Rejuvenation by young blood

Blood may contain the elixir of youth

It has been known for some time that infusion of old animals with blood from young animals causes rejuvenation of those old animals, measured by many different factors – biological and behavioural. In fact the reverse effect – old blood causing ageing in young animals – has also been experimentally shown.

Drinking blood does not work

Since it is close to Halloween I had better state clearly that drinking the blood does not work – the beneficial factor(s) would be broken down in digestion.

For the ageing human population (including myself) this is massively promising, but the research unbearably slow. One factor has now been identified as causal – growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11).

“We saw astounding effects. The human blood had beneficial effects on every organ we’ve studied so far.”

Concentration of GDF11 in human blood plasma decreases with age, though this is probably not the only factor involved. Trials with dementia patients have begun. There is also the intriguing possibility of an observational trial – that is tracking the well-being of individuals who have received blood transfusions for medical reasons, and correlating the results with the age of the blood donor.

“We saw astounding effects. The human blood had beneficial effects on every organ we’ve studied so far.”

Read New Scientist article here

Read Science article here

Update 2nd November 2017

The first trial, in Alzheimers patients, has now reported that the procedure of transfusing young plasma is safe, and produced some positive results from batteries of tests on living skills, though no significant cognitive improvement was observed. Another trial is now planned using blood plasma from which many proteins and other molecules have been removed. Research on mice suggest this could be more effective.

Update 5th June 2019

Two proteins, THBS4 and SPARCL1 from young blood, have now been identified as promoting neuron growth – at least in vitro. This gives promise for the possible treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.