Young People’s Blood Won’t Slow Aging, Says FDA

Heart health
February 20, 2019

Maybe you’ve never heard of it, or thought it was just a gag, but in fact, the FDA just weighed in on the very bizarre process of getting infused with young people’s plasma.

You down with YPP? 

Yeah, you know me.

OK, so by YPP, I mean “young people’s plasma,” which apparently was a thing that people were transfusing themselves with to halt the aging process. Honestly, until recently I just thought it was a hilarious plot line on HBO’s Silicon Valley, in a hilarious episode called The Blood Boy.

But no, it is a thing—an expensive thing. While people might not have, as in the show, a personal “transfusion associate,” a company called Ambrosia Health was allegedly charging $8,000 for a liter of plasma from donors aged 16–25. I say allegedly because as of today, the Ambrosia site says the company has “ceased patient treatments,” citing the FDA announcement on young donor plasma infusions. Ambrosia was a startup founded by a Stanford Medical School graduate, and they had operations going in five cities.

Yes, the FDA just announced that pricey young blood showed no benefit and might in fact do harm. Why? Well, they said, a growing number of clinics were offering it.

Yes, plasma is an important part of blood, and some people need it. As the FDA says, plasma is important in “trauma settings or in patients whose blood is unable to clot due to medications or certain illnesses.”

But about this particular treatment, the FDA has said there is “no compelling clinical evidence on its efficacy, nor is there information on appropriate dosing for treatment of the conditions for which these products are being advertised.” The plasma problems they detailed include “infectious, allergic, respiratory and cardiovascular risks, among others.”

Now, you may have noticed (we hope) that we here at Withings have never recommended you harvest younger plasma and add it to your bloodstream to delay aging.

As ever, we stand by and for, eating better, getting more activity, monitoring your blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting enough sleep.

Photo credit: John P. Johnson, HBO