[00:01:19] Setting in Hawaii
[00:02:45] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:12] Guest Introduction
[00:08:33] The History of The World’s First Blood Cell Separator
[00:11:19] What is blood cell separation and exchange?
[00:14:51] Interest in Young Blood Transfusions
[00:20:16] Young Blood Institute as A Non-Profit Organization
[00:22:23] The Philosophy Behind the Research and Work at The Young Blood Institute
[00:25:31] What biomarkers are being tracked?
[00:28:41] Podcast Sponsors
[00:31:23] Continuation on CyTOF Test
[00:38:10] A Dramatic Real-Life Example of Two 70-Year-Old Youngblood Institute Patients
[00:44:21] What “big data of the body” is?
[00:46:21] The Government’s Intervention in This Type of Technology
[00:49:53] “Neuro Protocol” May Lead to Breakthroughs in The Treatment of Alzheimer’s
[00:57:44] The Role of a Head Nurse in A Plasma Transfusion
[01:11:10] Gloria’s Observations Treating Patients with The AMBAR Study and At The YBI
[01:13:42] Whether Aspheresis Can Be Used as An Anti-Aging Treatment Even If One Doesn’t Have Alzheimer’s
[01:21:29] Why These Studies and Treatments Are Still Occurring More or Less Behind the Scenes
[01:24:48] Getting in Touch with Young Blood Institute
[01:31:22] Closing the Podcast
[01:33:56] End of Podcast
Mark: And he gets this chart and he says, “This is the problem.” And he says, “One thing cures everything.” And I said, “Well, why is that a problem?” He says, “Oh, because all the money is in each one of these little boxes.”
Gloria: And to be able to see and observe what I have even observed already is just overwhelming to me. I mean, I feel like God has put me in a wonderful position where I’m at right now.
Mark: The whole concept of exchanging blood is not new. What’s new is the potential application to new indications.
Ben: I have a master’s degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I’ve spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world’s toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world’s top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
Howdy, howdy, ho. I am sitting in a giant dining room in an Airbnb in Kona, Hawaii sipping a black cup of 100% Kona coffee. Actually, the cup is green. The coffee is black. And that might be why my introduction sounds a little funky compared to my normal audio because frankly, I’m sitting at a dining room table in a giant expansive dining room where dining room tables usually are. It gets a little echoey. I’m breaking all the rules of podcasting. When I used to do this and I used to do it the right way and it wasn’t as lazy, I’d crawl into a closet. But my kids and my wife are sleeping right now in both the bedrooms.
We’re on a hunting and fishing trip in Hawaii. We’re hunting wild pig and goat and sheep. We’re not hunting for fish. We’re fishing for freshwater, spearfishing for prawn and hunting out in the ocean, fishing out in the ocean for, if I get those words correct, for tuna and marlin with my friend, an amazing hunting guide down here, Justin Lee. Just having a wonderful time. But I want to bring you today a very, very good podcast episode. I had two people from the Young Blood Institute depend upon my house. No, they descended, descend upon my house.
And, today’s episode is quite, quite interesting. It’s all about young blood transfers. I was on the edge of my seat for this one as I listen to these folks talk about all the near miracles they seem to be achieving with this. We’re close to Memorial Day, though, before we jump in and I have a few little handy-dandy specials going on for you over at Kion, my playground for all things health and wellness. That’s the company I created to blend ancient wisdom with modern science to make amazing coconuty, chocolatey, salty bars and wonderful coffee, almost as good as this Kona coffee, organic, clean, pure, some of the best weight loss and joint support and immune support supplements, the wild Mediterranean oil of oregano I use every day when I travel, my anti-aging skin serum. It’s all over there. And you, during Memorial Day, get $15 off any order of $100 or more. You get $25 off any order of $150 or more. And you get $40 off any order of $200 or more. How do you like that? Just go to getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com.
Something else I use when I travel is hydrogen-rich water tablets. One of the best ways to give the middle finger to jetlag is to put one of these tablets in a glass of water about every hour during your travel. I swear, by these hydrogen tablets, they’re an antioxidant, they’re a cell signaling molecule, they enhance mitochondrial function, they’re good as an anti-inflammatory. I use them every day, but I like quadruple up when I travel. I also even have a hydrogen-rich water generator in my basement. Everything I use hydrogen-wise is from the company trusii, T-R-U-S-I-I. You can get 30% off these hydrogen-rich water tablets, and you can look into a system for yourself like I have. You go to trusiih2.com/ben. That’s T-R-U-S-I-Ih2.com/ben. Grab some tablets, especially if you got any travel coming up, trusiih2.com/ben. Alright, let’s go talk to Mark Urdahl and Gloria. Please enjoy this episode. It’s life-changing.
Mark: Are we on?
Ben: Oh, yeah. Sorry, I forgot to tell you. Yeah, we’re on. So, we’re sitting here in my kitchen table and I have this fellow named Mark Urdahl. Do you pronounce your name Urdohl or Urdahl? Urdahl.
Ben: We just finished crushing the obstacle course and the cold pool. How do you feel, man?
Mark: Awesome, baby.
Ben: Sweet, killer, sweet. So, I’ll give you a mighty fine introduction here in just a second, Mark, but also seated beside you is the wonderful Gloria. What would you actually call Gloria, your lead nurse, your head nurse?
Mark: Nursing supervisor.
Ben: Nursing supervisor.
Mark: She manages a team of nurses that we’ve got across the country.
Ben: Okay. Gotcha, gotcha. And Mark and Gloria reached out to me–this must have been like four or five months ago, huh?
Ben: And Mark emailed me an intriguing message about some very cool breakthrough protocols that he and his team are using for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and filling me in on stuff that I’d never before heard of or seen, although I was slightly familiar with you, Mark, because I’d heard about you from actually someone who’s in our studio audience right now, Dr. Matt Cook, former podcast guest who’s also sitting here at the kitchen table. You can wave a virtual hello if you want, Matt. He’s waving for those of you listening.
And, Matt told me about this concept of something called plasmapheresis, which you may be familiar with as the transfer of young blood into adult humans, which is probably a very bastardized explanation, and I’m sure Mark will be able to clear up there aren’t exactly what plasmapheresis is. But, when Matt and I were talking about plasmapheresis, Matt talked about the Young Blood Institute that many of you may have heard of as a Silicon Valley Institute that is doing some of these young blood exchanges. And it turns out that Mark is the Chairman and the CEO of the Young Blood Institute. And Mark is going to drive me crazy flossing his teeth at [00:07:25] ______ at some point. You got to put down the tooth floss. You’re going to drive everybody nuts.
Mark: Alright. We’re done.
Ben: We ate steak last night and bacon bratwurst this morning. Anyways, now we’ve got our teeth all cleaned. The Young Blood Institute, it’s a nonprofit corporation. They do clinical trials in the use of therapeutic plasma exchange. Usually, where I’ve seen them is the sexy news articles that talk about young blood transfers for anti-aging, but it turns out that there’s a lot going on right now behind the scenes stuff that’s honestly never before been talked about on podcast. I think this is going to be some of the first, or one of the first times you’ll all been able to hear this information on a podcast, particularly with management of health conditions that go beyond just longevity. But Mark doesn’t come from a background in straight-up health per se; he actually began his career with IBM Biomedical Systems where he invented the world’s first automated blood cell separator.
Mark: Well, I didn’t invent it. Let me–
Ben: You are a team that invented it?
Mark: Yeah. It was invented probably 20 years before my time by an IBM engineer named George Judson in actually 1965. His son had leukemia, and at the time, they fractionated or separated blood manually. It was a very laborious process. He was basically trying to figure how to perform leukapheresis or white cell exchange for his son. And so, he teamed up with the doctor and IBM has been a great benefactor of things like–they helped invent the first heart-lung machine and all sorts of stuff that people don’t know about. But they got a grant from the National Cancer Institute and basically invented this blood cell separator, the world’s first blood cell separator in 1965. So, that was decades before I came along.
Ben: Okay. So, what you invented was the automated blood cell. Like when you’re working with IBM, you guys are working on blood cell separators?
Mark: So, I got hired in the IBM Biomedical Systems kind of by accident. I’d gone down for an interview with the computer group, and I got there, and they said, “Well, we don’t have any jobs. It’s a hiring freeze, but there’s this little business unit that we know about that you might be interested in.” I’m like, “I’m looking for a job. Yeah. I’ll talk to anybody.”
Mark: And so, they hired me. Flew me out to Princeton where the headquarters were, this little business unit, and handed me Taber’s Medical Encyclopedia, and I started making calls and going through training with–
Ben: They didn’t have Udemy and the Khan Academy back then?
Mark: Yeah, yeah. That was encyclopedia paper. Yeah. It’s a thick, thick book. Taber’s Medical Encyclopedia. You can Google it. I think I still have a copy some place. But no, they had a really good IBM tradition, great training program, and I was part of a new team of recruits that got trained and sort of deployed to everything from Red Cross to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. I was in L.A. at the time, and it was an amazing experience. Actually, not to digress too much, but we have another product that they use in open-heart surgery that use wash packed red cells. And like month two on the job, I set out the head of the table next to the anesthesiologist, Matt, and watched open-heart surgery, which was pretty incredible. But the blood cell separation and exchange was kind of the very profound breakthrough at the time or a few decades before.
Ben: What is blood cell separation and exchange?
Mark: Well, basically, the machine draws blood out of one arm. It spins it around in a centrifuge that has a special plastic container, if you will, consumable, so that you can swap out the consumables every time. It separates the red cells, the white cells, the platelets and the plasma. They all separate by specific gravity. So, the heavy stuff goes to the outside.
Ben: It’s similar to what they do when they’re doing like a PRP, like a platelet-rich plasma?
Mark: It’s similar to that.
