FDA warns Americans against ‘Dracula’ transfusions of young blood: Agency warns new fad claiming to reverse aging has ‘no proven clinical benefit’
- Some early stage research has suggested that transfusions of younger blood or blodo plasma may have benefits for aging and Alzheimer’s
- But some clinics are already performing the procedures on humans
- Plasma transfusions are approved to treat blood loss, liver disease and patients who have had heart surgery
- But, the FDA warns today, the procedure has no proven or approved benefits to treat aging, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
- The agency warns that clinics falsely promising these results may be ‘bad actors preying on patients’
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning against getting the ‘young blood’ transfusions that have become a hot topic in experimental treatments to block aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
A number of recent studies on both animals and humans have suggested that compounds in younger people’s blood may help treat conditions of old age, including Parkinson’s and aging itself.
Some clinics offering the controversial transfusions have cropped up already in the US and abroad.
But the FDA warned today that there are no proven – much less approved – benefits of younger donor blood, and that the procedure’s safety has not been established.
Some clinics across the US are already offering the transfusions of young blood plasma (pictured, whole blood) with unproven promises to treat aging. The FDA calls them ‘bad actors’
A handful of experiments, studies and his own intuition was enough to convince Dr Jesse Karmazin that young-blood might be a cure-all.
And he’s already convinced quite a following, opening Ambrosia clnics for young blood transfusions in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Tampa, Florida and Omaha, Nebraska.
He offers a liter of young blood – or, more accurately, plasma, a component of blood – for $8,000 a bag.
Blood plasma itself is approved for transfusions and is life-saving for people who have lost a lot of blood, have liver disease or have had heart surgery and are low on certain critical blood proteins.
These proteins help the blood clot, which, in turn helps to stop excessive bleeding.
But they are not approved for use in anti-aging (or Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases).
With age the volume and quality of our blood does decline, so our levels of blood proteins do, too.
Researchers at Stanford University have shown some promising anti-aging and Alzheimer’s-reversing effects when they injected blood from young mice into older ones.
But they’re still trying to work out what proteins or parts of those blood transfusions are doing what in the older mice.
And that stage of research comes far before human transfusions, like Ambrosia is already doing.
The FDA warned that not only are the benefits unproven, but that the risks of young blood transfusions may be significant.
‘Reports we’re seeing indicate that the dosing of these infusions can involve administration of large volumes of plasma that can be associated with significant risks including infectious, allergic, respiratory and cardiovascular risks, among others,’ said FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb in a statement.
‘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.
‘Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them and are potentially harmful. There are reports of bad actors charging thousands of dollars for infusions that are unproven and not guided by evidence from adequate and well-controlled trials.’