People reading about potential anti-aging strategies may run across the work of Jim Plante and his company Klotho Therapeutics. This organization is focusing on using DNA to combat serious disorders like polycystic kidney disease, diabetes and cancer. Specifically, their research concentrates on a component of genetic structure known as Klotho, a protein that functions as a hormone.
An Anti-Aging Hormone
When someone hears the term “anti-aging,” it may conjure up bogus claims of over-the-counter supplements and skin care products that are purported to make consumers look 10 years younger. But the Klotho protein, produced naturally in the body, is recognized by scientists as integral for many physical processes. Unfortunately, production slows with age, especially beyond the age of 40. This is one part of the equation as to why certain health disorders most commonly begin appearing about halfway through a typical lifespan.
Klotho has antioxidant properties, thus reducing oxidative stress associated with illness and negative signs of aging. Some diseases are inherited, with genetic mutations underlying their occurrence. Yet many people carrying genes connected with certain illnesses ever develop those conditions. One theory is that abundant levels of Klotho have a protective effect, and some individuals are fortunate enough to maintain higher levels of this hormone throughout life.
The Possibility of Stimulating Production
One area of research looks at how to stimulate the production of Klotho in middle-aged and older individuals so it returns to its youthful levels. Some techniques have been found to boost this hormone to a certain extent, but not substantially enough to have a definitive impact on disease prevention. During and after muscle building exercise, for example, injuries to the muscle cells break down some of the fiber, after which additional cells are produced. This process appears to stimulate Klotho production.
Chronic Kidney Disease
New drugs and other biotechnological advances may help alleviate some of the debilitating conditions from which so many people suffer. Chronic kidney disease, for instance, affects some 31 million people in the United States alone. That’s a full 10 percent of the population, a staggering figure in terms of the physical, emotional and monetary costs.