It seems that Dracula may have been in something when he drank the blood of young maidens.
Dozens of new companies have been playing with blood transfusions from younger adults to treat age-related diseases.
But a leading geneticist at University College London insists that these experiments are not a joke, and that leading doctors consider it one of the most promising companies in modern medicine.
Publishing a data analysis in the journal Nature, Dame Linda Partridge, a geneticist, says research shows that young blood could allow humans to live a life free of diseases such as cancer, dementia and heart disease, until their death.
His work is part of a wave of studies and trials, including a series of human trials backed by Peter Thiel at a startup in San Francisco called Ambrosia, injecting older adults with young blood, something that would cost $ 8,000 if extended. to the public.
Older people who receive blood transfusions from younger adults have a lower risk of cancer, dementia and heart disease, recent research shows
Professor Partridge's study showed that older mice that were given young blood did not develop age-related diseases and maintained acute cognitive function, while younger mice who received older blood had the opposite effect.
It is a test, he says, that blood needs to be studied more closely in animals to identify molecules that preserve physical health.
"The identification of these is a high priority for research," says the study.
"The practical accessibility of both the human microbiome and the blood system makes therapeutic manipulation a particularly attractive approach, but animal research is needed to establish the long-term consequences and possible side effects."
Professor Partridge and co-authors Joris Deelen and P. Eline Slagboom add: & # 39;[B]Lood is the most accessible tissue from the practical point of view and, therefore, the most commonly researched, but it is much less used in animal studies.
"It will be important to develop risk biomarkers based on blood, aging marks and responses to candidate interventions in animals."
His is just the first study in showing such an effect.
The Ambrosia trials involved 70 participants. Everyone involved was at least 35 years old and had paid $ 8,000 (£ 6,200) to be part of the experiment out of their own pocket.
They received plasma, the main component of the blood, of volunteers between 16 and 25 years old.
WHAT IS THE YOUNG BLOOD?
Several studies have shown the benefits of receiving young blood transfusions.
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley discovered in November that "vampire therapy" can repair muscle tissue.
They also showed that it had benefits for both the liver and the brain after only 24 hours.
In the same month, Alkahest, a company based in, reported similar findings during trials of young human blood in older mice.
They discovered that it improved the cognition of rodents, allowing them to frolic like their younger counterparts.
The experts at Stanford University had already shown the same findings in identical studies three years earlier, but instead used blood from younger mice.
The researchers noticed improvements in the biomarkers of several important diseases, also known as indicators for certain conditions.
This included a 10 percent reduction in blood cholesterol, of which high levels are known to lead to heart disease.
Other effects noted by the scientists were a 20 percent reduction in proteins called carcinoembryonic antigens.
These can be seen in large quantities in people who have various forms of cancer, reports the website, but remains to be seen if.
Younger blood also helped cut amyloid protein levels, which form toxic groups in the brains of patients with dementia, by a fifth.
In particular, a 55-year-old patient with early-onset Alzheimer's began to show improvement in his condition after a single transfusion.
Another slightly older woman with a more severe Alzheimer's disease is showing similar improvements, the start-up reported.
Ambrosia scientists envision a world in which older people receive two injections a year.
However, he hinted that it is possible that some of the effects of having been imagined by those who were desperate to see the results after paying so much.
Scientists have long studied the effects of young blood on animals, but have found a mixture of results.
Previous research from the United States has suggested that blood from human umbilical cords could be the key ingredient for a drug "source of youth."
The team at Stanford University discovered that a protein found in plasma can reverse the effects of age-related mental decline.
However, experts at the Ottawa Hospital made a very different finding last July. They looked at how young women's blood donations may be related to lower survival rates at recipients.
THOSE WHO PLAY FOR THE GROSS TREATMENT …
One was a fictional character who is believed to be based on a real person, the other was the revolutionary exlider of North Korea.
The idea that young blood was capable of reversing aging was promoted for the first time in the Gothic fantasy books about Dracula.
The dreaded vampire survived only with fresh human blood, which reversed his aging process by giving him power.
Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong-un, the current dictator of North Korea, was another who swore by the method.
His former doctor said he would take blood transfusions of men and women in their 20s in their attempt to live up to 100.
It was also revealed that he would spend hours watching the children playing in their desperate attempts to reach triple figures.
But their efforts were in vain. He died in 1994 at the age of 84, two years after his personal doctor defected to South Korea.