A biotech startup in California called Ambrosia has been running experimental treatments injecting older patients with plasma obtained from healthy teenagers. By performing a plasma treatment, the patients who were treated showed evidence of a lower level of carcinoembryonic antigens (these anitgens can signal cancer). The treated subjects also displayed lower blood cholesterol levels and a decrease in the levels of amyloids (a protein that forms plaques on the brain in those with Alzheimer’s disease).
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While the scientists aren’t exactly sure what it is in teenage blood that helps to reverse the aging process, they did notice significant changes. The founder of Ambrosia, Jesse Karmazin, MD, tells New Science that the success might have to do with the healthier proteins present in younger plasma. “Every cell is a factory, pumping out healthy proteins involved in maintaining your body. When we’re younger, cells are able to produce perfectly folded proteins, which in turn allow cells to operate at their best and produce more high-quality proteins.”
Although not enough patients have been treated to develop a specific protocol and assess just how long the effects last, scientists believe that some people will benefit from having the treatment done twice a year. The trials have been met with its fair share of criticism as well—most notably that it was conducted without a control group so there’s no basis for determining if some of the benefits are due to the placebo effect. And, at about $8,000 per pop, you’re going to want to see benefits.
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