Employee registers bags of blood at a blood transfusion centre in Sanaa, Yemen

London - According to grisly folklore, blood-sucking vampires like nothing more than stealing ‘life’ from the living.

Now an American start-up company has adopted the idea by offering transfusions of the blood of the young for £6 200 (about R105 000)

Older recipients receive two litres of blood plasma – the liquid part of blood – from someone aged 16 to 25.

While the service has little scientific backing, there seems to be some appetite for it.

Jesse Karmazin, who has a degree in medicine, claims his firm Ambrosia, based in Silicon Valley, has 100 people with an average age of 65 on his books undergoing the ‘treatment’. He said: "It could help improve things such as appearance or diabetes or heart function or memory."

"I’m not really in the camp of saying this will provide immortality but I think it comes pretty close, essentially."

Speaking to The Observer, he added: "It’s like plastic surgery from the inside out."

Ambrosia gets its supplies by buying surplus blood from blood banks. 

In May, Mr Karmazin claimed that customers’ blood cholesterol levels fell 10 per cent and a biomarker linked to increased risk of cancer fell by 20 per cent. 

Amyloids, substances that form plaques in people with Alzheimer’s, were reportedly 20 per cent lower.

An experiment that linked the blood vessels of young mice to old mice found that the young mice deteriorated, while the old mice improved, the journal Cell reports.

Transfusions are considered safe but may cause a rash, lung injury and infections.