It has been estimated that about 300,000 people in the world have reached the 100 year mark to become centenarians. Only a fraction of these people will go on to become supercentenarians or live to 110 and above. These people typically experience relatively good health and are not subject to some age-related diseases until the short period leading up to death, which is at a very advanced stage.
These ‘superhumans’ are proof that we can indeed lead a long, healthy life, and that our existence can span up to 100 years and over. However, the question of the factors that make us human beings live for so long has for the longest time been on the minds of medical researchers and scientists. It has come down to determining the biological and genetic factors, which consequently lead to age deterioration, and coming up with strategies to counter them.
Some of the methods that have come up so far include use of antioxidants, glycation inhibitors, telomerase activators, stem cells among others.
In recent times, scientists have unmasked the unbelievable potential of peptide bioregulators to prolong human life. These are biologically active short chains of amino acids with the ability to repair genetic changes that are likely to occur as a result of age. They can bind directly with the genes’ DNA to regulate some aging processes while at the same time regenerating tissue and restoring some depleted organs (due to age) in the body to their former glory. Due to these properties, bioregulators have come to be known as geroprotectors, which literally means aging protectors, because they target the root causes of aging and counters these actors.
The aging process
Senescence, another term for ageing is a pretty a complex biological process. Sometimes, describing it means you have to use negated terms such as “decay”, “ degeneration”, “decline” and other terms. A descriptive definition is a progressive loss of an individual’s physiological integrity that leads to an impaired function as well as increased vulnerability.
Combining multiple definitions of aging will ultimately double back to one general definition- that, aging is associated with accumulating physiological impairments that lead to decreased function and increased risk of age-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and ultimately death.
A leading researcher in peptide bioregulators, Professor Vladimir Khavinson, took the definition a step further with a more graphic description that claims aging to be a the slow involution of tissues as well as development of organism-malfunctioning that tend to set in at during the end of the reproductive period and get more pronounced as one ages.
Aging usually occurs as a result of disturbances of the major regulatory systems in the body such as the nervous and immune systems. According to studies, restoration of these and other organs will result in dramatic improvement of the physiological functions and the lengthening of the lifespan in both animals and humans.
Peptide bioregulators said to initiate a crucial process altered by age: protein synthesis
Research dating back to the 1960s revealed that a small low molecular weight regulatory peptides are involved in the genetic transfer of biological information that leads to the synthesis of protein. Through this finding, Khavinson began his work of coming up with a method for the isolation and purification of small peptides from various animal- sourced organs.
The manufacture of protein in the human body has been found to be essential for life. Amino acids, which are produced in the cells of healthy tissues play a crucial role in regulating molecular and cellular levels that impact biochemical and physiological functioning of the particular organ in which they are active, hence the term ‘peptide bioregulator’.
How this crucial protein is made is that each peptide will interact with particular sections of DNA, thereby transferring the information that has been encoded in its amino acid sequence to help regulate particular genes in a particular tissue. Activation of these genes then stimulates protein synthesis.
According to Khavinson's peptide theory of aging, changes in gene expression over time and impairments in endogenous peptide production result in decreased protein synthesis, leading to functional as well as structural deterioration of various organs, which in turn result in aging and age-related diseases.
Peptide-induced regenerative and longevity effects in animals
Once the peptide bioregulators were issued to animals, it was found that the peptide extracts gave a restorative effect to both cells as well as tissues of the organ where the said peptide had initially been taken from or derived.
Further trials with use of peptide preparations taken from other organs including cerebral cortex, retina, adrenal gland, prostate, and liver have all showed beneficial effects on the function and condition the respective gland, organ or tissues. The results had enormous implications for preventing cancer, retarding aging, and extending lifespan in humans.
Telomerase activation- another peptide-mediated longevity mechanism
Telomeres are referred to as the protective “caps” found at the ends of chromosomes. Telomerase is an enzyme that adds recurring DNA sequences to such “caps” every time there is cell division. Telomeric portions of DNA tend to be lost as a result of an inherent problem, which brings about an incomplete end-replication at time of cell division. The telomerase enzyme helps ensure there is complete copying of DNA repetitions so that telomeres can maintain their length.
Khavinson found that adding pineal peptide to cultured human cells could activate the telomerase gene so that they synthesize telomerase, and this resulted in lengthened telomeres and an increased number of cell divisions, thereby overcoming the Hayflick limit or the ability of body cells to divide for only a finite amount of times.
Biologic reserve - the capacity to go the distance
The capacity for three to four additional decades of life is what Khavinson calls the "biologic reserve." This is of course, omitting factors such as war, homicide and incidences leading to an untimely death.
One of the major reasons why humans and animals fall short of their potential lifespan is due to a flaw in the overall complex processes involving the DNS, RNA and protein in the body, which is generally referred to as having a biological deficit. A biological deficit can ultimately result in the downward spiral of organ deterioration, disease development and aging.
In conclusion, delivery of the appropriate peptides can reverse the degenerative processes, essentially restocking the biological reserve. It has also been proven on humans that peptides such as the pineal and thymus peptides can ultimately prolong and increase the quality of lives of people who are in their latter stages.
Through the regulation of particular genes in particular tissues, peptides have the ability to reinitiate a process stalled by age, namely protein synthesis, leading to the repair and rebuilding of damaged tissues and organs and restoration of their main functions.