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Copper Peptide (GHK)2·Cu
Copper peptides have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and can promote wound healing, collagen stimulation and attraction of immune cells. The level of tripeptide GHK-Cu naturally occurring in the body reduces with age. In skincare it is mainly used as an anti-ageing ingredient, but is believed to also help with general skin health, including improved skin texture and treatment of scarring. In anti-ageing products it generally appears in lower concentrations of less than one per cent.
Oxidative stress, disrupted copper homeostasis, and neuroinflammation due to overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines are considered leading causative factors in development of age-associated neurodegenerative conditions. Recently, a new mechanism of aging-detrimental epigenetic modifications-has emerged. Thus, compounds that possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity as well as compounds capable of restoring copper balance and proper gene functioning may be able to prevent age-associated cognitive decline and ward off many common neurodegenerative conditions. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to a compound with a long history of safe use in wound healing and antiaging skin care. The human tripeptide GHK was discovered in 1973 as an activity in human albumin that caused old human liver tissue to synthesize proteins like younger tissue. It has high affinity for copper ions and easily forms a copper complex or GHK-Cu. In addition, GHK possesses a plethora of other regenerative and protective actions including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties. Recent studies revealed its ability to up- and downregulate a large number of human genes including those that are critical for neuronal development and maintenance. We propose GHK tripeptide as a possible therapeutic agent against age-associated neurodegeneration and cognitive decline.
Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2012). The human tripeptide GHK-Cu in prevention of oxidative stress and degenerative conditions of aging: implications for cognitive health. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2012.