Mark: This sort of preceded PRP when it was started. But then the machine can be dialed to extract exactly the component you want. So, you want to collect platelets? No problem. You want to collect plasma, red cells? You can do anything. And then, you can exchange it by introducing fluid at the same time. So, let’s say you’re doing plasma exchange. You’re basically drawing the blood out of one arm.
Mark: The machine extracts the old–or takes out the plasma, puts the rest of the blood back, the white cells, the platelets.
Ben: Without the old plasma in it?
Mark: Without the old plasma in it, and then you drop in the new plasma through an IV concurrently.
Ben: Now, where’s the new plasma coming from?
Mark: So, there are many choices available, at least there are two primary choices. There’s actual plasma and there is purified plasma components. There’s a multibillion-dollar plasma donation industry that is supported by lots of kids going to college that get 50 bucks to show up and donate. And they take that plasma, which is 95% water, and distill out the water. And then, what’s remaining primarily are albumin, immunoglobulins, and fibrinogen, and they purify those components, pasteurize them, which is basically heat them up and wash them, clean them, et cetera. And then, package them up as pharmaceutical grade products that are regulated around the world. It’s kind of like frozen lemonade. Add water, got lemonade, add water, got plasma. So, our current and first protocol uses the purified plasma components. And then, you just add an IV bag with saline water, basically, and electrolytes to reconstitute the plasma.
Ben: And that’s what you do at the Young Blood Institute?
Mark: That’s our first protocol.
Ben: Okay. So, you wind up leaving IBM Biomedical Systems.
Mark: Well, they sold the business unit to Cobe Laboratories, which became the dominant supplier of these machines, and they redeployed us into the computer division, and I went off to do a bunch of tech stuff; fiber optic, channel technologies, and workstation technologies. I ended up spinning some technology out of IBM and running a company called Applied Science Fiction that we sold to Kodak after about five years and did some [00:14:38] ______ work, some investments, bought a business unit from a company and spun it out, grew it 100% a year over a few years.
And one day, I just kind of woke up and I realized that all the stuff that I was doing, like my friends and my family, it was like boring them to tears. It was interesting to tech people. But I thought, “I wanted to do something for humanity, something that made a difference in the lives of people that I held dear.” And I’d read about this mice research at various–
Ben: Oh, you’re talking about the one at Stanford?
Mark: Well, Stanford, UCSF, Berkeley, Harvard did some studies.
Ben: Tell people about the mice research.
Mark: Well, it’s pretty gross. It has this elegant name, heterochronic parabiosis. What it really means is taking a couple of mice and slashing them down the side and stitch them together and sort of commingling systems. They call it the systemic milieu because it’s not really blood exchange, it’s sort of blood and guts. And then, they measure what’s happening with –
Ben: That’s far different than what most people think that the mouse experiments are. Like I always envisioned just like a tiny elegant little tube going from one mouse, too. That’s a lot different.
Mark: No, they don’t have little micro needles that they can stick in the mice. They don’t have little chairs for them to sit on and it’s a pretty–and they use this very sophisticated equipment to measure what’s happening. But I kind of liken it to watching the Civil War with the Hubble Telescope. It’s like you’ve got a very sophisticated instrument to watch a very gory process. And I went and met with some of the mice research people because I was curious of what they were finding.
One of the guys I met with, he had this interesting chart where he had a bubble called the young blood at the bottom and had these vertical bars on the top that were all these age-associated disorders; Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, et cetera, et cetera. And he gets this chart and he says, “This is the problem.” And I’m like, “What’s the problem?” And he says, “One thing cures everything.” And I said, “Well, why is that a problem?” He says, “Oh, because all the money is in each one of these little boxes.” I was kind of a finance econ major out of school and got into IBM Biomedical, and then they transferred the computer division and I became a system engineer and sort of developed a little bit of a technical BS meter, I guess if you will. The first thing I thought is, “Okay. Wait a minute, is this a scientist or a marketing guy?” It just struck me, because if one thing can cure everything, what the heck? That’s fantastic.
Ben: That one thing being–
Mark: Young blood.
Ben: This young blood transfer.
Ben: So, what you were seeing in this data from the young mice to the old mice was that it was just fixing all the issues that are going on the old mice?
Mark: Yeah. The old mice were getting smarter, faster, and stronger. And the young mice who were absorbing some of the old blood were getting slower, more forgetful, and weaker, basically. So, because in heterochronic parabiosis, both parties are recipients.
Ben: Yeah. So, the young mice are getting the old shits.
Mark: That’s right. In humans, we would never do that, right? But the other thing I realized is that a lot of these folks didn’t really have–I mean, they’re not really medical doctors. They didn’t have any experience in medicine.
Ben: The people doing the mouse research?
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. And I’m thinking, “Wow.” And for them, this is all like brand-new stuff. And from a research perspective, it is new stuff. But in humans, like we’ve been doing this since 1965, decades, 50 years. The whole concept of exchanging blood is not new. What’s new is the potential application to new indications. So, apheresis, generally, in plasmapheresis in particular, has been used largely for autoimmune disorders. So, autoimmune disorders typically have the presence of autoantibodies, the presence of T-cell disorders and pro-inflammatory factors. And it turns out that aging blood or what we call immunosenescence or the decline of the immune system has those same three factors.
Mark: And so, what we did–and I should say my principal investigators, Dr. Janko Nikolich and Mitch Harman, working together have just sort of connected the dots between autoimmunity and immunosenescence. And with a very simple hypothesis, we’re not–some of the mice research people are sort of inferring immortality or age reversal. We started out just saying, “Boy, if we could just reboot the immune system for everybody over 50, that would be fantastic.”
Ben: So, you launched the Young Blood Institute as a part of that effort. But you launched as a nonprofit. Why are you operating as a nonprofit?
Mark: Well, several reasons. I mean, number one, we’re doing humanitarian research, and we’re doing real research, which we’ll get into a little more. And then, secondly, there’s really no intellectual property here. So, this technology has been around for 50 years. This isn’t like there’s some proprietary play to build a company around this unique idea and take it public. And more importantly, there’s a lot of learning that needs to occur. In hindsight, I can say, I didn’t notice–I sort of intuitive when I began, but the problem with a for-profit entity, especially if you take any kind of investment–but even if you don’t, you can just put your own money in it, you naturally focus on profit. How do I make a buck? How do I grow the business?
And that can be contradictory to the idea of research and discovery, because you may discover something that says, “Oops, I screwed up my business plan. I’ve got a pivot or change.” And so, those things can be–because once you get committed to a business plan, it’s hard to get off that business plan if you learn–
Ben: Right. It really sucks for Monsanto to say, “Oops, we figured out glyphosate may not be a lot of a thing after all.” It’s the tough thing to admit.
Mark: I can tell you, there’s at least a half a dozen anti-aging companies in Silicon Valley that I know about where the fundamental science is flawed. Now, it takes years for that truth to emerge because there’s a whole cadre of constituents.
Ben: Interesting. Maybe I want to ask you to throw anybody under the bus right now but–
Mark: No, I won’t throw anybody under the bus.
Ben: I want to pick your brain later. Because actually, what I really want to focus on are some of these really cool trials that you’re doing now because what I’ve grown to know about you just in the past day as we’ve been hanging out is that you’re very into this idea of trialing something, of researching something, and you’ve built this Young Blood Institute up around this concept of conducting some of these clinical trials on the plasmapheresis. So, what exactly are you guys doing from a trial standpoint right now?
Mark: Well, back to the basic. So, we started out with this idea of, you know, we can reboot the immune system. And the way this sort of started, when I connected with Mitch Harman and Janko, we’re all kind of test junkies for different reasons. I come out of the computer world where you want to test everything, every corner case, every possibility because that’s how you would know you’re going to have a good quality product. Janko is probably one of the top immunologists in the world. I mean, he’s been studying immunology for 50 years. He could talk to you for an hour about IL-6, which is one marker. And Mitch, he worked at the National Institute of Aging for 20 years. He was at the first billionaire funded anti-aging institute called the Kronos Institute in 2000.
So, these guys are deep in the subject, and they know that to get valid clinical evidence, you’ve got to have data. And more importantly, we have a hypothesis that this is a prophylactic or preventative treatment therapy, okay, or that it’s better as a prophylactic or treatment therapy. So, how do you prove that you prevented something? We have to have a measurement that says you detected it in the first place because it may not be evident. And so, that’s the first thing. The second thing is that there’s a lot of, let’s say anecdotal data, and Gloria will share some of this later when we get into some of the things that she’s seen, that suggests that the effects of plasmapheresis extend beyond–that they’re systemic and that they extend beyond the specific indication that is being treated.
And so, we wanted to cast a net, a broad net to capture anything and everything that was occurring. In other words, we would look at the whole elephant. And this is kind of how medicine works. You come in, you got a–the elephant has got a problem with the trunk, well, let me fix the trunk. Oh, let me fix the tail. Let me fix the toes. And yet we knew that these other phenomena, like I fixed the tail, but guess what, the nose improved while we’re at it, but we didn’t document that.
Ben: I see. Okay.
Mark: And so, we just very simply said, “Well, what the heck? If we’re going to spend all this money and do all this work, let’s just try to capture everything that’s happening.”
Ben: So, what are you tracking in terms of biomarkers? Like when someone’s coming in and getting a young blood transfer and you’re looking at pre-post biomarkers, what kind of things are we talking about? I mean, you’ve mentioned interleukins and some of these immune factors, for example.
Mark: Yeah. I mean, this would probably take us five podcasts to cover all our biomarkers. So, I’ll try to summarize it.
Ben: You’re holding like eight pieces of paper and [00:25:53] ______.
