Today was another interesting day….a client called and asked my legal and scientific opinion on deer placenta. Apparently, a raw food/vegan guru, David Wolfe is touting it as the next great nutritional supplement. The client indicated that she does seem to have thicker hair and better skin after taking this supplement for over a year. The first clue that this was quackery was that the “nutritional supplement” costs only $60 per month. Placenta extract (let’s call it what they really want to say, “stem cells”) is really expensive to formulate and the conditions under which placenta extract are formulated are extreme. There is no way that a legitimate source of animal placenta extract can be formulated and sold at such a price.
Secondly, why deer placenta?? Websites indicates that deer are a “higher order” animal and that it is appropriate to harvest placenta from such animals for human consumption. Well, folks, sheep is the closest animal genome to the human genome. Porcine (pig) is second. So, why deer??
Third, the FDA regulates any animal extract as a drug and these product s hawked by Ron Teeguarden and David Wolfe are not FDA cleared. The agency would shut them down in a minute if they knew about the claims made for these products. Teeguarden and Wolfe never mention the words “stem cells” because they probably know that the FDA utilizes proprietary software to search for such products. They are trying to avoid scrutiny …and as well they should because they are selling products that would be regulated and they are making outrageous claims.
Fourth, the harvesting of placenta extract is expensive. It requires rapid lyophilization of the tissue almost immediately after extraction. Again, this is costly, time consuming and logistically challenging. I can all but guarantee that these nutritional supplements are not lyophilized.
Finally, and legitimate product that is placenta based, would and should be stored in a cold environment. The stem cells derived from placenta extract cannot get warm or hot. They do not necessarily need to be cold, but they cannot get hot or even warm. The products sold by Teeguarden and Wolfe are shipped in a normal manner and hence, they get warm or hot at some point in the manufacturing or delivery process. Any active cells have been deactivated by the time a consumer ingests the cells.
Save your money folks and do not be sucked in by claims made by pirates such as David Wolfe and Ron Teeguarden.
Paddy Deighan, J.D. PhD