Gloved hand holds a red vial labelled "CMV."
Research

How to Stop a Hidden Virus that May Accelerate Aging in 50% of Adults

Hidden within our bodies, an ancient virus silently lurks, potentially accelerating aging. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a member of the herpesvirus family, is a sneaky virus that infects people worldwide, affecting individuals of all ages. 

According to Harvard Medical School, anywhere from 50% to 85% of adults in the United States have had a CMV infection by age 40. You likely have had it and not have even known! But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry.

While it may not cause severe symptoms for most healthy individuals, CMV can pose significant risks to specific vulnerable populations, such as newborns and individuals with weakened immune systems. It can be transmitted through close personal contact, such as kissing, sexual activity, or sharing utensils. 

As a person ages, their immune system undergoes natural changes known as immunosenescence. These changes can lead to a decline in immune function, and over time, the immune response to CMV becomes less efficient. When this happens, the virus can reactivate and cause symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. In addition to immunosenescence, other factors contribute to the increased susceptibility to CMV in older adults as well. 

These factors include cumulative exposure to the virus over time, increased prevalence of CMV in the general population, and potential virus reactivation due to stress, illness, or medical treatments that weaken the immune system. 

It is worth noting that while CMV infections in healthy older adults may not cause severe symptoms, they can still have implications for overall health and well-being. To minimize the risk of CMV infection, especially among older adults who have likely contracted it, practicing good hygiene and following preventive measures, such as frequent handwashing and avoiding close contact with individuals shedding the virus, can be beneficial. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and managing stress, can help support a robust immune system and reduce the risk of CMV infection as well.

The good news is that if you do contract CMV, we have several modalities at PUR-FORM that can boost health and immunity to help you fight infection. These run the gamut from hyperbaric oxygen, cryotherapy, hydrogen therapy, and several others.  

Typically, when someone contracts CMV, it will reactivate and trigger an immune response as the body tries to control the virus. This immune response involves activating immune cells, such as natural killer cells and T cells, which release proinflammatory molecules called cytokines. These cytokines help fight the virus. 

Once infected, CMV retreats into the shadows, lying dormant within specific immune system cells. This is why it can be so harmful. Over time, repeated episodes of CMV reactivation and the associated immune response can lead to chronic inflammation. 

This chronic inflammation, in turn, can damage tissues and organs and contribute to developing age-related diseases. Multiple mechanisms contribute to the intricate interplay between CMV reactivation and inflammaging. 

First, persistent CMV infection can lead to immunosenescence, impairing the immune system’s ability to control viral replication effectively. This dysregulation of immune surveillance creates a pro-inflammatory microenvironment that perpetuates chronic inflammation. Additionally, CMV reactivation can perturb the delicate balance of the gut microbiota, triggering dysbiosis and intestinal barrier dysfunction, thereby exacerbating systemic inflammation. The chronic inflammatory milieu resulting from CMV reactivation and subsequent inflammaging has far-reaching implications for aging-related diseases. 

Even worse, chronic inflammation is pivotal in developing and progressing cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s), and certain cancers. Furthermore, the inflammatory microenvironment facilitated by CMV reactivation can accelerate age-related functional decline, impair tissue regeneration, and compromise immune surveillance, thereby increasing susceptibility to infections.

It’s important to note that CMV is just one of many factors implicated in inflammaging. Other factors, such as cellular senescence, oxidative stress, and changes in the gut microbiota, also play a role in immunosenescence. Additionally, only some people who carry CMV will experience significant reactivation or develop inflammaging-related health issues. However, as time passes, CMV and other reactivated viruses have a more significant footprint on inflammaging. 

Unfortunately, the CMV virus and other viruses lurking in the body may speed up aging without us even being aware. The main problem for many people is that there are few traditional methods available to control the virus:

Antiviral medications that treat CMV infections can have significant side effects and toxicity profiles. Ganciclovir, for example, may cause bone marrow suppression, kidney toxicity, and gastrointestinal disturbances. 

I’m happy to write that our clinic has some excellent methods to control these viruses and possibly help in their elimination. 

Here are 5 modalities that I personally recommend to combat CMV:

EBO2

The EBO2 technique utilizes the concept of running blood through a dialysis filter where it mixes with ozone gas. The ozone is converted to a variety of compounds almost instantly. Ozone never actually enters the body, but after mixing and reacting with ozone in the filter, the blood travels to and flows through a device called the Hemealumen. 

On passing through the Hemealumen, the blood undergoes photobiomodulation, where the light energy can have various biological effects. This happens when the blood is subjected to red, blue, amber, green, ultraviolet A, and ultraviolet C light wavelengths. 

Our EBO2 protocol can result in viruses meeting their demise by two methods. The first is the effects of ozone on the virus. Ozone destroys the virus’s outer shell and wreaks havoc on the RNA and DNA, so the virus dies or can’t reproduce. Second, ultraviolet A light will also help to eliminate viruses overall. 

Even after EBO2, some viruses may escape, which leads us to our next strategy to eliminate them. 

Very Small Embryonic-Like Stem Cells

Another method that can be utilized in the fight against the CMV viruses and its pack of fellow viruses is using Very Small Embryonic Like Stem Cells (VSELS). Scientific literature shows that these cells seem to reverse immunosenescence. This means that your immune system grows younger. 

These cells are found in every one of us, and they can be obtained from our blood circulation. They are quiescent, meaning they are not active but can become active given the right circumstances. Luckily, we have the techniques to increase the number of cells in circulation and activate these cells. This is a simple procedure that only requires a blood stick from the patient. 

