is a never-ending process and honestly, it’s something we all enjoy. We’re not just helping people improve their health and wellness, we’re also creating savvy individuals that have a better understanding of the scientific process and won’t be easily fooled by Instagram gurus.
This is a responsibility everyone in the longevity industry has and seeing how we share this passion with Dr Nichola, it’s easy to see why we’ve partnered up and enjoy working together.
With so much misinformation on the Internet about what health looks like, we wanted to find out if there are any health myths Dr Nichola would like to bust.
That breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This touches on our conversation earlier, which is that as a society, we have been programmed to think that we must get up and we must eat because something bad will happen if we don't eat our breakfast.
And, you know, and a lot of evidence now shows that things like intermittent fasting where you go 12 to 16 hours in between your evening meal and the first meal of the day is actually really beneficial. It switches on a lot of longevity pathways and just general maintenance and repair pathways that influence our metabolism.