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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Can supplements slow the aging process?

Can Juvenon and other natural cellular health supplements really slow the aging process? As this is a new phenomenon, are there any possible long-term negative effects you could foresee?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a variety of supplements in pill and capsule form

I believe that such products are a scam. Pure and simple, supplements like these are designed only to take your money. There is no substantial proof that such supplements will benefit you. This particular group offers a narrative description of scientific articles to help you feel good that they are telling you the truth. After all, if there's science to back up the use of expensive supplements, you'll want to purchase their product. Right? Don't you believe it!

This is the perfect example of psudoscience. I teach medical students about this every year because it is such a problem today. Companies like this take a variety of research articles and stitch them together to make it look like they have proven a point. These folks have done just that, but like all such companies, have proven nothing. Here's their "evidence" page:

Two studies in humans are described, but the first is not even completed, let alone published in a peer-reviewed journal. In the second study the authors state themselves that "this was a pilot study with sample sizes too small for statistical significance." (Note also that they do not link to any peer reviewed journals anywhere on their website.)

Other studies are supposedly ongoing in rats, but until the studies are performed in humans in large enough, well-controlled clinical trials and published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals, these sorts of articles prove nothing. Nor does their "anecdotal database" prove anything: as my wife likes to say, "the plural of anecdote is not 'data.'"

I checked their site in the Internet Wayback Machine to see what information they offered in 2015. The "science" presented in 2015 (see the screenshot) is word-for-word identical to the "science" presented today as I write (August 24, 2020) (screenshot). If the researchers are still analyzing the data from that trial, I have serious doubts about their competence.

There's no doubt in my mind that you are being scammed.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet