Aug 7 – Day 4 Biovotion hit the Kilimanjaro trails

Biovotion is committed to advancing science and accelerating human performance. Not content with the relative sanctuary of a laboratory, VSM1 will be pushed to the limits in extreme environments by a unique fusion of the world’s most demanding scientists and respected mountaineers.
The Mayo’s lead researcher Dr. Bruce Johnson, plans to use the climb to further his research of heart disease and aging. The mountain will enable him to study how humans adapt to the effects of oxygen and high altitude – which can have an impact on the way we understand the effects of heart disease on the body.
The expedition team has spent the past couple of days performing a number of baseline tests under the supervision of the Mayo Clinic researchers. They have also spent time building team cohesion, a vital ingredient to meet the challenge of the highest free-standing mountain in the world and Africa’s highest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro at 5896m.
The recent weather systems have been kind to the group and they successfully navigated the rain forest via the Lemosho trailhead in the lowlands, avoiding the rain and the mud to reach the Mti Mkubwa camp at 2,800m. The group will complete additional tests, rest, re-fuel and no doubt their attention will quickly switch to the additional demands of the following day - a 7 hour trek up to the Shira camp at 3,500m.

Besides the data collection, the expedition research team will test the effect of 1,000 mg daily of nicotinamide riboside on altitude tolerance, cardiovascular fitness, and team cohesion - a subsatnce from Thorne Research. The study will add to the body of sophisticated studies conducted at altitude. Metrics include gut microbiome community structure/diversity (genetic), gut microbiome metabolome (untargeted), pulmonary function, exhaled NO, echocardiogram, oxygen saturation, sleep, and a series of other physiologic metrics involved in thriving at extreme altitudes. It will also be among the rare studies that applies these types of molecular and physiologic metrics to the study of team cohesion in extreme environments.

Departure preparations