Back in the 1980's, a colonel in the Soviet army Medical Corps was assigned a seemingly impossible, though intriguing task: to come up with a way to protect troops against the risks of modern military weapons, (such as a blinding battlefield laser or radiation exposure) while at the same time regenerate damaged organs and tissues in the event of injury.
What he discovered, through experiments supported by the generous funding of the Soviet military, was that certain naturally-produced substances, later termed ‘peptide bioregulators,’ (that were isolated from various animal tissues and organs), have the capacity to act at the genetic level to regenerate tissue and restore the function of the corresponding organ(s) in other animals or in humans.
As a byproduct of their rejuvenating properties, these biologically active short chains of amino acids were also discovered to act as so-called ‘geroprotectors’ (therapeutics that target the root causes of aging and age-related diseases), with impressive longevity-promoting potential.
Once a military secret in the 1980's, a wealth of subsequently-published research has demonstrated that peptide bioregulators restore physiological balance, prevent age-related diseases, increase life span and more. One in particular, the pineal bioregulator peptide called Epithalamin, is considered to be the most promising in its class of geroprotectors.
Let’s first examine the properties and actions of peptide bioregulators in general, and then the particular benefits of pineal peptide Epithalamin, in stemming the onset of aging and age-related diseases.
Each peptide restores the function of a specific organ
In the early days of his research, the then Soviet colonel, Dr. Vladimir Khavinson, (who is currently the president of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and Head of the St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology), developed a method for the isolation, purification and fractionation of low-molecular-weight peptides from extracts of different bovine-sourced organs and tissues such as the pineal gland, thymus, hypothalamus, retina, endocrine glands and liver etc.
These amino-acid chains are endogenously produced in the cells of healthy tissues and play a regulatory role, from the molecular and cellular levels to the overall biochemical and physiological functioning of the particular organ in which they are manufactured (hence, the designation ‘peptide bioregulator’).
Professor Khavinson analyzed over 15,000 genes in mouse heart and brain tissue before and after the injection of various peptide extracts, (including the pineal peptide Epithalamin) and identified the mechanism of ‘peptide regulation of genetic activity’ whereby each peptide interacts with DNA, transferring information encoded in its amino acid sequence to regulate particular genes in a particular tissue.
Activation of these genes stimulates protein synthesis, and the manufacture of proteins according to the encoded genetic information, (a crucial physiological process which we'll examine further below). Short-chain peptides also have the capacity to induce cell proliferation and differentiation, resulting in tissue repair and restoration of organ function.
When Professor Khavinson administered peptide extracts to animals (and later humans), he found that they did indeed stimulate protein synthesis and produced regenerative effects in cells and tissues of the organ from which the particular peptide had originally been derived. For example, retinal peptides (example, Visoluten) initiate the formation of retinal and pigment cells in patients with retinal degeneration, thymic peptides stimulate immunity, and pineal peptides induce the aging pineal gland to manufacture melatonin.
Trials using peptide preparations obtained from other organs (i.e., prostate, cerebral cortex, adrenal gland, liver, etc.) have all demonstrated beneficial effects as evidenced by improvements in the condition of the respective organ. Amazingly, peptides isolated from organs of young animals were shown to trigger protein synthesis and restore even the function of aging, deteriorating organs in old animals! ─ It’s a glimpse into the peptide bioregulator anti-aging potential.
Peptides interact with Genes’ DNA to activate protein synthesis
The molecular model Professor Khavinson proposed, which was later demonstrated experimentally, involves ‘complementary binding’ or complexing of the amino acid sequence of a short-chain peptide with the nucleotide sequence on a gene’s DNA.
DNA is a long polymer chain composed of repeating units called nucleotides which, by their combination of nitrogen bases, create a ‘code’ or blueprint for the manufacture of proteins; each ‘code’ is specific for one of thousands of different proteins. The formation of the peptide-DNA complex causes a weakening of bonds holding together the DNA double helix and stimulates the splitting of the two strands, a precursor necessary for gene transcription, (the conversion of the gene's ‘code’ into protein-synthetic information) that ultimately results in the manufacture of a protein, (see Figure 1).
Protein synthesis is a complex manufacturing process indispensable to life, producing such crucial substances as enzymes, structural proteins such as collagen and hormones- such as insulin, antibodies and hemoglobin. We’ll see below specific examples of the ability of the pineal peptide- Epithalamin to ‘switch on’ genes to synthesize these essential substances to provide overall restorative effects.
Countering peptide deficiencies associated with aging
In a nutshell, the main point to digest here is that these biologically-active peptides act at the genetic level and possess the ability to recover functions of tissues and organs undergoing age-related deterioration.
Aging is characterized by a peptide-dependent downward spiral: changes in gene expression accompanied by decreased endogenous peptide production lead to disorders in protein synthesis, in turn causing structural and functional deterioration of various organs (pineal gland, liver, pancreas, thymus, retina, nervous, immune and endocrine systems) that result in aging, and age-related diseases. Thankfully, this negative cascade can be ameliorated, or even reversed, through the delivery of the appropriate peptide(s) which have been shown to exhibit geroprotective, or antiaging properties. (Professor Khavinson refers to the process of peptide administration to animals or humans the ‘epigenetic regulation of aging.’
Studies on the pineal peptide show multifaceted regenerative effects
In the late 1990’s Professor Khavinson began manufacturing bioregulators synthetically, based upon the amino acid composition of peptide extracts isolated from animal tissues. These laboratory-formulated peptides, consisting of two to four amino acids, were shown to possess equivalent biological activity and safety to the animal-derived extracts. Epithalamin is expressed as Epitalon, a synthetic tetrapeptide- Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly (alanine-glutamic acid-aspartic acid-glycine).
Epitalon has been shown to regulate pineal gland function and increase melatonin production, improve immunological parameters, stimulate antioxidant and anti-cancer defenses, restore reproductive function, increase lifespan in animals and provide geroprotective effects in humans.
The exciting discoveries of Epitalon and health are continuing to show it's ability to help our fight against disease and to live Longer, Healthier lives.
You don't have to wait to discover how Epitalon could be helping you, and those you love. Experience it yourself, by Ordering Epitalon Now, from OceansLab.
- Anisimov V.N., Khavinson V.Kh. Peptide bioregulation of aging: results and prospects. Biogerontology. 2010;11:139-149.
- Khavinson V.Kh., Anisimov V.N. Peptide Regulation of Aging: 35-Year Research Experience. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine. 2009;148:94-98.
- Khavinson V.Kh., Kuznik B.I., Ryzhak G.A. Peptide Bioregulators: A New Class of Geroprotectors. Message 1: Results of Experimental Studies. Advances in Gerontology. 2013;3(3):225-235.
- Khavinson V.Kh., Lin’kova N.S., Trofimov A.V., Polyakova V.O., Sevost’yanova N.N., Kvetnoy I.M. Morphofunctional Fundamentals for Peptide Regulation of Aging. Biology Bulletin Reviews. 2011;1(4):390-394.
- Khavinson VKh. Peptides and Ageing. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2002;23 Suppl 3:11-144.