Mark: Yeah. I just brought it along to show you. Yeah. So, the first set that we have, we’ve got what we call the standardized patient care physical exams. These are what the local doctor will administer, if you will. And it’s kind of a standard stuff that you get from LabCorp request, but everything you could possibly think of. But dealing with cardiovascular–
Ben: It’s like a complete blood count comprehensive metabolic profile, red blood cells, white blood cells, hormones, just all the stuff you’d get from a big blood test?
Mark: All that stuff. Markers of oxidative stress, neurological, cognitive muscle–
Ben: Gloria just mouthed the words more to me. You can talk too, Gloria, if you want to. No, we’re going to be turning the mic over to you shortly but you can talk.
Mark: I’ll share this with you.
Ben: [00:26:44] ______.
Mark: This is kind of what we call the basic stuff that we use to screen for inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Ben: Oh, wow. So, you’re doing like grip strength, one rep max [00:26:54] ______. So, you’re not just testing biomarkers, you’re doing a lot of physical capacity, muscle function, neurological, cognitive.
Mark: Everything we can do.
Ben: Wow. Muscle biopsies. Holy cow.
Mark: Muscle biopsies are optional.
Mark: Those can be a little–
Ben: Good because I had those things so fast. It’s horrible.
Mark: Yeah. That’s sort of like for the brave, if they want to, for the sake of science, undergo a little–
Ben: Liver, oxidative stress, immune system inflammation, metabolic-endocrine. Okay. So, you’re testing all this along with physical function testing. And are you testing all this before someone comes in for their young blood transfer?
Mark: Oh, yeah.
Mark: Got to do it.
Ben: So, on these three pieces of paper, this is everything?
Ben: Oh, geez.
Mark: Because here’s–
Ben: There’s more.
Mark: I don’t know, five more, eight more.
Ben: Alright. Let me see what else we got here.
Mark: So, here–
Ben: And you’re doing post-tests of all this stuff, too?
Mark: Yeah. So, we’re using a time of flight mass cytometry, which is kind of the number one tool for immunological markers, although people use it for different reasons. We actually talked to the folks at Stanford who–they’ve got probably more CyTOF machine than anybody in the country.
Ben: CyTOF, time of flight mass cytometry. That’s what CyTOF is?
Mark: Yeah, but their markers are targeted for cancer diagnostics. And we’re kind of working the opposite into the problem. We’re not trying to cure cancer; we’re trying to prevent cancer from ever happening in the first place. And we believe that the root cause of most, if not all, age-associated disorders, is immunosenescence, or the decline of immune system. And we dive immunosenescence. I mean, the immune system collapses and everything caves in.
Mark: Let’s say that’s the Janko’s thesis in a nutshell.
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What kind of data can you see about a cell from this CyTOF test? I’m just looking at it.
Mark: We get to have a cellular level. It’s called single-cell proteomics.
Ben: So, you’re talking about like mitochondria?
Mark: Well, the markers are in the–let me just grab one here. Pick up the paper for me.
Ben: Oh wait, I see, the CyTOF, okay.
Mark: Yeah. There are 72 biomarkers in CyTOF. So, this would be [00:31:45] ______.
Ben: Okay. [00:31:47] ______ like CD4 or CD8. Okay. Yeah.
Mark: We’ve got a stem cell [00:31:51] ______ panel because we hypothesize that we may activate this treatment, may activate sort of dormant stem cells.
Ben: Yeah. Mass spectrometry for amyloid and Alzheimer’s, digital ELISA for antibodies and cytokines. Okay. So, you’re measuring telomeres as well.
Mark: No, we’re not measuring telomeres.
Ben: Okay. You’re freezing samples for possible telomere testing in the future?
Mark: Yeah, yeah. The problem with telomeres, just in a nutshell, is that telomere testing is testing whole blood. And when you measure whole blood, you’re getting multiple cell population subsets. So, you might get T-cells, B-cells, and K-cells.
Mark: And each one of those cells’ subsets has different telomere lengths. And so, I could draw your blood the morning and do a telomere test, and I could draw your blood in the afternoon, and based on the blood draw, you might have aged five years, or you might have gotten five years younger. There’s a lot of hype around telomere testing, and it sounds exciting because it’s one of these aging clocks. But it is not a test that we consider valid at this time.
Ben: Mm-hmm. Okay.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, Bill Andrews said some of the same things when I interviewed him. He said, “If you wanted a decent test, companies like Repeat Diagnostics or Life Length, they seem to be a little bit more accurate than some of these others but it still seems like kind of the Wild, Wild West when it comes to telomere tests.”
Mark: So, I’m not going to name names, but we’ve spent time with the largest telomere testing company in the world, and we actually told them that we would spin down the cell population subsets, load them in the well plates, ship them the well plates, and they could test just T-cells, for example. And basically, they want to do it. And this will go back to my early example, why a nonprofit? Because they’ve got a committed business model that is all around selling these tests. If we come up with a new way of testing that requires them to retool their entire process and disclose why it’s a better process, it might affect their revenue stream.
Ben: Yeah. But that makes sense. So, just so people understand, and you alluded to this, you’re looking at telomere lengths on these peripheral blood mononuclear cell populations from whole blood. And this means that when you get a telomere test on a Friday, and then perhaps repeat that test the following Friday, you could be 47 biological age on the first Friday and 33 on the second Friday because you’re looking at such a vast–
Mark: A random draw.
Ben: –whole blood subtypes. It’s a random draw.
Mark: It’s a random draw.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It makes sense. So, instead, what you guys are doing is you’re freezing the samples so that in the future, when more accurate telomere testing becomes available, you’d be able to analyze?
Mark: Right. And we could take those frozen samples. We could spin them down to get the cell population subsets and we could test just T-cell, for example.
Mark: And even that, the–
Ben: You can say, “Here’s how old your T-cells are. Here’s how old your white blood cells are, and whatever.”
Mark: Right. And even that, we don’t know. I mean, the National Institute of Aging who we know pretty well, certain investigators there, they’ve been studying telomeres for 10 years and they’re very skeptical.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Now, would that fall under the category–and I want to ask about a few of these other biomarkers you’re testing, would that fall under the category of what you call an aging clock, like something like a telomere test?
Ben: Okay. So, a few others of these, you’re testing DNA methylation, which would just be a clock of genetic aging?
Mark: But the key there is we’re actually not interested in the clock. I mean, the last time I checked, our muscles, cells, tissues and organs didn’t know anything about the Roman calendar. What they know about is a change in state. So, we experienced in our little Ironman or obstacle course this morning–
Ben: Obstacle course.
Mark: –change in state, right? We pushed our muscles. We stretch things, we push things, then we got into the–
Ben: We tore things.
Mark: We tore things, scratch things. Then we got into the cold plunge. So, our bodies, our cells, our tissues, our muscles are all experiencing changes in state and they’re responding to those changes in the state. We think positively, of course. That’s why we’re doing it. And rebuilding, and repairing, and calling on the natural function of the body to do that. So, what we’re interested in is how do things change? Is it better? Is it worse? Trying to derive some artificial manmade concept of an age is kind of irrelevant. Would you rather be 30 and you could hardly get out of bed or would you rather be 120 and you’re doing a thousand push-ups?
Ben: Right. So, what you’re saying is if I were going to measure DNA methylation, you wouldn’t want to say, “Oh, you have the DNA profile of a 30-year-old or a 45”? You’d instead want to say, “Well, you, Ben, here’s how your methylation patterns are changing.”
Mark: How they’re changing, and importantly, we’re getting like 500, what we call CpG subsites or loci that are the data underneath the clock, all the different methylation markers. And we’re going to correlate it to all the other data that we’re collecting, because what we’re interested in is which markers are changing? Now, we know from the NIA, the NIA believes, National Institute of Aging, that about 20% of the DNA methylation markers matter, and the rest are kind of gratuitous. And so, what we’re going to do is we’re going to see which ones are moving and sort of compare those with the 72 CyTOF markers and the digital ELISA stuff and everything else because again, we’re trying to build this picture of the whole elephant.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been through the whole health nucleus and some of these whole genome sequencings and full body MRIs, but I haven’t seen a list of data this complete because you’ve also got blood viscosity based on blood thickening with age, you’ve got genetic biomarker–
Mark: I’ve got to show you something here, Ben.
Mark: And Gloria has got it on her computer.
Ben: You’ve got digital biomarkers, so you’re using all these like self-quantification tools to see what’s going on. Well, you know what, I want to ask you about those in a second, but what do you want to show me regarding blood viscosity here?
Mark: Yeah. Hold on a second. I’m going to blow that up. No, no.
Ben: That’s a pretty pink computer you got over there.
Gloria: Thank you. It’s rose tone.
Ben: Gold plated.
Mark: So, I’m going to show you something that is not often seen.
Mark: This is a picture of the output plasma of our first subject.
Ben: By the way, can you send me this photo if people want to see this in the shownotes?
Mark: Let me–
Mark: Let me check with our investigators.
Ben: Okay. But just before you keep going, by the way, folks, for those of you listening in, shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/youngblood. So, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/youngblood, anything Mark can share with me, I’ll post over there. Alright, so what are we looking at here?
Mark: You’re looking at thick, goopy, gross output–
Ben: That’s like a bag of oatmeal.
Gloria: Exactly. That’s exactly how I quoted it also.
Ben: It’s like what we have for breakfast this morning.
Gloria: It was thick oatmeal. It was one of the few–I mean, I have seen, after 25 years, a plasmapheresis, a lot of plasma.
Ben: So, this is plasma that came out of one–this is a young donor. This would have been like a sick person that came in.
Mark: Well, this was our first subject.
Gloria: This was our first subject.
Mark: In his 70s.
Gloria: In his 70s. He was in his 70s, but this was his very first treatment, but I had never quite seen it come out as oatmeal-ish as this.
Ben: It’s like a bag of pus.
Mark: Yeah. Go to the, I don’t know, two treatments later or something like that.
