Fill Your Veins with Young Blood to Fight Aging? A New Business in Texas

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It might be the most controversial new startup in the nation: Ambrosia will fill your veins with the blood of young people for only $8,000 in an effort to combat aging. The service is now available in eight U.S. cities, including one in Texas. Some are calling the procedure an anti-aging miracle. Others can’t help but see it as a bit creepy and not unlike something out of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Could young blood be the secret to eternal youth, or at least a legitimate anti-aging strategy? And if the answer is yes, what moral responsibility does such a procedure demand?

In 2016, a Stanford Medical School graduate named Jesse Karmazin set out to found his dream company. Now Ambrosia is making headlines. The business accepts blood from youthful donors and fills the veins of older people with it in the belief that this will fight aging through rejuvenation of the patient’s organs. The company is now accepting payment for the treatment through PayPal: one liter of blood for $8,000, or two liters for $12,000. Initial plans had been to open the first Ambrosia clinic in New York, however, those plans changed. The cities where Ambrosia currently offers the procedure are now Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa, Omaha, and the Lone Star State city of Houston.

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The idea that young blood can have a restorative power on the old is nothing new. Some might even argue that legends of vampires or the horrific practices of the Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Báthory were inspired by such a belief. However, the idea has long since left the realm of superstition and entered the sphere of science.

Studies dating back to the 1950s have found that parabiosis—the surgical conjoining of the circulatory systems of lab mice—resulted in the blood of younger mice seeming to have a rejuvenating influence on the older mice. More recently, researcher’s at Stanford University’s School of Medicine have conducted tests that infused human plasma from the umbilical cords of newborn, human babies into the veins of old mice. The tests appeared to confirm that human blood plasma can have apparent positive effects on memory and learning ability in old lab mice.

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