Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Beware of buying young people's blood to prevent aging, FDA says

The national health agency warns there is “no proven clinical benefit” to the transfusions The national health agency warns there is “no proven clinical benefit” to the transfusions
Celia Hoffman | 22 February, 2019, 14:41

A government website lists a clinical trial sponsored by Ambrosia that included 200 people who received young donor plasma treatments.

The FDA said it'll monitor the issue and take appropriate steps with state and local health departments and blood establishments.

The controversial treatments involve the infusions of plasma from young donors as a way to prevent or treat various conditions, including aging, alzheimer's disease and PTSD.

The national health agency warns there is "no proven clinical benefit" to the transfusions.

A controversial startup focused on offering blood-transfusions with young people's blood for Dollars 8000 called Ambrosia made a decision to stop providing all procedures after receiving warnings from federal regulators.

The FDA's warning did leave the door open to exploring young-blood transfusions within mainstream clinical trials, saying that that is the only context in which consumers should consider pursuing the therapy.

The infusions are promoted to treat a variety of conditions, including normal aging and memory loss as well as serious conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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[UPDATE, 2/19/2019, 7:30ET:] Ambrosia announced on its website that "In compliance with the FDA announcement issued February 19, 2019, we have ceased patient treatments". Being infused with young blood could be risky as this type of infusion did not go through the required testing.

The idea of infusing young blood to fight aging has attracted technology entrepreneurs like billionaire Peter Thiel and was lampooned in a 2017 episode of the HBO show "Silicon Valley". Plasma infusions have already been approved by the FDA in emergency trauma situations.

The FDA says plasma infusions can raise the risk of infection and allergic reactions and should only be done under "appropriate regulatory oversight".

But the FDA has not approved plasma transfusions for the treatment of age-related conditions and diseases, and these treatments are not known to be safe or effective.

"We will use our tools and authorities to protect patients from unscrupulous actors and unsafe products", they write, going on to promise action against companies that "abuse the trust of patients and endanger their health with uncontrolled manufacturing conditions or by promoting so-called "treatments" that haven't been proven safe or effective for any use".

Clinics have been springing up that offer "young-donor" plasma infusions as a rejuvenating, "anti-aging" therapy. The method is based on the results of a study of parabiosis in mice, in which the circulatory systems of old and young animals were combined. Irina Conboy, a University of California, Berkeley scientist involved in a 2005 study, told Business Insider's Erin Brodwin that the positive effects she and her colleagues observed could stem from the fact that the mice were sharing not only blood, but also internal organs.

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