Gloria: Anyways, as we were observing this, this is what I had started. I had asked Mark, “Are we able to photograph this?”
Mark: Well, no, no, no. Gloria, let’s tell the story truthfully here. I just get this photo across the email, and it turns out that the subject took the photo. The subject is a friend of mine.
Ben: You mean the patient?
Mark: The patient. And he decided to take a picture and/or it’s Gloria insisted that he take the picture. And he sent it to her and she sent it to us, to Janko.
Ben: Okay. So, what I’m looking at right now is I got this bag of plasma. This is the old plasma that you took out of this 70-year-old guy.
Ben: It looks horrible because I’ve had PRP procedures done before, like plasma doesn’t usually look like that.
Mark: And then, you’re seeing the improvement. See, this is like two or three treatments later.
Mark: It’s starting to look normal, and I think–
Ben: So, you keep on drawing the plasma out, putting the young plasma in, drawing the plasma out, putting the young plasma in over multiple procedures?
Mark: Yeah. The challenge with plasma exchange is it’s like trying to change the oil in your car without draining the oil pan. We don’t have an oil pan; we can’t drain it.
Mark: And so, you’re taking plasma out, you’re putting plasma in, and maintaining constant volume. But after a while, the old and the new start to intermix. And so, the best you can get is sort of two-thirds is the rough rule of thumb. And then, mathematically, there’s sort of a formula but over six treatments, you can get rid of 98% of the old stuff. Okay. But the interesting thing here is the mice research people have been debating for 10 years. Is it adding the new stuff or is it getting rid of the old stuff? Well, treatment one, we pretty much figured out that getting rid of the old stuff matters.
Ben: Now, next to this bag of old plasma, there’s like a hand holding up a bottle.
Mark: Well, no. The old plasma is up here.
Ben: Okay. So, that’s the old plasma. And this is how the plasma–so it’s becoming more clear.
Mark: It’s becoming more clear.
Ben: Now, does that mean that this person’s plasma is decreasing in viscosity?
Ben: And that’s pretty profound because viscosity is like one of the primary markers of aging in plasma.
Mark: It’s a huge–
Ben: Like a blood glow–
Mark: It’s blood viscosity. It’s whole blood viscosity. This actually began a discussion of whole blood viscosity. Well, actually, go to the second picture real quick because I got to share one more–no, the one of the blood clots. So, the second subject comes along, happens to be the wife of the first subject or patient. We got a blood clot in the machine. The machine stops.
Ben: From this second patient?
Mark: From the second patient. This is a different type of viscosity issue. It’s called low shear viscosity or the stickiness or the cloudiness of the blood. So, it turns out that as blood ages, it becomes thicker. And there’s data on that–
Ben: On the sheet I’m holding.
Mark: And that’s been tracked for 50 years. But what’s new, what we’re tracking that’s relatively new is what’s called low shear viscosity or the stickiness or cloudiness of it. And it turns out–
Ben: It should be like risk for a stroke.
Mark: Right. So, now, I know both these subjects or patients, right? And I’m talking to the husband and he reports having the best sleep of his life after the first plasma exchange treatment. I said, “Well, if you’re not pushing all that sludge, must be easier in the engine.” But he said, “But my wife didn’t feel any different the next day, or the next week or whatever.” And I said, “Well, how does she feel about not having a stroke?”
Ben: Yeah. The machine had the stroke instead. It stopped up your machine and the machine had the stroke.
Mark: Right. But instantly enough, in her case as well, in all cases really, what we’re seeing is these odd characteristics of the output plasma that vary from individual to individual, but in all cases, after six treatments, they normalize. So, that golden color straw, semi-transparent, clear stuff that we normally think of as plasma.
Ben: Wow, wow. Okay. So, blood viscosity, that’s a big one. These pictures are crazy. I don’t know if you guys are legally able for us to post these, but if you are, you’d send them over because these are pretty cool.
Mark: I’ll figure that part of phrase, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. So, you can do–okay. So, then you’re also measuring digital biomarkers. What are digital biomarkers?
Mark: You know, Apple Watch, Fitbits, all that stuff.
Ben: [00:44:45] ______ like heart rate variability.
Mark: Heart rate variability.
Mark: Well, everything. We’ll just suck up everything we get.
Ben: Sleep cycles?
Ben: Including sleep cycles?
Mark: Everything we can get.
Ben: Wow, wow.
Ben: Okay. And then, big data of the body, what’s that?
Mark: Well, so we’re collecting such a huge amount of data. And then, we’re looking at data that has never–no one has ever put this ensemble of data and different data technologies–measurement technologies together in kind of one place. There’s the data itself and then there’s the data about the data or the correlations which we would call metadata. The bottom line is on any one single person; we’ve just got a huge amount of information.
Mark: So, we call it big data of the body. And we’re going to mine that data over time. Of course, we’re going to see certain phenomena that may be obvious, like the one you just saw where the viscosity improves.
Ben: You guys aren’t going to have a pretty bomb database because I’ve never seen all these things tested by one organization before.
Mark: Oh, we’ve got–
Ben: It’s a lot of stuff.
Mark: We’ve got more biomarkers.
Ben: It says confidential biomarkers on top of it though. Am I just [censored] your guys’ whole system?
Mark: No, no, no.
Ben: [00:46:00] ______ podcast.
Mark: No worries, no worries. It’s on our website.
Mark: Now, we’ve got more biomarkers than Stanford, John Hopkins and Harvard combined.
Ben: Okay. So, you’re doing these studies. Now, one thing I’m concerned about–and then I want to get back to some of the things that Gloria has seen in like real patients because I find that really intriguing. But kind of the elephant in the room here is the FDA crackdown on this stuff a few months ago, didn’t they? Like for-profit, I guess it was for-profit, but young plasma infusions, was it Ambrosia that got shut down?
Mark: Well, I don’t know. I don’t think they were specific about anybody in particular but–
Ben: I saw in the news, Ambrosia.
Mark: Yeah. I have no idea. The thing I would say is this. We support their action and we’ve sort of quietly been–and we don’t ourselves really–we’re just trying to stick to our knitting and do our thing. There are some valid medical reasons for the FDA warning, okay? Infusions are additive. So, you’re taking someone who’s got, I would say three liters of plasma and you’re adding two more over the course of a few hours. So, it can potentially cause circulatory overload. Okay? So, there’s risk there.
What we’re doing is a transfusion. We’re taking stuff out at the same time we’re putting stuff in so the volume is constant. You’ve got about 20% of your blood supplies extracorporeal or out of your body. It’s in the machine. But your blood volume is constant the entire time. So, it’s very safe, okay? And of course, we’re a nonprofit and we’re doing research. We’re not a for-profit entity. And as I said earlier, that can affect a lot of factors. I don’t want to comment on what other people are doing.
Ben: Infusion versus a transfusion. And then, probably, one of the other big things is it’s nonprofit versus for-profit and you guys are conducting clinical research studies?
Ben: Or you can start at all, the FDA is going to waltz in and just pull the rug out from underneath you?
Mark: No. We support them. We support them 100%.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. In fact, we’re going to–
Ben: Now, what about all this data you’re collecting, are you guys going to share this? Are you going to publish it? What’s the status of these studies at this point?
Mark: Well, we’re in the very beginning. And what we do is we cryofreeze most of it–the viscosity data you got to get right away because you can’t freeze whole blood and then unfreeze it and get valid viscosity measurements. So, we shipped that off we get that data right away and we get some of the standard physician exams right away, but the CyTOF and the digital license, some of the exotic stuff, we basically cryofreeze the samples and we’re going to unfreeze them in batches and then test all the samples concurrently, same day, same machine, same operator, so we can get clinical great consistency. That’s kind of the proper way to do it from a clinical trial standpoint.
Mark: But it means that they’re–we got to wait for the data.
Ben: Okay. So, when you email me a few months ago, and I decided that have you guys swing in from–well, Mark here in the Bay Area, and Gloria, are you down the Bay Area or in Seattle?
Gloria: I am actually in Florida.
Ben: Okay. So, you’re in Florida.
Mark: But where I was close. She was up here at the time.
Ben: Okay. So, you were in Seattle at the time.
Ben: That’s right. When you shot me that email–
Mark: And I thought, “Hey, we could pop over.” I thought you’re–
Ben: Yeah, just pop or just drive the five hours. Pop right over. A lot of people think that. A lot of people think Spokane is right next to Seattle. I get that all the time. I’ll get emails from people who’s like, “Hey, I’m in the Seattle Airport. I got a layover. Can I swing over to say hi?” I’m like, “Sure. It’s going to be a few hours.”
Anyways though, so when you emailed me, specifically, what you–a term that you dropped on email was you said, “Ben, I got to tell you about this thing called a neuro protocol that we’re doing.” I found this incredibly interesting because you were talking about potential–and I don’t know if you can say this but I can be. You’re talking about potential like curing of Alzheimer’s to a certain extent or some pretty impressive management of Alzheimer’s. And when you mention this neuro protocol thing, I’d never heard of neuro protocol before. What is that?
Mark: So, it’s an extension of our current protocol. So, our current protocol is six treatments over a six-week period.
Mark: The neuro protocol that we’re adopting–okay, because this has been studied for 10 years by Grifols, which is a multibillion-dollar plasma therapeutics manufacture, starting in Barcelona, Spain back in like 2007, ’08 timeframe. And I’ve talked to folks there. I know some of their people. And they started studying this 10 years ago and they developed a protocol that they launched about four years ago that is similar to ours in the Part 1, the six full treatments over six weeks. But then they added a partial monthly treatment once a month for 12 months. So, it’s kind of like you’re getting your oil changed and then you top it off with a quart of oil once a month every month for 12 months.
