Menu

Young Blood Unproven as Anti-Aging Treatment: US FDA

The agency warns that plasma treatments costing thousands of dollars, which supposedly treat the infirmities of old age, have not been proven “safe or effective.”

Feb 20, 2019
Carolyn Wilke

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, SUDOK1

The US Food and Drug Administration is warning those who would seek infusions of young blood to ward off the afflictions of aging to not buy into the hype, according to a statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb yesterday (February 19). 

The agency cautions that plasma, the liquid part of blood, from young individuals has “no proven clinical benefit” to treat or prevent the conditions of normal aging or associated diseases including dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or multiple sclerosis—despite what some clinics claim.

The FDA statement voices concerns about the unproven treatments, but doesn’t name any companies. “Simply put, we’re concerned that some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies,” says the statement. The FDA warns that although “bad actors” may be charging thousands of dollars for the treatments, they come with significant risks that include allergic reactions and, more rarely, the transmission of infectious diseases.

Plasma contains molecules such as signaling proteins and clotting factors but lacks red or white blood cells. After removing the plasma from young donors, it is processed, possibly filtered, and given intravenously to older customers, usually during multiple treatments, according to STAT.

Following the FDA’s rebuke, a startup company named Ambrosia said it would stop its treatments. The firm was offering one liter of young blood for $8,000 and two liters for $12,000, reported Business Insider in January. Jesse Karmazin, one of the founders of Ambrosia, told Business Insider that many people out of the 30 who received transfusions from his company saw benefits such as improved appearance and muscle, according to an earlier article.

Most of the research on young blood has been performed in mice and the results have been mixed. Even when the results were positive, “nobody has actually shown over the long term how long these quote un-quote improvements persist, and we don’t know whether it’s broadly improving aspects of aging or it’s specific to certain tissues,” Matt Kaeberlein, a biologist at the University of Washington, told STAT in 2018.

See “Equivocal Findings of Alzheimer’s Trial Using Young Blood

March 2019

Going Under

Dissecting the effects of anesthetics

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress Announces New Distribution Partnerships&nbsp
StemExpress Announces New Distribution Partnerships&nbsp
To continue meeting the needs of clients around the world, StemExpress announces the expansion of its global distribution network to include the Asia Pacific and Australia, adding to their existing networks in North America, Europe, and North Africa.  
Lonza Expands Mycoplasma Detection Portfolio with New Luminometer Designed to Accelerate and Simplify Testing
Lonza Expands Mycoplasma Detection Portfolio with New Luminometer Designed to Accelerate and Simplify Testing
Lonza has further strengthened its extensive mycoplasma detection portfolio with the addition of the Lucetta™ 2 Luminometer, a single-tube system designed to simplify and accelerate mycoplasma detection in cell cultures. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic researchers can now rely on this compact, portable and easy-to-use instrument to run Lonza’s MycoAlert™ Mycoplasma Detection Assays and obtain highly reliable results within just 20 minutes.
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific Introduces Low Hydrolysate Medium For Insect Cell Expression Systems
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific Introduces Low Hydrolysate Medium For Insect Cell Expression Systems
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, Inc., a world leader in the optimization and manufacture of cell culture media, today announced the introduction of IS Sf Insect medium. The serum-free, animal component-free, low hydrolysate medium is formulated for scalability for the consistent growth and yields of proteins, viral vectors and viral-like particles using baculovirus expression systems (BEVS), in Sf9 and Sf21 cells.
Improving Preclinical Discovery of CRISPR Engineered Immune Cell Therapies
Improving Preclinical Discovery of CRISPR Engineered Immune Cell Therapies
There is an urgent need to characterize the potency and efficacy of CRISPR-Cas9-modified inducible pluripotent stem cell-derived natural killer cells for preclinical cancer immunotherapy research. IsoPlexis' single-cell proteomics system addresses this challenge by connecting each immune cell to cytokine secretion and thereby correlating them to in vivo outcome across a range of disease areas.