From the first part on Peptides we learned that Peptides are sequences of amino acids that have amazing functions that can improve your health, your muscles, your immune status, your energy level, and much more. Some peptides can act as anti-aging agents, particularly by boosting levels of growth hormone that can strengthen your body, improve your minds, and help you lose weight. They may also decrease the effects of aging on your body to decrease age-related diseases.

In this second part of this series, we will discuss the peptides that can decrease inflammation, which is the root cause of chronic medical illnesses. In addition, poor energy production from aging mitochondria contribute this, and there is a peptide that will help this too.

Senolytic Peptides: Remove Old Dysfunctional “Old” Cells and Decrease Inflammation

As you age, cells within you become old and need to be removed to allow new cells to come from your stem cell pool and replace them with new cells. However, sometimes these old cells don’t go away. They are not functioning well, but persist, and therefore are called senescent cells. Unfortunately, these senescent cells induce an inflammatory response that tries to get rid of them, but it can’t, so inflammation sets in and can cause problems.

If these old cells linger, they can increase inflammation in their area which can cause further damage to the tissues and more bad aging. If we can improve the efficiency of removal or repair of these senescent cells, we may decrease the age-related inflammatory problems that they can do. This damage may contribute to the age-related decline we see in multiple organ systems as we age.

The Thymus and Thymosin Peptides

Fortunately, we have peptides that can remove these senescent cells. Called Thymosin Alpha-1 and Thymosin Beta 4, these peptides actually are found in the thymus gland. This gland is present in the upper middle part of your chest. When you’re young it is quite large and functioning at its max. Unfortunately, as you age, its size shrinks significantly such that when you’re older you hardly can even see it.

The function of the thymus gland is to mature T-cells that were made in your bone marrow. T-cells are immune cells that fight off foreign cells that are in your body, such as bacteria, viruses, and even newly formed cancer cells in your tissues. They also get rid of old senescent cells. They are your body’s natural way to control senescence.

Unfortunately, as you age, the function of these is compromised, just like the thymus gland shrinks as you grow older. However, by giving Thymosin Allpha-1 or Thymosin Beta 4, these functions are boosted resulting in an improved immune response.

Thymosin Alpha-1 is and immune modulator and stimulates your immunity in multiple ways. One way is to repair or remove senescent cells so new regenerated cells can grow and replace them, resulting in giving you healthier tissue.

This improved immune response also fights off inflammatory conditions, such as in autoimmune diseases.[1] These include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and muscular sclerosis (MS).

Thymosin Beta 4 directly matures stem cells with regeneration and repair of injuries. It has been used in multiple situations including dermal wounds, repair of ligament damage, repair of the heart following myocardial infarction, and healing of the brain following stroke, trauma and neurological disease. It may also be helpful for repair of spinal cord, bone and ligament damage, as well as counteract the effects of aging and viral infections. [2]

Thymosin Beta 4 can also reduce senescent cells, particularly those involving the endothelium of your arteries to improve their health. Preserving the health of your arteries improves blood flow to all organs, improving overall health.

It also reduces inflammation to improve healing. It promotes formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) to improve blood supply to the injured tissues so they heal better. They stimulate stem cells to replace old senescent cells, reduce scar formation, and multiple other actions. Together these actions promote tissue repair and rejuvenation, needed actions to keep our bodies in good shape.

Autoimmune Problems

Some people develop a problem called autoimmune disease as they get older. These are diseases such as lupus, muscular sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and others. These are caused by excessive inflammation within their body’s that is directed against itself and can destroy or damage internal tissues. Taking the Thymosin peptides has been shown to be very helpful and beneficial in these diseases.

By improving the immune response, particularly T-cells that “clean up” the mess from inflammation, the problems with these disorders tend to resolve or get better over time. These peptides also enhance T-regulatory cell (T-reg cells) that are important for immune tolerance. They promote NK cells, that are “Killer” cells that attach unwanted cells and help remove them from the area. They also enhance production of many different anti-inflammatory compounds, called cytokines, to “cool-down” the inflammation and decrease pain.

Thymosin beta-4 has even further actions for wound healing, cardia and neuroprotection. It is especially helpful when high levels of inflammatory states and cancer in an effort to reverse the process or the culprit that is causing the problem. It is the most abundant thymosin from the thymus when it is working properly.

Dosage: Thymosin Alpha 1 dose is between 300 to 600 mcg SQ given daily or in divided doses. Thymosin beta-4 dose is 100-300 mcg SQ daily or twice a day. Thymosin beta-4 should be limited to 3-month cycles that can be repeated twice a year.

Energy Peptide: MOTS-c

As you age, mitochondrial damage occurs due to formation of free radicals (ROS) from normal functions of the mitochondria to produce energy (ATP) for the cell. MOTS-c is a mitochondrial peptide that protects the mitochondria from this damage, thus playing a role in continuing function of the mitochondria. This may ultimately correlate with extended longevity.[3]

Due to its effects on the mitochondria, MOTS-c has also been shown to improve insulin regulation and metabolic homeostasis, improving insulin resistance, reducing diabetes and helping patients lose weight.[4] This may improve processes such as aging, inflammation, and stress resistance. MOTS-c is actually produced via the mitochondria’s own DNA to protect the mitochondria from degradation.

Dosage: Comes in a 10 mg vial. After reconstituting the vial with sterile water, 10 mg is injected subcutaneously into the skin weekly for the usual dose.

Summary:

Thymosin’s are peptides that are produced naturally by the Thymus gland that help mature T-cells that are made in the bone marrow, plus enhance other aspects of the immune process. Because the Thymus shrinks with age, these functions decrease with age but can be boosted back up with administration of these peptides. They help in many autoimmune diseases and are anti-aging too.

By giving people MOTS-c peptide, your ability to produce energy is enhanced. With age, energy production from mitochondria decrease and this is thought to be partly the cause for development of age-related chronic medical problems. Boosting mitochondrial functions could help protect you from these conditions while improving your energy levels.

References:

[1] Pica f. et al. Serum thymosin α 1 levels in patients with chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Clinical & Experimental Immunology. 186(1). 28 June 20116. https://doi.org/10.1111/cei.12833

[2] Goldstein, A. L., & Kleinman, H. K. (2015). Advances in the basic and clinical applications of thymosin β 4. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 15(sup1), 139–145

[3] Fuku N, et al. The mitochondrial-derived peptide MOTS-c: a player in exceptional longevity? Aging Cell (2015) 14, pp921–923. doi.org/10.1111/acel.12389

[4] Lee C. et al. The Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide MOTS-c Promotes Metabolic Homeostasis and Reduces Obesity and Insulin Resistance. Cell Metab. 21(3) March 2015: 443-454. doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.02.009