AUG 23, 2016 02:49 PM PDT

Young Blood Transfusions to Rejuvenate the Old?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

For some people, the desire to stay young is worth the cost of all the cosmetic creams and even surgical procedures. But here's the latest unconventional anti-aging tactic: a transfusion with young blood.

Though it sounds a lot like snake oil, scientists have been curious about the potential power of young blood for over 100 years. The composition of blood from young individuals has been studied extensively not only for anti-aging, but also in metabolism, cancer, and diabetes.

More notably, when blood from young mice were given to older mice, researchers saw noticeable improvements. "In the heart, brain, muscles and almost every other tissue examined, the blood of young mice seems to bring new life to aging organs, making old mice stronger, smarter and healthier. It even makes their fur shinier," the researchers wrote in their 2015 report in Nature.

To be clear, young blood doesn't reverse aging in mice; rather, it appeared to have rejuvenated tissues. But no such data exists for humans, though not for lack of effort. Ambrosia, a start-up based in Monterey, California is attempting formal clinical trials to study this. The catch? Participants have to pay $8,000 to join.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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