A pair of scientists have unveiled a new anti-aging therapeutic, made from the blood of young pigs, that they claim reverses biological age in rats.
In a press release, Yuvan Research said its new compound, which it's calling E5, was made from young pig blood and injected into aging rats. As a result, it says the "epigenetic clocks" of said rats were set back by a whopping 67.4 percent average, according to a new paper in the journal GeroScience.
There's reason to be skeptical. After all, there's a long history of for-profit ventures making claims about longevity treatments which that sound like they'd have remarkable implications, then failing to go anywhere.
Still, the claims have a whiff of institutional legitimacy. Founded by aging researcher Akshay Sanghavi and University of Maryland geneticist Harold Katcher, Yuvan's incredible findings were aided by former UCLA biogerontologist Steve Horvath, best known for helping develop the "epigenetic clock" that can help determine our biological ages.
Using six different versions of Horvath's bespoke aging clocks, the Yuvan team applied their pig blood treatment to various rat tissues and found, per the study, that it "halved the epigenetic ages of blood, heart, and liver tissue," and had a smaller but still significant effect on brain tissues, too.
What's more, after injecting the treatment into the rat subjects, the researchers saw "progressive improvement" in the functioning of the aforementioned organs and even saw behavioral and cognitive improvements.
"Initially, I could hardly believe the profound epigenetic rejuvenation effects of E5," Horvath said in the Yuvan statement. "However, our findings are robustly supported by parallel rodent studies from different labs."
Scientists have for years been studying the potential anti-aging effects of young plasma, though many of those studies — and the snake oil salesmen who tried to take advantage of the buzzy research — have raised eyebrows because, you know, they're pretty bizarre.
To be fair, this burgeoning cottage industry — which connotes the virgin blood-bathing Countess Elizabeth Bathory legend of yore and, more recently, the young blood-obsessed billionaire trope — is still pretty fringe.
And even if it does hold up, there are basic questions about why. In the press release, Yuvan admits that researchers still don't really know how or why young blood might have anti-aging effects.
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