Guest: Dr. William Amzallag
Guest Bio: He is currently the General Manager of the European Union and member of the Jeunesse Global Medical Advisory Board. Jeunesse Global is a leading anti-ageing and wellness brand specialising in anti-ageing and regenerative products and services, with a presence in over 85 countries.
Health Professional Radio – Stem cells and Antiageing.
Katherine: Thanks for listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Katherine and today, I am joined by an anti-ageing expert, Dr. William Amzallag. He is currently the General Manager of the European Union and member of the Jeunesse Global Medical Advisory Board. Jeunesse Global is a leading anti-ageing and wellness brand specialising in anti-ageing and regenerative products and services, with a presence in over 85 countries. Welcome to our show, William.
Dr. William Amzallag: Thank you. Hello.
Katherine: Now, can you start by telling us, what are the three main causes of premature aging?
Dr. Amzallag: Everything is around DNA. Premature aging is always in relation with damage to the DNA. The first thing that we have is that we have oxidation, what we call glycation, which is attacking … in fact DNA is attacked everyday, one million times a day. The wonderful thing in our body is that even if our DNA is attacked one million times a day, we can repair it as fast as it’s damage.
Now that’s good until the age of 30, until the age of 35. After that, the maintenance service is not as good as it was before, and what happens is because DNA is damaged, each time that we have duplication, the duplication is not as good as the original. It’s like a bad photocopy. When this happens, like protein which are common [inaudible 0:01:43] and that’s one of the first of the reasons why we are aging.
The second one is about stem cells. Stem cells are very important, and we will talk about that later. But we have to keep a healthy stock of stem cells, in quantity and in quality. Unfortunately, stem cells have also DNA, and the DNA can be damaged. That’s why we are aging too. The third reason is what we call the telomere-shortening. We will have time maybe to talk about that. When the end of the chromosome are shortening at every duplication of the cells, the end of the DNA is shortening. After 50 to 60 divisions, there is no more protection of the DNA, and then the cells come into a state of senescence or cell suicide. We call that apoptosis. That’s now the three main reasons of aging prematurely or aging points.
Katherine: I’d like to talk a little bit more about the stem cells and their role in anti-aging like you mentioned.
Dr. Amzallag: Yes. Stem cells is a fascinating topic today. It’s very hot but also very promising. In my opinion, it’s a new revolution in medicine. The last one that we had was during the war when the antibiotic was invented. From that until today, no major discovery has been done. But today, stem cells can do a lot in our body. We have to understand what means stem cells. In fact, the first cell that we have, when we started, is what we call the zygote, is a combination of spermatozoid and ovula [sp], which bring the first one. We call it the embryonic stem cells.
Then very quickly after three of four days, these embryonic stem cells become adult stem cells. So what do they do? These cells are capable of becoming whatever we desire. If we want the cells to become brain cells or cardiac cells or muscle cells, they can do that. The [inaudible 0:04:12] of these stem cells is that they are able to multiply very, very quickly.
So what happens is during the pregnancy, the body will need to be built, and that’s what the stem cells are doing. Now, after, when we’re born, we keep a pool of stem cells in case we need for fresh cells, coming. And that’s where the revolution is coming, because now we can take these stem cells from our body, basically from the fat or from the umbilical cord or from the bone marrow, and re-inject these cells wherever we want, which means that no more replacements – knee replacements. They can do that for the heart. They can do that for the eyes. People who have blindness have been treated by stem cells.
Katherine: Interesting. There’s a lot of applications, not just with anti-aging.
Dr. Amzallag: Oh, a lot! A lot of different applications. A lot, yes.
Katherine: What are the differences between stem cells and growth factors?
Dr. Amzallag: Growth factors, yes. Stem cells, especially in the skin, are talking together. There’s a new science called signalling, which study how living organisms talk to each other. For instance, we know that computer can talk together by the Internet, for instance. But we know also that dolphins can communicate. We know that plants communicate, but we know also that cells communicate between them. Also, stem cells, they communicate between them, and what they do when they communicate, they produce growth factors. Growth factors are molecules which are indispensible for refreshing, building, maintaining. You remember I told about maintaining? Each time that we have DNA damage, we need maintenance.
This is part of the maintenance system. Stem cells, they can talk together and produce these growth factors, which will go outside of the cell and work on different topics. We have hundreds and hundreds of different growth factors. Each one has a specific task, and the goal of the stem cells is to produce those specific growth factors to do specific jobs. It’s exactly like hormones, with one difference – they work locally. Hormones work by distance, but these ones are like local hormones, which work locally to refresh, to maintain, and to replace, even, damage on the skin, on the collagen, on the elastin and many, many other things. The more growth factors you can bring to the skin, the better it is.
Katherine: You also mentioned before about chromosome shortening. Can you tell us a little bit about that, how it gets shortened over time?
