Study shows that diluting blood plasma ‘resets’ aging

Researchers at the University of Berkeley have discovered a way to dilute older blood plasma to slow down aging.

A new study from a team at the University of Berkeley in California has identified that it may be possible to reverse aging by diluting blood plasma. The team conducted an experiment in which they discovered de-aging effects by replacing half of the plasma in old mice with a combination of saline and albumin. According to the study, it had significantly beneficial effects on the rejuvenation of vital organs such as the brain, liver and muscle [1].

Longevity.Technology: What we have here is something which moves the conversation on about how treating blood protein can combat aging. It shows that, by looking at diluting older blood, it is possible to remove some of the factors which accelerate aging while restoring beneficial proteins which keep us looking younger.

The topic of using blood plasma to address human Longevity is always a controversial one, and companies like Alkahest and Ambrosia are never far from the headlines. Recently we covered a preliminary report from recognised Longevity academics, such as UCLA’s Steve Horvath and Harold Katcher, that appears to show some astonishing results in rats for a young blood plasma treatment known only as “Elixir”.

The Berkeley researchers are working on the theory that the albumin in the mixture replaces proteins which were lost when the original plasma was taken out. They found that it had the same or even stronger rejuvenating effects in older mice than pairing with blood exchange in younger mice.

With this new study, though, they have shifted the focus away from young blood towards focusing entirely on older blood.

The discovery hints at a possible reset button for aging. The analysis of how proteins in the blood altered during the procedure, found that the plasma exchange lowers the concentrations of many pro-inflammatory proteins which increase with age while gaining beneficial proteins such as those which improve vascularisation to rebound in huge numbers.

There has been a huge amount of research invested into how treating blood plasma can reduce the effects of aging. Until now, though, much of the focus has been on using younger blood to rejuvenate older plasma. Back in 2005 [2], the same team had found success by combining the blood of young and old mice. The study sparked ideas that younger blood could contain unique properties which may act as a fountain of youth for both mice and humans.

With this new study, though, they have shifted the focus away from young blood towards focusing entirely on older blood. The results, they say, show that it is not necessary to use younger blood to achieve the same rejuvenating effects. In addition, younger blood can have some harmful effects.

These results are promising and may switch attention away from the idea of rejuvenating the old by taking blood from the young. As to their next step, the team aims to arrange clinical trials to better understand how therapeutic blood exchange can be used to combat aging.


Image: Alex Skachkov /