Protandim is a dietary supplement its website claims is "proven to slow down cell aging." LifeVantage Corporation makes the product, which is distributed through network marketing, also known as multilevel marketing. The website links three studies to support its scientific claims; each names a LifeVantage then-officer among its authors.
Protandim's website lists the following plant-based ingredients: milk thistle extract, bacopa extract, ashwagandha, turmeric extract and green tea extract. The site asserts that the supplement enables a protein called Nrf2 to "up-regulate" genes that protect cells from oxidative stress. Medical professionals acknowledge oxidative stress as a health concern.
The journal "Antioxidants & Redox Signaling" profiled the former Chief Science Officer of LifeVantage, Joe McCord, recognizing his work in the field of antioxidants. His career roles have included research biochemist, university department head and professor of medicine.
In a 2013 blog post at The Medicine Guy, pharmacist Aaron Emmel detailed the reasons he does not recommend the supplement, citing a lack of evidence not only for its benefits but also for its safety. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate Protandim because it is marketed as a supplement, not a drug. Emmel points out that studies have not found that antioxidants have a protective effect against diseases possibly caused by oxidative stress and that research has attributed harmful effects to antioxidants.