Thursday, August 2, 2007

The SaluGen response

I wanted to highlight what goes on in my comments section daily. I know that these comments don't often show up on the blog and you frequently have to click them to investigate.

I recently posted on something I feel that is not ready for prime time medicine. This doesn't mean you can't spend a fortune on it to make you feel good. People can even buy and drink tons of alcohol to feel good. Not particularly useful for your health...But it can make you feel good.

From one of my respected readers,

Dear Steve -

This is just not a fair statement. I really enjoy your blog and have commented previously (see link -

But to suggest that Salugen is "snake oil company" and that SpaGen is some scheme is just untrue. I would be happy to provide you with greater detail on our Company and on one of our products, SpaGen.

So you know, Salugen is a personalized health and wellness company that leverages our thirty years of research in genetics published in over 350 scientific publications to deliver DNA-customized nutritional solutions based upon patent protected genetic tests.

Obviously a blog is not the best vehicle for disseminating comprehensive information, but let me share with you a few quick facts:

1) The SpaGen survey assessment which looks at health, diet, lifestyle, and Rx interactions/depletions related to nutrients has passed due diligence with the nation's largest PBM which is planning on using it for their own employee base.

2) The SpaGen DNA test is performed in a high-complexity, CLIA-certified laboratory which has been around for over 12 years. Hardly a fly-by-night snake oil company.

3) Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Kenneth Blum, leads our research and development effort and studies to support what we do have been published in JAMA, Nature, Science, Lancet, etc. (hardly discredited rags)

4) Our nutritional supplements are manufactured in facilities that are either licensed by the FDA for pharmaceutical manufacturing or exceed those standards.

So, I would ask that before you rush to judgement about what we do, please take the time to be as thorough as you are in other areas of your blog. I would be happy to elucidate more on how we genotype and customize nutrients.

For example, based upon the MTHFR C677T mutation involved in the metabolism of folate, ultimately converting it into 5-methyl tetrahydrolate folate which is an enzyme that converts homocysteine into methionine, there is a published, randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study to demonstrate that by giving a tailored amount of folate (3x the recommended dietary intake) that you can reduce the risk for the nation's largest cause of death by 2.4 times. Not to shabby, eh?

Talk to you soon,
Brian Meshkin(from Salugen)

The Sherpa Said:
August 1, 2007 9:19 PM
Steve Murphy MD said...

I ask that you forward me your researchers' abstracts and data on supplementation and disease prevention as well as their published data on genetic polymorphisms and their role in nutritional inadequacy. I would also love to see the journal citations of replication studies carried out by your team. I will happily review these and make an evidence based commentary after I receive these. I don't make rash statements unless I have done some due diligence. Nutrigenomics is in its infancy. We are not talking about the perfect being the enemy of the good. We still don't even know who the enemy is. As for the homcysteine, there was an article in the NEJM which actually showed increased risk with viatmin supplementation to lower homocysteine.

Take Care and Thank You



The jury is still out on Homocysteine lowering and reduction of cardiovascular risks. Even Nutritional Journals acknowledge that.

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