Therapeutic Plasma Exchange Improves Longevity

By Dr. Paul Savage

September 11, 2023


by: Dr. Paul Savage


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“How does therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) help people interested in improving their health and longevity?” – That’s a question I’m asked all the time. 

My name is Dr. Paul Savage and I’m happy to answer that question…

TPE gained interest in 2022, when a study by Dr. Dobri Kiprov demonstrated amazing results on the biomarkers of aging after performing TPE on 6 patients who were over 60 years old. This study followed 17 years of research into heterochronic parabiosis. 

 Blood is the conveyor belt of the body. Blood delivers all the supplies to the cells such as oxygen, nutrients, infection fighting cells, and many types of proteins. Blood then removes all the garbage from the cells such as carbon dioxide, breakdown products of metabolism, and toxins. However, the blood does not remove the garbage from the body, that is the job of the organs of detoxification, the liver, the kidney, and the colon.

How Plasma Exchange Reduces Your Toxin Levels

Our environment is rapidly becoming contaminated with toxins. Similarly, our bodies are being exposed to all these toxins, toxins which our body’s never evolved into removing. We all understand that as we age, our hormones decline, our food is digested less effectively and thereby less absorbed, many of our systems decline including the organs which remove toxins from our body. Over time, our bodies become more toxic and less efficient.  

TPE removes substances that are causing problems in the body. In the case of longevity, these substances can include toxins, chronic infections, antibodies, or components of the immune system which are causing more harm than good (like having too many cytokines which are the proteins which cause inflammation). 

The Plasma Exchange Procedure

Therapeutic plasma exchange is a safe and easy procedure that involves removing a person’s blood, separating the plasma (the liquid part of the blood), and then returning the rest of the blood (the many types of cells) to the person’s body. This procedure is performed by an experienced technician on a machine that has been improved upon for 50+ years. 

During the TPE procedure, a person has two IVs started. One IV is for the blood to leave the patient and enter the machine, and the other IV is for the blood to be returned from the machine to the patient.  

While in the machine, a centrifuge spins the blood at high speeds, allowing the blood to separate into different layers, the plasma layer, and the blood cell layer. The separated plasma is discarded, and the remaining blood components, such as red blood cells and platelets, are mixed with the 5% human albumin and returned to the person’s body. This way, the person’s blood is “cleaned” and returned to the body without the harmful substances.  

In using TPE for longevity, the replacement fluid at MDLifespan is always 5% human albumin. There are other clinics that perform therapeutic plasma exchange procedures but instead of using albumin they use human plasma as the replacement fluid. Some argue that using human plasma would be better because human plasma gives the recipient growth factors, stem cells and exosomes. However, using human plasma increases the risk for transfusion reactions and the transferring of infections, cancers, and toxins. Risks which are not warranted in patients wanting an elective procedure for longevity.  

Plasma Exchange is Low Risk

The total risk of therapeutic plasma exchange using albumin is low at 3% and those adverse reactions are caused by low blood sugar, low blood volume, and low blood calcium. All these reactions are easy to correct and rarely cause much concern for the medical staff or the patient. However, the total risk of TPE using Human Plasma is much higher at 35%, including adverse reactions like transfusion reactions, severe low blood pressure and even death. 

 It is important to note that the blood of the patient never touches the machine but travels through the IV tubing, having fluids removed, like the plasma, and fluids added, like the replacement fluid and the mild anticoagulant. This entire network of tubing is contained in a cassette placed onto the machine. Once the procedure is completed, the cassette is completely removed from the machine and safely discarded. For this reason, no patient should worry about having another person’s blood contaminating the machine and encountering your blood. 

Plasma Exchange is Game-Changing for Longevity Medicine

Having been around and practicing longevity medicine for the past 25 years, I can honestly say that I have seen few procedures which have such a dramatic result on so many patients.  

My observations are that therapeutic plasma exchange is more transformational than hormones, more energizing than NAD, more regenerative than stem cells, and more cleansing than any detox program.  

Paul Savage M.D. 

CEO and Founder of MDLifespan 

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