Intravenous NAD

Another aspect of our treatment is using intravenous NAD to deal with recurrent virus infections. As we age, the level of NAD found in our cells decreases by 50% for every twenty years of life. If for no other reason, this should be enough of a reason to take extra NAD.  

This matters even more when dealing with CMV because virus infections can additionally deplete NAD levels in the body. Some viral infections can even trigger the activation of enzymes that consume NAD. 

For example, certain viruses can induce the production of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs), which utilize NAD as a substrate to modify proteins and DNA structures. This excessive activation of PARPs can deplete cellular NAD levels. This depletion of NAD is believed to be a protective response aimed at limiting the virus’s ability to replicate and spread within the body. The extent of NAD depletion may vary depending on the specific virus and the individual’s immune response. 

The depletion of NAD during viral infections can have significant consequences, as NAD is involved in various cellular processes, including energy production and regulation of immune function. Therefore, the depletion of NAD can impair the body’s ability to mount an effective immune response and may contribute to more severe symptoms and complications associated with viral infections. 

The immune response to viral infections involves activating immune cells, such as macrophages and T cells. These cells require NAD for their energy metabolism and proper functioning. As a result, the increased demand for NAD during immune activation can lead to its depletion, which can lead to many bad health outcomes.

Senescent Cells

Another aspect to consider with CMV is the accumulation of senescent cells. Senescent cells are “zombie cells.” They are cells that should have died but continue to live. The immune system’s ability to clear senescent cells diminishes with age, contributing to an accumulation of these problematic cells in tissues. 

This accumulation can disrupt tissue maintenance and organ function due to the inflammatory substances they secrete. In addition, the secretion pattern of these cells causes much inflammation throughout the body. Research has provided evidence linking persistent CMV infection with the progression of CD8+ T-cells toward cellular senescence, heightened inflammation, and increased susceptibility to age-related health problems. 

As individuals age, the population of senescent T-cells tends to rise, partly as a response to lifelong infections caused by viruses like cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). These viral infections contribute to the accumulation of senescent T-cells, which can harm immune function and overall health as people age.

There are several methods to help keep the numbers of these cells down. Some of these methods include senolytic agents, which help to eliminate these cells. Examples of senolytic drugs include dasatinib, quercetin, navitoclax, fisetin, and a new one called SenUltra, a combination compound covering all the bases. 

SenUltra is a compound I helped design. Our clinic will utilize SenUltra and dasatinib to treat the CMV virus. Other methods include caloric restriction and fasting, especially intermittent fasting and exercise. 

Peptides

The relationship between the thymus gland and peptides is important when it comes to fighting CMV. Let me explain why:

The thymus gland is in the center of the chest behind the sternum, equidistant between the lungs just above the heart. It’s composed of two lobes. Each lobe has smaller sections called lobules, giving the thymus a bumpy appearance. This small bumpy gland provides a microenvironment for developing T cells critical for maintaining immunity. 

T cells are a kind of lymphocyte influential in shaping the immune response. No one knows why the thymus functions at its peak when we’re young and weakens as we age. You would think it would stay strong throughout life or adapt and strengthen with age, but this weakened characteristic may explain why COVID-19 has fewer effects on children whose thymus is fully functional and why the elderly succumb more easily.  

Strengthening the thymus gland involves preventing its shrinkage and taking nutrients that support its activity and hormones. Some nutrients beneficial for the thymus are zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenes, selenium, and antioxidants. Artificial sweeteners may harm the thymus and should be avoided. 

When infected with CMV, the adaptive immune system allocates increasing resources to combat the virus. However, this response is futile as CMV cannot be completely cleared from the body. Instead, the virus enters a latent state and can re-emerge later. 

As individuals age, the thymus, the organ responsible for the maturation of T cells in the adaptive immune system, undergoes atrophy, resulting in a reduced supply of new T cells. As we’ve explained, T cells are essential in fighting infections. Without a fresh influx of immune cells, the continuous specialization of the immune system to combat CMV depletes its capacity to handle other critical functions. 

Some of the best ways of dealing with thymus regeneration is utilizing some thymus peptides. A peptide is a short chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and peptides can be considered smaller versions of proteins. Peptides typically consist of between 2 and 50 amino acids, although this range is not strictly defined. In addition, peptides play essential roles in biological processes and can have various functions, such as serving as signaling molecules, enzymes, or structural components in cells and tissues. There are a host of thymic peptides to explore, and it is easy to get lost in similar-sounding names and structures. Here are the three most utilized with good studies to support their function. 

Thymulin, Thymosin Alpha-1, and TB4-Frag – oral capsule. They are administered a few days per week or possibly daily in advancing doses for a short period and then halted. Thymic peptides combined with BPC-157 and Epitalon are an excellent combined longevity strategy. The successful TRIIM trial should also be mentioned for thymus regeneration. 

The TRIIM trial (Thymus Regeneration, Immunorestoration, and Insulin Mitigation) was a study that evaluated a personalized combination treatment regimen for thymus regeneration. The compounds in the study included HGH, metformin, DHEA, vitamin D3, and zinc. At PUR-FORM, we have alternated this program using berberine instead of metformin and sermorelin in place of HGH. 

With up to 85% of adults contracting CMV at some point in their lifetime, we are all potential victims of the virus and its family of other viruses. 

At PUR-FORM, we have several alternatives to contend with these viruses while at the same time improving one’s health on several different levels. As always, we take an individualized, personal approach to your health!

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