And Gloria worked on that study. In fact, she was the first team lead on the U.S. version of that study in Florida. And when I originally found Gloria and I was interviewing her, I didn’t really see, I was looking at the nursing experience, and then she mentioned something about being on the AMBAR study, Alzheimer’s Management by Albumin Replacement. That’s what AMBAR stands for.
Mark: And I said, “You were in the AMBAR study?” She goes, “Oh, yeah. I started the whole thing.” And I’m like, “Where’s that on your resume?” She goes, “Oh, it’s down the management section.” I’m like, “Gloria, put that up there in the nursing section because the health implication is so much more important than the management part.” And I already knew about that study, and I already talked to at least one of the investigators, Grifols, and I had a pretty good idea of its significance. But when I met Gloria, she started sharing actual stories of actual people that she treated, and it just blew my mind.
Ben: In this study?
Mark: In this study. And the night where–
Ben: And the study was involving this–
Ben: The transfusion, or not the transfusion, the–
Ben: Yeah, the–
Mark: Plasma change.
Ben: Not infusion but transfusion?
Mark: Yeah. Plasma exchange transfusion.
Ben: Okay. Exactly what we’ve been talking about.
Mark: Exactly what we’re doing.
Ben: Okay. Yeah.
Mark: In fact, to be honest, we kind of set up our base protocol to be able to augment it with the extended protocol because we knew this day would come, okay, when we would launch this neuro protocol. The difference simply is that we believe that there are more indications in addition to Alzheimer’s that can be treated with this including Parkinson’s and possibly ALS. Now, there’s not good data on Parkinson’s and ALS, and the data on the Alzheimer’s study hasn’t really been published. It’s been announced in Barcelona last fall. They announced a 61% success rate in stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s at the, I think the World Congress on Alzheimer’s Disease or something like–I can get you the exact conference.
So, they announced kind of the headline result, which I called one of the guys of Grifols saying, “I think you’re sandbagging this.” He says, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, I happen to have a team of nurses that worked on this actual study and there were bedside and saw this stuff. And you just claimed that you stopped the progression. “He says, “Yeah.” And I said, “Well, I’m pretty confident that people will actually recover their memories and were at least semi-cured. And he says, “Well, we want to be conservative in our statements.” I said, “Well, that’s fair. I understand that.”
Ben: So, that’s pretty–well, I should ask you this, and I want to hear from Gloria some of these stories. What about Dale Bredesen, that booked “The End of Alzheimer’s,” where he has like this whole multi-modal approach where they’re using light therapy and high-dose fish oil and a ketogenic diet. He’s published some case studies where he claims so reversed to a certain extent the progression. Are you familiar with any of his work at all, Dale Bredesen?
Mark: Yeah. I’m very familiar with it. What I would say is this. Our approach to clinical studies is that the investigators, our investigators look at only de-identified data. They don’t actually see subjects. They don’t get paid by those subjects. They’re not like their patients. Okay. Kind of a separation of church and state if you will. So, we think the right way to do clinical trials is to have top-notch investigators who’ve been studying a subject for a long time that are looking at de-identified data and have no research by us. So, that’s okay. Now, we’re also going to add diet and exercise nutrition to our studies.
Ben: But in this AMBAR study, it was pretty much just the transfusions. They weren’t doing a lot of diet modifications, exercise, and any other treatments.
Mark: That’s right.
Ben: Okay. Yeah. Wow. I’d be interested in how people would respond if they just changed everything in the transfusion on top of that.
Mark: Well, if you think about it, there’s an oddity here that some of those patients could have been eating junk food and Twinkies every day and other of those patients could have been on a plant-based diet and they actually didn’t track that data. So, we don’t know what effects vis-à-vis transfusion, diet and exercise may or may not have had. From our standpoint, we’d like to get–in our neuro protocol, we’re going to put everybody on a common tracking platform in a common diet and exercise protocol so we can minimize building clinical outcome. We want to see if everybody’s on the good path health wise or headed there.
Ben: Are you going to choose a diet that’s already been studied for its effects on Alzheimer’s like a ketogenic protocol or something like that?
Mark: Something in that genre, right? But even if people fall off a wagon and don’t follow it, we’re going to track it.
Mark: We’re at least going to capture the information about how different people that may be on different diets respond, or different exercise regiments respond so that we can compare it. And we’ll probably have a separate arm of the study which is just diet and exercise.
Ben: Yeah. I think that’s smart. What’s the role of a nurse like Gloria here in this whole plasma exchange procedure?
Mark: The thing about plasma exchange is that it’s a largely a nurse’s procedure, right? I mean, they’re bedside with the patient for like two hours at a shot, or an hour and a half. They’re seeing everything. And if things go wrong, you want a nurse that has experience. So, all of our nurses, we have males and females, but they’ve all got decades of experience. They’re either nurse practitioners or nurse practitioner equivalents. And some of them even teach–they teach plasma exchange, they teach apheresis.
So, from our standpoint, having experience is a huge, huge factor that we sort of take no chances and we want to have the best. The second thing that’s interesting is–and I mentioned when I first started talking to Gloria and learning about these things, I said to her, I asked her, I said, “Well, is anything you’re telling me, did you write this down in your apheresis procedure log? Did you capture this? Did it go into the study records?” She said, “No. They don’t care what we think.” And I’m like, “Oh, my god.” I said, “Gloria, go down to the Apple store and get yourself an iPad. Pick anything you want. And we’re going to put your apheresis procedure record on the iPad.”
Ben: That’s why you have such a pimped-out computer. I know why you bought the cool looking one.
Mark: And I said, “Anything you observe, we want to know about. And then, here’s a special box, because the local physician in charge, they’re going to have observations. We want to capture their observations as well, but they’re busy. So, do it for them. Just give them something to sign, something to talk into, something to type, and make it easy, so we can capture whatever phenomena is occurring. And oh, by the way, feel free to actually talk to the patients. Interact with them, because the patients will tell you stuff.”
Mark: Right? Now, the things that she’s going to share, which I’d like to have her start explaining a little bit here, were more purely observational. Is that the way you’d say it, Gloria? I mean, you weren’t sort of encouraged or allowed to interact with some of these patients; you were just sort of doing the procedure, you’re in the room, right?
Gloria: Right. We basically just documented and did the procedure. All they were interested in was just basically just the actual procedure notes. Of course, we had to follow a certain protocol, certain blood pressures at certain times, but they were not truly interested in what we had observed. Just to head back just a little bit what Mark was saying about our team. Our team with YBI, let’s just say just with our first six nurses have over 230 years’ experience in nursing. I’m proud to say I’ve been a nurse for 47 years, and I have been doing apheresis for over 25 of those years.
Mark: I’m proud to say I’m proud of Gloria, and the team that she’s belong.
Gloria: It was real inspiration when I found out that Mark is interested in following up with what I had observed with the Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is something very close to my heart because my grandfather and my favorite uncle both had Alzheimer’s, and I watched it destroyed my mother and part of our family dynamics because as you know with Alzheimer’s, the patient can be very happy going on with life but they don’t remember anything, and that seems to destroy the family more than it does the actual patient.
Now, following through too with our Parkinson’s and possibly with ALS, those diseases, unfortunately, do cause more dynamic with the actual patient. And to be able to see and observe what I have even observed already with just two of our Parkinson’s patients, how they have improved with this apheresis is just overwhelming to me. I mean, I feel like I have been put–God has put me in a wonderful position where I’m at right now. I’m glad it’s a nonprofit. I came out of retirement for this. I will–
Mark: Well, she’s about to retire and I said, “No, you’re not.”
Gloria: I truly feel that I have observed apheresis in a lot of different studies. I mean, we’ve done studies for rheumatoid arthritis. We’ve done studies for lupus. We’ve done studies for our myasthenia gravis patients. I mean, it’s phenomenal. You will see them on ventilators, in feeding tubes, non-breathing on their own. And after so many apheresis treatments, come back, they’re out of the ICU and they are actually eating on their own, talking. It’s phenomenal. So, I have seen how pheresis can do a lot with a lot of the patients.
Ben: And just so people know, when you say pheresis, it’s the same as transfusion. We can use those terms synonymously.
Gloria: You can.
Gloria: Yes, yes. It’s a plasma exchange. It’s probably the easiest way to say it. It’s exchange, not just an infusion of plasma. It’s a removal and then replacement.
Gloria: Okay? But what I saw with the Alzheimer’s patients, I wish we would have been able to document quite a bit. Of course, when we were dealing with the Grifols study, there was a certain part of the protocol that they called a sham. That’s like your placebo, and it was a true sham. I won’t even get any descriptions of how we did that procedure but it was a real sham. But I can remember going to the Cleveland Clinic when we were first asked to join this at the neuroscience center in Vegas. And a couple of the physicians come up to me and they said, “Well, after we’ve observed this, are you able to put on such a poker face? Are you a good actor?” I’m like, “Well, I’m a professional.” But of course, with the sham procedure, they wanted to know the psychological effects these patients actually felt that they were receiving a true procedure.
Mark: They rigged up the machine with fake cow’s blood and stuck needle on people’s arm. So, they thought they perceived that they might be getting the real treatment.
Mark: Okay. So, the machine is there and it looks like it’s working. It looks like they’re taking blood out and stuff is happening, but in reality, nothing is happening
Gloria: It was a sham.
Mark: It’s a placebo. Sham is actually a technical–
Gloria: Technical term.
Ben: It’s a good sham. It’s a sham like where they did the knee surgeries and they showed that people who thought they had a knee surgery had just as much relief from knee pain but they literally went in and did like a fake incision and didn’t between ACL replacement or–I forget if it was a meniscus repair or what it was. So, you had one arm with this sham and then one arm that was getting the real pheresis?
