Out with the old, in with the young—young blood that is. Blood transfusions from young donors are gaining hype as an anti-aging treatment, but what does the research say about it?

New anti-aging fads continually pop up all over the place: anti-aging supplements, wrinkle creams, face-lifts, juice cleanses, brain exercises, and intermittent fasting to name a few. And the latest endeavor in the fight against aging is teen blood. For a fee of $8000, one company is running a clinical trial where they are injecting adults over the age of 35 with blood plasma from people 25 and younger to see if this young blood has any anti-aging benefits. Other researchers are beginning clinical trials to see if young blood could help treat serious diseases like Alzheimers or Parkinsons. If you’re like us, you might be wondering– what does the data say about all this?

A lot of the research around the benefits of young blood come from parabiosis studies in rodents– where two rodents are stitched together so that they share blood. Data from this research indicates that in some cases there are anti-aging benefits. But what works in rodents doesn’t always work in humans, and we are still waiting for results from human trials that are under way.

SOURCES:
Nature: Ageing research: Blood to blood

Science: Young blood anti-aging trial raises questions

Future of You: Blood From Young People May Be a Secret to Fighting Aging

The Stanford Parkinson’s Disease Plasma Study (SPDP)

The Plasma for Alzheimer SymptoM Amelioration (PLASMA) Study 

Can Teen Blood Stop the Aging Process? 28 February,2018Lauren Farrar

Author

Lauren Farrar

Lauren has a background in biology, education, and filmmaking. She has had the privilege to work on a diverse array of educational endeavors and is currently a producer for KQED Learning's YouTube series Above the Noise. Lauren's career has taken her to the deepest parts of the ocean to film deep sea hydrothermal vents for classroom webcasts, into the pool to film synchronized swimmers to teach about the pH scale, and on roller coasters to create a video about activation energy. And, she’s done it all for the sake of education. Lauren loves communicating science! Follow her on twitter @LFarrarAtWork

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