Curiosity instilled the catalyst – Nutriop founders are leveraging innovation to bring longevity supplements to a wider audience and hoping to change mindsets along the way.
Rather than a start-up by scientists, Nutriop is a company formed by longevity enthusiasts for longevity enthusiasts. Co-founders Massimo Cerquetti, a web designer and developer, and Collins Egboye, a construction industry executive, shared a mutual curiosity about the direction of antiaging research and were united by a desire to make antiaging products more easily available for anyone who needs them – and as Cerquetti puts it: “Let’s face it, this is most of us!”
Longevity.Technology: Longevity is a state of mind, as well as a booming business opportunity. As Harry says in When Harry Met Sally: “When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” and when Max Cerquetti realised he wanted to promulgate the benefits of antiaging opportunities, he wanted to do it as soon and as widely as possible. We caught up with Cerquetti to find out how Nutriop came into being and how the company’s ethos is reflected
Cerquetti came to longevity from an interest in biohacking. “I became fascinated and very invested in understanding how we could transform our bodies through nutrition,” he explains. “Then in 2018, once NMN started being manufactured, I quickly realised that it would become a game-changer in the biohacking industry. From that point on I started planning and working on setting up the Nutriop Longevity business. While I was doing that, I also realised that two people would probably run a business more effectively than trying to grow and scale solo. That’s when I asked Collins, a good friend of mine, to join me as co-founder.”
Health-conscious consumers are looking for products that deliver the advertised benefits of what they say they can do – concerns borne out by our survey on longevity supplements – and ensuring quality is something Cerquetti feels is vital.
“Most of the supplements on the market are not typically tested for either efficacy or safety,” he says. “It’s worth noting that a recent JAMA report found unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients in hundreds of supplements, which is worrying on many levels. Our biggest challenges were navigating investing considerable resources into research and development, and taking the time to research as much as possible so that we could start developing nutraceutical supplements that bring real health benefits to people both safely and effectively.”
The themes of evidence and research run through our conversation, both in terms of available resources and keeping up-to-date with the latest developments. Cerquetti says the Nutriop team is very vocal about the fact that clinical decisions should involve the judicious use of the best available evidence in the form of well-designed research studies, as this ensures that both the quality of health care and the gap between research and practice is greatly improved.
“We are always keeping up-to-date with the latest scientific developments and industry trends as these can shape and enhance our role as one of the industry leaders in nutraceuticals,” explains Cerquetti. “We regularly attend biohacking summits and meetings, subscribe to industry newsletters and follow the work and research of top scientific leaders on Twitter. The usual newsletters I read are excellent tools that summarise news, stats and trends in this fascinating industry every morning. Regular biohacking meetings not only open up new ideas, but also create opportunities to forge new connections. Lastly, my Twitter feed is a real-time view on what top industry leaders are currently reading.”
As well as the research world, Nutriop is also focused on building capability in market access and in influencing health-system policies to interpret nutraceuticals as important tools to provide alternative treatment options.
As Cerquetti puts it: “The root of the problem lies in the fact that nutrition through nutraceuticals is still not fully recognised, by both consumers and health professionals, as an effective way of preventing and treating disease and living longer, healthier lives. Our mission is to change mindsets and actively increase people’s health.”
This was brought into sharp focus during the the COVID-19 pandemic, and evidenced by an upsurge of interest in health.
“The uptick in people taking notice and engaging with our supplements has probably been due to the fact that COVID-19 prompted an increased focus on personal wellbeing and self-care,” says Cerquetti. “This renewed interest in self-care has also been encouraged by the fact that most people had a lot more time available at home to do their research and feel empowered to really start looking into and looking after their own health.”
This empowerment is helping to contribute to the ongoing democratisation of healthcare, something in which Cerquetti is keen for Nutriop to play its part, as well as ensuring its products are appropriately priced.
“We want to be affordable for people because health and wellbeing is in everyone’s interests,” Cerquetti explains. “One of the main reasons for that is because an aging, and especially an increasingly frail, population slows down labour force growth, which in turn slows down the growth of GDP. When that happens, the elderly will be a bigger financial burden to both working-age people, who will have to pay more to support them, and to public budgets, which will face bigger bills for health and retirement programs. We have a long-term view of being part of the solution and we’re constantly researching all the latest and most effective age-reversing ingredients for creating new, effective, cutting-edge dietary supplements that make a real difference.”
Aging and longevity studies are growing more popular with progress being made in understanding and tackling the limits of longevity and identifying and developing antiaging interventions, and the possibilities intrigue Cerquetti.
“I think that, at some point in the next decade, it’s very likely that increasingly powerful antiaging treatments capable of fully reversing the biological aging clock of humans will become available and grow from there at an increasing speed, which would see the biological aging disease eradicated once and for all,” he says. “To get scientific about it, ultimately I can see that being achieved with a mix of treatments that could encompass targeting “zombie cells”, replacing old tissue (by reprogramming old cells to stem cells), lengthening telomeres and repairing the mitochondria.”
Cerquetti puts his money where is mouth is and takes Nutriop Longevity supplements every day; his personal regimen includes Nutriop’s NMN, Resveratrol with Quercetin, Pterostilbene Extreme, NADH, PQQ and CQ10, PURE-NAD+ powder, Berberine HCL and Organic Grape Seed Extract.
“Most of the time I empty the capsules into an organic, dairy-free milk kefir,” he details. “I really do feel a lot more energy since starting this supplement programme. And the good news is that this is only the beginning! In the next decade we’ll see a lot more biohacking treatment options becoming available on the market. These options will be able to tackle the biological aging disease much more effectively than what’s available to us today, which is exciting.”
We’ll be looking at the science behind some of Nutriop’s supplements in the coming weeks – stay tuned.