Chemicals found in young blood may have dramatic rejuvenating effects, according to three new studies published last week.
Two studies were conducted at Harvard University. One of them found young blood infusions rejuvenate the brain and muscles of older mice because chemicals in young blood improve circulation and help to increase the number of neural stem cells.
The second study found that young blood restores muscle tissue in older mice, increasing exercise endurance and strength. This is due to the protein GDF11, which is more abundant in young blood than in ‘old’ blood.
Amy Wagers, who was involved in the two Harvard studies, told The Guardian that there is good reason to believe a similar approach could combat the effects of ageing in humans, but more research still needs to be conducted.
The third study came out of the University of California and revealed that young blood infusions strengthened the connections in the hippocampus, making brain cells ‘talk’ to each other more effectively and reversing the impairments seen in the older brain, such as difficulty concentrating and bad memory.
Although the results are promising and the possibility of having similar outcomes in humans is very real, Saul Villeda, lead researcher of this study told The Guardian: “I wish our manuscript could come with a big caption that says 'Do not try this at home'. We need a clinical trial to see if this applies to humans, and to see if there are effects that we don't want."