Wednesday, March 6, 2019

An open letter to the Scientific Advisory Board of Elysium, the anti-aging supplement company

[This is a copy of my blogpost, previously on]

Dear Members of Elysium's Scientific Advisory Board:
I am a geneticist and have been absolutely fascinated by aging research since 2003. I write to you to ask you to reconsider your participation in the scientific advisory board of Elysium Health, Inc.
The amazing research into the genetics of aging is undermined by a premature rush to consumer pills. Particularly, the reputation of the field is compromised by the association with the supplement industry. As Dr. Derek Lowe just wrote
It [Elysium Health] makes the legitimate research in this field seem a bit less respectable, which isn’t good, and it makes the supplement hawkers seem a bit more respectable by association, and that’s probably not what Elysium was planning on, either.
By lending your names to Elysium Health, you help to give confidence to a supplement pill that has zero evidence of doing anything to delay aging in humans. The supplement industry thrives on evidence-free placebo effects, to the point of generating $25 billion in sales per year. With Elysium prominently featuring each of you on their website, there is a sense of scientific gravitas and anti-aging promise that is unheard of in this industry.
Considering the ease with which supplement producers already take advantage of the consumers with the marketing of placebos, Elysium is in a remarkable position to take such behavior to a new level. With your names backing the company and the natural human quest to delay aging and death, Elysium stands to make billions of dollars. Elysium could make these billions long before there are any data to indicate whether the $50 per month the consumers will spend has any benefit for their health.
I respect each of you as scientists, and I sincerely hope that you will weigh the impact of your affiliation with a rush to market of an anti-aging supplement pill.
Kind regards,
Lenny Teytelman, Ph.D.
The /team page of the Elysium website features each of you prominently.

On the company landing page:

The problem with the nutritional supplements industry:

No comments:

Post a Comment