Star Scientist’s Claim of ‘Reverse Aging’ Draws Hail of Criticism (WSJ)

David Sinclair makes the front page of the WSJ …
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Related thread: Matt Kaeberlein resigns from Academy for Health and Lifespan Research, calls David Sinclair a snake oil salesman


Sigh, my cynical self thinks this will probably only bring him more followers on SM.

Archive link to read article if you hit the paywall


I’m really bummed out how this has gone. David Sinclair is how I got interested in this whole space years ago. He’s done some great science and has been an excellent communicator and basically started the whole “scientists on podcasts” trend. He is probably more responsible for bringing longevity science into the mainstream than any other person.

But he really stretches research conclusions to create interesting stories and it’s gone to the point that it’s hard to overlook. I was a big defender until Tally started with the subscription that includes epigenetic tests and an “longevity” supplement that is presented as being backed by Harvard research, but anyone deep in this knows we know so little about how fisetin and quercetin work, akg is interesting but still preliminary, and resveratrol hasn’t had a study able to show any benefit since his mouse work in the early 2000s. None of its harmful but to package that up and sell it for $129/month just seems like a step too far.


Because I am older of course I got into anti-aging a little earlier than some members of the forum.
I would posit: that Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de Grey an English biomedical gerontologist, has done more for anti-aging awareness than David Sinclair.
He is the author of The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging (1999) and has traveled the US and the world to spread the message.


@jakexb Well said. I looked back at his Attia interview from 6 years ago. His supplements at that time were NAD, Resveretrol, and Metformin. Boy, did that age poorly.


“He’s very hurt,” Barzilai said later.

Sinclair was scheduled to appear later that month at a longevity summit in Milan, Italy. He was slated to speak on two panels, including one with Barzilai called “The Peter Pan effect: forever young?”
Sinclair didn’t go. He said he was overcommitted. Another scientist stepped in for him.
Barzilai joked that Sinclair had been replaced as a speaker—“with someone younger.”

He made a mistake, made many in the past, he brought a lot of people to the longevity field. Now people are out for blood and rubbing salt in the wound over some statements like he’s claimed ‘to reverse aging in dogs’. They might be building a community that might be toxic and could get themselves in the crossfire eventually?

Do people really think that Sinclair lied about the dog aging supplement, and wasn’t just a bit careless?

The way people are reacting is as if he’s raped someone. At least show him some respect and acknowledge his contributions as well and of course don’t lie about what he’s done in the past. I just wonder if they could have made Sinclair change his tone and being more careful in a different way.


The criticism is excessive and a bandwagon at this point. Yes Sinclair says “reverse aging” all the time when I wouldn’t consider it true.

But it’s not that big of a deal that he’s too optimistic, and in fact that very trait led to his success, popularity, and the real awesome science his lab has done even if the conclusions drawn are stetched.


If a snake oil salesman gets you interested in longevity, where you learn the importance of keeping your insulin low, inhibiting mtor, estrogen and exercise. Maybe you live a healthier life. This is the way the world works. Let him sell the snake oil to somebody else.


I was gonna say you guys are being too easy on him and he should be held to a high standard, but then I realized scientists and people from Harvard don’t really have standards anymore. Sad.


Tally was also when I first saw the man behind the curtain. I was one of the first to sign up and sent in my salvia (or whatever it was!) and then got back something of no value. It turned out they just used the initial group as a free benchmark to then sell their service. That would have been fine if I understood what was going on.


Antonio Regalado is a writer for the MIT Technology Review:



It’s a tough problem. The TV talk shows and very popular podcasts speak to (and sell to, as we live in a capitalist society) “the masses”. It should be expected and acceptable that these shows do not require much background knowledge, and that a person can only get a cartoonish understanding of reality. The easiest mistake to make is to find a tribe to join that makes you feel safe and correct, and resistant to learning.

Accordingly a wise person should not stay there for long, and should instead find richer sources of information. The richer sources of information require more commitment from the audience. (1) acquire more basic and foundational knowledge, (2) find a way to not get rooted into particular simplifications of reality or onto what particular “experts” say (stay open minded and seek disconfirming information), (3) use hard data testing on yourself to find what really moves the needle.

You can’t blame Sinclair for capitalizing on his fame. He has no obligation to us. He has made an error in maximizing his economic potential but that’s his problem.

I started down the longevity path some time ago. I have picked up and discarded silver bullets and experts along the way. In sequence (I think):

Attia: Keto (dead to me), fasting (mostly dead to me), metformin anti-aging (mostly dead to me), “zone 2” (polarized training from Seiler is still a part of my program but I think zone 2 is too hard to be the base of a longevity program), high protein diet (mostly dead to me), rapamycin (intro to kaeberlein has been helpful). I listen to Attia if the guest is interesting but mostly think his ideas suit his obsession with doing hard things.

Sinclair: NAD+ via NR/ NMN (dead to me; I use niacin). I won’t listen to anything he says.