Gloria: Yes, we did. Actually, there were three different arms, but irregardless with certain protocols that they were following. But the patients that actually, of course, that did receive the sham treatments, it was–yes, I did have to put on a poker face because in the type of study that as a nurse, you want the best for all of them. I mean, that is one of the first questions that I had asked Mr. Urdahl here, are we going to be having that type of procedures? No. Everyone receives the best. We do have a different neuro protocol, but every patient receives what we call–
Mark: Yeah. And what we’re doing, and credit to Mitch and Janko for thinking about this, is we’re using different–
Ben: Mitch and Janko are your scientists?
Mark: Yeah, my scientists, Dr. Harman and Dr. Nikolich. We’re using comparative control arms. So, we will have different protocols that we will compare and contrast in all cases in the hope that this is the best. In fact, in our neuro protocol, we think we’ve made some improvements over the Grifols protocol. Okay? Just, for example, the diet and exercise. Just tracking that alone is an improvement, for example. Yeah. But we don’t think that the mind is going to fool the cytokines or the cells in this case, but we do think that we can compare, legitimately compare different protocols and we can have what we call internal controls in our study in the given arm of a protocol to compare different replacement fluids.
Ben: It’s a very ethical way to go about things. I mean, if somebody is getting into one of these studies of doing these protocols, the last thing you’d want is someone with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s who’s looking for every last shred of hope to be given cow’s blood. So, you’re doing a–
Mark: Well, they’re not giving cow’s blood but the cow’s blood is running through the machine.
Ben: Right. So, they think–
Mark: They think they’re getting something.
Ben: They think they’re getting a good protocol. Yeah.
Ben: Okay. Alright, that makes sense. So, what kind of stuff are you noticing, Gloria? What kind of things are you finding?
Gloria: Well, there were quite a few patients. I’m just going to go touch on a light base. There were approximately over 400 subjects that they had over a four-year span with the Alzheimer’s study. We had probably about 180. There was only three of us on my team. And so, I actually overseen, observed all of those 180 some patients. There were a couple that I have to say I definitely had to put on a very acting phase. There was a young chemical engineer. He was actually younger than I was. So, he was in his early 60s. Brilliant man, brilliant man. His wife was telling me how he could recite poetry. I mean, this gentleman would sit here even at the very beginning. Now, you’ve got to understand, just to qualify for the AMBAR study, the patients already had to have what they call moderate Alzheimer’s.
Mark: Oh, this is important thing. Yeah.
Gloria: Yes. So, they already had definitely Alzheimer’s diagnosis. And we were able to tell this because we could actually tell how much of the amyloid beta was in–they had to go through lumbar punctures, and we could tell exactly how much of the amyloid beta was there. So, this gentleman, even with moderate Alzheimer’s, he was quoting Shakespeare. He would sit there for the two hours and just rattle off from his brain and memory all of this poetry. Unfortunately, though, he really deteriorated.
Mark: Well, hold on a sec. He was on the sham.
Gloria: Because he was a sham. I cried almost for days when I found out where he had fell in, because we do meet the patients prior to treatments. We are able to at least communicate with him for a few minutes, and then finding out that that was the number he drew. I mean, it was just so disheartening. It’s disheartening with anyone.
Mark: And this was in the AMBAR study.
Gloria: But this was in the AMBAR study and this gentleman, though being so brilliant, and me knowing after I’ve observed my uncle and my grandfather myself, and I know just as a nurse what happens with Alzheimer’s, where he was going to go. Of course, all of these patients had already be on Aricept, which is like the only medication they’ve had out in the last 10 years. Yeah, it does kind of slow the progression maybe for a year, but it doesn’t really do anything for them.
Mark: So, sorry, that’s just another little difference in our study. We can accept people who–because we’re introducing what we think are potentially predictive biomarkers for Alzheimer’s. And so, what we would like to do is test those biomarkers and incorporate them into the study design such that we can predictably detect higher levels of amyloid beta, for example, and for Alzheimer’s. And even if they’re not showing evidence of a clinical diagnosis, we might be able to detect the potential for Alzheimer’s, and also prove that we were able to prevent it. We don’t know if we will or not but we have a strong working hypothesis that we can.
Mark: In other words, we can take people who aren’t on these drugs that really have 5% or 10% efficacy at best anyway, and people who may be apparently healthy but detect what we call the underlying pathology, which may be deteriorating at a rate faster than apparent health and then prevents the onset of these kinds of diseases. That’s our ultimate goal is detect and prevent.
Mark: Tell them about some of the good stories, Gloria.
Gloria: Well, there were a lot of good stories, a lot of them that received the actual, what I call the true treatment, the best treatment. I had a gentleman, he was an orchard farmer. Okay. He was in his 80s. His wife stated that he had become very frustrated, of course very depressed once the diagnosis for Alzheimer’s because he was definitely getting very forgetful, wasn’t able to go out and work in the orchard much anymore. He was so confused. I mean, the gentleman would bring in fruits. He didn’t know the difference between a mango, a lime, a lemon. I mean, he couldn’t even if I would ask him. “Oh, the mangos looked really good today.” He’d look at them like, “Okay, which one’s a mango?” He wasn’t even sure.
I will tell you that after a year, and observing him on a basis that he kept coming in, he had improved so much. I mean, he would bring the fruit in and he was telling me, “Look at my mangos today. Look at my limes today. I have brought you guys some of the best lemons.” He was telling me ways to fertilize, if I was ever going to do my own orchard, how to cultivate and do them.
Ben: So, a guy like that, how many plasma exchanges is he getting?
Gloria: I can tell them what the AMBAR protocol was.
Mark: Yeah. We already sort of covered that. It’s six plus twelve.
Gloria: This was, I’d say, eight months into our treatment.
Mark: But it varied by individual.
Ben: So, over the course of eight months, how many transfusions are we talking?
Mark: Six plus eighteen.
Mark: Yeah. But I think the key point is–well, two key points. One is that 61% success rate means 39% didn’t receive a benefit. But the other point is that, different patients have different–they recover at different places in time. There’s not like unknown, known here.
Gloria: Yeah, there wasn’t. Another particular one, young lady. She was definitely another one younger than me. She had just turned 60. Daughter had said mom was always the life of the party. She loved to dance. Okay. She was to the point–this was a person that was, besides being of course very forgetful, couldn’t remember even her own daughter’s name, rarely smiled, didn’t even laugh, didn’t really communicate much. Maybe just a couple word sentences when I had first done the treatments with her.
We were only into like our second month. Okay? She comes in and the daughter goes, “I don’t know what you’re giving my mom but I want it. She wants to go to dances. She wants me to take her to Spanish dances every Friday night. She is out doing things.” By the time we were done with about three more months’ treatment, I will tell you, this young lady got her groove back. She was flirting like crazy with the physician. I mean, it was just so wonderful to see. And another great observation with her, of course besides the memory, she was looking much younger. I mean, she looked like she was not even in her 50s. Well, start of that, I have to say a couple–
Ben: You mean like skin, wrinkles, hair.
Gloria: Skin, her hands, her skin, I mean she looked so much younger. And with that observation, a couple of us nurses were trying to figure out how we could get this apheresis because I wanted to look 10 years younger. It was just amazing to me just to be able to observe what was happening with her.
Mark: First question every nurse in our study asks, can I get in the study?
Ben: Actually, that’s something I wanted to ask you, like are you right now having just, let’s say like healthy people who are already healthy come in and do this is as just like an anti-aging preservation type of protocol?
Mark: Well, let me just qualify what you said with “apparent health.” Right? So, we think there’s a curve of apparent health over time that may look pretty good, and then people kind of fall off the cliff and suddenly, they’ve got three diseases. And that there is an underlying pathology that could be declining that hasn’t been–the medicine hasn’t been able to measure it predictively, yeah. And so, part of what we’re doing is trying to develop these predictive functional biomarkers to get headlights on potential issues. So, if we use the word apparently healthy, the answer is yes, okay? But what we may discover in our study is you apparently look healthy or seem healthy, but in reality, you know you’ve got some problems to the immune system or–
Ben: Have you had anybody, let’s say like, whatever, like some 20-some-year-old person who’s a fit athlete or something like that come in and just do a transfusion?
Mark: No, no, no. Well, the low-end of our study right now is age 30. And we start out with 50. And then, I was actually meeting with the folks at the Stanford Human Immune Monitoring Center and just sort of bantering about what we’re doing and investigating the possibility of using their CyTOF machines, which we ended up using another source at University of Arizona. But they had asked about the lower age limit and I said it was 50, and they said, “Well, you should think about lowering that.” And I said, “Why?” They said, “Because it all starts much earlier. It all starts in people’s 30s and 40s. And if you’ve got this level of sophistication of measurement, you want to capture that demographic.”
And I just sort of like hit myself in my head and I’m like, “Why didn’t I think of that? Of course.” You don’t just suddenly get Alzheimer’s. You don’t suddenly have a depressed immune system. You don’t suddenly get a lot of stuff. It bioaccumulates over time. So, we just progressively [01:17:09] ______ age down to age 30 as a reasonable starting point. And there are people in their 30s who have manifestations of age-associated disorders, or they seem to prematurely age. It may not be age; it may be these underlying–
Ben: But you can identify a lot of those with more of these comprehensive biomarker evaluations we were talking about earlier.
Mark: We hope to discover, yeah, kind of the 80/20 rule on these predictive measurements, right?
Mark: Right now, we’re just cast in the net for anything and everything we can possibly test.
Ben: Yeah. Gloria, were there any other interesting patients?
Gloria: Oh, there was a lot, but I’ll just describe just a couple more. There was another gentleman. Of course, one of the main things with him, his wife had said that he had gotten quite angry lately and he’s, of course, being depressed. Well, he was so forgetful. He kind of forgotten how to drive, and that was one of the things he used to always like. So, she had taken the keys away from him. He was not permitted to drive anymore to his treatments.
Ben: Very wise.
