Yet More On Lifeline, Protandim

It seems that Lifeline Therapeutics, marketeer for Protandim, has netted venture capital:

Lifeline Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCBB: LFLT), a health company dedicated to developing products that help people live better, healthier and longer lives by fighting oxidative damage in the body, today announced the company completed an $8 million private placement. Keating Securities, LLC acted as sole placement agent of the financing. Proceeds from this funding will be used to eliminate the Company's debt of $3 million, for U.S. research surrounding its Protandim product and as working capital related to the development of new antioxidant therapies.

Through the miracle of product placement - available to those bearers of the magic green tokens we call "money" - this coincides with a nice healthy examination of Protandim and supporting science at ABC. Such is the way the world works, nothing out of the ordinary there.

What makes me a little more skeptical than normal when it comes to pills and anti-aging claims is the history of this particular company. The short version can be told as follows:

  • CereMedix tests a compound that could extend life span by mitigating oxidative stress. This is CMX-1152, described on the CereMedix website (scroll down a bit on that page).
  • Lifeline is founded on the basis of a licensing deal with CereMedix; the Protandim name is later assigned to CMX-1152
  • Around this time, I begin to comment on this deal, CMX-1152, Protandim and Lifeline. Some of my comments are promptly misquoted, rewritten and used as a glowing endorsement on the Lifeline website; not an auspicious start. My grumbling on that topic can be seen in the Immortality Institute thread on Lifeline.
  • For reasons that remain unclear, Lifeline does not proceed with CMX-1152, but rather begins looking for a new product to market under the existing brand name of Protandim.
  • For a time, Lifeline continues to use the experimental results from CMX-1152 to tout their new non-CMX-1152 product, which could charitably be described as a potpourri of existing antioxidant supplements. This also is documented in the the Immortality Institute thread on Lifeline. Not cricket, gentlemen.
  • Now we see a more mature offering from Lifeline, at least in the marketing department. They have retained the focus on oxidative stress, but are building a brand on the work of different scientists.
  • So far as it goes, it looks like Lifeline is still selling the potpourri of existing supplements.

So, this is just like the circus over resveratrol by the looks of things; some moderately interesting science in the intersection of metabolism and longevity buried by a cartload of marketing. We may, or may not, find out something interesting about the long term effects of the product on humans in a decade or so. As for resveratrol, I have no doubt some folks will make money from Protandim, but this is a distracting sideshow for anyone interested in meaningful healthy life extension. The immediate future of health and longevity is not in pills, folks. There isn't anything out there proven to do better than simple calorie restriction - and even that isn't so great in the grand scheme of what is possible. If you want to live a much longer, much healthier life, don't spend all your time chasing after better pills and tinkering with your metabolism. Instead put your energies into supporting the sort of research that will put an end to age-related degeneration once and for all - that could happen within our lifetime, but only if we stand up and make sure of it.

UPDATE: Some interesting comments from Pete Estrep:

Well, they certainly have guts to present the data on this web page,

Around thirty mice and thirteen subjects in the human trial. They draw a line through points that have an R^2 of 0.02. This means that the points are almost randomly scattered. Sure, you can draw a line through these points but it is almost meaningless. I won't be buying Protandim until they generate a lot more data.

FYI, the stuff is made of herbs (ashwagandha, and extracts of milk thistle, bacopa, green tea, and turmeric). They claim it works by increasing levels of protein antioxidants. If this is true I am interested in the mechanism since you can increase levels of endogenous antioxidants by increasing oxidative stress and damage. This is similar to certain claims of compounds increasing levels of DNA repair enzymes. The most reliable way to do this is to increase DNA damage because you will get elevated levels of repair enzymes in response to damage. The effect Protandim has on lipid peroxidation is irrelevant since lipids are replaceable, it is just a proxy for damage to more precious stuff, like DNA.. What we really want to know is what Protandim does to the rate of DNA damage. Does it cause less damage, more, no change? Unknown.

