Last April, one occurred at a clinic in Texas near Dallas intergenerational plasma exchange among the American billionaire Bryan Johnson, his son Talmage and his father Richard. The 17-year-old son had a liter of blood taken. His plasma was then transfused into Bryan, 45, who in turn donated it to his 70-year-old father. These are transfusions of young blood, also called “young blood transfusion“. But do these practices actually have anti-aging benefits? We talked about it with Damiano Galimbertispecialist in food science, founder and president of theItalian anti-aging doctors association (Amia).
In this article
What are anti-aging blood transfusions?
A growing number of start-ups in the US have begun transfusing young blood, promising to cure or prevent the effects of various conditions, ranging from aging and memory loss to serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease. The idea caught on after some experiments done on mice, in which the plasma of young mice was shown to be effective in “rejuvenating” the older ones. However, there is currently no evidence that demonstrates a similar functioning in humans, based on proven clinical studies.
La Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed strong concernregarding the promotion anduse of plasma for purposes other than those recognized or indicated by the agency, where the benefits of treatment are weighed to outweigh the risks. There are also fears that this could discourage patients with serious illnesses from getting the care they really need.
Is it possible to fight aging with transfusions of young blood?
«The point is that we are simply talking about theories. When you transfuse blood, you also transfuse a whole range of substances. When carrying out a transfusion there must be the certainty that there are no problems of another nature that are conveyed, such as viruses that can then involve the recipient. If the blood is compatible and there are no contraindications for rejection, theoretically it can be done. But it is certainly not one of those invasive practices that can be recommended in this type of circumstance. It has no serious demonstrable benefits in the short, long or medium term», explains Damiano Galimberti.
The use of infusion therapies
«The problem with many supplements is the passage of two barriers, the gastric and the blood-brain barrier. Therefore it is clear that therapy linked to plasma transfusions can, in theory since there are no published scientific studies in this regard, always be more effective than oral therapy. In the plasma there may be molecules able to pass more easily through the blood-brain barrier and therefore reach our nervous system. But, in this historical moment, there are more disadvantages than advantages. Consolidation research relating to this type of method is lacking».
“For her terapie infusive, in which the active ingredients are conveyed directly into the bloodthe discourse is different. There are established scientific studies about it and there is no risk. For example, Omega 3s can be transfused Karolinska Institutet it is one of the most avant-garde centers in this sector and has carried out various studies on the matter. These therapies can also be done safely in Italy. The difference is in safety, which makes them more advantageous than plasma transfusion, as long as the real risks and benefits are not evaluated».
Towards the goal of healthy longevity
“The World Health Organization itself promotes healthy longevity. However, any practice that pursues this goal must be appropriate, supported by data and clinical experience. For this to happen, there must be repeatability and reproducibility of the data», continues Galimberti.
What does reverse aging mean?
«The concept of rejuvenation is very popular today. It doesn’t mean going back in timebut having what is called “successful aging”, ie successful ageing. Therefore being able to maintain psychophysical performances similar to those of the immediately preceding age groups. Maintain your performance capability and steer clear of the decline curve. Slow down the aging of the muscles, the brain, the body, in order to remain more efficient over time. Staying healthy is essential, as the disease accelerates aging, even when the acute phase has passed. Then, in addition to lifestyle there is always a genetic basis. If I know the strengths and weaknesses of my body, I am able to compare them with clinical data that tell me my biological age level and have an action plan».
Aging well is a matter of balance
«It is thought that doing a spot action can solve all the problems of our body. But the reality is much more complicated and requires you to find one mediation between what are the needs of today’s life, to immerse yourself in sometimes frenetic rhythms and thebalance necessary for our body to stay alive and above all healthy. Check the food chain of what arrives on the table, try to eat healthy foods, less rich in preservatives and additives, because they bring an effective advantage to the body».
«L’physical activity motor activity remains the best “reverse” technique. Our centenarians live above all in hilly regions and necessarily had to get around by bicycle and on foot. Also, do 10-15 minutes of meditation oh you respiratory gymnastics which go to create an anti-stress action, releasing a whole series of useful molecules. In the end, rely on professionals with consolidated experiencewhich allows for a holistic approach to the patient», concludes the expert.