Dietary Nucleotides (RNA/DNA Supplements)

I’m curious why dietary nucleotides aren’t popular as an antiaging supplement. I believe there have been four studies in rodents now finding that it extends maximum and mean lifespan.

The most recent study is from 2013 and used RNA. From the abstract: “[Dietary Nucleotides] notably increased the mean life span, and the maximal life span. Compared to the control group, the incidence of death from tumors was decreased in NTs groups of both sexes.”

Full citation:
Xu M, Liang R, Guo Q, Wang S, Zhao M, Zhang Z, Wang J, Li Y. Dietary nucleotides extend the life span in Sprague-Dawley rats. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013 Mar;17(3):223-9. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0399-z. PMID: 23459974.

One or two of the older studies were by a Max Odens who used RNA plus DNA. In one study, they were injected into rats and it increased maximum lifespan so much that people chose to dismiss the findings. In a strain of rats that live 800 to 900 days, one rat in the treated group lived to be 2250 days old. And then there was another study using RNA plus DNA where rodents were fed the mixture also with good results. Finally, another study where rodents were fed just RNA alone, and there was a lesser but still substantial increase in lifespan.

The abstract for the study by Max Odens using RNA/DNA injections can be found at the following link:

There are a couple others as mentioned. But I’m having difficulty finding the study references.

Until a couple years ago, there were affordable supplements available that provided a mixture of 50:50 RNA/DNA.

Thanks for the post, and welcome to the forum.

The first reference (2013) speculated that the cause of increased lifespan was that the nucleotides would “inhibit the age-related decrease in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and the age-related increase in the levels of lipid peroxidation product.” They noted this might be especially important for tumor-prone rats.

This could be important for people, but humans are not nearly tumor-prone as these rats. And boosting the antioxidants in the body isn’t always a good thing. I’d love to see some human or other species studies.

I don’t have a copy, but references to the other studies can be found in the book, Secrets of Life Extension, by John A Mann.

Researcher Max Wolf doubled the lifespan of rats by feeding them an enriched yeast extract high in rna/dna and b vitamins.

And Hans J Kugler doubled the lifespan of Snell-Bagg dwarf mice by injecting nucleic acids. I found a bio on him: Link

An older study from 1928 by T. Brailsford Robertson, feeding RNA: Influence of Nucleic Acids of Various Origin upon the Growth and Longevity of the white mouse

Link to PDF

Wikipedia article on T. Brailsford Robertson.

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Here’s a sixth study in rodents where RNA again extended lifespan in mice. I don’t have access to the full text.

GARDNER TS. The effect of yeast nucleic acid on the survival time of 600 day old albino mice. J Gerontol. 1946 Oct;1(Pt 1 4):445-52. doi: 10.1093/geronj/1.4_part_1.445. PMID: 20273847.

The investigation of the effect of nutritional factors on the process of aging has only recently been given attention. In this paper, Dr. Gardner reports on the increase which yeast nucleic acid produces in the life span of 600 day old albino mice, and contrasts his results with those of an earlier investigator who administered both yeast and thymus nucleic acid in far larger amounts to mice from birth. Dr. Gardner discusses three possible explanations for the increase in longevity produced by nucleic acids: maintenance of a high nucleocytoplasmic ratio in the cells, oxidation of ingested nucleic acids in place of cell nucleic acids, and stimulation of leukocytic activity.

Here’s a study where nucleic acids increased lifespan in fruit flies. There was a synergistic effect when paired with B vitamins.

GARDNER TS. The use of Drosophila melanogaster as a screening agent for longevity factors; the effects of biotin, pyridoxine, sodium yeast nucleate, and pantothenic acid on the life span of the fruit fly. J Gerontol. 1948 Jan;3(1):9-13. doi: 10.1093/geronj/3.1.9. PMID: 18856648.


In experiments conducted with drosophila melanogaster, Dr. Gardner noted that biotin had no effect upon the life span, but both pyridoxine and sodium yeast nucleate lengthened it. These three substances in combination materially extended the span of life, and with the addition of pantothenic acid a substantial increase was demonstrated.

Another paper below. Note that treatement began in elderly rats. LEF sells affordable RNA capsules. But the 50:50 RNA/DNA supplements have disappeared in the last two years.

Kent S. Can nucleic acid therapy reverse the degenerative processes of aging? Geriatrics. 1977 Oct;32(10):130-6. PMID: 409642.