Comments now I'm completely confussed...after watching the ABC show "Primetime" Thursday night, (June 2), I would have thought The "real" Protandim was being manufactured and distributed. Talking about the CMX-1152 here. But after reading as much as I was able to find (thanks largely to your posts here), That's not the case..It seems to be the "replacement" product frrom Lifline. Does the Caremedix (cmx)1152 exist? and is it available to the consumer?

So now I don't even know what product I saw on the tv show...?

can you help?

Posted by: Todd at June 3rd, 2005 12:46 AM

I along with Todd saw the ABC PrimeTime show and since I already workout and run regularly, thought protandim would be helpful. Will the REAL Protandim please stand up?

Posted by: Confused at June 3rd, 2005 6:41 AM

The ABC show was convincing. My concern would be long term effects. They never mentioned what the long term affects or side affects may be, if any. Is there anywhere to research any time studies?
What is the difference between Protandim and CMX- 1152? Also, can this supplement be taken while one is on cancer treatment?

Appreciate any help with these questions, Thanks.

Posted by: Gloria Cristia at June 3rd, 2005 6:46 AM


Posted by: JIM HAMMERS at June 3rd, 2005 7:02 AM

It's not "chasing youth" so much Jim as it is "chasing health". Under your prescription those with any kind of mortal disease should just accept it and instead of 'delaying the inevitable' move along to their eternal reward (or not) which obviously is not going to work. Whatever the maker, we are designed to LIVE and fight death. How people can turn the desire to live into something undesirable I find fascinating. The power of apathy and the hypnotic hold that aging has over people is very powerful. A little hope however is all that is needed to break the spell. Maybe you might try some.

Posted by: Kevin Perrott at June 3rd, 2005 7:39 AM

By that same logic, all preventive and medical treatment is a waste of money and time.

Taking cancer for chemo? Getting an angioplasty to unclog an artery? Eating healthy and exercising? Its all just futile delay from the inevitable meeting of your maker. So why bother, right?

Posted by: Cary at June 3rd, 2005 7:45 AM

The people profiting so far are the stock promoters of Lifeline theraputics. stock is up over $3 this morning (was up over $8 earlier). I was also very excited after watching the abc show last night, just to again find out that its a lot of fluff spread by some hucksters. Thx to reason for the info! saved me from giving lifeline $50 for a bottle of the stuff. Is the original formula going to be marketed by anyone?

Posted by: jeff at June 3rd, 2005 8:30 AM

This should answer some of your questions...

It seems LifeLine couldn't use CMX-1152 so they invented their own Protandim with CMX-1152s ingredients and more. Maybe so they didn't have to buy the formula from CereMedix.

Posted by: Odin Helgerson at June 3rd, 2005 8:35 AM


Posted by: CAROLE NUSEKABEL at June 3rd, 2005 9:22 AM

I have had three stress related illnesses over the last 5 years. Depression, hairloss and an ulcer. I have done a lot to reduce my stress and I eat very healthy and workout but still got the ulcer would CMX-1152 help me?

Posted by: gary at June 3rd, 2005 9:49 AM

Taking SOD (superoxide dismutase) or Glutathione is of no use because they are destroyed in gut, so the new "thing" is to induce the body to produce more of the substances that will neutralize "free radicals." Ulcers can be caused by a bacterial infection called Heicobacter pylori. Freshly juiced, raw cabbage is very helpful for ulcers as well as DGL, a supplement from deglycyrrhizinated licorice. The 4 herbal extracts in Protandim are milk thistle, ashwaganda, tumeric and bacopa; there is no SOD, but it my belief that these promote the production of what is used by the body as anti-oxidants/free radical quelchers.

Posted by: Marie at June 3rd, 2005 10:41 AM

It was mentioned on ABC that protandim contains green tea and tumeric. How much, does anyone know, and can't these items be taken in capsules now? Or is there something synergistic in the combo of the ingredients?

