Anti-aging, the Quest for Young Blood
During the past 10 years scientific studies on mice suggest that certain aspects of aging, including brain function, can be slowed or reversed when older animals receive blood from younger ones.
A common technique used in such studies is called parabiosis.
Parabiosis is the process through which the circulatory systems of lab mice are surgically conjoined, co-mingling their blood. In studies dating from the 1950’s, blood from young mice seems to have a rejuvenating effect on older mice.
Recently. Peter Thiel, a wealthy venture capitalist, has attracted much attention for his interest in the science of anti-aging. He is one of many Silicon Valley and Hollywood elites expressing interest in a modern-day “Fountain of Youth.”
About Thiel, Inc. notes: “More than anything, Peter Thiel, the billionaire technology investor … wants to find a way to escape death. He’s channeled millions of dollars into startups working on anti-aging medicine, spends considerable time and money researching therapies for his personal use, and believes society ought to open its mind to life-extension methods that sound weird or unsavory.”
To date, no one is certain if Mr. Thiel has attempted parabiosis for himself, but he continues to show definite interest in techniques he believes may help him live beyond age 100.
For example, Forbes Magazine said in Y 2014 that Mr. Thiel acknowledged using human growth hormone pills as means of extending his life. During a Y 2015 interview related to his investments in biotech firms and life-extension medicine, Mr. Thiel talked about his interest in parabiosis.
He said: “I’m looking into parabiosis, which I think is really interesting. This is where they [infused] the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect. … [I]t’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s, and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely underexplored.”
The video above, produced by DNews, highlights parabiosis as well as several scientific studies related to the potential benefits of young blood.
While the research so far seems promising, it is important to know that more studies are needed to validate the potential benefits of plasma infusions for humans.
It may be many years into the future before science can embrace blood transfusions from younger donors as a verified medical solution for aging concerns such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Marc Gordon, a professor at the Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, emphasizes the need for further studies, especially given the research model simply involved old mice, not old mice presenting with Alzheimer’s-like pathology.
“This is not saying that cord blood is a cure for aging,” says Dr. Gordon. “What this could mean for human disease is purely speculative.” While we await further scientific developments around anti-aging, I recommend the following strategies for counterbalancing any effects of aging that might be troubling you, as follows:
- Eat a high-quality Real Food diet composed of healthy fats, grass fed meat and organic fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of packaged and processed foods to less than 10% of your diet
- Strive to sit less than three hours a day, engage in near-continuous movement during your non-exercise hours, exercise regularly and be sure to include some of my personal favorites, such as daily walking, high-intensity exercises, stretching and strength training
- Get enough sleep, targeting around 7-9 hours per night for adults, and even more for teenagers and children
So, Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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