‘The adoption of longevity medicine will be driven by consumers’

New consumer longevity company Jung+ aims to bring the benefits of longevity clinics to as many as possible.

Consumer longevity firm Jung+ today starts releasing its first products to a wait list of around 10,000 eager customers. The company, which bills its offering as the “world’s first precision-targeted longevity program,” has created a range of supplements and protocols designed to target the hallmarks of aging at cellular – and lifestyle – level, leveraging the principles adopted by longevity clinics around the world.

The Jung+ range includes a “master” formulation targeting multiple longevity mechanisms, along with several “booster” formulas targeting specific areas of longevity, including fasting and caloric restriction, glucose metabolism, sleep, and skin health. In combination with lifestyle coaching and biomarker testing, Jung+ is aiming to help its users slow their aging and extend their healthy lifespan, with prices starting at around $120 per month.

Longevity.Technology: Leveraging the evidence generated by more than 400 peer-reviewed studies, Jung claims its formulations include “effective doses” of a host of key longevity ingredients, from Astaxanthin and quercetin to spermidine and fisetin.  The company was founded by Simon Sakhai, who also happens to be the chairman of the Society of Aging and Longevity at the University of Oxford. We caught up with him to learn more about how Jung+ aims to bring the benefits of longevity science to the masses.

Sakhai says that most of the longevity science currently being implemented by clinics and practitioners falls under the category of preventative health. And this creates some challenges for the average person who doesn’t have access to a specialized longevity clinic.

“The traditional healthcare system is predominantly reactive – once you’re sick, you go and see someone, and you’re guided by a professional about what to do next,” he explains. “But prevention still largely falls into the hands of the consumer. You’re forced to become the chief medical officer of your own health, and that’s a lot of responsibility to put in the hands of someone who isn’t an expert in the field.”

Inspired by longevity clinics

Of course, the future vision for healthcare is that it will one day adopt a preventative model, but Sakhai believes that is going to take some time for that paradigm shift to occur.

“The incentive model of contemporary medicine is reactionary – it monetizes sickness rather than health,” he says. “For example, the average doctor gets 2.5 hours of training in sleep medicine, across the entire course of their medical training, and yet sleep is the foundation of almost every cognitive or physiological function. To me, that’s a symptom of a failed system.”

“What we’re now seeing is that average, smart, and motivated consumers are driving the conversation around preventative health by demanding access to longevity – and I think this ‘bottom up’ pressure will be the key that breaks this outdated model.”

According to Sakhai, the emergence of longevity clinics focused on maintaining and optimizing health is a positive step but cannot meet the needs of the world’s population.

“We need a preventative layer – a doctor you go to that keeps you healthy, and that’s where longevity clinics shine,” he says. “But no matter how many clinics open, there’s always going to be an accessibility issue. The nature of their work is detailed, personal, and not very scalable, because you still have one patient per one doctor at a time. We already have a huge shortage of regular doctors, and even if there are 100,000 longevity doctors in the world, how are they going to service 7 billion people?”

Solving longevity’s scalability challenge

This challenge of accessibility and scalability in longevity medicine is what Jung+ was founded to address, but Sakhai also believes it’s time for people working in longevity to “be honest” about what the term really means today.

“We are all getting very excited about epigenetic reprogramming, stem cells, and gene therapies that are going to allow us to live beyond 100, but the truth is, it’s gonna take a while for those technologies to be proven safe and effective,” he says. “What we’re really talking about when we’re talking about longevity today, even at the most elite longevity clinics, is a set number of targeted, evidence-based frameworks that everyone is replicating in different ways – supplements, behavioral protocols, and testing and tracking.”

The range of supplements currently being offered by Jung+.

Using the best practices deployed by longevity clinics as a starting point, Jung+ has sought to distill the knowledge into a model that can be more easily scaled up for mass adoption.

“Working closely with colleagues from some of the leading clinics in the field, we’ve looked at the essence of the longevity clinic experience, and identified essential pillars that can be replicated, simplified, and enhanced,” says Sakhai. “Our goal was to make the highest quality, personalized care super accessible. Working with our clinician colleagues, we’ve created a product that not only enables consumers to self-guide a complete longevity program but can also be used by longevity clinics to scale and service more people.”

The supplement ecosystem that Jung+ has created begins with its master formula, which Sakhai describes as a “precision-targeted longevity multivitamin” that is designed to target all the hallmarks of aging.

“It contains the best of the best longevity molecules that are out there, based on a tremendous amount of evidence in terms of how they could target different aging pathways,” he says. “And we’ve divided it into two separate formulas – one for the morning, one for the night – so it’s working day and night, synchronized with different internal mechanisms in your circadian rhythm.”

The “master” formula developed by Jung+ is intended to address all the hallmarks of aging.

