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The Multiple Uses & Benefits of AICAR Peptides
What Is AICAR Peptide?
AICAR, which is short for 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside, is a short-sequence peptide. It is an AMP kinase (AMPK) activator. It plays a role in metabolic pathways as well as energy homeostasis. Among the proven actions of AICAR peptide is the regulation of insulin receptors and controlling the way muscle cells act in response to insulin.
AICAR peptide is being actively investigated for its anti-cancer properties and its role in protecting cardiovascular tissue.
It is thought that the AICAR peptide is the activated form of the naturally-occurring acadesine. Acadesine is a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Acadesine has a role as an anti-cancer drug. It also plays a role in platelet inhibition and thus prevents blood clotting disorders. Since it is an active form of acadesine, there is hope that the AICAR can be used in similar settings.
Uses Of AICAR Peptide In Clinical Settings
Numerous studies on the potential uses and benefits of AICAR peptides in various clinical settings provide encouraging results.
Among these, the following are the more important ones.
Role Of AICAR Peptide In Insulin Resistance
Inflammation in adipose tissue always results in increased insulin sensitivity. Results suggest that reducing this inflammation improves glucose metabolism and homeostasis by improving insulin sensitivity. This effect comes without any significant body weight changes. AICAR peptide, via at least two different mechanisms, reduces this inflammation in adipose tissue. These two pathways mainly involve SIRT1 and macrophages.
In research conducted on diabetic and healthy mice, AICAR peptide has been shown to reduce the inflammatory response by activating AMP kinase. This improves insulin sensitivity, energy homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory markers.
Results also suggest that AICAR peptide mimics the effect of exercise in improving glucose uptake, homeostasis, and increasing insulin sensitivity. The common point is that exercise and AICAR upregulate the GLUT-1 receptors on muscle cells, which improves glucose uptake by muscle cells.
Anticancer Research On AICAR Peptide
AMPK has a varied effect on the growth and spread of tumors in different circumstances. It can slow down the invasion in some cases, whereas it accentuates the growth of tumors in other cases.
Research indicates that prolonged enzyme activation eventually leads to cancer cell death by slowing cancer cell metabolism making cancer cells more susceptible to environmental insults.
Scientists are currently working on using AICAR peptides concurrently with other anti-cancer agents to improve their effectiveness in fighting cancer.
The use of AICAR peptide adjunctly with other chemotherapeutic agents can provide the following benefits:
● Improvement of side effects. Most chemotherapeutic agents have severe and lasting side effects. The side effects can even limit the use of the chemotherapeutic agents.
● Reduction of the required dose of the chemotherapeutic agents
● Improving the outcome of the adjunctively used anti-cancer agents
Research done on thyroid cancer has shown tremendous effects of the use of AICAR peptide. Research suggests that the AICAR peptide induces the apoptosis of cancer cells by the p21 and caspase-3 activations.
The anti-inflammatory effects of AMPK activators have long been proven. AICAR peptide has metformin-like actions in different inflammatory conditions. It has an anti-inflammatory protective effect on conditions like atherosclerosis, lung injury, colitis, asthma, and hepatitis.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it finds use in some autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Research conducted on mice has shown that the AICAR can reduce the inflammation in colitis. This anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to the fact that it acts as a central inhibitor of immune responses in this setting by reducing nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation in macrophages and TH-1 and TH17-type cytokines.
Effects Of AICAR On The Heart
Inflammation of the cardiovascular tissue is the primary pathology in numerous heart diseases, including atherosclerosis. The inflammation, as well as vascular smooth muscle proliferation, is one of the primary sequences in failure of stent placement as well as other cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, controlling vascular inflammation could reduce both short-term and long-term complications of stent placement without the need for drugs that increase bleeding risk.
AMPK activation, which is the main effect of the AICAR peptide, results in suppressing specific immune responses that lead to atherosclerosis. AICAR mitigates the risk of developing atherosclerotic plaques resulting from macrophage proliferation, thereby reducing the prevalence of heart diseases.
Research In Fertility
Recent studies on the potential benefits of AICAR peptide have shown that peptide administration improved sperm motility, metabolism, and fertilizing ability. This can be a significant development in improving male fertility and overall reproductive health.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not for human or animal consumption. All the information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.
Dr. Usman (BSc, MBBS, MaRCP) completed his studies in medicine at the Royal College of Physicians, London. He is an avid researcher with more than 30 publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Usman has worked as a researcher and a medical consultant for reputable pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.