Regenerative Treatment Options for Common Disabilities Facing Veterans

Nov 11, 2021 | Inflammaging, Orthopedics

At Boulder Longevity Institute, we have veterans on our team and in our BLI Family, so veterans’ health is a cause close to our heart. Unfortunately, the current care options available to most vets are not sufficient enough to address many of the underlying issues leading to common health challenges and disabilities veterans face. However, in the fields of regenerative and cellular medicine, research has helped illuminate some novel treatments and options shown to help slow, mitigate, manage, or sometimes even reverse these common ailments. Here are just a few of the options available to help manage some of the most common health challenges and concerns veterans face. 

Arthritis & Mobility

Did you know?

  • Arthritis is the leading cause of disability among United States veterans and the second leading cause of medical discharge from the U.S. Army, following injuries on the battlefield.1, 2 
  • CDC estimates 1 in 3 veterans currently live with arthritis, compared to 1 in 4 members of the general population. 3,4
  • No money is dedicated from the Department of Defense’s expansive medical research program to study arthritis prevention, treatment and cures in this highly susceptible patient population. 5

What can you do?

Body Protection Compound 157 (BPC 157) is a healing peptide with neuroprotective, cardioprotective and gastric protective impacts. Its applications extend to treatment of orthopedic injuries, gut repair, depression management and blood pressure regulation.6 BPC can help repair the damage caused by inflammation, promote the healing of tendons and ligaments7, repair damaged muscles and tissue,8, 9 and even speed up bone healing and protect the gut from damage caused by pain killer NSAIDs.10

Collagen is another peptide option that has extensively been shown to help heal joint injury and alleviate pain. Unlike BPC-157, which is usually administered as a subcutaneous injection or oral capsule, collagen is found as a powder that you can mix into your drink. Collagen is a simple and safe option that studies show has marked benefits for pain and function! A recent study was done in young people showing almost 50% improvement in joint pain and better stability.11 (Pro Tip: Look for collagen products that contain FORTIGEL which promotes cartilage regeneration.12 One option can be found on our partner store OHP Health.)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Did you know? 

  • In a 2017 study involving 5,826 United States veterans, 12.9% were diagnosed with PTSD.13 For veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates the rate of PTSD is between 11% and 20%.14 (Compare this to the 6.8% incidence of PTSD among the general U.S. population.15)
  • Nearly 6 in 10 veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD still suffer symptoms of the condition despite months-to-years of treatment with first-line therapies.16

What can you do? 

Oxytocin is often thought of as the “love hormone” – it is what triggers mothers to feel connected to their newborns and is what is released by the brain during highly emotional or sexual encounters. It is a very abundant neuropeptide exerting a wide spectrum of central and peripheral effects as a neurohormone, neurotransmitter, or neuromodulator.17 In humans, oxytocin can help reduce social anxiety and stress, and can make us more trusting.18 Delivery of oxytocin shortly after trauma has been shown to help prevent development of PTSD19; but recent research has shown oxytocin to have potential in treatment of long-term PTSD through emotional remodeling20 and as an adjunct to Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy.21

Tinnitus & Hearing Loss

Did you know? 

  • Hearing loss and tinnitus are the  two most prevalent service-connected disabilities among veterans in the United States.22
  • US Service Members are more likely than the general population to suffer from tinnitus.23, 24, 25
  • Tinnitus associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is reported to be at least double that of noise-induced or age-related tinnitus. Comparatively, mild TBI (mTBI) is reported to be associated with up to a 75.7% incidence of tinnitus.26

What can you do? 

Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients for all-around health! Because much of the population consumes diets without enough foods rich in vitamin D, combined with inadequate exposure to natural ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from sunlight, a large proportion of the global population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency.27 One lesser known benefit of this vitamin is in treatment for tinnitus. A study published in August 2021 concluded: “Our findings suggest that a large proportion of tinnitus patients suffer from vitamin D deficiency and that the vitamin D level correlates with tinnitus impact. We recommend a vitamin D assessment for all tinnitus patients.”28 Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the severity of TBIs, with a clinical review of 176 related studies concluding, “Paucity of vitamin D significantly affects the outcome after brain injury. This clearly validates the necessity for screening of vitamin D levels in neurological deficit in order to reduce the risk of morbidity in terms of neurocognitive disorder.”29 Plus, vitamin D is a well-documented immune booster and bone strengthener!

Scars and Wounds

Did you know? 

  • A literature review of over 400 studies found that there is very limited research investigating body image and psychosocial concerns among veterans with combat-related appearance-altering injuries. The four papers that met criteria for inclusion indicate that combat injured veterans may experience body image distress and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social anxiety.30
  • Even decades after limb amputation, skin complications at the stump site continue to cause significant morbidities and contribute to abandonment of prosthetics. High prevalence of stump dermatoses stresses the importance of disease prevention, early management, and advanced treatment of skin disease.31


What can you do? 

GHK-Cu is a peptide formed by the combination of the GHK molecule with copper (Cu). Though the benefits of this peptide (typically delivered through a transdermal cream or serum) extend beyond simply aesthetic, the research supporting its use for helping repair and heal skin is well documented. GHK-Cu stimulates wound healing in numerous models and in humans. Controlled studies on aged skin demonstrated that it tightens skin, improves elasticity and firmness, reduces fine lines, wrinkles, photodamage and hyperpigmentation.32 It can help treat skin wounds33 and has been shown to improve wound healing and tissue regeneration. GHK-Cu also improves the condition of aging skin and hair, supports angiogenesis and nerve outgrowth, and possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.34

If you are someone you know may benefit from one of the treatment options outlined here or are curious to learn more, submit an online inquiry on our website and someone from our team will reach out to you!

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