Fasting and glucose blocking

Beyond the master formula, Jung’s boosters are additional supplement protocols that each target a very specific aspect of aging.

“A longevity clinic will typically review your lifestyle to see what areas you need to work on,” says Sakhai. “And it’s usually the same things for everyone – sleep, nutrition and so on. So, we’ve launched with four boosters that capture the most crucial lifestyle levers you can pull to support your longevity goals.”

One of the company’s boosters targets fasting and calorie restriction, an area of longevity science that has significant evidence supporting its benefit to human healthspan.

“We’ve developed a fasting tonic, a powder drink mix, that can help make your fasting easier and safer and more effective,” says Sakhai. “Essentially, it’s engineered around a natural prebiotic fiber that turns into a thick gel, filling up your stomach, helping you feel full. We’ve also added supporting compounds to help prevent muscle atrophy, as well as minerals and electrolytes to make sure that you stay hydrated and don’t get headaches and cranky.”

Next up, Jung’s glucose blocker booster seeks to help consumers who want to control their carbohydrate and sugar intake. The formulation, containing popular longevity ingredient Berberine, is designed to decelerate glycation, prevent oxidative stress, and support healthy blood glucose levels.  

“There are a lot of cofactors between longevity pathways, insulin pathways and glucose and metabolism – in fact, when you look across Blue Zone diets, you see different dishes, but a common approach to carbs and sugars,” says Sakhai. “Our glucose blocker is designed to address that. You take it once a day, when you have your most carb heavy meal, and it helps manage the glucose spike.”

Sleep and skin renewal

Sleep is a core area of any longevity program, and Jung+ has developed a “sleep repair” formula – another powder drink mix that aims to amplify the overnight repair mechanisms that gradually decline with age. Active ingredients include L-theanine, GABA, glycine, magnesium, vitamin B6, L-tryptophan, sour cherry extract, taurine and zinc.

“Rather than creating a sedative formula that puts you to sleep, we’ve tried to target the mechanisms that really help rejuvenate the body, in a sustainable way, over time,” says Sakhai. “There are two strategies in that product. One is a group of ingredients that help you get deeper, higher quality sleep – they help balance neurotransmitters and the circadian rhythm, so your body knows when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to be awake.”

“The other ingredients are focused on enhancing overnight regenerative mechanisms: supporting DNA repair, tissue repair and all that stuff,” he adds. “It’s the only formula I know of at the intersection of longevity and sleep.”

The final booster initially being offered by Jung+, although more are planned, is a cellular skin renewal product designed to reduce wrinkles, improve elasticity, and balance skin tone and texture. A blend of precursors and antioxidants, it aims to help clear senescent cells, and stimulate production of NAD+, collagen and hyaluronic acid, among other things.

“When you look at the traditional skincare industry, a lot of the effort is looking at hydration and surface level symptoms of aging, but it’s not taking into account the fundamental drivers of the aging process,” says Sakhai. “I’m proud of our skin formula because, again, we’ve taken a longevity medicine perspective. It sounds like a no-brainer, but we’re the first to take a methodical look at the specific interactions between the classic hallmarks of aging, and the individual aging journey of skin as an organ.”

Longevity coaching and testing

Depending on what track a Jung+ customer is on (what set of supplements they choose) they will receive specific coaching and education to support them to get more out of their longevity program. Initially this will be delivered via email, although a mobile app is in the works.

“Every week, you’re going to get some really great information, advice or support about how you can optimize that aspect of your life,” says Sakhai. “This is behavioral coaching that would be similar to what you’re getting to from a longevity clinic, essentially free of charge, because you’re opted into the subscription.”

Jung+ is also planning to launch a testing program later this year that it claims will go beyond measurement of biological age.

“A lot of people are getting excited about biological age, including me, but it’s not always fully actionable or helpful,” says Sakhai. “Biological age is just one, highly variable measure, and the world of biomarkers can provide endless data. But science is still learning how all this data works, and as an industry, there is a lot of work to do to make this data meaningful and actionable.”

When it comes to its testing program, Jung+ is again aiming to emulate the approach of longevity clinics, which Sakhai says go deeper in their diagnostics and look at a wider range of individual biomarkers.

“For each of our booster programs, we’re working with our clinic colleagues to curate diagnostic suites that test targeted biomarkers specific to the individual track you’re on, which will help keep things simple, actionable, and super cost effective for the consumer,” he says. “We’ve really tried to take a human, customer-centric approach to everything we do.”

While Sakhai is keen to stress that everything Jung+ is doing is science and evidence based – he says it could be argued that the science is the easy part.

“Everyone knows the science behind a six-pack, and while I’m sure many would like one, there is a reason not everyone has one,” he says. “What’s more important is making science easy and effective for the consumer, because they will be the ones that drive longevity into mass adoption: the future of preventative health falls into their hands.”