Posted by: diana at June 3rd, 2005 11:57 AM

Concerning the "update" and Estep's comment on the R^2=0.02: Just an eyeballing of the data indicates the R^2 is a LOT higher than 0.0213.

Either the graph is intentionally misleading, or the 0.0213 number is a misprint. In fact, it's probably 0.213 (ten times higher), since the other R^2 is to 3 decimal places as well (0.543).

Other than one statistical outlier that's way off the line (the green dot that's above the red line), the "green" data is very well behaved, at a glance, and certainly better behaved than the "red" data, at a glance.

Posted by: Jay Fox at June 3rd, 2005 12:20 PM

Ok if CereMedix has the correct formula why isn't it for sale.

Posted by: Barbie at June 3rd, 2005 12:56 PM

CMX-1152 was an animal peptide segment which will require FDA approval taking at least five years. The CereMedix-Liveline partnership had hoped that they would be able to market it as an unregulated "neutraceutical," but things fell apart when they determined that they could not.

Protandim, contains the following ingredients which can be seen to increase production of antioxidant enzymes, according to peer-reviewed medical literature indexed on Medline: extracts of milk thistle (_silybum marianum_) seed, ashwagandha (_withania somnifera_) root, _bacopa monnieri_ aerial part, and turmeric (_curcuma longa_) rhizome. I think the green tea extract is an antioxidant, but not a stimulant of antioxidant production.

I seriously doubt that Lifeline will be able to enforce a formulation patent on combining those substances (and no, I don't think there is a synergistic effect), so I expect to see copycat substances with the same ingredients in slightly different proportion soon.

Having said that, I see no reason to doubt Lifeline's claims about libid peroxidation reduction. However, there is a lot more to ageing than oxidation.

Time will tell, but there is no reason to write it off as snake-oil.

Posted by: James Salsman at June 3rd, 2005 1:29 PM

PT Barnum said it best: "There's another sucker born every day".

I'll take the advance of a wise Vulcan..."Live long and prosper".... Peace, out

Posted by: DaBull at June 3rd, 2005 4:31 PM

Since CereMedix holds the golden formula, will
you [CereMedix], please answer the question.

When and where can it be purchased?

Posted by: G.Maxwell at June 4th, 2005 8:41 AM

Well, I think one of the points I'm trying to make here is that - in the grand scheme of things - CereMedix's CMX-1152 is not a "golden formula" even if it was available to the public. There's some modestly interesting science relating to metabolism and longevity underlying all this, but there are much better causes to support if you're interested in a longer, healthier future. The Mprize, for example, a research prize for anti-aging medicine:

Now to follow up on a comment I made elsewhere, if these Protandim folks at Lifeline have something that works, they should be entering their test mice in the Mprize. The same goes for anyone else out there - if they're not willing and able (at the very minimum) to show healthy life extension in mice, they should pack up and go home.

But in any case, it's clear that science can do far better than this sort of thing. We should be supporting efforts like Aubrey de Grey's SENS:

Posted by: Reason at June 4th, 2005 10:29 AM

Found a similar product at health food store for under 24.00 US dollars. Contains similar ingredients, turmeric and green tea,also, rosemary,parsley, ginger, peppermint, and clove... a study done by this company (guess I can't mention their name, as it may be considered advertising) on only 20 human subjects showed same results as Primetime reported on June 3 2005. I mentioned the ingredients to the sales person and they directed me to this product which she herself raved about as the best Botanical antioxidant she had ever used. So I'll try it and start my anti-age program. Now, since I'm 53 and look between 30 - 40 something... back to exercise, a little botox, portion control, but no deprivation of asstd foods, along with some of these herbs and I should continue to get glowing reports from my annual checkups, no cholesterol or weight problem
Perhaps genes have something todo with this aging process.

Posted by: JP at June 4th, 2005 2:54 PM

I must admit that I watched Primetime for this report. Hope springs eternal. But my 52 years have made me extremely skeptical when it comes to such claims. What blood work up would I request from my doctor to monitor any change and for what time frame?

