Can younger blood help older people feel good, improve skin, enhance athleticism and fight disease onset? That is the opportunity being sold by entrepreneur Jesse Karmazin, MD. 

Princeton University and Stanford Medical School graduate and unlicensed MD Jesse Karmazin founded Ambrosia in 2016. His company website indicates that they are again selling transfusions at $8,000 per liter of plasma, or $12,000 for two liters, in their San Francisco clinic.

According to an article in The Mercury News, Ambrosia stopped selling young blood to old people immediately after the FDA issued an advisory in February that blood-plasma transfusions offered in the U.S. “should not be assumed to be safe or effective” and that consumers should be strongly discouraged from “pursuing this therapy outside of clinical trials under appropriate institutional review board and regulatory oversight.”

According to the one-page Ambrosia website, “Our treatment has been found to produce statistically significant improvements in biomarkers related to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, inflammation, and stem cells in our clinical trial. Patients have reported subjective improvements in athletics, memory, skin quality, sleep, and other areas.”

The scientific community has rolled its eyes at the “trial” element of Ambrosia. There is no control group and, with participation costing so much, patients are not very randomized. Despite these criticisms of the science, Dr. Karmazin is still reporting positive results.

Karmazin, who worked for about two years as a medical resident but then moved into entrepreneurship without becoming a licensed physician, said last year that an Ambrosia “study” found the treatments led to a 20 percent drop in levels of two proteins, one linked to cancer and one to Alzheimer’s, as The Guardian reported in 2017. The median age of participants in the study was 60, while blood donors are supposedly between 16 and 25.  All blood products are said to be purchased from licensed blood banks in the US. 

The FDA expressed its concern that “treatments using plasma from young donors are heightened by the fact that 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. Plasma is not FDA-recognized or approved to treat conditions such as normal aging or memory loss, or other diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, reports we’re seeing indicate that the dosing of these infusions can involve administration of large volumes of plasma that can be associated with significant risks including infectious, allergic, respiratory and cardiovascular risks, among others.”

Source: The Mercury News

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