In animal experiments, epithalamin has been shown to increase the mean and maximum life spans of mice and fruit flies, decrease levels of free radicals and oxidative damage, and alter the activity of the antioxidant enzyme catalase. It has also been shown to inhibit the growth of transplantable tumours, including pliss lymphosarcoma and lung carcinoma, and attenuate metastasizing of melanoma and LIO-1 leukemia in mice.
The peptide geroprotector epithalamin was extracted from the pineal gland and then synthesized by Russian professor and gerontologist Vladimir Khavinson, Director of the Saint Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology. Epithalamin is a complex of four amino acids (alanine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid and glycine) and has a unique structure that acts as an epigenetic switch to trigger protein synthesis in the pineal gland. This results in normalization of melatonin secretion, immune enhancement and telomerase activation.
In a study of patients with accelerated ageing of the cardiovascular system, long-term epithalamin treatment (6 treatment courses during 3 years) decelerated aging of the heart and blood vessels and normalized physical performance and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and resulted in reduced mortality. This geroprotective effect of the peptide derived from the pineal gland is explained by its ability to eliminate the imbalance between prooxidation and antioxidation defences.
In addition, several studies show that the peptide epithalamin can extend telomeres and slow down the aging process of human somatic cells by 2-7 times, depending on the cell type studied. This is important for maintaining the normal biological function of a cell and preventing disease development and progression.