If you’re curious about the latest advancements in anti-aging and longevity, chances are you’ve heard of therapies using peptides or stem cells. You may be wondering if they could be beneficial to you or someone you know.
In this article, we’ll explore some leading-edge anti-aging interventions that we use at RIFM. Last week we talked about some powerful anti-aging strategies including nutrient testing, heat therapy, and cryotherapy. This week we’ll dive even deeper into some more advanced therapies that we use in our practice.
Get ready to unlock the secrets to a longer, more vibrant life as we delve into the world of peptides, stem cells, and beyond!
Peptides are simply chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Your body makes these naturally, but as we age, we become less efficient in producing them. These powerful compounds play a crucial role in enhancing the body’s natural healing and rejuvenation processes. Peptides help promote healthy stem cells, aid in tissue repair, combat aging, and can increase senescent cell turnover.
Have you ever wondered how an NFL football player can tear their hamstring and start playing again in four weeks? They’re most likely using peptide therapies like BPC-157, which is a peptide that improves the body’s ability to heal connective tissues and can also help with healing leaky gut issues.
Other peptides that I use in my practice include CJC Ipamorelin and thymic peptides like thymosin and thymulin. I have used BPC along with another peptide, called KPV, with patients who have severe autoimmune issues and have seen significant improvement in their leaky gut-related issues.
I’m sure you’ve also heard of semaglutides like Ozempic or Wegovy, which are very popular right now. In addition to promoting weight loss, these peptides can be used to increase the turnover of those senescent or “stuck” cells to improve functionality and efficiency.
Peptides can be very effective in turning back the clock at the cellular level.
Stem Cell Therapies
Stem cells are your cells of replication; they are the “raw materials” that your body uses to create other, more specialized cells. The efficiency and function of stem cells in your body are critical in order to heal and repair.
Stem cell therapies, sometimes called regenerative medicine, introduce new stem cells into the body to allow it to make more healthy, efficient cells. These therapies sometimes use your own stem cells from fat tissue or other stem cells from embryos or umbilical cord blood.
In addition to ethical concerns, one issue with stem cells is that they are transient in the body and are cleared out within six to 12 months. Also, if there is significant inflammation present in the body prior to the therapy, stem cell therapy can sometimes make it worse. It’s best to use your own personal stem cells, however this treatment can be extremely costly – sometimes as much as $12,000. That’s a lot of money for an effect that is cleared from your system in six months to a year.
Since stem cell treatments actually give your body the cells that secrete peptides, the benefits are very similar to peptides. However, peptides cost significantly less and they don’t come with the ethical concerns of stem cells. At $120 to $150 a vial, peptides are a much more affordable option.
Fasting As an Anti-Aging Therapy
You might wonder why I would include fasting in this post alongside other state-of-the-art treatments like peptides and stem cells. After all, I’ve talked about fasting many times on this blog already.
Did you know that fasting accomplishes what ALL of these other interventions are trying to achieve? Fasting is a powerfully effective anti-aging therapy.
How does fasting move the needle in dialing back those markers of aging we talked about?
We mentioned nutrient testing as an anti-aging intervention last week. Fasting can help in the realm of nutrition by resetting the bacteria in the gut microbiome, which reduces chronic inflammation and improves how food is digested. This in turn actually improves the absorption and assimilation of nutrients after a fast, improving the body’s nutrient sensing ability.
Fasting helps make detoxification more efficient, cleaning out and rejuvenating the brain as well as the liver. Fasting decreases stress on the body by reducing toxic burden and improves cell efficiency. If you have dysfunctional mitochondria and cell function, fasting promotes self-healing and repair.
When your body is stressed through fasting, your stem cells become more regenerative! Your body starves out the senescent cells and then replaces them with new, healthier cells, combating that mitochondrial dysfunction we talked about last week.
All of the other interventions I’ve mentioned in this series – nutrient testing, heat therapy, cold therapy, peptides, and stem cell therapies – work by replicating what fasting already does.
These are some of the reasons that I’m personally a fan of either a calorie restricted diet or some kind of fasting — for the right people. For myself, I choose to do a water fast once a week for 24 hours. I do also drink herbal teas during the fast, but I just don’t eat calories for a 24 hour period once a week. This is a simple way to reduce stress in my body and replenish healthy cells.
Using Leading-Edge Science to Reverse the Effects of Aging
What is so powerful about these interventions is that most of them are available to the average person. You could try some cryotherapy with ice in your bathtub. You might do a little hydrotherapy in a hot bath, hot tub, or use the sauna at the gym. Layering in some fasting can combine with these techniques to have a massive impact.
Of course, these advanced techniques are best used in addition to the functional medicine principles of real food, adequate sleep, adequate exercise, stress management, and having a supportive community. These lifestyle medicine aspects of functional medicine are the foundation of health. So more advanced interventions should be used in addition to these basic tenets and do not eliminate the need to focus on those foundations first.
There is a saying that he who has his health has a thousand dreams, but he who does not has but one dream. Our goal here at RIFM is to help you keep or restore your health so that you have what you need to dream your biggest dreams.
Don’t Miss This New Docuseries!
Want to learn more about the aging process and how you can turn back the clock? I was recently honored to contribute to an exciting docuseries on the topic: Ageless. Check out the trailer here.
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