FDA: Using Young Blood To Try To Halt Aging Not The Best Idea

Sure, many of us fear aging, looking for a fountain of youth everywhere from Oil Of Olay in the drugstore aisle to showing off our readily available neck to a young, hunky vampire. The Washington Post reports that some people are actually looking for "young blood" treatments—"plasma infusions from young donors marketed for conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder." In a statement this week, Food And Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and FDA's Center For Biologics Evaluation And Research Director Peter Marks state firmly that using young plasma to offset old-person illnesses has no proven value.

Bloomberg reports that this strange practice has gained traction with billionaire Peter Thiel, appeared on an episode of Silicon Valley, and is offered by a franchise called Ambrosia, "which has locations in five states across the U.S. and sells one liter of blood plasma from donors between the ages of 16 and 25 for $8,000." The Post notes Ambrosia has announced "that 'in compliance' with the FDA statement, it had ceased patient treatments."

On one hand, if you turn everything on its side and squint really hard, you can almost see how some people might have latched onto this practice in the first place; after all, blood transfusions can be helpful in medical procedures, right? On the other, this idea seems not only bananas, but downright ghoulish. Fighting the passage of time is pointless, and aging is certainly better than the other option. If you still get carded every once in awhile, we'd say you're doing okay. No need to get all Transylvanian about things.