As research continues and our understanding of the aging process deepens, new and exciting therapies, medications, and treatments are constantly being developed to impact the pillars of aging. There are several innovations that are transforming anti-aging science and may hold great promise as part of your wellness regimen.
Doctors at Stanford University are researching the effects of young-blood transfusions on elderly patients, particularly those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Early findings indicate that blood plasma transfusions from young people may help Alzheimer’s patients regain certain physical abilities.
Research into senolytics, or medications that can neutralize the impact of senescent cells within the body, has shown exciting results. Senescent cells are no longer healthy and cannot be salvaged. Even worse, they slowly cause surrounding healthy cells to become sick, earning senescent cells the nickname “zombie cells.”
Senolytics are used off-label to treat or even reverse the damage caused by several age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, and more. Recent research showed for the first time that senolytics could decrease senescent cells in people with pulmonary fibrosis, as well as those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Some of the most promising agents studied so far include dasatinib, quercetin, fisetin, and navitoclax.
The body’s mTOR signaling pathway regulates cell growth, energy use, proliferation, metabolism, and aging. The mTOR inhibitor with the most research behind it is rapamycin. It works by modulating the immune system, reducing age-related stem cell decline, and upregulating autophagy, a process that helps remove accumulated misfolded proteins that can be a primary cause of aging. Rapamycin essentially enhances healthy cells’ functioning and longevity, resulting in lifespan and healthspan extension.
This is an FDA-approved diabetic medication, but it also tends to curb food intake and reduce weight due to its impact on the hypothalamus. Calorie restriction is considered the most reliable, though not practical, way of extending lifespan and healthspan. On a biochemical level Metformin is thought to work through AMPK activation and mTor inhibition. Clinically it has positive effects on cholesterol levels, can lower inflammation, may help prevent some cancer, and has a long history of safety.
NAD is a derivative of Niacin, or vitamin B3, that serves the vital role of producing cellular energy in the human body. Simply put, there is no life without NAD+. Like many things, NAD+ levels decline with age, which has been linked to the development of neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic disease, and cancer.
While it’s well known as a treatment for bipolar disorder in high doses, low-dose nutritional lithium has health-promoting properties and is used in a supplemental form in wellness clinics. Lithium seems to protect cells from toxic compounds, provides resistance to stress, and has shown longevity benefits in animal models.
Alpha Ketoglutarate (AKG)
This naturally occurring metabolic compound has proven to significantly extend lifespan and healthspan in worms and mice, establishing a good base of animal models. AKG levels in our bodies drop as we age. AKG supplementation remains the most effective way of increasing AKG levels in the body; however, fasting and exercise can also be helpful. AKG also had an effect on frailty and age-related muscle loss in mice, so it’s possible AKG may be useful in maintaining muscle in humans, too.
This polyphenol was one of the earliest anti-aging molecules that showed significant promise in promoting healthspan and longevity. Resveratrol is an antifungal chemical found in some of our favorite foods, such as grapes, blueberries, and red wine.
Resveratrol is sold as a dietary supplement and is used in many wellness centers to help control polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s neuroprotective and has shown promise in addressing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
This is a naturally occurring sex hormone produced in the adrenal glands. Its health-promoting attributes include improving bone and heart health and helping with glucose control. It has shown some longevity promise by decreasing the effect of inflammation (interleukin-6) and limiting the negative effect of glucose in the body.
Growth hormone research has shown it can improve human health by reducing adiposity, increasing muscle mass, and improving skin thickness and bone density in elderly populations. It is also thought that growth hormone may help treat age-related conditions of frailty and sarcopenia. However, growth hormone use has its complexities. While growth hormone is not legal to prescribe off-label in the United States, growth-hormone releasing hormone is readily available for off-label use. Growth hormone has also been abused in professional sports as a performance enhancer and there have been some signs of health concerns making it a complex hormone. The jury is still out but it remains an exciting area of research.
An exciting study led by Dr. Greg Fahy of Intervene Immune and Dr. Steve Horvath at the University of California in Los Angeles found that a unique combination of growth hormones and two common diabetic medications may actually reverse biological age and partially regrow the thymus gland. Based on this research, we have made this genetic test available to patients at Aspire Regenerative. This research is still in the early stages but shows that exciting anti-aging treatments are on the horizon, and we will be watching them closely.
Learn more about Aspire Regnerative’s Anti-Aging Treatments!