March 5, 2024

Young blood is probably snake oil, says FDA

It has ‘no proven clinical benefits’

Beware of unscrupulous con men selling rejuvenation through infusions of “young blood”, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a press release this week.

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. 

The warning was aimed squarely at a start-up company called Ambrosia, which has been touting the benefits of blood transfusions from donors between 16 and 25. Accordingly, the company immediately ceased patient treatments. It had been charging US$8,000 for 1 litre of young blood, or $12,000 for 2 litres. According to Business Insider, as of last September, Ambrosia had infused close to 150 people, ranging in age from 35 to 92, with young blood.

The idea of using young blood to reverse or slow ageing has been kicking around for a few years, but there has been no scientific proof of its effectiveness, or of its safety.

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