Montclair-based Suracell sells a $140 DNA test promising to unlock your body’s DNA secrets as to how well you’re aging. Then there are DNA repair kits if your personal DNA profile is found, um, lacking.
Exciting as it may sound, the federal government says home DNA aging tests like the ones Suracell sells are modern-day snake oil.

While genetic science has great potential, “This industry represents a fraudulent mutation of that promise,” says Gordon Smith, R-Ore., chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Smith, who called for the study, said consumers should visit their doctors for tests if they are concerned about particular diseases.

Suracell of Valley Road is led by world-renowned anti-aging doctor, Dr. Vincent Giampapa, “one of the first Certified Anti-Aging Medical Physicians in the world.” Dr. Giampapa is also founder of the Giampapa Institute which holds the noble goal of “offering the most comprehensive plan for anti-aging therapies…we recognize that aging is not a simple chronological event, but a complex of specific dysfunction of the body.”
Not surprisingly, reports on the GAO’s thumbs down are not on the company’s news page.

14 replies on “Fountain of Snake Oil?”

  1. What they say isn’t beyond the pale of possibility but with a very few exceptions (which I didn’t see them name), modern genetics isn’t there yet.
    There aren’t many known biomarkers that are useful for predicting the best diet or exercise or supplements on an individual level (yet).
    I’d be happy to review a list of genes/biomarkers that this company sequences to see if there is any merit in their claim, but without that, I don’t see how what they can make a legitimate claim.

  2. Wasn’t Giampapa involved in some neighbor diapute a few yr=ears back, or am I misremembering?

  3. Personally, I’ve always suspected that selling one’s soul to the Devil is the best anti-aging treatment out there. (But no, selling one’s soul to Howard Dean and even to Ai America is not an acceptable modern equivalent.)
    And Deirdre, if there’s some real Fed-type questions as to the veracity of Suracell’s claims for its kits, when then go and on and term Giampapa a “world-renowned anti-aging doctor?”

  4. Why is it that these anti- aging gurus never seem to live longer or age better than most of us??
    When Giampapa turns 150 and still looks great – give me a call (or rather, call my grand kids).

  5. Yes, the Giampapa’s were involved in an ugly neighbor dispute that made the Montclair Times. By most accounts the neighbors were nuts.
    I don’t know how he does it, but Vinnie looks a whole lot younger than his stated age. I suspect lots of plastic surgery.

  6. Global warming, increasing taxes, neo-cons … why would I ever want to live until 150? Give me a plate of cheese fries and a bucket of KFC as soon as possible!

  7. Having known Dr. Giampapa from his son’s days playing soccer, he always seemed to me to have that unnatural young look that screams “plastic”. He is, however, a skilled surgeon who did some work on one of our players who received a nasty cut during a game. The scar was undetectable.

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