Rhonda Patrick: sulforaphane and other tidbits. I like her but she has moved behind a firewall so I don’t follow her much anymore.

Huberman: I picked up lots of useful ideas here but rarely listen to this middle school stuff anymore. I did appreciate the introduction to Jack Kruse who is very interesting despite his messiah persona.

Kruse: Red light therapy, sunlight, methylene blue, clean water. I don’t follow him but he does have interesting ideas that turn out to be right far more than I expect.

The effort goes on. The person who is surprising me the most in a good way is Vyvyane Loh MD.


Guess I will avoid this guy too.

Yes. He really lied. Resveratrol very clearly does not extend lifespan in mice or rats: he has continued saying it does for 15 years after this was known. He said that his dog supplement reverses aging, then walked it back under criticism to a more cautious construction, when it very clearly does diddley-squat. Many other lesser examples.


This was all very good! And yes, I have no idea what/who to believe anymore, so here I am!!!

I followed Mark Hyman for about 30 seconds. That one was crystal clear in lightening speed. (Although, his advice is probably great for someone who lives an unhealthy lifestyle and you need the good marketing to learn to eat Whole Foods etc).

I grew to realize I couldn’t believe anything that came out of Sinclair’s mouth, even if a percentage could be helpful. Trust him as far as I can throw him. Took me a bit. I mean, when your first pinned post is announcing you have signed on with William Morris with your gf, rigorous science has left the building….

I was trusting Huberman, but in light of a couple of minuscule things and then the expose on his personal life, I just don’t know how much I can believe (more than Sinclair!). (I realize his flaws in personal life might have zero effect on his health advice, but my issue is he presents himself as someone practicing what he preaches and having immense discipline, which obviously was not true, so then I have to question).

I trust Attia, but I also can never be as tough as he’d like, but if I can be 10% that tough, it’s an improvement for me :slight_smile:

Grateful to Attia for introducing me to Matt Kaeberlein. I trust him and detect no bs. Then he grew 10 ft in my eyes when leaving the Academy and calling out Sinclair. That was a significant PSA for all the people who blindly trusted him and were sending him their money. He seemed trustworthy enough that I was comfortable enough to finally start rapa. Glad you all turned me on to his new podcast. Podcasts are where I’ve learned most things to get me to this place.

I also really like Patrick even though I rarely check her out.

I’ll look up Loh, so thx.

Ok, on fasting…. I did prolon every quarter for 3 years and then only once last year. Can I close that chapter now that I’m on rapa? Please say yes!!! #nomorefreakingsoup!

I’m forever confused on the protein topic! I trust Valter Longo and was thrilled when I learned I could go low-ish protein. But then Attia and others were very convincing about sarcopenia. I believe him, too. I imagine both opposing viewpoints are spot on and it’s Sophie’s choice. I have upped my protein considerably. If I were a big guy, I probably wouldn’t have felt the need, but I have the bones of a 3rd grader and also not enough muscle as it is.

How do you all balance high protein for muscle and lower protein for longevity? Are you all fairly divided, as people are IRL? Does the hivemind here think aprox .7 grams per pound is enough? (I speak in pounds so I don’t have to convert as I am math challenged!). As a plant based person, I easily hit my RDA, but it does have me eating things I’d prefer not to in order to get to gaining muscle targets. I do it, but just not thrilled about it. My guess is all of you are so ahead of me in longevity and fitness, you have plenty of muscle and dont need the gains I do?

Are most of you off the NMN/NR bandwagon? I was taking it but ran out many months ago and haven’t repurchased but have wondered …


I cycle my protein to be high after resistance training but not all the time, and very low during rapa dosing.


Interesting and excellent post which aligns well with my thinking. I think Attia and Rhonda Patrick and Kaeberlein are among the more honest people in this space. I began losing faith in Huberman (and Tim Ferriss for that matter) when he began pushing AG1 for his own profit. As Patrick has pointed out, AG1 is nothing special; one could get its supposed benefits more cheaply. Huberman is clearly a liar, as is Tim Ferriss and, of course, Sinclair.

As for protein, what I do is, I think, similar to Joseph_L, namely: on Rapa day and the day after I do not lift weights and keep protein low. On other days, it depends on whether I lift or not. If not lifting weights, then moderate protein. If lifting, high protein.

FYI: I am among the ancient ones on this forum; so I might be biased, but I think serious fasting is a no-no.


Thank you @garym37 and @Joseph_Lavelle. Your advice on how you manage protein with rapa is concrete and gives me something to incorporate going forward.

So, I guess you are saying that having rapa yesterday with my two soy milk lattes, my soy yogurt, and tofu scramble was poor planning :slight_smile:

On that note, I have a scaly rash thingie the size of a dime on my arm today… I assume it is my first side effect…

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Yes - I’ve had the rash spots before. They usually go away after a few days.