Naturopathic Medicine

Peptides, the Building Blocks for Better Health

What are Peptides & Peptide Therapy 

Peptide therapy is an emerging healing modality that uses prescription-based peptides to help treat and manage a variety of health conditions and to maximize performance. To get to know this unique type of therapy, we first need to understand what peptides are: 

  • Amino acids are the individual building blocks of protein
  • Peptides are made up of 2-50 amino acids linked together 
  • Proteins are made up of >100 peptides linked together 

 

Peptides are made naturally in the body and act as important signaling molecules for many physiological functions, as well as assisting in overall cellular functioning throughout the body – there are at least 7,000 naturally occurring peptides in the body that we know of – neurotransmitters, enzymes, and many hormones are made up of peptides. Each peptide has its own unique function and adequate levels are imperative for performing at optimal levels. 

 

Insulin therapy was one of the first and revolutionary clinical uses of peptides dating back to the 1920’s. Insulin is a peptide-hormone required for blood sugar regulation in the body. The administration of insulin has been a life-saving therapy for people with type I diabetes who cannot not produce insulin on their own. Over the years, peptide therapy has continued to evolve, and many advances have been made in the field. 

 

We have discovered how to recreate these naturally occurring signaling molecules to provide therapeutic benefit. Peptides administered therapeutically are an amazing way of supporting the body’s innate healing abilities, as they mimic the body’s natural pathways. Currently, there are over 60 peptide medications approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, in addition to hundreds more involved in preclinical development – these numbers continue to grow. 

Did you know most humans start to decrease production of signaling (peptide) molecules by around age 30? This is also the time fertility declines, marking the end of our developmental years. Intervention is important to combat the biological consequences of aging, characterized by a decline in cellular function. Peptides interfere with the aging process by directing cells to continue functioning the way they were intended. 

 

Peptide therapy has been indicated for therapeutic use affecting several body systems, organs, and cellular activities. It is a promising supportive treatment of both chronic and acute medical conditions, and potentially the prevention of them. Furthermore, peptide therapy is becoming increasingly popular in the world of sports performance, body composition enhancement, and health optimization. As always, ongoing research continues to uncover more about this fascinating form of medicine.

 

There are different routes of peptide administration- subcutaneous injection (relatively painless, right under the skin) is common because it allows the peptides to enter directly into the bloodstream, which allows for quicker and more effective utilization by the body. The route of administration will depend on the peptide and its intended use. Peptides may be used individually or in combination with other peptides. The effects of peptide therapy, when they start and how long they last, will be individual to the person receiving it. 

 

Peptide therapy is advantageous for its well-known safety (low toxicity), tolerability (minimal side effects), and efficacy (successful outcomes) in humans. Best of all, it can be customized to meet the needs of the person and their cellular processes. LIVV is proud to offer peptide therapy, your naturopathic doctor at LIVV will help decide which peptide is right for you and walk you through the process — give us a call to schedule your consultation. 

Top Peptides & What They Do  

Now that we understand what peptide therapy is, let’s explore some of the most popular peptides available for clinical use: 

 

BPC-157 – “ultimate healing peptide”

BPC stands for body protection compound. BPC-157 is made up of 15 amino acids and its natural form is found in human gastric (stomach) juice. Therapeutically, it is used to accelerate wound healing, decrease pain, protect organs, prevent gastric ulcers, and help treat digestive disorders including leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal cramps, and Crohn’s disease. 

 

CJC-1295 – “ultimate body gains peptide”

CJC-1295 is made up of 30 amino acids and functions to stimulate growth hormone in the body. It comes in 2 forms; one form includes a binding group called DAC (drug activity complex) that increases the length of time it remains in the body; the other form called Mod-GFR is used more clinically. Therapeutically, it is used to promote fat loss, increase lean muscle mass, improve lipid levels, enhance sleep, and increase repair and recovery. 

 

CJC + Ipamorelin – “ultimate performance peptide-combo”

CJC is often used in combination with Ipamorelin (another type of peptide) – one of the most widely prescribed combination peptide products. These two peptides have a synergistic effect on one another, providing 5x the benefit compared with using either peptide alone because each increases growth hormone in a different way (causing an extra increase in overall growth hormone).

 

Epitalon – “ultimate youth & longevity peptide”

Epitalon is made up of 4 amino acids and its natural form is produced in the brain. Therapeutically, it is used to increase resistance to emotional stress, decrease inflammation, regulate hormones, lengthen telomeres (anti-aging effects), restoring pancreatic function, and normalizing melatonin levels in elderly people.   

 

Thymosin Alpha-1“ultimate immune boosting peptide”

Thymosin alpha-1 is made up of 28 amino acids and its natural form is a component of the immune system that is responsible for restoring and modulating immune function. Therapeutically, it is used in the treatment of cancer, viral illnesses, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, and autoimmunity.  

 

Thymosin Beta-4“ultimate recovery peptide” 

Thymosin beta-4 is made up of 43 amino acids and its natural form is released from the thymus (an immune organ) and is important for immune cell production and function. It also plays a role in tissue protection and repair of injured or damaged tissue. Therapeutically, it is used for acute injury, surgical repair, senior athletes, and hair regrowth. It is being studied as a potential therapy for HIV, AIDS, and influenza. 

 

Written By Jordan Valdez, RDN

 

References

Resources: 

Tailor Made Peptide Catalog 

Peptide Protocols by William A. Seeds MD

https://jayccampbell.com/

 

Research: 

Lau JL, Dunn MK. Therapeutic peptides: Historical perspectives, current development trends, and future directions. Bioorg Med Chem. 2018;26(10):2700-2707. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2017.06.052

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