Our Story

Meet Out Founder

Leslie Kenny

Oxford Healthspan was founded by Leslie Kenny, an Oxford-based entrepreneur born in California and a graduate of Berkeley and Harvard Business School.

In her 30s, her life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with an array of autoimmune conditions - lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism. Her doctors told her there was no cure and that they could only be managed with strong immunosuppressants.

This didn't sit right with her. Coming from a Taiwanese background, she was raised with the mentality that its best to work with your body’s innate wisdom to heal itself. Why would she suppress her immune system rather than support it in its natural abilities?

On a quest to revive her own health, she went back to school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. Her passion for health optimization grew and her career took an interesting and unexpected turn when she moved to Oxford and began working with Oxford University scientists and doctors.

Discovering Japan’s best-kept healthy aging secret…

As well as becoming a certified health coach, Leslie began helping scientists at leading European universities, including the University of Oxford, to raise money for their health discoveries. It was at a meeting with one such scientist that she learned of a natural compound called spermidine, found in a Japanese fermented soybean dish called natto.

Spermidine was showing great promise in supporting healthy aging with its ability to induce autophagy, our body’s cellular renewal process that slows as we age. The science was compelling - scientists were calling it 'an anti-aging vitamin'’ - and it was safe. However, because it was a natural and food-derived compound, not a drug that would bring in more money, no one was interested in promoting it.

Spermidine becomes Primeadine®

Leslie tried (and struggled) to find natto in the US, and when she did come across it, she realized with its seriously sticky texture and funky taste and smell, that it wasn’t for the faint-hearted! Spotting the unmet need for an alternative to natto, she decided to bring a highly concentrated spermidine supplement to the US market. With the support of esteemed University of Oxford scientists and doctors that make up our Board of Scientific and Clinical Advisors, she launched Oxford Healthspan with its flagship product, the plant-derived spermidine supplement, Primeadine®.

Since then, the research on spermidine has mounted and human clinical trials have been conducted, showing it to inhibit 9 of the 12 aging pathways (the Hallmarks of Aging), such as inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and stem cell and mitochondrial dysfunction, and trigger autophagy. Studies also revealed it to increase lifespan, enhance hair growth, and improve heart health, memory and cognition.

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Proof you can get better with age...

Today, at age 58, Leslie has reversed her autoimmune conditions and is living proof that we can get better with age, so long as we take responsibility for our health and tap into our body’s natural healing abilities.

Primeadine® Spermidine is one of the essential tools that helped her bring her body back into balance and is a key fundamental in her healthy aging arsenal, as well as those of her advisors and their clients (see below). She hopes it will become part of yours too.

Learn more about Leslie and her New Prime of life at @lesliesnewprime.

Our Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Denis Noble

Dr. Katja Simon

Dr. Ghada Alsaleh

Dr. Sasi Senga

Our Clinical Advisory Board

Dr. Paul Ch'en

Dr. Sandra Kaufmann

Amy Lamotte

Dr. Olivia Lesslar

Our Philosophy

We bridge the gap between Eastern wisdom and modern science. Combining the two ensures we take a balanced and holistic approach to aging, bringing attention to powerful, natural molecules that are used by the world’s longest lived people, such as Okinawans, and also recommended by leading scientists.

We work with an internationally recognized team of scientists and doctors to formulate our products. We source our ingredients in Japan, where we can get the purest and most potent raw materials that are actually consumed by centenarians. These are then rigorously lab tested for impurities and efficacy, meeting the high standards of the Japanese Food Association as well as GMP and ISO22000. Learn more about our standards and certifications here.

Japan is also much further ahead than the rest of the globe in longevity research - the Japanese scientist, Yoshinori Ohsumi, won a Nobel Prize in 2016 for discovering the mechanisms of autophagy. Japan also houses its very own Japan Autophagy Consortium that is dedicated to autophagy research and education. Oxford Healthspan is privileged to be the only non-Japanese member of it.

Dedicated as we are to educating and equipping people with the knowledge and tools to age healthily, our Founder Leslie, together with University of Oxford scientists and doctors, started a non-profit organization with that very purpose. You can find out more about the Oxford Longevity Project here.

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