Posted by: erin at June 5th, 2005 1:43 PM

I have a Phd in Statistics and want to comment on Pete Estrep's statement about R^2 = .02. The actual charts compare two antiaging lines -one without using Prostandim and the other after using Prostandim. These two lines pass through the origin. The ideal case would be to have a Post-Prostandim line with slope = 0. The actual slope is close to zero and shows a significant reduction from the Pre-Prostandim line. Because R^2 is directly related to the slope, the smaller the value of R^2 for the Post-Prostandim line, the more significant the data is in establishing an anti-aging relationship due to the use of Prostandim. Note that the low value of R^2 only results in the statement that one can not reject the hypothesis that the slope is zero. Because the line must pass through the origin - this is great news - statistically one would conclude that it can not be proved that Prostandim does not stop aging altogether!!!! Although this last statement is absurd, the data does show a significant reduction due to the use of Prostandim.

Posted by: Arlo Hendrickson at June 6th, 2005 8:09 AM

After seeing the incredable product Protandim on T.V. I rushed to the internet to find out as much as I could about this product.Then I was off to my local health food store to see what they knew about this stuff.They were skeptical at best.So as far as I'm concerned I'll be keeping my $50.00 in my pocket that is until the next miracle cure comes along.For now I'll Live until I die...
Peace and Prosperity To All

Posted by: J.R.Smith at June 7th, 2005 1:55 PM

Just a comment. I watched the TV show, I went to the internet, I read what it said and after reading Kevin Trudeau's book on Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About I decided to e-mail the company. I gave them my $50.00 as I pay that much for one prescription and I am ridden with diabetes, arthritis and was in an accident and required back surgery and wrist surgery so I will try it. I'll try it for 6 months and as it says, "Money Back Guarantee". I am having my blood checked this week and I will form my own opinions after the 6 months but the Pharmaceutical Industry wants us all to believe they have the only answers. I believe in eating right and exercising as much as I can but the food we are putting into our bodies today is full of preservatives. Read the book and you may find yourself questioning just about everything you put in your mouth, unless you grow it yourself. So, maybe I'm a fool but if this product works, I guarantee you that "somebody" and I mention no names will offer millions or even billions of dollars for this magic bullet formula so we all die like we are supposed to. I do not care to live a long agonizing life but I'll keep an open mind to try to stay as healthy as I can using vitamins and natural nutrients that have been sucked out of our natural foods and been replaced by "God knows what". I already saw a subsitute for it today for only 29.00 but the ingredients were not pure unadulterated vitamins. So, I am one person who is willing to try to stay healthy at the age of 60 and if this does the trick then good for me and if it does nothing then I too will request my money back. What do I have to lose? D. Simonds

Posted by: Darlene Simonds at June 9th, 2005 9:58 AM

I think it a scam.

Posted by: ken at June 9th, 2005 11:45 AM

"Primetime" not knowing the difference between CMX-1152 and this snake-oil being now marketed as Protandim (CF)... or Primetime actually knowing the difference, but declining to mention it on their show. Ahhh, TV "journalism" at its finest. Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: Johnny at June 9th, 2005 9:10 PM

i saw the protamdin segment on abc and was so amazed that i was going online tonite to buy the product .....not now..i think i better wait a little while ..........somebody talk to john quinones and abc

Posted by: todd g at June 11th, 2005 12:02 AM

Just a note: In health news this week were studies noting that perhaps tumeric - one of the ingredients in Protandum - could halt or prevent the spread of cancer (MD Anderson Cancer Center, for one). NIH has given a grant to study this. Here is a link to the complete article:

The following is a quote from the Reuters aricle
"Turmeric, a yellow spice used widely in Indian cooking, may help stop the spread of cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

Tests in mice showed that curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric, helped stop the spread of breast cancer tumor cells to the lungs.

Tests have already started in people, too, said Bharat Aggarwal of the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who led the study."

