Recently someone asked me about Sisel International – a multi-level marketing company that says they have a product that if you take it will extend your lifespan.
In their introductory video there was more about how selling their products, and developing others to sell the products, you could make more money than in other multi-level marketing firms.
Then come the non-supported claims:
They cite “Harvard studies” that humans can live 200 years, and that they think 90 per cent of aging is environmental and 10 per cent is genetic. To start – there is no real science behind this. There are plenty of scientists who will say the upper limit of aging is around 120 years. Although the oldest person on record died when she was 122 years old. The Sisel video then says the ingredients in their product will reverse aging – and by intervening with this- you can live longer. The claim if you start at 20 years you can live 200 years. If you start at age 50 you can live to be 140 years old — no biologic studies done on their products, just claims. In fact, recently the original scientists who claimed that one of the products could reverse aging, have said that they were wrong.
One Sisel product they claim “turns on the genes of youth” and will “regenerate the brain.” Evidence of this? None. Can the brain regenerate- not really very well. I can imagine many stroke patients would love to have a product that could regenerate their brain. Don’t you think if this product worked as stated, people like Michael J. Fox would be taking it, and promoting it’s amazing power of brain re-generation? C’mon. So I asked my fellow physicians – two neurologists and a two neurosurgeons if this was a credible claim- – they said it was not.
They have taken Resveratrol- equal to 174 glasses of red wine – and cite how you can double the lifespan of yeast and bacteria . They claim these products turn on youth genes – all 52 of them – of course if a product can turn on those genes, it is likely a cell might run wild and become a cancer. Dr. Richard A. Miller, professor of pathology at the University of Michigan, among those who question longevity benefits from resveratrol and stated, “People who bought the story for the last 10 years have been fooled.” The original research into this has was flawed, and stated so by the authors.
They also claim that they have great anti-oxidants. What they don’t know is that the human body’s biochemistry depends on oxidation for the life of the cell and energy itself. That if we even get anti-oxidants in the blood stream that we would die quickly from overwhelming bacteria- because the white cells kill bacteria through oxidation. See my previous post about oxidation.
They also state that with this if you have a heart attack on this you will not have cardiac damage if you take this. This is simply false. If you have a heart attack- where the coronary artery is occluded- and the artery is not re-opened by bypass, angioplasty, stent, or certain chemicals- the heart muscle fed by that artery will die. That means heart damage- there is no product that can prevent that from happening.
Other products they claim show amazing benefits to regenerate “your entire system” – containing sulfated limu moi which they claim it will regenerate the immune system that will get it to that of a baby – most babies, by the way, have poor immune systems.
They quote Linus Pauling “every disease to a mineral deficiency.” Linus Pauling won the Nobel prize in chemistry- he was not a biologist, nor was he a physician. I knew Linus Pauling, met him when I was at Stanford- nice fellow, but he knew better than to make that claim. Getting a pathogenic virus is not from a mineral deficiency- it is from a germ.
They claim that outside of smoking- the most toxic place is your bathroom. Of course Sisel has an entire line of personal and skin care products that are toxin free. Have they tested these “toxic free personal care products” — nope. While people should be careful about the products they use- there is no assurance that these products have been tested even in laboratory animals.
Outrageous claims- and some people will believe them, because they are good at marketing. This is not a company about health- this is a company about sales, and they will purify any fad product and take the most outrageous position. I don’t doubt the purity of those products- but I certainly doubt that the claims they make will stand the scrutiny of biologic testing.
So why has not the FDA stopped this company? Because the FDA does not have jurisdiction over supplements. Almost any supplement can be sold with any claim. However, if the FDA considers aging a disease, they may go after this company for stating that they can treat “aging.”
There are many supplements on the markets with outrageous claims- but until the company is able to prove their claims with their own studies, their own biology- they remain an unregulated group of multi-level marketers.
As a physician- I do not recommend the purchase or use of any of these products. Now before the head honchos over at Sisel International start screaming and getting up in arms, I am a well educated physician with a medical degree. Based on my own knowledge, education, and experience, I have no other logical conclusion, and therefore opinion, that I can come to other than what I stated above. Therefore, after thorough personal research of this company’s claims, I advise anyone reading this blog, to consider the above statements before purchasing these products.
Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.