The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning about “vampire” treatments that involve injecting plasma from young donors in an attempt to reverse aging, saying it hasn’t been proven to have medical benefits.
The procedure works as follows: People are infused with the blood from young people, and clinics claim that the procedure is like a fountain of youth. Claims include slowing memory loss, aging, dementia, and a whole host of issues.
“There is no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent these conditions, and there are risks associated with the use of any plasma product,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement on Feb 19.
The FDA warned consumers against infusions of plasma from young donors, saying there is no evidence that they slow aging or memory loss.
“The reported uses of these products should not be assumed to be safe or effective,” he added, saying that the FDA strongly discourages people from using this treatment.
“Outside of clinical trials under appropriate institutional review board and regulatory oversight,” they shouldn’t be used, he said.
The commissioner added there are “a growing number of clinics” offering plasma from younger donors.
“Treatments using plasma from young donors have not gone through the rigorous testing that the FDA normally requires in order to confirm the therapeutic benefit of a product and to ensure its safety,” he added. “As a result, the reported uses of these products should not be assumed to be safe or effective.”
Gottlieb added, “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.”
The agency, he said, is concerned that “unproven purposes could also discourage patients suffering from serious or intractable illnesses from receiving safe and effective treatments that may be available to them,” saying that the plasma itself could be harmful.
Company Shuts Down
According to NBC News, Ambrosia, a “young blood” company, said it had “ceased patient treatments.”
You should not use the blood of young people to keep you from aging or getting diseases, because there is no evidence it works, the FDA says.
Ambrosia, based in California, charged $8,000 for a liter of blood and $12,000 for two liters as part of a clinical trial.
The blood was donated by 16- to 25-year-olds to people over the age of 35.
Jesse Karmazin, 34, a Stanford Medical School graduate, stated the firm several years ago. He began a clinical trial and claimed it produced impressive results.
“Young plasma treatments are intravenous infusions of plasma from young donors, who are in the age range of 16 to 25,” Ambrosia’s website said. The company has locations in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Tampa, Omaha, and Houston.
“Young plasma is the result of research into the science of blood,” the website reads.
Ambrosia, a startup that claims to fight aging with blood plasma infusions, refuses to say where it gets its young…
One infusion, claimed Karmazin, “dramatically improves people’s appearance, their memory and their strength,” according to a report from the National Post.
“I want to be clear, at this point, it works. It reverses aging,” he told Mic.
“I’m not really in the camp of saying this will provide immortality but I think it comes pretty close,” he told a third, adding: “It’s like plastic surgery from the inside out,” The Times reported.
“You can easily imagine a situation where somebody who’s vulnerable, and not wealthy, and not healthy, and may be desperate … would potentially feel like they have no option but to spend this money,” said Phuoc Le, a doctor who teaches at University of California, San Francisco, according to the Huffington Post.
So far, the FDA didn’t say whether it will pursue enforcement actions against firms offering the treatment.