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Aging Tim vs. Aging

Tim vs. Aging – Plasma Dilution – Did it!

I was very excited to find such optimistic research about plasma dilution, here is yet another link to the research.  I wanted to describe my experience in doing this so that if you want to, you can give it a try without any surprises.

First, here is my imprecise, inexpert story of plasma dilution. It turns out that Count Dracula had a point, that young blood can make an older person a bit younger (NO! We are NOT advocating sucking blood!). Modern researchers have actually hooked up the circulatory systems of two mice, one young and one old, and the older mouse became younger and the younger mouse become older (Disclaimer, some attempts to recreate this have not been successful and some scientists disagree).

Further research indicated that you didn’t really need to use whole blood, that younger plasma worked just as well for older subjects (many brave mice died to prove this – a moment of silence please!). Much easier to accomplish.

Dr. Irina Conboy and her team found you didn’t really even need the younger plasma. All you had to do was dilute your plasma with a saline solution and add some albumin to make up for a potential loss, and you could get the same effect. Older plasma has a lot of the artifacts from an older metabolism, various proteins and secretions, that interfere with the reproduction of cells. In a younger person these are filtered out more efficiently. By diluting your plasma, the concentration of these artifacts becomes less, you are less polluted, and your cells reproduce better.

Easy enough, right? Naturally this is way oversimplified, and I have no idea of the percentages, and no treatments have emerged yet for humans. But I figure that with the other parts of my regimen designed for cellular rejuvenation, perhaps I will not only get the benefit of the plasma dilution, but perhaps my regenerated plasma will not get as polluted as fast, and a virtuous cycle will manifest (please don’t question my profound wisdom here…).

So I found CSL Plasma online, with a branch not too far from my house. They offer compensation, initially $100 per donation for the first two months and $60 per visit thereafter (for us people over 170 lbs.). One can donate up to twice per week.

I have to say that everyone was very nice, but it is a bit of a factory floor with a bit of impersonal waiting. It looked like they could handle about fifty people at once, but they seemed understaffed. It is not quite the same environment as the Blood Mobile where they kiss your rear end, give you cookies and beg you to come back.

This is a profitable corporation that has set its prices and staffing to attract clients and maximize throughput.  But it also means that their people are full time professionals, not simple volunteers, their processes and procedures are optimized, safe and virtually error free.  I’ll trade this for the cookies any day.

According to one of the professionals, about 95% of the people who give plasma are strictly in it for the money. I noticed that some of the people looked a little bit on the homeless side. Lots of younger folks, not well dressed, some apparent students, and a few that I couldn’t really read. According to the professional, about 5% are donors in the true sense.  These were still giving plasma during Covid when the for-cash givers were getting free money from the government.

So I arrived with the appropriate documentation, signed in and was asked to sit. The initial check-in for a new donor is a bit time consuming, they give you reading material, you watch videos, fill out a questionnaire and sign some documents.

By the way, they require you to wear a mask to enter the building. I’m in Florida which no longer requires that, so I was a bit surprised. After all, everyone here has to be healthy to donate, probably healthier than the members at LA Fitness where I was the day before.

I went into a room with a nurse and she went through questions, took some data, got my thumbprint, and put me on a scale to make sure I was over 170 (as if she didn’t already know…). Then she did the fingerstick, drew blood with a glass straw, put it into a centrifuge and did her measurements.

No dice.

Apparently my “hematocrit” was low, a 39 instead of the necessary 40. Lots of reasons this could be, possibly low iron, she said. But when I mentioned I had just finished a 36 hour fast that morning, she sighed and said yes that was probably it. She smacked me (not really) and told me to come back in a few days.

So I returned the following Sunday, which was two days after the previous fast. Much more streamlined this time, I went to a kiosk, logged in with the thumbprint, answered the questions and got in line. Nope, nobody checking people in, had to wait. Got to the check in, first they inspected my arms and hands to make sure I have not been shooting up (must be a problem for some of the clientele…). Then he did the same fingerstick/blood test.

Passed!

But no, not yet. I haven’t had my physical. You have to have one every six months. I went into room #2 and met Andrea who walked me through all of the disclaimers (my fifth time, I believe) and proceeded to do the checkup procedure, poked my bones, tickled my stomach, told me to breathe deep.

Then of course, as required by law, she walked me through all of the possible horrors that could happen with giving plasma, some of which complications could end in death. But Andrea was very nice, very professional and somehow the prospect of these horrific dangers did not deter me. She escorted me to the big sucking room (because I was new), and they set me up.

As mentioned above there were about fifty curved chairs especially designed for taking plasma. I did not see Count Dracula, nor did I feel his presence. In fact, the staff was exceptionally nice and professional. I was instructed briefly on the procedures, and was finally wired in and stuck. Slight pain, but I was stuck and taped so fast that I couldn’t launch even a single one of my trademark clever quips before it was over and the moment passed.

Their machine pulls blood out, separates the red blood cells from the plasma and puts the red blood cells back into my arm in a saline solution. Your blood doesn’t really lose any oxygen carrying capability and you don’t have to replace these nutrient expensive cells, so it is a much milder process than giving blood.

39 minutes later I was done and out the door. So I am anticipating a normal visit with kiosk, check-in and blood suck will be less than an hour and a half.

No after effects that I can detect. None of the horrible things Andrea said were possible have happened (if I see her again I’m going to suggest that Christopher Walken make a recording of that disclaimer, would be REALLY fun to watch people react to it! Maybe M. Night Shyamalan can make a movie…).

I’m declaring success.

I’m not sure at this point how often I will go, but it will be at least once every two weeks. Since I know the process is actually reasonably efficient, and that the after effects are practically nil, I’m encouraged to go a bit more often.

By the way, the age limit for donation is 65, but they seemed to indicate if you were a regular client you could keep going as long as there was no problem with health, weight or bruising.

Your mileage may vary, though. If you decide to add this to your anti-aging program, just pay attention to the material going it, be patient your first visit and make up your own mind.

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