Sinclair's Dog Longevity Supplement Leads to Backlash

David Sinclair, a renowned Harvard geneticist who claims he reversed his aging, caused uproar by launching longevity supplements for dogs, leading to his resignation from a research institution.

A professor at Harvard Medical School and the author of the bestseller "Lifespan: Why We Age — and Why We Don't Have To," Sinclair considers aging a disease that can be treated and even reversed.

Sinclair claims his biological age is 10 years younger than chronological, thanks to a plant-based diet, intermittent fasting, exercising, and supplements like nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and resveratrol, among others.

His work has been published in the top science journals. However, in recent years, the line between being a scientist and a longevity influencer has been repeatedly blurred. With anti-aging advancements in lab cells, mice, and reportedly monkeys, Sinclair said that age reversal in humans will come next.

In March, Sinclair announced the launch of a "clinically proven" supplement to reverse aging in dogs. The supplement is available on the website of Animal Bioscience, an animal supplement company founded by Sinclair and led by his brother. The findings were published in a preprint service, meaning that they had not been peer-reviewed.

According to the company's press release, the supplement, which is formulated as a soft chew, and is a combination of a "NAD booster" to mimic fasting and a molecule — which wasn't named — that kills senescent cells that cause aging.

NAD, which stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a naturally occurring molecule that plays a key role in many physiological processes. Over time, the body's production of NAD decreases. In mouse studies, depletion of NAD has been linked to multiple age-related conditions. NAD supplements for slowing down aging and cognitive decline are increasingly popular in humans, although their benefits have only been shown in animals.

News about dog longevity supplements caused furor in the scientific community, with his colleagues renouncing their membership from the Academy for Health & Lifespan Research, presided by Sinclair at that time.

Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, a longevity scientist, called the sale of anti-aging supplements for dogs the textbook definition of a "snake oil salesman."

"I find it deeply distressing that we've gotten to a point where dishonesty in science is normalized to the extent that nobody is shocked when a tenured @Harvard professor falsely proclaims in a press release that a product he is selling to pet owners has 'reversed aging in dogs,'" Kaeberlein wrote on X, former Twitter.

The press release was soon edited, with Sinclair being quoted as saying the supplement is the first one "shown to reverse the effects of age-related decline in dogs" rather than being "clinically proven."

In the study published in the preprint server bioRxiv, dogs were given either the supplement or placebo. Animals receiving a full dose of the supplement experienced improvements in their cognition — as reported by their owners — at three months but no effects on activity. However, the improvement in cognition wasn't maintained through six months.

Eventually, Sinclair himself stepped from the position of president of the Academy.

"We regret all the events that led to David's resignation and take the lessons to heart," Nir Barzilai, one of the Academy's co-founders, wrote on X.

In his email response to the Wall Street Journal, Sinclair said his lab's ideas and findings are typically ahead of the curve, explaining why other scientists might feel the research is overstated at the time. He called a snake oil salesman's accusations "nothing more than mischaracterizations."

Sinclair told WSJ, "I stand behind my track record as a trusted scientist in one of the most competitive professions of all."

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prefix 28 days ago
I like David Sinclair I heard about his chemical cocktail that can reverse aging with a single pill