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In line with the eugenicist trend in medicine of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Voronoff intended to “rejuvenate” human organisms with a transplant of glands from chimpanzees and baboons, who were thus elevated to the rank of brotherly species with mankind. “I dare assert,” he wrote, “that the monkey is superior to man by the sturdiness of its body, the quality of its organs, and the absence of those defects, hereditary and acquired, with which the main part of mankind is afflicted.” For him, aging was the result of a slowing down of endocrinal secretions, and particularly sexual hormones. Brown-Séquard’s experiments soon proved inefficient.

But Voronoff had already transplanted chimpanzee thyroids on people suffering from thyroidal anomalies. And a transplant of a chimpanzee’s bone on a wounded soldier in 1915 suggested to him the idea of transplanting a monkey’s testicle in a man. According to him, glandular transplants would allow the production of the hormone for an extended time period, contrary to opotherapy which required repeated injections with not really convincing results. Between 1917 and 1926 Voronoff tested out his theory on animals, doing more than 500 homo-transplants on rams, goats, and even a bull. According to his observations, older animals transplanted with younger animals’ testicles regained lost vigor.

There’s also a cocktail inspired by it. Recipe included.


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