Gloria: Yeah, very wise decision. And when he spoke, he would basically just use maybe two-word sentences. I mean, he really was not very communicative of all. And his favorite answer was always, “Ask my wife.” So, if he couldn’t remember something, he didn’t want people, of course, to know that I can’t remember, he would just say, “Ask my wife.” I mean, I asked him simple things like, “What are your allergies? How did you sleep last night?” I can remember simple things like, “What is your favorite food?” “Ask my wife.”
Ben: In his defense, I use that phrase myself quite a lot. “You got anything going on Friday night?” Ask my wife. Or the kids, too. What’s for dinner? Ask my wife.
Gloria: And relatively so, to a point saying that. But I mean, I got that response for months from him. And then, as time went on with him, he was dorsally talking a little bit more. Well, he came in one day and he’s carrying the car keys, and he’s waving in front of me, and he goes, “My wife, let me drive today.” He was so excited because he got to drive to the treatment. It was just so great to see that from him. And then, toward the very end, he was telling me detailed stories about his grandchildren. He remembered their names. He was describing all these wonderful things about his children.
Mark: In other words, he regained his memory.
Gloria: His memory was coming back.
Mark: And this is where I sort of–
Ben: It’s not like you stop to progress and memory loss. He was actually getting these memories back.
Gloria: He was regaining some of them. Either that or–I can’t say for sure, but obviously, if he could have remembered–I mean, when you ask, “How many grandchildren you have?” and he’s like, “I don’t know, ask my wife,” you would think that he might have forgotten some of those memories. But things like that, as they come back, you wouldn’t forget them. So, in my opinion, and what I have observed, I felt that he was regaining his memory back.
Gloria: There was another incident. This one was quite funny to me. This gentleman came in and he would follow one of my other patients who always loved to watch the Spanish soap operas. I, unfortunately, do not speak fluent Spanish, maybe one or two words, but if that’s what she wishes to do, of course, it passes the time. I will say some of the treatments, especially when we got into the monthly ones because of the amount of IVIG they received, they were in my chair for three and a half to four hours. So, something to watch TV would be great to observe. Well, this gentleman came in and I would always hand him a remote or say, “Would you be interested in the TV?” And he’d turn it on because he could notice the red button, but he never changed the channel. Well, I figured he likes Spanish soap operas or paying attention to it.
Well, as the months progressed, one day, he turned it on, he goes, “Can I change the channel?” I went, “You’re welcome to.” And he goes, “Well, I thought you like to watch these.” I was like, “No.” And he’s like, “I hate soap operas.” He turned on some sports channel, and obviously, he didn’t understand the language himself. But I guess some of the knowledge came back on how to use the remote. He never asked me, “Will you change the channel for me?”
Ben: It baffles me that this is not yet common knowledge that people don’t know about this as something that’s happening behind the scenes in these studies.
Mark: Well, there’s a whole publishing cycle protocol, et cetera, right? And to be fair, the Grifols people, I mean it’s a well-designed study, they do operate with de-identified data, and they sort of stratify things, and I have to give them a lot of credit for one of the most important studies in the last two decades, probably. I think it will eventually prove out to be the case. But yeah. And frankly, when they started this research back in the 2000s, podcasts didn’t exist. And so, they’re trying to do the right thing and sort of publish things according to conventional procedures, which we have to admire and applaud. But nonetheless, there is an opportunity here to accelerate via more clinical study, these treatments, and to improve on their work. And that’s what we’re trying to do.
Ben: Now, how are you funding this? I mean, you guys are nonprofit. How are you getting the money for all these crazy extensive protocols and the testing and the treatments?
Mark: Any way we can is the answer. I sort of funded a lot of it to start. We get donations. We had people writing us checks in the mail and PayPal donations from $25 on up.
Ben: And they’re writing these checks to the Young Blood Institute?
Mark: Yeah, yeah. We get big checks, we get gifts. I would say we’ve got a range from $25 close to a million bucks, contributions of various sorts. There are many options. There are lots of family foundations, family offices out there. There are lots of people interested in these topics that want to support the research. And there’s definitely an overhead. We’re not doing off-label medicine. I mean, these biomarkers alone cost a fortune, just that part. We’re flying machines and shipping equipment around–
Ben: That’s what I wanted to ask you. Some of you travel to the Bay Area to get this done? Because [01:24:15] ______ based out of Bay Area. I mean, can you get a transfusion like this done anywhere?
Mark: Pretty much because what happened–we thought, in the beginning, we’re going to fly over to Florida, believe it or not. And we sort of thought Florida would be the case because there’s a lot of people over the age of 50, and we thought, “Well, it must be in Florida because we’ll have access to this population.
Ben: They have all the pain clinics and the people who drive at the right blinker on for 30 miles?
Mark: I couldn’t say. But I met this guy in Aspen. I was skiing and we were just on the bus chitchatting. We got off the bus, the shuttle bus we were at the same time sharing. He said, “Well, what do you do?” And I kind of explained this. This is before we really started. And he says, “Well, guess what I do.” And I said, “I have no idea.” He says, “I developed senior living retirement communities, and I’ve got the Ritz-Carlton retirement communities, and I’ve got a chief medical officer. I’m very interested in what you’re doing.” And so, he got that doctor, I’ll call him Dr. Joe, on the phone and I sent him our protocol. We haven’t really started the trials yet. And I’m talking to Dr. Joe and we’re about 15 minutes into it and he just sort of stops, he says, “Mark, you had me at hello. I get this. How do I get involved?”
Well, I went out and paid Dr. Joe a visit in Raleigh, North Carolina on the way to see my sister who was in Charlotte. And I just stopped into his office and he had this beautiful office with lots of sophisticated stuff. And it just hit me at the moment. I said, “Well, what if we flew the nurses and equipment to you?” He said, “Well, that’d be fantastic.” And I don’t know why it just popped at my head but it did because I kept on thinking, “What a pain in the neck it would be to fly everybody to Florida?”
And so, we went and built a model that allows us to deploy nurses and equipment anywhere in the country by partnering and collaborating with the local MD, who already has a clinic in a facility. So, we just wheel the stuff in. We’ve got warehouses across the country where we’ve got kits and equipment. We can deploy it in two days. We put a nurse on a plane, our nurses. Basically, we come to the local clinic and we can scale it up.
Ben: So, do you have a directory on your website, youngbloodinstitute.org?
Ben: Right. So, do you have a directory there where people could be able to communicate with you? Let’s say somebody has a parent or a grandparent or they themselves and they’re interested in looking into this kind of transfusion protocol, can they just go find a city or a clinic near them?
Mark: Well, they can just call us or email us and they can just tell us who is their doctor, because that’s what ended up happening, we were getting these phone calls and finally, I said, “I just seen Dr. Joe.” And another friend of mine who wanted to get this treatment in San Diego said we were–again, he was one of those that we’re going to have to fly to Florida. And then, after I visit Dr. Joe, I said, “Well, who’s your local doctor?” He says, “Well, it’s Dr. [01:27:31] ______.” “We’re working on a model where we can come to your doctor.” And he’s like, “Well, that’d be fantastic.” And so, in fact, Tom Ingoglia, who was on–
Ben: Yeah. The guy from the NAD injection clinic in San Diego.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. So, he became one of the clinic sites in San Diego. So, we’ve got clinic sites in Southern California, in Northern California, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and we can work it on Colorado, and basically, in Sun Valley. We’ve got one in Sun Valley now. And we’re working on the Portland, Seattle area as well because we’ve had some–that’s what we’re up here doing this week.
So, the beauty is we can engage and we have a model where the local MD and clinic becomes what we call a sub-principal investigator. So, our principal investigators are looking at de-identified data. They’re kind of the man behind the green curtain if you will. But the principal investigator and the nurse, there’s a lot of wisdom that those people have. And what we can do is they can make observations. We can collect their wisdom and then it becomes subject, VOOYX123. And so, we’re able to incorporate their observations without research by us, because they’re not actually writing a book about the procedure that they just did. They’re a part of a team of investigators that–it’s really just trying to help patients. They’re trying to help their patient for sure. Okay. So, they have that–
Ben: Yeah. You’re just basically kind of crowdsourcing all of these people that are doing the treatments anyways. You’re collecting data from that. And then, you also have these clinical research trials that you’re conducting as well with a lot of these more comprehensive biomarkers we were discussing earlier.
Mark: We get both.
Mark: So, really, the nurse and the local doctor become human biomarkers, right, because they may–like the things Gloria has just shared with you, that’s data, that’s information. It’s meaningful. And even if it is not necessarily repetitive or it’s hard to codify, it informs potential tests. For example, we’ve got some skin fibroblasts and we’re looking for more dermatology tests. And Gloria is not the only one in the apheresis world who’s told me this, by the way. I’ve heard this from many multiple sources that there’s an effect on skin. Well, skin is largely stored in the body. It’s the most proximate to the bloodstream. It responds to inflammatory conditions and antibodies and such.
So, you would think that a systemic treatment therapy that’s maybe benefiting one part of the body might also benefit other parts of the body at the same time. Again, that’s why we’re trying to cast this net. So, these observations could be sort of clinical data or they could inform augmentations or improvements in the study design, right, as did–well, if Gloria and the particular patient she was treating had observed that oatmeal bag of plasma and sent us a picture, we wouldn’t have thought to go add viscosity to our testing. But we get this picture. I share it with Mitch and Janko and we’re all just blown away. And first question is, how do we test viscosity? Oh, we’ve been testing it 50 years and we started figuring out what’s the best viscosity test we can get.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Mark: We just added it right in.
Ben: Well, a few things. First of all, I don’t think I’m going to have oatmeal this week. I completely lost my appetite.
Mark: Oatmeal is good for you.
