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May 19, 2014

Vampires Have Known the Secret to Anti-Aging All Along!

anti-agingVampires and Anti-Aging

Maybe sucking blood is the key to longevity and anti-aging, and vampires have known this all along! Vampires seem popular today. I’m not much into them but I was when I was a boy.

Growing up one of my favorite shows was the daytime soap opera, Dark Shadows. The show featured a vampire name Barnabas Collins. The show ran from 1966 to 1971. For some reason at those ages (6 to 11) I enjoyed being scared. And, nothing scared me more than Barnabas Collins. My mom had fun with my fear of Barnabas. Many times at night it was necessary to go downstairs to the basement usually to get something out of the clothes dryer. This required going into the basement and jumping up to pull the short chain on two lights that hanged in the opposite parts of the basement, otherwise you had to find your way around the basement in the dark (we weren’t smart enough to tie a long piece of string to the chain). The basement was dark and dreary. The kind of place you might expect to a vampire to be lurking.

When I was really small I might have to jump several times before I successfully pulled the chain to turn on the light. My mom would stand up at the top of the stairs and say, “Joey, you better hurry up before Barnabas gets you”. That always made me moved fast. And, it made my heart pound faster. I could fly up the stairs after retrieving what I was looking for without touching the steps. At least, it seemed that way. Mom would stand at the top, chuckling.

Young Blood and Anti-Aging

Maybe, just maybes vampire have longed known the secrets to anti-aging – the blood of young victims. Yes, the secret might be young blood. Recent studies were published in Science and the journal, Nature Medicine. The studies involved the injection of blood and blood proteins from young mice into older mice. The mice were the equivalent of being 20 years and 60 years old in human years. After receiving injections of blood and blood proteins from the younger mice the older mice had higher levels of strength and endurance, improved memory, and developed more blood vessels improving brain function.

What’s the Anti-Aging Secret of Blood: Maybe GDF11

Researchers believe that certain components in blood decrease over time as we age. One substance that is more abundant in blood of younger mice and being studied is a protein called GDF11. GDF11 is also found in human blood and its concentrations also decline as we mere mortal humans age. Injecting GDF11 into older mice also increased blood vessels having similar effects as younger blood in general. So it looks like the protein GDF11 as well as other growth factors may hold some promise in anti-aging, life extension, longevity, age management – or whatever you prefer to call it.

So stay tuned as more becomes known about the benefits of young blood!

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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