Joe Rogan first popped up more squarely on my radar screen years ago because of a concerning video that’s out there of him talking with Mel Gibson about stem cells.
At the time it was one of the most-watched videos on YouTube on stem cells.
I took apart that stem cell video and its claims including related to a Panama stem cell clinic, which in my opinion were way out there. It seems to me that the video was likely encouraging everyday people to take risks for themselves and their families at the clinics.
Joe Rogan stem cell clinic promoter?
I thought at the time that maybe that was that.
However, it turns out that Joe Rogan is still really into stem cells. There are many videos out there of him talking with celebrities about stem cells. In addition to Mel Gibson, he has also talked stem cells with former boxer Mike Tyson (see above), rapper Action Bronson, MMA fighter Henry Cejudo, and quite a few others. In some of the videos, Rogan is talking about his own experiences.
The clip promoting the clinic Bioxcellerator ends with Rogan saying, “Yeah, it’s real shit man” about the stem cells.
So what’s the big deal?
One problem is that the stem cell content on his show encourages risk-taking by the public. The supposed stem cell treatments aren’t based on solid, consistent data and they focus largely on anecdotes.
As with the Mel Gibson video, in the other videos Joe also often seems to promote specific unproven clinics. There’s no balance in the interviews. I haven’t watched all the Rogan videos mentioning stem cells but much of the content feels like advertising to me. Like infomercials.
Searching for Joe’s name and “stem cells” on the web under videos on Google or on YouTube and you’ll easily see much of this content.
Strikingly, some of the clips were uploaded to YouTube by the unproven stem cell clinics mentioned in the videos.
If nothing else this tells us that the clinics view the videos as promotional material. Does Rogan get paid for some of this? Or maybe he gets a discount or free treatments for himself or his family?
Who knows, but these are important questions. He might just be extremely enthusiastic about stem cells without some compensation.
Has he ever had a physician doing legit stem cell-related clinical trials on his show too? If so, I haven’t seen that. About the closest thing is a 2020 interview with Aubrey De Grey, which I’ve included above. There’s some sober discussion in there from Aubrey, but unfortunately, it’s mixed in with Rogan going on about stem cell clinic offerings. Aubrey has a somewhat more relaxed view about stem cell tourism than I do, but you can tell from this video and other talks that I’ve seen him give that he still wants to see all the data.
Moving forward, Rogan could do some good by bringing attention to strong stem cell clinical trials and advocating for a data-focused approach. That’s not likely. In the bigger picture, there are some major concerns about Joe Rogan’s statements about COVID-19 and other health issues as well.