Limitless Potential

Nonsurgical regenerative therapies restore arthritic knees.

Bicycle photo courtesy of Glen A. Fritz, PhD. 

Stem cell and peptide therapies have revived Dr. Fritz’s competitive ability.

Where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the exact location of Mount Sinai are just two of the questions about the biblical Exodus that for years piqued the curiosity of one-time oral surgeon Glen A. Fritz, PhD.

Dr. Fritz, who gave up his dental practice and went back to school at the age of 57 to learn how to solve those mysteries, provides his answers to them in three books he’s authored on the subject that has forever fascinated him.

“My first book was the dissertation I wrote for my PhD, which I earned in 2006,’’ Dr. Fritz says. “It’s called The Lost Sea of the Exodus, and it determined the part of the sea that was crossed and the route taken to get there.”

Dr. Fritz’s second book details his theory on the exact location of Mount Sinai, while his third delves into the path the Israelites took in reaching it. It’s a route that, just a year ago, Dr. Fritz would have had trouble traveling himself.

A competitive distance runner since he was in his 20s, Dr. Fritz began competing in triathlons in 2011. Shortly after moving to Florida in 2018, however, he was sidelined by nagging knee pain that annoyed him even when he wasn’t running or biking.

“My knees were just plain sore,’’ Dr. Fritz says. “Even if I was just lying in bed, they were sore. Thankfully, I knew a doctor associated with Regenerative Biologics Institute in Vero Beach, so I went there to see what they could do for me.

Signature Treatment

At Regenerative Biologics Institute (RBI), Dr. Fritz met with clinical director and stem cell scientist Jason Griffeth, MS. After looking at a series of x-rays that showed Dr. Fritz was suffering from arthritic degeneration of the cartilage in both knees, RBI’s medical team recommended a combination of TruGenta Injection Therapy and Peptide Therapy.

Optimized by its regenerative medicine specialists over the past decade, TruGenta Injection Therapy is RBI’s signature treatment protocol. Patients such as Dr. Fritz are treated with mesenchymal stem cells, which are the body’s soft-tissue-forming and healing cells. TruGenta contains the highest number of living, functional mesenchymal stem cells currently available to patients.

“Mesenchymal stem cells are naturally programmed to heal and repair tissue,” Jason explains. “We isolate many millions of those cells, combine them with plateletrich plasma [PRP] from the patient’s blood and inject them directly into the area of need using real-time ultrasound guidance. If necessary, the therapy can also be combined with growth factors from umbilical cord tissue or amniotic fluid.”

“Mesenchymal stem cells are highly anti-inflammatory by nature, so they substantially reduce inflammation and pain. They also release many therapeutic proteins, including those that recruit other stem cells from around the body to the area injected. Some of those proteins generate a new blood supply, which further aids in healing.

The stem cell treatments have revived my whole competitive ability, and I feel great – Dr. Fritz

“The combination of the stem cells and PRP gives patients with degenerative arthritis the best chance at a long-term regenerative effect. There are other therapies on the market that can produce an anti-inflammatory effect, but with TruGenta, we maximize the regenerative effect by using these high quantities of viable mesenchymal stem cells.”

Mesenchymal stem cells work in several steps, Jason informs. Once injected into the area of need, such as a knee, hip or shoulder joint, they adhere to the local tissues and bones and begin to replicate. They then crowd the area and start to fuse together, with the fusion resulting in the formation of new tissue. Adding the PRP and bioactive growth factors further stimulates the mesenchymal stem cells to grow within the joints.

A similar result is realized through peptide therapy, an emerging, regenerative treatment that provides physicians with yet another tool that naturally optimizes a patient’s health and well-being.

“Peptides are small proteins that are natural to us,” explains Felice Haake, DO, of Regenerative Biologics Institute. “They are what we refer to as
cell-signaling molecules, which means they are these little amino acids bound by peptide bonds that connect to a receptor on a cell and basically tell the cell what to do.

“I sometimes use a gardening analogy when talking about peptides, because they allow us to get the soil right when we combine them with the TruGenta injections. But there are peptides for pretty much every ailment, and they do a multitude of things. And one of the real nice things about them is that they have a very low sideeffect profile.”

In treating Dr. Fritz, who received the peptide boost through an injection, Dr. Haake used a specific peptide known as body protection compound157. In addition to helping prevent gastrointestinal dysregulation, BPC157 has proved effective in accelerating the healing of wounds and damaged or degenerative soft tissues, Dr. Haake explains.

“We chose the combination of that particular peptide and the TruGenta Injection Therapy because Dr. Fritz is so active, and because he wanted to get back to competing,” Jason says. “We wanted to give him every opportunity to keep his pain level at a minimum, and those two therapies did the trick.”

The Winner’s Circle

Dr. Fritz received his injections in September 2018. Though he was still biking and swimming at the time, he had completely backed off of running and was no longer competing in triathlons. Two months after receiving the TruGenta injections and peptide therapy, however, he was running pain-free again and not just competing in triathlons but winning in his age group.

“I knew the potential of the stem cells and peptide therapy I had received, so after taking it easy for a couple of months, I got back into the swing of things and actually won my age group in a triathlon in Key West in December,’’ Dr. Fritz says.

“And that’s a really big race. We’re talking about competing against a thousand or twelve hundred people, so I thought that was pretty remarkable to go from essentially being a non-runner to having RBI’s treatments and then three and a half months later winning the Key West Triathlon.

“Then I did the Fort Pierce triathlon and won my age group again that same month. Since then, I’ve done six triathlons and am now ranked third in the state in the seventy-to-seventy-four age group. I was second for a while, and if I have a good showing in the rest of the races this year, I’ll probably finish up second in the state, which would be great.

“I know I wouldn’t be competing at that level were it not for the treatments and the work they’ve done for me at RBI. I mean, it’s not like I’m just going for strolls in the park and a little bike ride here and there. I’m training very rigidly and racing hard and pushing it to the limit.

“The stem cell and peptide treatments have revived my whole competitive ability, and I feel great. I’m running as much as I want to, I’m recovering well and my knees are hitting on all cylinders. That’s why I so strongly believe in this therapy and the work they’re doing at the Regenerative Biologics Institute.

“I trust their judgment and track record and the techniques they use.”

 

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