SeroVital is the focus of one of those late night infomercials that claim they are the greatest, most well-kept secret in the diet and anti-aging field. But is it for real? Are their claims true or just twisted half-truths with little or no real science behind it?
Overview of SeroVital
SeroVital is a patented supplement that claims to to be anti-fat and anti-aging. Its marketing is targeted to women approaching menopause. According to their website, “SeroVital® is a novel 2.9g/dose blend of l-lysine HCl, l-arginine HCl, oxo-proline, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, l-glutamine, and schizonepeta (aerial parts) powder.”
The question is if SeroVital works and if it is the fountain of youth they claim it is, let’s examine.
SeroVital Claims and Effectiveness
The first thing that jumps off of the page are the claims.
Notice very carefully how they phrase the bullet points. They do not say the SeroVital is associated with these bullets. Rather they say that Growth Hormone is associated with these claims.
There is just one big problem with this…SeroVital is not a growth hormone supplement. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is federally regulated by the FDA and requires a prescription to for the injection. Hormones are worthless when taken orally, they cannot be absorbed through the digestive tract.
While this tactic is definitely misleading, they are claiming that their product increases your own body’s production of HGH. Therefore, showcasing the benefits of increased HGH is not entirely off based however, very misleading.
On their site, they also cite Shape Magazine (which is not an expert on anything except selling magazines) “When you see a 50-year-old actress who can pass for 35, you can bet that good genes aren’t the only things responsible for her youthful glow.”
By itself this does not seem all that bad, but this is where the statement ends without any context. If a dietitian read this statement they would probably attribute the effect to broccoli or it a bodybuilder read it, they would attribute it to weightlifting. Again very misleading.
SeroVital’s Clinical Trials
SeroVital does have a patent which means nothing other than the producers of this product wanted to pay for a patent and commission their own study on the effectiveness of their supplement.
Serovital.com publishes one research paper on its patented formula. Even a cut-rate scientific researcher will poke holes into this being the only study that it refers to on their website. Let’s start with its conclusion:
“Our results show that a single oral dose of these amino acids can significantly increase GH Levels after 120 minutes in healthy men and women. Whether these GH changes persist over a longer duration or have other positive effects is being further examined.”
The actual results of the study show the numbers that are quoted throughout their website. 682% mean increase over baseline of HGH versus a 52% decrease in HGH with placebo. These are big results but how reliable are the results? Does SeroVital really work?
The Problem With the Method
“This cross-over, placebo controlled, double-blind study involved 16 healthy subjects” is how the experiment is described by the author of the paper. Having the experiment placebo controlled is a good step. A better step would be to have a separate control group that got nothing as well. This would have accounted for any change that is simply the cause of ingestion or waking hours. Both of which are very real when looking at the typical daily HGH cycle.
The sample size is only 16 people. This is a really small sample for such an uncomplicated, short study. Basically this study set-up leaves as many questions unanswered as it actually answers.
What’s Missing From This Trial
While we can debate if these findings are accurate to SeroVital effectiveness to increase HGH; what there is no denying is the fact they they did not measure any of the desired effects. People are not buying SeroVital for the increase in HGH, they are buying it to reduce wrinkles, reduce body-fat or any other effects of aging. Odd that a study for an anti-aging supplement did not even address and measure the effects of aging.
Another questionable aspect of this study is the participants. 16 is already a small number. The nif you dig into the research you find that the oldest participant was in their 30s. Again, odd when trying to determine if SeroVital is effective for anti-aging properties. Wouldn’t it make sense to test on people that are experiencing the effects the most.
There is no doubt that increasing HGH production through supplementation is widely anecdotal. It is really reliably measure a hormonal change that can be associated with so many other factors. This makes the lack of measuring any of the aging effects that they advertise their product to help very confusing.
A longer duration study on older adults measuring wrinkle frequency and depth, muscle mass or any of the other effects of aging.
According to their patent, their formulation per capsule:
- 181.38 mg L-arginine
- 170.93 mg L-pyroglutamic acid (oxy-proline)
- 0.25 mg N-acetyl L-cysteine
- 374.83 mg L-lysine
- 0.25 mg L-glutamine
- 0.125 mg Schizonepta (aerial parts) powder
There is nothing extraordinary about these ingredients. They are all fairly common in the supplement world. Could this be the magic combination that create a multiplier effect? Perhaps, but more than likely SeroVital’s effectiveness is derived from the natural properties from each of these ingredients.
L-arginine is an essential amino acid which means that we have to get it from our food, our bodies can not make this compound. If you are deficit in L-arginine this supplement will give you a nice boost by supplementing your nutrition with this essential building block.
Schizonepta is by most accounts nothing more than an anti-inflammatory agent. Which is to be noted because a lot of the effects of aging are thought to be caused by micro-inflammation.
The rest of the ingredients are not remarkable in and are not worth spending much time on other than to say that they each have a very specific, small role in how well your body functions.
SeroVital Side Effects
SeroVital is basically a combination of amino acids with one anti-inflammatory ingredient. There is very minimal risk of adverse side effects with this supplement. Possible rosacea, possible nausea. Very, very minimal. The bottom-line is that it more than likely follow the hippocratic oath: First do no harm.
Does SeroVital Work?
All of this is great information but we still need to answer the one burning question:
Does SeroVital work?
As we have seen we need to clarify the question into two parts.
Does SeroVital Increase HGH?
They showcase one small study that shows an increase in HGH production. But in our opinion this study was flawed and did not cover the basic angles, not to mention take into account all of the influencers of HGH production and its natural 24 hour up and down cycle.
We do know that the best way for your body to produce more HGH is to actually have more lean muscle mass. So the question is if this supplement can outperform a regular resistance training regimen. Until we see evidence that it can even compete with regular resistance training we are going to hold judgement on SeroVital’s effectiveness at increasing HGH production. However we doubt we see anything like this soon.
Is SeroVital an Effective Anti-aging Supplement?
There is no doubt that HGH has incredible anti-aging actions. So if SeroVital can increase your HGH levels then, yes it will have anti-aging properties. It is incredibly disappointing that they have not commissioned (or at least not published) a research project on its effects of measureable aging signs like wrinkles and lean muscle mass.