Do you know your real age?

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Do you know your real age? It is not the number of years since you were born. Your real age is your cellular age because that tells you how healthy certain important cells in your body are.

This information comes from Dr. Sitt Tienthiti, MD, who is a medical consultant for Absolute Health Clinic. He spoke to the Pattaya City Expats Club at their Sunday, April 17, meeting on the topic of “Cell Therapy and Anti-Aging Medicine.” He received his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, in 2005. He is a member of the Medical committee in Association of Cell Therapy in Thailand.

Dr. Sitt Tienthiti, MD, from Absolute Health Clinic, explains to his PCEC audience how it is your cellular age that is more important than your chronological age.

When treating degenerative diseases, Dr Sitt said, medicines alone are not enough. Cell therapy is also required. He then explained a little bit about the anatomy of the human body. Cells join together to form tissue. There are four types of tissue: connective, epithelial, muscle and nervous. The tissues come together to form an organ. The organs work together to form systems. And the systems make up the human body. Dr Sitt explained that the first stem cell in the human body – called the zygote – is formed in the embryo in its very first week.

Dr. Sitt Tienthiti listens as PCEC member John Fishback asks a question about points he made during his talk on cell therapy and anti-aging medicine.

Dr Sitt referred to two types of cells: damaging (or unhealthy) cells and healing (or healthy) cells. Further, growth in the human body stops at about age 20. By age 25, the aging process has begun. At this stage, there are more damaging cells in the body than healing cells.

You can choose the aging lifestyle you want, Dr Sitt explained; it does not have to be sedentary as you can be as active as you want to be. The key is to create a balance in your body between damaging and healing cells. If you have too many damaging cells, and not enough healing cells, your body may show signs of premature aging. Dr. Sitt emphasized that, “Your cellular age is your real age.”

MC Roy Albiston presents the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation to Dr. Sitt Tienthiti for his interesting and informative talk about anti-aging medicine and cell therapy.

Factors that create damaging cells include: smoking; unhealthy diet; drinking alcohol (up to half a glass of red wine a day is okay); pollution; sleeping in too late; and stress. Factors that create healing cells, on the other hand, Dr Sitt explained, are a balanced diet; eating healthy food; meditating; exercising; and going to sleep earlier. He said that you need to go to sleep by nine or 10 p.m. for your body to generate growth hormones.

He mentioned there are ways to measure the extent of cellular aging. They involve telomeres. In the first decade of this century, scientists discovered that the chromosomes in the cells in our body are capped at both ends by something called “telomeres.” It is the shortening of these telomeres over time that leads to aging. Dr Sitt said that a telomere length test can determine your “true” age because as cells divide over time, telomeres shorten and eventually cell division stops.

Scientists also discovered a natural enzyme in cells called telomerase that can prevent telomeres from shortening. Researchers used a process called telomerase activation (also known as cell regeneration) to rejuvenate organs in animal experiments. He mentioned that cell regeneration is now being used in humans to slow the aging process. Telomerase activators are found in natural foods, such as red grapes, omega 3 fatty acid and ginkgo biloba (maidenhead tree). Exercising can also generate the activators.

Cell generation can also be achieved through cell therapy, Dr Sitt said. The history of living cell therapy dates back to 1931 when Swiss transplant surgeon Dr. Paul Niehans successfully administered fresh cells of the parathyroid gland from steer calf to the patient and observed long-term benefits of cell regeneration, with no complications. Further, many well-known historical figures have used cell therapy. For example, Winston Churchill attributed his physical endurance to cell therapy. Charlie Chaplin, who fathered a child in his 70s, told the press that cell therapy made it possible because it increased his potency and virility.

Nurses from Absolute Health were on hand to provide free blood analysis and blood pressure checks to members and guests at the PCEC’s Sunday, April 17, meeting.

Dr Sitt also mentioned peptide therapy, which has been used to combat degenerative diseases. He noted that peptide therapy is different from cell therapy. Peptides are specific compounds in the body, formed from amino acids. Some success has been achieved by using peptide therapy to treat autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and some types of allergies.

Dr Sitt said that the Absolute Health Clinic offers various forms of regenerative medicine and cell therapy using various forms of stem cells, including autologous stem cells (separated from fat) and hematopoietic stem cells (derived from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood).

He mentioned that he believed there are many potential uses of stem cell replacement therapy. They include treating strokes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, baldness and diabetes. He said that stem cells can also help heal wounds.

Dr Sitt also talked briefly about treating degenerative diseases using PRP (platelet-rich plasma), a treatment his clinic also offers. PRP is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets. PRP contains several different growth factors and other cytokines that can stimulate the healing of bone and soft tissue. Platelets are a component of the blood which help to stop bleeding. Cytokines are a category of small proteins that are released by cells and affect the behaviour of other cells. Dr Sitt said that PRP is particularly helpful in treating joint pain.

After the presentation, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on club activities and happenings around Pattaya. For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.