So I was wondering if there have been any updates regarding Nathan Carr's theory about Accutane inducing telomere shortening. I've been researching this angle for a while and came across something I wanted to run by you guys. Background for the Casual Lurkers and Newbies to Accutane Side Effects: I will briefly break down Carr's theory (using imprecise language for simplicity) for some context. Accutane metabolizes into a drug called ATRA (All trans retinoic acid) in the body, a drug that downregulates the telomerase enzyme in cells. Telomerase "protect" the telomeres of cells. What are telomeres? Telomeres determine how many times a cell can divide before it dies, or reaches the Hayflick Limit. Telomeres basically maintain the integrity of chromosomes in cells, but they naturally become shorter every time a cell divides. Basically, telomerase "slows" this process of shortening telomeres so that the cell can divide MORE times before dying. Put simply, less of this of the telomerase enzyme essentially leads to increased telomere shortening and, therefore, increased cellular death. Contrary to popular belief, telomerase does exist in more than just cancer cells. They happen to be prevalent in stem cells, which exist in adults' skin, gut, brain, muscles, teeth, etc. No wonder Accutane's side effects are so diverse! Over the years, evidence has only surfaced to SUPPORT the significance of ATRA's telomere shortening effects on both the "therapeutic" effects AND side effects of Accutane. HOWEVER, this telomere effect was never directly studied for Accutane SPECIFICALLY. (Recall that it's the drug Accutane is converted into that causes telomere shortening.) Nevertheless, Accutane has been found to induce apoptosis on all of the following type of cells: brain (hippocampal), sebaceous, meibomian, bone, muscle. etc. My Main Point: It's rare that I see people try to address Accutane's side effects from the perspective Carr's finding. To be fair, very few compounds have been found to have an effect an telomeres, but there are a few. Has anyone heard of Epitalon/Epithalon? Check out these studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15455129?dopt=Abstract "Peptide-treated cells with elongated telomeres made 10 extra divisions (44 passages) in comparison with the control and continued dividing. Hence, Epithalon prolonged the vital cycle of normal human cells due to overcoming the Heyflick limit." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12937682?dopt=Abstract "Addition of Epithalon peptide in telomerase-negative human fetal fibroblast culture induced expression of the catalytical subunit, enzymatic activity of telomerase, and telomere elongation, which can be due to reactivation of telomerase gene in somatic cells and indicates the possibility of prolonging life span of a cell population and of the whole organism." Firstly, note how this research reaffirms the relevance of telomerase in SOMATIC cells. Also importantly, it begs the question: Could Epiphalon reverse the gene-altering effects of Accutane? Forgive my hyperbole, but perhaps it takes something profound to undo a poison of Accutane's caliber. Maybe generic supplements and foods aren't enough. I'm not getting my hopes up, but this study seems promising. At the very least, this peptide may support other recovery methods (dietary changes) by replenishing cells. Here's the potential pitfall. Even if we are lacking telomerase in our "healthy" cells, it's no secret that telomerase is relevant to cancer cells. How could this compound know WHERE to upregulate telomerase and where NOT to? If it's any reassurance, Epitalon shows cancer-fighting effects. I will link a two articles I found on that topic, but there are more. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12209581?dopt=Abstract Reduction of mammary tumors. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304383502000903?np=y Reduction of bowel carcinogenesis. My Final Thoughts: Overall, it SOUNDS like a solid peptide given some of our issues. Anecdotally, I have read about people experiences' on this compound, and a common comment people make is on how it impacts their skin quality. I have never tried this myself nor have I heard of an Accutane victim trying it. This peptide has happened to gain popularity in nootropic communities, which tend to attract HEALTHY people looking for potential ENHANCEMENT rather than healing effects. As an "unhealthy folk" who was already screwed over by a drug once, I'll admit I am apprehensive about trying Epiphalon. Further, I've read about hundreds of supplements, and I am often disappointed by my results. I am just wondering if anyone has tried Epitalon for themselves. If not, I'd be thrilled if intelligent people could comment on the articles I linked regarding its effect on telomeres. . . I had to throw this out there. I will probably take the plunge, unless I am way off-base somehow. Take this information with a grain of salt. I am not telling you to try anything.