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Timeline on the summit of Mt. Everest

Published by Science Editorial Staff
Image of Mount Everest

This story is the personification of what our science and product stand for. We strive to help people optimize their health, so they can achieve their dreams. You can imagine our excitement when we received an email from a Mt. Everest expedition leader who summited Everest with the help of Mitopure. We were so impressed by his commitment to reaching his goals and his passion for science, that we wanted to share his inspiring story with our community.

Mountaineer hacks his mitochondria for Everest summit

One would feel on top of the world when you are literally, actually, physically, in reality standing on your own two feet on the highest peak of the Earth. Mount Everest stands at a daunting 8848 meters above sea level, and trekking to the top takes significant perseverance and training. Summiting this mountain is a life goal for many who put in hours of work to prepare themselves to tackle this peak.

For Jatin Chaudhary, who summited Mount Everest in the morning hours of 12th May 2022, the euphoria was not the primary emotion. According to him, it was a humbling feeling despite being the first from the remote district of Kutch, India to have scaled the mountain.

Portrait of Jatin Chaudhary alongside an image of Mount Everest and a glacier that leads to it

Attribution: Jatin Chaudhary

It reminds one of what Edmund Hillary (the first one to summit Mt. Everest) said about the climb: “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Jatin said conquer is a very western term. Here in Nepal, one does not ‘conquer’ mountains. Mountains represent much more than just height to scale - they are revered, prayed to, and looked up to for resilience, strength, and perseverance. There are a few mountains in the Himalayan Ranges (in Nepal, India, and China) that are so sacred one is not permitted to climb them. Before every climb, prayers are offered to the Mountain Deities asking for permission, forgiveness, and safety. I guess when one is living amongst the mountains, one is more in touch with reality than someone squinting from afar.

Jatin, 43, a software professional, comes from one of the most remote district in India. It is known not for its mountains, but in contrast for its salt flats. So flat in fact, it is famously known as the ‘white desert of Kutch’. His dream of scaling the highest of mountains came from his motorcycling expeditions in the Himalayas. Being amongst them was not enough. He wanted to be with them in their warm (or you can say cold) embrace.

Jatin quit his job with Amazon as Senior Software Development Manager in May ‘21, and started his journey from high-altitude tourist to mountaineer. He tested the waters with the Parang La (5600 mts) trek in Aug ‘21, one of the most difficult treks in India. Faring well, he set his eyes on summiting a 6000+ meter peak and successfully climbed Lobuche peak (6119 mts) in Oct ‘21.

Taking a leap of faith in his abilities, he attempted Ama Dablam (6812 mts) on Nov 21. Ama Dablam is considered one of the most technical mountains to climb, and is normally attempted after Everest, who are searching for a more challenging climb. He summited Ama Dablam on 9th Nov 21 becoming the 13th Indian and 1st Gujarati to achieve this goal.

Climbers nearing the summit of Mt. Everest

Attribution: Jatin Chaudhary

Empowered with his success from Ama Dablam, his next target was none other than Mt. Everest. But in his quest to climb Everest as a mountaineer and not just a high-altitude tourist, he decided to apply for the Basic Ice Climbing course at the esteemed Khumbu Climbing Center(KCC) in Nepal. This course is only offered once a year, in January at KCC, so the competition to get in is high. Jatin was fortunate to get accepted, and he passed the course with honors! He, along with another Sherpa, were the only 2 in a batch of over 50 students to get honors.

What makes Sherpas superhuman?

Now with training and climbing experience under his belt, it was all about keeping fit and injury-free for the next three months until the Expedition began in April. Being data-oriented, there was one thing that was nagging him. That was the studies[1] pointing out that with age, success rate went down. Even more alarming, the fatality rates went up. This was more pronounced after the age of 40.

Having struggled with his summit push on Ama Dablam after Camp 2, Jatin knew he needed something to turn back the clock. He observed that Sherpas can perform at superhuman levels at altitude and wanted to know how they did this. He dug deeper into the research and found a study[2] that helped answer his question. This study showed that what allows Sherpa to work well in a hypoxic environment is their ability to efficiently use oxygen in their mitochondria.

His next quest was to unlock the key to improving the quality of his mitochondria. It’s no surprise that this quest led him to a compound called Urolithin A sold under a brand called ‘Timeline Mitopure’.

VO2 Max improvement with Mitopure
Mitopure was the X-factor I was looking for. In three months with all other variables constant, my VO2Max went up from 47 to 51 and my resting pulse monthly avg went down from 47 to 45.Jatin Chaudhary
Resting Heart Rate

But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in eating. During his first acclimatization rotation, they went to a height of 6800 meters, nearly as high as Ama Dablam (6812 mts). At Ama Dablam, Jatin took in five to eight breaths per step and was visibly struggling. This time around he took in about two breaths per step and for the last 20 meters, he even challenged his Sherpa for a sprint. What a difference the Urolithin A made!

When a Sherpa asks you what do you do for your fitness, you know you are on the right track!

Eventually, D-Day came. The Expedition kicked off from Kathmandu on the 14th of April. Because of his training and experience, Jatin was chosen as a team leader for a group of eleven climbers. He reached base camp on April 20th. After a series of acclimatization climbs, he started his summit attempt from base camp early in the morning on May 8th. He reached the peak of Mount Everest on May 12th at 6:30 AM and was back at base camp on May 13th at 1:30 PM.

Jatin on top of Mt. Everest holding a pack of Timeline's Mitopure Softgels

Jatin on top of Mt. Everest holding a pack of Timeline's Mitopure Softgels

Jatin describes climbing Mt. Everest as going on a pilgrimage. He jokes that when you are stuck in a traffic jam, which is most of the time after Camp 3, that feeling of being on a pilgrimage is quite literal. And like any pilgrimage, it changes you. The superhuman effort and the constant suffering from fatigue, nausea, lack of sleep, hypoxia, and cold could bring many flavors of emotions that you normally don’t experience in your daily life. And even if you do, it’s not at that intensity. Having almost lost a team member to Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS) he says that now he values whatever time that we have on Earth so much more.

Full Explorer Grand Slam is Next

Though he is amongst only five Indians who have scaled both Mt. Everest and Ama Dablam, Jatin says he is just getting started. He has set his next aim to reach the South Pole from the outer coastline. A feat that no Indian has done yet. Eventually, he plans to be the first Indian to complete the Full Explorer Grand Slam, which entails getting to the North and South Pole from the outer coastline and climbing the highest mountain of all continents also known as the Seven Summits.

We have no doubt that Jatin’s diligence and determination, with a little help from Mitopure, will have him succeed at his goals!

References
  1. https://www.himalayandatabase.com/downloads/Everest%20Huey%20et%20al.%202020%20PLOS%20ONE.pdf

  2. https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1700527114

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. References: *Nutrition studies: 500mg Mitopure® have been shown to (1) induce gene expression related to mitochondria function and metabolism and (2) increase the strength of the hamstring leg muscle in measures of knee extension and flexion in overweight 40-65 year olds. Data from two randomized double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trials. **Nutrition NOURISH Study: 500mg Mitopure® have been shown to deliver at least 6 times higher Urolithin A plasma levels over 24 hours (area under the curve) than 8 ounces (240ml) of pomegranate juice in a randomized human clinical trial.