Nobody's perfect. A couple hours ago, I wrote an article applauding Discover Magazine for providing important information on global climate change. Now, I have found, in the pages of the same magazine, one of the most ridiculous advertisements I have seen in a long time. It's for a pharmaceutical product (think cheese product) called Juvenon.Juvenon promises to slow down cellular aging. No, no, not your Cingular Cellular. Juvenon, it is claimed in this advertisement, slows the rate at which the cells in our bodies age. Hm. That sounds good, almost like it might make someone who takes Juvenon age more slowly themselves. Wow! Stay young with Juvenon! Rejuvenate! Be juvenile! Um... well, I never went to business school, so I have to work on my strategic selection of language, but you get the picture.The thing is that cellular aging is part of the normal, healthy maintenance of the human body. Most of our cells are supposed to die after a certain time. The normal rate of cellular aging and death prevents the dangerous buildup of genetic mutations, and thus is an anti-cancer activity. Furthermore, if you think about it, a person whose skin cells never died, but just stayed there and got older and older for their entire lives, would look a great deal older than an ordinary person. Why on earth would anyone, given these circumstances, want to "postpone cellular aging", as the Juvenon advertisement suggests that we all should want to do?
There's "brain cell function", I suppose. The Juvenon advertisement claims that Juvenon is really great because it promotes "brain cell function". Who wouldn't want improved brain cell function, after all?
The thing is, lots of things promote cellular function. Ice cream, for example. Ice cream promotes cellular function by providing the energy that all cells need to function. That includes brain cells. So, ice cream promotes brain cell function.
Where do we stop? Oh, let's go to sex, shall we? Ice cream enhances male virility! After all, if the heart cells don't have any energy required to contract, then the heart can't pump blood, and the wife will definitely not be impressed tonight. Also, the cells in the male cojones need lots of energy to create sperm cells. So, eating ice cream staves off impotence too!
I'm getting to like this fun use of language in medical advertising. Oh, but then there's the use of pictures too. Take, for instance, this graphic here from the Juvenon web site and Discover Magazine advertisement that suggests the difference between a mitochondrion treated with Juvenon and a mitochondrion not treated with Juvenon. Well, you can see that the non-Juvenon mitochondrion is all wrinkly. Who wants wrinkly mitochondria? Not me! I mean, I have no idea if wrinkly mitochondria is bad for me, but I know that I don't want to look wrinkly myself. I want to rejuvenate with Juvenon!
Now that I look more carefully at this picture, though, I see that the mitochondrion in both circumstances is falling apart! It's plain to see that Juvenon does not prevent mitochodria in our cells from being sliced open so that the outer membranes of these essential little organelles are cast aside. Juvenon apparently does not prevent the dangerous cross-sectioning of mitochondria in our cells! Does the FDA know about this?
Well, actually, it seems fairly certain that the FDA does not know a damned thing about Juvenon. You see, in little itty bitty letters at the bottom of the Juvenon advertisement, I can read that "The statements made here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product featured is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
Hey, wait a minute! If Juvenon is not intended to treat, prevent, or cure any disease, then what the heck would I be taking it for - entertainment value?
Well, actually, there may be something to that. Take a look at this additional picture that I found on the Juvenon web site. It appears that Juvenon promotes riding on bicycles! Watch out though. If you look more carefully at the photograph, you'll see that Juvenon has some side effects in this area - like not looking where the heck you're going and not wearing a helmet.
It's true that I haven't checked this out with the FDA or anything, you understand, but from what I've heard, crashing your bicycle and hitting your head on the pavement while not wearing a helmet is definitely not a good way to promote brain cell function.
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