Of particular note is a study by English physician Max Odens in which weekly injections of DNA and RNA were given to five rats with a normal maximum life span of 800 to 900 days; treatment began at the age of 750 days. All the untreated rats died before the age of 900 days, while four treated rats survived to ages of 1,600 to 1,900 days, and one rat survived
2,250 days. This degree of prolongation of the life span is unparalleled in gerontological research.

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Here is the paper, you went back into the archives!

“However, on the basis of two other just as probable hypotheses for the mode of action of yeast nucleic acid, to be described later, only 2.5 mg. per mouse per day were used in my experiments. The corresponding amount for human beings, 5.5 gm., is entirely practical for clinical testing on aging people

Some background

This seems legit, equally curious, but apparently not currently mainstream.

You need to get Richard Miller at ITP on this!

Are you taking any of these things Vlasko?

What other types of supplements would you suggest?

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Here is that Odens paper with rats/RNA/DNA, the results outstanding…but he never disclosed the intervention.

Ten rats of a strain in which the life span varies between 800 and 900 days, were selected for the experiment when they were each 750 days old. They were given the same diet. Group A, the controls, were not treated. Group B received weekly injections of DNA solution in water saturated with chloroform (3 mg per ml) plus ordinary RNA. All necessary determinations such as temperature and weight were made. The charts were compared every day. After twelve weeks
of injections, Group B rats looked younger, were very lively, and had gained weight (1.5-2.3 gm), Group A rats looked old, moved slowly, did not eat much, and had lost weight. The difference was remarkable. All the untreated rats died before 900 days. Of the treated rats, 4 died aged between 1600 and 1900 days. One rat lived 2250 days.”

There was a book by Benjamin Frank, MD (Frank as in Sinatra, not Franklin) published in 1979 entitled No Aging Diet

Brewer’s Yeast or Nutritional Yeast provide RNA/DNA.


Interestingly, there is a new clinical trial focused on this in China that is being started - see below.

What are the typical sources for this combination of nucleotides? They mention that they are using the same ratio as in breast milk… this doesn’t seem like something that people can duplicate at all with commercial products (or am I missing something?) - it sounds like (from description below) that some infant formulas contain this, has anyone done any research on this?

Brief Summary:

To investigate the effects of dietary nucleotides (NTs) as an anti-aging supplement, a clinical trial is carried as a randomized, double-blind, parallel design, placebo-controlled. A total of 120 subjects will be enrolled in the study, and they shall be randomly distributed between the two arms, NTs-treated, and placebo-control. They would be given several measurements, including physical examination, questionnaire survey, clinical and aging-related biomarkers tests at 0 (baseline), 2, and 4 months during the RCT.

Detailed Description:

To explore the anti-aging effects of NTs and the regulation of aging-related diseases, this study plans to recruit 120 people as subjects and conduct randomized controlled trials with NTs as an intervention for 4 months. Based on computer-generated random numbers, participants who meet the inclusion criteria are randomly assigned equally to two groups: placebo control and nucleotide intervention groups.

Dosing and Supplementation Formulation

In this study, the specific nucleotide composition is 5’-AMP、5’-CMP、5’-GMPNa2、5’-UMPNa2 prepared according to the ratio of 16:41:19:24, which is consistent with the ratio in breast milk and meets the requirements of national infant formula addition and special medical food formula. The dose of 1.2 g/day used is currently approved as the ingredient dose of nucleotides in conventional commercially available health food products.

Aging Biomarker Testing

At the 0、2 and 4 months of the study, comprehensive geriatric health assessment, aging biomarker testing and biological sample collection will be conducted. Among them, the comprehensive evaluation of elderly health status is carried out by physical examination and questionnaire survey, including physical health, physiological function, quality of life, cognitive function, psychosocial health, and other aspects of information. The physical examination involves both physical assessment and functional assessment, including body composition, neck circumference, waist circumference, hip circumference, middle arm circumference, calf circumference, BMR, grip strength, six-minute walk, intima-media thickness, subcutaneous AGEs, and spirometry. The scale includes health status, nutritional status, cognitive status, physical activity, and dietary status. Blood samples were used to detect the safety and senescence-related indicators of the subjects. The index system covers four modules and seventeen dimensions, including blood routine, blood biochemistry, inflammatory factors, immune antibodies, T lymphocyte subtypes, oxidative stress level, cancer markers, leukocyte telomere length, DNA methylation, γ-H2A. Blood samples are sequenced simultaneously for gene and transcriptome sequencing. Fecal samples are collected for metagenomic sequencing of intestinal flora.

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Color me dubious, but it looks like a fishing trip with 18 different primary outcome measurements and 48 different secondary ones.

I don’t think any of these explanations is looking to be confirmed in this experiment.