Meet Out Founder
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.Shop Now
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
World-Renowned Physiologist & Emeritus Professor of Physiology, University of Oxford (Oxford)
Professor Denis Noble is a globally-recognized British biologist who developed the first mathematical model of cardiac cells in 1960. He held the Burdon Sanderson Chair of Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of Oxford from 1984 to 2004 and was then appointed Professor Emeritus and Co-Director of Computational Physiology.
On an international scale, he was elected President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) at its Congress in Kyoto in 2009, and then elected for a second term at the 2013 Congress in Birmingham, UK. As a pioneer in the field of systems biology, he is the author of the first popular book on Systems Biology, The Music of Life. His book, Dance to the Tune of Life, Biological Relativity, extends the systems approach to biology, including evolutionary biology. Denis Noble has published more than 600 papers and 11 books. Together with Leslie Kenny, Dr. Paul Ch'en and Sir Christopher Ball, he is a co-founder of the non-profit organization, Oxford Longevity Project.
Dr. Katja Simon
Head of the "Autophagy in the Immune System" laboratory, Max Delbruck Center (Berlin)
Dr. Katja Simon began her autophagy research as Professor of the Immunology at the Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology, University of Oxford. As a principal investigator, she set up an independent line of enquiry investigating autophagy, another cellular process determining cell fate, in the hemato-immune system. Her group discovered that autophagy, the main conserved cellular bulk degradation pathway, maintains healthy red blood cells, stem cells and memory T cells and promotes differentiation while preventing aging of the hematopoietic system. She has since been appointed to Head of the "Autophagy in the Immune System" laboratory at the Max Delbruch Center in Berlin as part of an initiative to attract outstanding female scientists from abroad. She and her team are continuing her research on autophagy in the immune system there.Read More
Dr. Ghada Alsaleh
Principal Investigator in Immunology and Autophagy & Leader of the UK's First Space Innovation Lab, University of Oxford (Oxford)
Dr. Ghada Alsaleh moved to Oxford in 2017 to pursue her career as a scientist and to join Professor Katja Simon’s group at the University of Oxford's Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology, where she developed a growing curiosity about aging and the regulation of biological processes that are disturbed during the aging process. In her research, she showed that autophagy is specifically reduced in older human lymphoid cells, which contributes to compromised memory T and B cell responses in the elderly. This work has uncovered novel targets and biomarkers for the development of anti-aging drugs for human T cells.
Dr. Ghada was awarded funding for her proposal “Targeting autophagy for the treatment of osteoarthritis”. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide but lacks effective therapy. In this proposal, she aims to design a genetic screen using TFEB protein expression as a read-out to identify new potential targets for the treatment of Osteoarthritis and various age-related diseases. She has recently become leader of the UK's first Space Innovation Lab, which aims to understand the effect of space microgravity on the aging process.
Dr. Sasi Senga
Neurosurgical Oncologist, Lecturer in Medicine, Author & Researcher, University of Oxford (Oxford)
Dr. Sasi Senga is a neurosurgical oncologist with two Masters - one in Neuroscience and another in Cancer & Therapeutics - and specialist training from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Barts Cancer Institute. He graduated as an Oxford Clarendon Scholar and Excellence Award/Top Honours Award recipient from Harvard Medical School. He also runs a cancer foundation for the underprivileged in two countries in memory of his mother, Kalavathi, who passed away to cancer, has authored a few books on cancer, and is currently working on a paper on the Hallmarks of Cancer.Read More
Our Clinical Advisory Board
Dr. Paul Ch'en
Holistic Cancer Care Coach, CanSure Heal It, GP Partner & Doctor to Keble and Sommerville Colleges, University of Oxford (Oxford)
Dr. Paul Ch'en is a Practice Partner at the Observatory Medical Practice in Jericho, Oxford, where he is also the College Doctor to Keble and Somerville Colleges at the University of Oxford. Paul has recently embarked on a new chapter as a Holistic Cancer Care Coach through his online coaching service, CanSure Heal It. This service supports newly diagnosed cancer patients to take charge of their health and gives them the tools to help manage their condition. As a former cancer immunologist, he has a particular interest in the early diagnosis of cancer and is keenly interested in preventing the diseases of aging, cognitive behavioral therapy and acupuncture. Having had his early education in Japan, Dr. Ch'en also stays abreast of the latest Japanese therapies and research to promote healthy aging, reverse disease and live a long, healthy and happy life. He also co-founded the non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on healthy aging, the Oxford Longevity Project, with Oxford Healthspan Founder, Leslie Kenny, Scientific Advisor, Professor Denis Noble, and Academic and Former Warden of Oxford University's Keble College, Sir Christopher Ball.Read More
Dr. Sandra Kaufmann
Author and Creator of the Kaufmann Anti-Aging Protocol (Miami)
Dr. Sandra Kaufmann began her academic career in the field of cellular biology, earning a Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut in Tropical Ecology and Plant Physiology. Turning to medicine, she received her medical Degree from the University of Maryland, and completed a residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins in the field of pediatric anesthesiology. Presently, she is the Chief of Pediatric Anesthesia for the Memorial Health Care system and the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Florida. She is also the author and creator of the Kaufmann Protocol, the culmination of years of non-clinical research leading to the first-ever, scientific guide to personalized deceleration of the aging process.Read More
Clinical Nutritionist (Hong Kong)
Amy Lamotte is the Managing Director of Vallotte Nutrigenomics Limited in Hong Kong, where she splits her time between clinical nutrition and nutrition research. Her clinical practice is focused on personalized nutrition for autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions. She devotes half of her time to research in order to contribute to our understanding of how nutrition is the key to creating vibrant health at any age. Her current research interests include nutrition for modulating the immune system and increasing healthspan, nutritional genomics, circadian biology, and the microbiome. She has a Master's of Science in Human Nutrition (summa cum laude) from the University of Bridgeport and a J.D. from Yale Law School.Read More
Dr. Olivia Lesslar
Medical Doctor, TEDx Speaker & NYC Journal 50 Under 50 (Global)
Dr. Olivia Ly Lesslar is an Australian medical doctor who specializes in complex chronic conditions including neurodegeneration, "mystery illnesses", atopy, cancer, and psychoneuroendoimmunology - the intersection of psychology, hormones, the nervous system, and the immune system. After her medical residency in Australia, she worked across the USA: First with double-board certified neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Jay Lombard at the Neuroimmunology Associates of New York and currently, with Dr. Chris Renna at LifeSpan Medicine, Los Angeles. Since 2020 she has spent more time in her home country of Australia, and now works with internationally renowned Professors - neurosurgeon Charlie Teo and immunologist allergist Pete Smith at their respective clinics. In 2022, she was featured in the NYC Journal 50 under 50 as a distruptor in her industry.Read More
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.Shop Now