There’s a drug that is being studied for its rejuvenating effect on the blood. Scientists believe that by revitalizing the human body with young blood, the elderly could enjoy several benefits, including perhaps delaying aging.

As humans age, their bodies' ability to regenerate dwindles. Their blood also undergoes hematopoietic aging, marked by loss of regenerative capacity and skewed differentiation of stem cells. When this happens, the human body is depleted of healthy blood.

A new study published in Nature Cell Biology proposed a means to turn back the hands of time by rejuvenating an older person’s blood using an anti-inflammatory drug called anakinra. The drug approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis reversed the effects of aging on the hematopoietic system of mice.

Based on scientific data, young blood has a rejuvenating effect to the human body, including making the heart beat faster, the brain think faster and muscles become stronger.

Study author Emmanuelle Passagué, Ph.D., and her colleagues were eager to find a way to bring that rejuvenating power of young blood to the older human body in a pill form. And their desire to achieve that goal led them to discover the striking effect of anakinra on blood.

Passagué, the director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, explained that their findings could pave the way for science to delay aging and even lengthen the lifespan of humans.

“An aging blood system, because it’s a vector for a lot of proteins, cytokines, and cells, has a lot of bad consequences for the organism. A 70-year-old with a 40-year-old blood system could have a longer healthspan, if not a longer lifespan,” Passagué said in a news release.

Passagué’s graduate student, Carl Mitchell, who was also part of the study, echoed similar sentiments, saying the promising results could lead to “healthier blood production in the elderly.”

Though the team’s experiment was a success since the drug was able to return the blood cells to their younger, healthier state, there is still so much work to be done before this strategy would be accepted in the medical community.

For one, the researchers only tried and yielded positive results in their experiment with mice. They have yet to prove if the same processes and mechanisms are applicable to humans. Passagué said they hoped their findings would lead to clinical testing.

"We know that bone tissue begins to degrade when people are in their 50s. What happens in middle age? Why does the niche fail first? Only by having a deep molecular understanding will it be possible to identify approaches that can truly delay aging," she added.