Posted by: Gail at June 11th, 2005 11:45 AM

You can get Tumeric for a lot less than $50 / 30 pills.

Posted by: Ken at June 13th, 2005 10:54 AM

My husband bought a bottle and has been taking it for 4 days. I simply bought a bottle of each ingredient: bacopa, milk thistle, ashwagandha,
green tea and turmeric. I can't "feel" anything but reading about the benefits of grn tea, ash. and turm. for 4,000 years is sure encouraging!

Posted by: Suz at June 13th, 2005 12:11 PM

I think it a grate Idea...

Posted by: Carles Manson at June 13th, 2005 4:56 PM

I Miss Spelled my name... ;-)

Posted by: Charles Manson at June 13th, 2005 4:58 PM

How do you make the long lines fold to fit on screen?? I use firefox browser.

Posted by: Charles Jewett at June 14th, 2005 12:22 PM

Charles - that's one of the many small but important things I need to find the time to work on. The entry boxes need to present a different setting for Firefox/Mozilla users than for Internet Explorer users.

Posted by: Reason at June 14th, 2005 1:26 PM

I just bought a bottle.....I could waste that much at 7/11, so what can it hurt to try it? Has anyone ever heard of OPC-3....marketed by Market America? I have heard that it can diminish much of the symptoms of MS, and even though they cannot make any claims....many people swear by it. It is an antioxidant that is extremely powerful and is absorbed immediately by the body. Snake oil, or not....I've done worse. Maybe my next post will be "save your money", or maybe "I look 20 again"!!

Posted by: Ellen at June 17th, 2005 6:41 AM

All you have to do is research the ingredients.No snake oil, provided the ingredients are pure.Will we look younger after taking this product? Doubtful. However just taking the milk thistle alone has great benefits. It helps the liver do its job which is to detox all the unwanted stuff we put in our body. And today even by "good" standards that is a tall order. Now take someone like me who has Hep C and has turned my life and health around with milk t.and other supplements.Some aging is caused by the breakdown of the body.So it only makes sense that preventative medicine is the way to go. So do I look younger because I have taken milk t. and the like? Well I tell you. I do not look jaundice . My muscles are still tone because I can exersize. And there is a smile on my face and life in my heart because I am healthy. So for me the answer is a resounding yes!

Posted by: SR at June 19th, 2005 11:42 AM

I took Protandim beginning Saturday, June 12 and all during the next week I was not able to sleep more than six hours (I am usually an 8-9hour a day sleeper). I thought, well, I feel fine and energetic so perhaps this is working. But after six days of this I was exhausted and frustrated from the sleep deprivation. I stopped taking the Protandim two days ago and slept 9 hours last night and feel completely renewed. So, I don't know if this could really be a side effect, but I am going to see how this week goes without Protandim, then go back on it and see if their might be a causal relationship.

Posted by: frank at June 20th, 2005 9:54 AM

My 1st bottle of Protandim is on its way! I have been lacking energy since my last birthday...don't know if turning 59 took the wind out of my sail? I will share how I'm doing!!! Jeanne from Woodinville, WA.

Posted by: Jeanne Hannah at June 22nd, 2005 7:25 AM

I'm a healthy 34 year old who exercises regularly and maintains a fairly healthy diet. I began taking Protandim about 1 week ago, and all I want to do is sleep! Eight hours is just the beginning... I wake up feeling exhausted and feel as though I could sleep another eight. I went through my bee-pollen, wheatgrass, ginseng phases in the past years, at least those left me feeling rejuvenated. I intend to do two weeks on, two weeks off and see if it makes a difference... but ultimately I think eating right and exercising are the ticket, and no magic pill can combat GENETICS. My great-grandmother lived a happy, productive 97 years - eating good ol' fashioned Southern fried foods and never exercising!

Posted by: Melissa at June 23rd, 2005 10:49 AM

Due to a flood of nonsense and spam, I am closing comments on this post.

Posted by: Reason at June 26th, 2005 2:50 PM