Just when you thought the medical industry couldn’t become anymore sick and depraved, they do something insane to prove you wrong. A new startup, known as Ambrosia, has pioneered some earth-shattering new trials on a very terrifying new technology: Using the blood of young people to heal the old.
Their research has shown that transfusing older individuals with the blood of young adults can help to reduce the risk of diseases such as dementia, cancer and heart disease. As the Daily Mail notes, “It is similar to that of former North Korean dictator Kim Il-Sung who was said to take blood from people in their twenties to try to live to 100.”
Apparently, the finding has breathed new life into the myth that young blood can reverse the signs of aging from the inside-out.
The founder of the San Franciso-based company, Jesse Karmazin, reportedly told New Scientist, “I don’t want to say the word panacea, but there’s something about teenagers. Whatever is in young blood is causing changes that appear to make the ageing process reverse.”
If that isn’t cryptic enough for you, Karmazin and the rest of the Ambrosia team have been taking blood from people as young as just 16 years old, and offering transfusion to older adults (some as young as 35). A total of 70 people participated in receiving the blood transfusions — and as is the nature of corrupt pharma companies, Ambrosia charged these participants a whopping $8,000 for the chance to take part in their vampire-inspired study.
As Karmazin explains, while he would like to conduct a placebo-controlled trial, people are not likely to be willing to shell out thousands for a sugar pill. But the lack of a placebo control group in their most recent trial has left the company open to all sorts of criticism. After all, placebo-controlled studies are part of the gold-standard for producing legitimate scientific evidence.
This is, in part, because of the “placebo effect,” which is known to be able to affect the body’s biochemistry. It’s quite possible that many of the benefits purported by this study may be attributed to this fact. As University of London’s Arne Akbar explains, “There is no telling what may be down to the placebo effect.”
In addition to the issues with the actual study’s design, there are some serious ethical questions revolving around this study. For example, where will the line be drawn? If, as Karmazin says, the plasma of the young is paramount to “reversing” the aging process, the ramifications of such a notion could be quite severe. Will young people suddenly find themselves at risk of having their blood forcibly taken from them? Who knows.
Karmazin seems rather nonchalant about the other implications involved, such as that there is basically never not a need for plasma donations for actual medical purposes (and not just to inject into perfectly healthy 35 year-olds, as they did in the study). As Science reports, “Karmazin says he’s filling a void, suggesting that most companies wouldn’t be interested in developing human plasma as an antiaging treatment. ‘It’s this extremely abundant therapeutic that’s just sitting in blood banks,’ he insists.”
Apparently, despite his lofty education as a medical school student at Stamford, Karmazin has forgotten that many people rely on plasma for medical treatments. Plasma is used in the treatment of people with clotting disorders, immunological diseases, during surgeries and also in the treatment of people in critical care, such as burn victims. Clearly, it is not just “sitting in blood banks,” as Karmazin alleges.
Between his attitude towards plasma, and his obscene $8,000 fee for participating in his research, there are plenty of reasons to question Karmazin’s ethics and motives. Is he just as corrupt as the rest of the industry?