Dr. Amzallag: Yes. That’s again another fascinating story. The telomere story and the stem cell story are two things which will revolutionise the world today and especially the anti-aging part.
At the end of the chromosome, we have some protection called the telomeres. They are here to protect the DNA, and it’s like DNA, it’s real DNA, but the sequence which are inside, there’s by hundreds. I mean even if it’s shortened, it doesn’t stop the DNA to work properly – but until a certain level. It means that it’s like shoelaces. It will protect the end of the DNA but at each division we will lose a little, a little, a little, a little. When we reach 50 to 60 divisions, as I’ve told you, there is no protection, no more protection.
Now, some scientists like Professor Elizabeth Blackburn has found out something very surprising. If you take spermatozoid and ovula, which we call the germinal cells compared to the somatic cells, they find out that the telomere never, never shorten. Why? And fortunately they never shorten. Why? Because if they shortened, we will have a baby which will be old at day one, if they have the father and the mother, telomeres will be very short and then it’s impossible. Nature has done a very good job by keeping the telomeres long enough.
Now, Professor Blackburn tried to find out why these telomeres, they’re always long – and they’re still long because we have an enzyme called telomerase, as Blackburn coined it. Telomerase, which replace – each time that we have a loss, these telomerase will replace the end of the DNA. Each time, at each loss it will replace … let’s say milligram by milligram or microgram by micro … nucleotide we said or biosphere by biosphere.
We find out that we have telomerase in all our cells. The problem is that these telomerase are sleeping. They are what we call inactivated. Inactivated because they are under the control of one gene called HRT, and this gene doesn’t express the telomerase. It doesn’t active the telomerase for [inaudible 00:10:36.0] reasons, probably for not competing with anti-cancer action. But if we find, and we find some ingredients which can activate the gene which will activate the telomerase production, and then the telomerase will start to re-lengthen the telomeres, and this is the new way of rejuvenation, cellular regeneration.
Katherine: Sure. I mean these technologies that you’re describing are very exciting. Anti-aging is such a huge industry and everyone is interested, especially when they get to a certain age, in anti-aging. When do some of these technologies actually will be incorporated so the general public and people could have access to some of these new breakthroughs?
Dr. Amzallag: If we talk about skin care for instance, in Jeunesse, we work with a very famous doctor in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, who found a way to extract the stem cells from the fat of his patient. He is a cosmetic surgeon, and by doing that … the main job of every cosmetic surgeon is liposuction. And he knew about stem cells and he knew also that one of the best locations where you can find the most important stem cells are in the fat. Surprisingly, it’s in the fat, not in the bone marrow. Well, you can find it in the bone marrow, but in the fat there is plenty, plenty of good stem cells. The only problem is how to extract that.
So he designed a special equipment in order to extract and separate the stem cells without having damage to the stem cells because they are very fragile. When they do a liposuction, he does that with a special machine. Then he extracts and separate the stem cells from the fat, and he re-injects these stem cells directly to the face or to the other parts of his patient. He got wonderful results, which means almost 48 after that, we saw wonderful results. The good thing is that there is no problem of compatibility, because it’s the stem cells of the same patient which is going back to the same one. So from that, he designed what he called a stem cell lift, which is now very known in America.
Now from that, he did a serum. The bad news is that there is no stem cells in the serum, but the good news is that everything in the serum is produced by the stem cells, because the stem cells are producing growth factors. What he did, he was putting some stem cells of his patient in a Petri dish, and as I told you, the stem cells are growing very rapidly. After one week, he has plenty of stem cells, which have talked together for one week and produced a lot of growth factors. In fact 248 different growth factors that he put in a liquid called the serum. So the serum is 90% growth factor and that’s it, nothing else.
The big difference is when you put the growth factors on the skin, they work. Why? Because they are molecules, not fresh cells. If somebody tells you, “I am putting fresh cells or stem cells on my face,” be sceptical, because fresh cells cannot survive outside of their environment. Only growth factors, which are not cells but molecules, can do the job. And that’s where the job is very well done with Dr. Newman.
Katherine: You yourself, you’ve developed a new skin care range, Luminesce. Can you tell us a little bit about that one?
Dr. Amzallag: Yes. We built Luminesce based on the core concept of growth factor. The centre of this line, Luminesce, is a serum. The serum, as I told you, is almost 100% growth factor and we get fantastic results from that. Now, this is for the anti-aging aspect, but always in the skin you have to take care of the daily problem, of the night problem, on how to clean the skin. This is why we built a complete line made of the daily cream, night cream, and the cleanser, and the serum, and very, very quickly something for the eyes and a mask. All that are based on growth factors or, if you want, stem cells, but the by-product of stem cells.
Katherine: Right. Thank you so much for your time today and for sharing some of these breakthrough technologies. For those of you that are interested in Luminesce skin care, you can find out more on jeunesseglobal.com. Thank you so much again for your time.
Dr. Amzallag: Thank you very much.