There are people who are paying up to $ 12,000 for a young blood transfusion with the promise of stopping aging
Ambrosia Medical is a startup founded in 2017, which claims to be able to "counteract aging by rejuvenating the organs," something they claim is possible through a blood transfusion from young people. This procedure has a price that starts at $ 8,000 and goes up to $ 12,000.
Despite the fact that as of today there is no evidence that certifies the effectiveness of this medical procedure, in late 2018 Ambrosia obtained authorization to operate in five cities in the United States: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa, Omaha and Houston, and It continues to promote its services without the endorsement of the regulatory agencies of the United States.
An unproven and potentially dangerous procedure
The first time we heard of Ambrosia was in 2017, when they began to advertise their services with the promise of returning youth to those willing to pay $ 8,000. Today the company continues to operate and seeks to open new branches, despite the fact that it is an unproven procedure and that it could be dangerous.
Jesse Karmazin, the main person in charge of Ambrosia and who studied medicine but does not have a license to practice it in the United States or in any other country, promotes his treatments from his website, congresses and videos, where he affirms that it can rejuvenate people.
Michael Conboy, a bioengineering researcher at the University of Berkeley, has studied the effects of young blood on mice of various ages with his wife for the past few years, with no proof so far that what Ambrosia promises really works. "As far as I know, science has not changed."
Another issue that casts doubt on the effectiveness of Ambrosia's procedures is that they do not share the results of their "investigations", they collect and manage the data themselves. In fact, the FDA (the United States Food and Drug Administration) has not approved this practice.
Given this, Conboy mentions: "If I were them, I would try to find an academic group with no financial interests to review the data objectively. It is bad enough that they are the ones who collect and manage the data. If you are in an accident and you are going to have a shock or die without a transfusion, it's worth the risk. But people probably shouldn't receive an unnecessary transfusion, all the more without proof of its benefits. ".
In February 2019, the FDA issued a warning about Ambrosia's questionable practices, asking consumers to beware of "unscrupulous actors" who tout the alleged benefits of infusing patients with plasma drawn from young donors.
"We have significant public health concerns about promoting and using plasma for these purposes. There is no proven clinical benefit of infusing young donor plasma to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent these conditions, and there are risks associated with use of any plasma product.
"Today, we are alerting consumers and healthcare providers that treatments using plasma from young donors have not gone through the rigorous tests that the FDA normally requires to confirm the therapeutic benefit of a product and to ensure its safety. As a result, the reported uses of these products should not be assumed to be safe or effective. We strongly discourage consumers from avoiding this therapy outside of clinical trials under an appropriate institutional review board and regulatory oversight. "
Following this warning, Ambrosia ceased operations since February 19 in "response to FDA recommendations," but gave no further details. But this suspension did not last long, since by November 2019 they resumed operations under the argument that "the demand from their clients is extremely high."
When it started operations in 2017, Ambrosia's first procedure consisted of a "clinical trial" of 81 people, without even having tests or a control group. David Wright, a "doctor" who runs an infusion clinic that administers vitamins, antioxidants, and infusions based on alternative therapies, was the one who conducted the trial charging each participant $ 8,000. Yes, patients had to pay to be part of a trial.
The company claims that the results were promising, but there are no results that support it, at least public. The patients signed a privacy clause not to mention the procedure, so it is not known for sure what happened and how the 81 participants reacted.
What is a fact is that Ambrosia continues to operate without any type of regulation or norm that supports its procedures. They even offer the option of choosing how many liters of "young" blood we want, one liter for $ 8,000 or two for $ 12,000. The company assures that it is plasma infusions from young people between 16 and 25 years old, and interested patients must be at least 30 years old to be eligible for one of its procedures.We have updated the post with new details as of January 2020.