Scientists have been studying the rejuvenating effects of young blood on older organisms since the 1860s. Recently, researchers have found that injecting young plasma into older rats can improve their cognitive abilities and even extend their lifespan.
In research by Institute for Biochemical Research (INIBIOLP), National University of La Plata, Argentina, old rats (25 months old) were given injections of young rat plasma (1 ml) every other week. In the Conboys' plasma exchange experiments they remove 50% of plasma first, which is estimated to be 5 millilitres, so this team doesn't seem to be diluting the blood sufficiently to remove old factors.
The key results of the study were:
- Lifespan Extension: Old rats that received injections of young rat plasma every other week experienced an average increase in lifespan of 2.2 months compared to untreated counterparts.
- Healthier Appearance: Treated rats displayed a healthier appearance, with whiter and shinier fur, and were more active than the control rats.
- Lower Epigenetic Age: The treated rats showed a consistently lower epigenetic age, as indicated by their DNA methylation levels, compared to the control rats.
- DNA Methylation Changes: The researchers observed changes in the methylation levels of specific genes related to insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and immune function, which are known to play a role in aging and overall health.
These results suggest that young blood may have rejuvenating properties, potentially leading to improved health and extended lifespan in older rats. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine if they can be translated to human treatments.