'Young Blood' Transfusions Are Ineffective and Dangerous, FDA Warns

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

A growing number of clinics across the USA offer infusions of plasma specifically from young donors-peddled as anti-aging treatments and cures for disease.

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.

A number of recent studies on both animals and humans have suggested that compounds in younger people's blood may help treat conditions of old age, including Parkinson's and aging itself. "Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them and are potentially harmful", the FDA statement says.

According to the FDA, the use of plasma infusion therapies is on the rise across the United States, often costing thousands of dollars per treatment. For example, some patients with liver disease are unable to make the proteins required for blood to clot.

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The agency on Tuesday said in a statement that plasma infusions from young people provide "no proven clinical benefit" against normal aging, Alzheimer's disease, or a host of other diseases-despite a surge in their promotion for those purposes. On Tuesday, however, following the release of the FDA statement, a notice on Ambrosia's site said it would no longer offer the transfusions. The company, Ambrosia, which has locations in five USA cities-including one in L.A., of course-charged between $8,000 and $12,000 for the "young plasma" treatment known as parabiosis.

"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 explained. It's also asking patients and health care providers to report negative side effects linked to treatments using plasma from young donors, for aging or similar conditions, to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. Therefore, these infusions shouldn't be considered safe or effective, and consumers shouldn't get the infusions beyond clinical trials with an institutional review board and regulatory oversight, it said. These range from allergic reactions and transfusion-associated circulatory overload (symptoms of which include shortness of breath and abnormal accumulation of fluid under the skin) to acute lung injury or infectious disease transmission from donor to recipient. "We will use our tools and authorities to protect patients from unscrupulous actors and unsafe products".

Firms like Ambrosia Health-with locations in Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, and Texas-cater to customers 30 years and older, who can receive an infusion of plasma harvested from healthy donors aged 16 to 25 for upwards of $12,000.

Gottlieb wrote, "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".

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