Someone wrote to us with the disingenuous cheeriness that only a product rep can have. She had just happened to come across this amazing anti-aging potion with only four ingredients and would love to know what we thought. The product was ASEA Renu 28, and its secret sauce is one of the more surprising — nay, preposterous — that I have come across.
Let’s take those four precious ingredients in turn:
Aqua/Water/Eu — um, that would be water
Sodium Magnesium Silicate — a synthetic silicate clay used as a bulking agent and to slow the decomposition of products (and it also goes into the making of concrete)
Disodium Phosphate — a buffering agent and, incidentally, a laxative
Sodium Chloride — a common and garden salt
At this point, you might be wondering how they can charge $80 for two tubes of ASEA Renu 28. Well, what to the untrained (or in my case cynical) eye may look to be water, salt and clay is actually Redox Signaling technology. Really! It says so on the ASEA website. And it “provies [sic] critical connections and communication between cells with Redox Signaling molecules to ensure optimum renewal and replenishment.”
Upon being told that Redox Signaling molecules exist in my body but are disappearing with age, I wondered why I hadn’t heard of them before. The first page of an online search revealed an advertisement for SilverLinings, a non-profit for “the emotional rejuvenation of displaced veterans.” The SilverLinings home page says “We have noticed that a Redox Signaling Supplement supports our veterans significantly.” Hmmm... I clicked on the link provided and was taken the ASEA website where Redox Signaling Supplements can be bought. This is subtle stuff.
A bit more digging through some genuine scientific papers revealed that “the major molecules that participate in Redox Signaling are reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide...” ASEA claims it is the world’s only source for Redox Signaling molecules, and I am wondering how water, clay, salt and a buffering agent amount to really complex molecules such as superoxide.
There is a paper on the ASEA website that says: “The reactive molecules in ASEA™ are produced by a complex proprietary electrochemical process that reduces and oxidizes the base saline solution, resulting in an equilibrium of several known reactive molecules.” Well, I do accept that there is a base saline solution, but I am still no wiser about the mysterious “electrochemical process.” The rest of the paper is verifying that there are molecules present — incidentally, the verifier is a doctor who is also in the ASEA promotional video endorsing the product.
A test was conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory that measured ASEA, in vitro, and reported an increase in glutathione and also in superoxidismutase, though to a lesser extent. Well, that must be bonafide. But on closer reading the PNNL report is very odd, indeed.
The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t on any kind of PNNL standard reporting; there is no logo, address or anything that looks officially PNNL. At the end of the report, it says:
*PNNL is not in any way endorsing ASEA, it merely acted as an independent laboratory in performing and producing these test results.
Somehow I don’t think that a Department of Energy agency would need to say that. And there are few other things that don’t gel, like vague and hyperbolic language. Apparently, the PNNL tested “hundreds” of cells. That is not very precise or scientific. And the PNNL found the test results “extraordinary” — an adjective that doesn’t sound precise, scientific, or independent.
But I might just be getting cynical in my old age. Or then again, it could be something in the water.
Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.