Blog Post

Young Blood Transfusions Are All Hype

BMC writes: “My friends and I are baby boomers who are always looking for ways to stay young. We’ve heard about these new ‘young blood infusions’ as a way to do this. Does it work and is there anything New Age about this kind of treatment?”

Great question – and great timing! While there is nothing New Age about these blood transfusions, the FDA just released a statement on Tuesday of this week warning about the dangers of falling victim to establishments that are offering them as a way to treat aging and other conditions.

For those who are not aware of this worrying new trend, people are seeking transfusions of blood from young people to treat everything from aging and memory loss to serious diseases like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the FDA, there is no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any of these conditions, and there are risks associated with the use of any plasma product.

“Today, we’re alerting consumers and health care providers that 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.  As a result, the reported uses of these products should not be assumed to be safe or effective,” the FDA warns in a press release.

“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. Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them and are potentially harmful,” the FDA reports. “There are reports of bad actors charging thousands of dollars for infusions that are unproven and not guided by evidence from adequate and well-controlled trials.”

The agency promises to “use our tools and authorities to protect patients from unscrupulous actors and unsafe products” and will consider taking regulatory and enforcement actions against companies that produce and/or promote so-called ‘treatments’ that haven’t been proven safe or effective for any use.

One of these companies, known as Ambrosia Health, was recently touted in Business Insider as charging $8.000 per infusion and offering treatments in five U.S. cities. Founded by Stanford graduate Jesse Karmazin, 34, who is not a medical practitioner, he's been operating for three years and believes that "blood is the next big government-approved drug." He claimed to have conducted clinical trials; however, the result have never been published. As a result of the FDA's announcement, Ambrosia has now officially ceased to operate.

Because these transfusions have not been proven to be safe or effective, Catholics should not use them to treat anything life-threatening or contagious.

The FDA is asking anyone who receives one of these transfusions and suffers an adverse event to report it here.

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