Ben: After looking at that bag of oatmeal. Second, if people are listening, if you’re listening in right now, youngbloodinstitute.org is Mark’s website, but then I’ll also, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/youngblood, I’ll link to everything that came up during this show today including the Young Blood Institute website, anything Mark and Gloria feel like sending over that they can send over if they have any cool ass photos or interesting things that I was able to see here that you weren’t able to see. If they forward that along, I’ll put those in the shownotes for you guys as well.
And if you’re interested in getting involved at the institute, whether treatment, whether donations, whatever the case may be, I think it’s pretty damn cool what you guys are doing, Mark and Gloria. And so, again, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/youngblood if you’re interested in any of that. And I also want to thank you guys for making the trek out here to share all this stuff with me, with the audience. I know this is one of the first podcasts where this stuff is kind of being discussed publicly. So, I feel honored to be able to release this, and hopefully, do the world a pretty great favor by showing them some of these things that I don’t think enough people are talking about. And then, finally, Mark, do you want to go out for round two of the obstacle course after this?
Mark: I’m there.
Mark: What I have to do is I would like to publicly thank my wife because it is Mother’s Day.
Ben: For letting you come to my house on Mother’s Day.
Mark: For letting me come. I have the most beautiful, gracious, loving wife anybody could ever hope for.
Ben: Thank you, Mark’s wife.
Mark: Jocelyn. And so, I’m grateful to her. You did something then earlier. Last night, you said a little prayer and said think of someone to be grateful or something to be grateful for and my wife was the first thing I thought about.
Ben: I love it. Well, I’m grateful for you, guys. Thanks for coming.
Gloria: Thanks for having us.
Mark: Thanks, Ben.
Ben: Well, folks, I’m Ben Greenfield along with Gloria and Mark from the Young Blood Institute signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today’s show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I’ve ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
You’ve no doubt heard of controversial “young blood transfusions,” made popular of late in the anti-aging and longevity industries by articles such as:
But what has completely flown under the radar is the fact that plasma transfusions of young blood have been found, in clinical research studies, to have never-before-seen effects on chronic health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autoimmunity, and many others.
In today’s podcast, with Mark Urdahl and nursing supervisor, Gloria, you’ll get never-before-heard breakthrough information on how young blood transfusions really work for these conditions, along with their true effects on anti-aging and longevity.
Mark Urdahl serves as Chairman and CEO of the Young Blood Institute, a non-profit corporation conducting clinical trials in the use of therapeutic plasma exchange as a modality to systemically prevent cellular senescence and the onset of associated immunological, neurological, and cardiovascular disorders. Mr. Urdahl and his team at the Young Blood Institute have also pioneered the concurrent use of the world’s most advanced, state-of-the-art, ultrasensitive, high-precision blood serum measurement technologies to capture comprehensive “big data” of the human body, an unprecedented combination of testing technologies in human medicine or human clinical research, in order to understand never-before-seen correlations which might lead to discovery of root causes of age-associated disorders.
He began his career with IBM Biomedical Systems, which, in partnership with the National Cancer Institute, invented the world’s first automated blood cell separator, first commercially produced by IBM in the 70s as the IBM 2997. After IBM sold its Biomedical Systems business unit to COBE Laboratories in 1984, Mr. Urdahl became a systems engineer supporting IBM large systems accounts, including notable innovators in health care management. Mr. Urdahl went on to lead a distinguished career at IBM, where he held management positions in marketing and sales, technology development, corporate development. After IBM, he founded Applied Science Fiction (ASF), a digital imaging company where he served as Chairman and CEO, overseeing the development of over 150 patent applications and licensing its technology to nearly every major imaging OEM worldwide, including Nikon, Agfa, Minolta, and many others.
Mr. Urdahl subsequently formed the Young Blood Institute as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation to research anti-aging therapies under clinical trials, recruiting world-class principal investigators, establishing a nation-wide network of nurses and private care physicians, creating the most advanced biomarker testing platform in the world, and developing a “big data” database capable of storing data in the cloud in perpetuity. In 2008, Mr. Urdahl led an investment group to acquire the storage network monitoring business unit of Finisar Corp, including a portfolio of 20+ patents/applications, to form a privately held company, Virtual Instruments.
He subsequently formed the Young Blood Institute to research anti-aging therapies under clinical trials, recruit world-class principal investigators, establish a nation-wide network of nurses and private care physicians, create the most advanced biomarker testing platform in the world, and develop a “big data” database capable of storing data in the cloud in perpetuity.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
– The history of the world’s first blood cell separator…8:28
- Invented by George Judson in 1965 after his son was diagnosed with leukemia
- Blood cells were separated manually; very laborious
- IBM funded this research and many other inventions that have benefited humanity
- Taber’s Medical Encyclopedia
– What blood cell separation and exchange is…11:20
- Similar to a PRP draw
- Blood drawn from one arm; spun around in centrifuge; separates red, white, plasma (by gravity);
- Machine can draw whichever component you want (platelets, plasma, red cells, etc.)
- Blood is reinserted into the arm sans whichever component you want (ex. plasma) and new plasma is inserted via IV
- New plasma comes from various sources: actual plasma and purified plasma components
- Broke college kids donate plasma for gas money (creating a very large plasma pool)
- Water is taken out of the plasma; what’s left is albumin, immunoglobulins, fibrinogen
- Similar to frozen lemonade (just add water)
– How Mark became interested in young blood transfusions…14:50
- Was involved in several high-tech yet unfulfilling tasks; desired to do more for humanity
- Heterochronic parabiosis: the joining of two mice together, one old, one young
- Systemic milieu
- Findings of mouse research:
- There was one solution (young blood) to multiple problems; however, each problem had its own funding, infrastructure, bureaucracy, etc.
- Both parties are affected: younger deteriorate; older improve
- Initial goal: reboot the immune system for people over the age of 50
– Why the Young Blood Institute operates as a non-profit organization…20:15
- Humanitarian research
- No proprietary issues such as IP,
- Much learning that yet needs to occur
- For-profit companies naturally focus on profit;
- Can be contradictory to the idea of research and discovery
- Takes years for truths to emerge (because of investors, stock, etc.)
– The philosophy behind the research and work at the Young Blood Institute…22:20
- Janko Nikolich-Žugich – The immunobiologist at the YBI
- Valid clinical evidence requires data
- How do you prove you’ve prevented something? By proving it existed in the first place
- Anecdotal data suggests the effects of plasmapheresis extends beyond the indication that is being treated
- Cast a wide net, gather as much data as possible (treat the whole elephant)
- What biomarkers are being tracked:
- Standardized patient care physical exams
- Muscle biopsies
- Muscle function
- Neurological/cognitive function
- Many more
- All tests done before the young blood transfusion
- Not trying to cure; trying to prevent
- Don’t test for telomeres because it’s testing whole blood
- Each cell subset has different telomere lengths
- Wide disparity in test results
- Cells are aware of changes in environment, not calendar times
– A dramatic real-life example of two 70-year-old Youngblood Institute patients…38:08
- The plasma that was withdrawn was rather putrid looking
- After 2-3 treatments (removing old plasma, injecting young plasma) the plasma condition normalized
- Getting rid of the old plasma really matters
- Decrease in whole blood viscosity
- Low shear viscosity: “stickiness” of the blood
– What “big data of the body” is…42:55
- Digital biomarkers: Apple Watch, HRV, sleep cycles, etc.
- Unprecedented ensemble of data assembled in one place
- Correlations (meta data)
- Data is mined over time
– The government’s intervention in this type of technology…46:20
- FDA shut down a for-profit company in the field
- Mark supports the FDA’s action and caution
- Infusions are additive; can cause circulatory overload
- YBI does a transfusion; blood volume stays constant
- Mark doesn’t fear an FDA shutdown of the Youngblood Institute because they are in agreement with and support their actions
– How something called a “neuro protocol” may lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s…50:00
- Article: Plasma exchange for Alzheimer’s disease Management by Albumin Replacement (AMBAR) trial: Study design and progress
- An extension of current protocol: 6 treatments over a 6 week period
- Add a partial monthly treatment for 12 months
- Mark’s lead nurse, Gloria, was the lead on the AMBAR study, and had shocking stories to tell
- Could potentially lead to treatment of Parkinson’s and ALS
- 60% success in arresting the development of Alzheimer’s
- The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr. Dale Bredesen
- Proper clinical trial: unbiased investigators who look at data, not the subjects
– The role of a head nurse in a plasma transfusion…57:45
- It’s largely a nurse’s procedure
- Top 6 nurses at the YBI have 230+ years of experience
- Get lead physicians observations; head nurse will sometimes provide that for them
- Interact with patients and get their observations
- Alzheimer’s affects the family of the patient more than the patient (due to their loss of memory)
– Gloria’s observations treating patients, both with the AMBAR study and at the YBI…1:11:11
- “Early results on Parkinson’s and ALS patients are very encouraging”
- Grifols did a placebo test on patients:
- Patients already had minimum mild level of Alzheimer’s
- “Sham” is used in the best possible sense
- Patients perceived they were receiving the treatment when they were not
- Treated over 180 subjects over a four year period
- One patient in particular deteriorated rapidly while on the sham study
- “Predictive biomarkers” are used to admit patients into the YBI treatments
- Some of the good stories:
- Orchard farmer in his 80’s showed remarkable improvement after approx. 8 months (18 treatments)
- Woman who just turned 60, lost her joy for life; after 2 months, daughter reported amazing progress; flirting with everyone after 5 months
- Patients regain previously lost memories
– Whether aspheresis can be used as an anti-aging treatment even if one doesn’t have Alzheimer’s…1:14:52
- “Apparent health” can be a misnomer; all of a sudden someone can have 3 major diseases
- YBI doesn’t treat patients as young as 30 years old
- Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS symptoms begin very young
– Why these studies and treatments are still occurring more or less behind the scenes…1:21:30
– And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– My podcast with Tom Ingoglia of the NAD injection clinic in San Diego
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