Buyer Beware – even at a doctor’s office!


“If it is expensive, it must work”  vs  “too good to be true”

What if your mother-in-law went to Medical Doctor for a check-up and in passing mentioned she was having some age related general decline in health, energy and cognitive function and the doctor comes at you with:  there is this new thing, that you can get that only costs $4,000 for a six month supply, but we have to order it from New York, because it isn’t available here (in Washington State) and she takes the bait?  The doctor also orders her a CT scan without discussing it with her, another expensive procedure, enhancing the fear factor and perhaps providing some justification for the instigation of this rather expensive therapeutic agent.  Would you think, if it is expensive, it must work?

What if your mother-in-law went to a health food store and someone there said, take this inexpensive ($60 for six months) Chinese herb and you will feel healthier, years younger, your memory will be enhanced and you will have more energy?  Would you think, it’s too good to be true?

In this article, “Anti-Aging Pill Targets Telomeres at the Ends of Chromosomes”, published in The Scientific American BOTH products are addressed.  Let’s take the third paragraph and break it down…

“New York-based T.A. Sciences claims to be the only company in the world manufacturing a supplement in a pill form that has been lab tested and shown to stop telomeres from shortening, in hopes of halting the aging process. The product, TA-65, comes from extracts of the Chinese herb astragalus, which has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 1,000 years, says Noel Patton, chief executive officer of the company.”

*    T.A Sciences “claims” to be the only source – anyone can claim anything

*    supplement in a pill form – not a drug, (so why is this doctor “prescribing”it at $666 per month?)

*    in hopes of halting the aging process – not PROVEN to halt the aging process

*    from extracts of the Chinese herb, astragalus – an inexpensive herb available in health food stores everywhere   

*    used for medicinal purposes for more than 1000 years – plenty of anecdotal evidence is available to support safety and efficacy.    

Commonly used to enhance immune function, Astragalus membranaceus, is neither “rare” nor “obscure”.  T.A. Sciences CEO, Noel Patton, is not a doctor; he is a businessman with one foot in the US and one foot in China.  I am not saying that his “science” is not good. I am happy that the research of the scientific application of substances found in nature is on-going, even-though this research was done in China and won’t be widely accepted in the United States. 

Other herbs that likely have telomerase inhibitor action would probably be He-Shou-Wu (Fo-ti) Polygonium multiflorum, Ashwaganda Withania somnifera, Maca Lepidium meyenii and Siberian Ginseng Eleuthrococcus senticosus as they all have similar adaptogenic properties.

About the Author ()

I love learning things. I am a mother of 4, stepmother of 3, grandmother of 2, funeral director, mortician, once and future health food store operator, herbalist, handspinner, horseback rider, artist, seamstress...etc.

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