Pioneers leading the evolution of health and wellness have declared peptides will have a major part in the “future of precision medicine”. They have certainly shown promise in both clinical research and practical application and yet, they remain largely misunderstood or unknown by medical professionals as well as the average person. To fully understand why they deserve to be considered as part of your anti-aging, performance, or general health protocol, you must understand how they work with our physiology, why they are superior to traditional options, and the potential they have to positively affect systems across the body. An in-depth explanation of the many peptides currently in use, their proven or potential benefits, dosing, application, and their history is well beyond the scope of this article. We seek to simply shed light on some misconceptions of what peptides are, foster a fundamental understanding of how they work, and why you might want to consider them as an adjunct or alternative therapy. Discussing peptides can be a little overwhelming at first – rest assured however, by absorbing some of the information that follows you will have a deeper understanding of why they have such a promising future in medicine.
What Are Peptides?
Peptides are nothing more than fragments of full proteins. Another way to look at them is as smaller sequences of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), constantly created within our bodies to perform certain functions. They are found in every cell and every tissue and work away delivering messaging, triggering events, and everything in between. Biochemically they are actually very basic molecules that, once attached to a specific receptor, illicit a response at the cellular and potentially systemic level. Think of them as a key – each and every function within our body requires a key (or keys) to take place. Peptides are often this key, although there are different kinds of keys that our body uses to get the job done. Peptides are essentially signalling molecules with a highly specific task and purpose. Harnessing this ability allows peptides to be strategically used to increase performance, speed healing of injuries, increase muscle growth, expedite fat loss, support immune function, prevent chronic disease, and potentially countless more uses that have yet to be discovered. Peptide’s specificity is how they are able to work with our physiology, not against it like most modern interventions. By identifying the key (peptide) that sets into motion a series of biochemical responses, with a desired result, scientists are able to recreate the key and apply it on a wide-scale.
Why Peptides May Be the Future
Although many drugs truly are beneficial or lifesaving, most come with a list of potential unwanted effects. This is because they often act throughout the entire body, influencing every cell in your body in various ways – some good, some bad. The active compounds within most medications make their way around your entire body, binding to receptor sites here and there while having to be filtered all along the way. It seems almost inevitable that there will be some side effects – these treatments simply aren’t always precise enough.
Perhaps this is why so many have embraced peptide therapies. In order to synthesize or create peptides, you need highly specialized equipment that is able to link molecules together without error. Some peptides such as growth hormone are nearly 200 amino acids in length – get them out of order and you have a completely different molecule. An error such as this can result in an entirely different response, or no response at all. This level of precision during assembly is then mirrored by the precise effects the peptide will have once it has been administered. Although it will pass through your circulatory system just like any other compound, peptides bind only to the receptors which they have been designed to target. BPC-157 (body protection compound) is a peptide commonly used to facilitate repair and recovery of tissues. Once in your system it will seek out specific signaling molecules that are released by the injured tissue(s). When it has found the biochemical bat-signal from injured tissue it goes to work, resulting in a quicker recovery process. BPC-157 has been shown to increase repair of muscle, tendon, intestines, bone, teeth, brain tissue, the cornea, and has profound effects on modulating the immune system.
GHRH’s and GHRP’s
Another excellent example of the ability peptides have to work synergistically with our own physiology comes from a few of the most commonly used categories of peptides on the available for anti-aging: GHRh’s (growth hormone-releasing hormones) and GHRP’s (growth hormone-releasing peptides). As you no doubt are aware, aging is essentially breaking down at the cellular level, causing us to be in an oxidative and catabolic state.. We battle decreased muscle mass (sarcopenia), dysfunctional mitochondria, lack of appetite, decreased immune function, a decline in libido. All of this along with depression, and many more unwanted effects that seem to inevitably come as part of the aging process. Much of this dysfunction can be largely reversed by the appropriate administration of GHRh (compounds such as Sermorelin, CJC-1295, Tesamorelin, and more). These compounds work to stimulate your anterior pituitary to release its own natural growth hormone, allowing you to avoid the potential side effects of the questionable use of exogenous growth hormone! Pair GHRh therapy with it’s sidekick GHRP (GHRP-2/6 and Ipamorelin, and more), which work primarily by inhibiting somatostatin (aka growth hormone inhibiting hormone). To fully cover the systemic effects of these two classes of compounds would likely take forever. For now, suffice it to say that they facilitate your own body’s release of growth hormone, mitigating or preventing the unwanted issues that are a result of or caused by aging.
When you understand that peptides are just stimulating the body to have a response it was already meant to have, you can see how they have the potential to positively impact the whole of our physiology. Overall, peptides and the therapies that they enable are an amazing avenue of research and eventually actual application. North America is certainly leading the charge in terms of researching and isolating specific peptides but we are nowhere near the front of the pack in terms of clinical application. Australia in particular has been performing clinical trials on peptides for over a decade now and the results speak for themselves.
Where should you get your peptides from?
Almost without exception, peptides that are purchased from the internet come from overseas and are potentially ineffective or worse, dangerous. Peptides sourced from overseas have been tested by researchers and shown to either be dosed ineffectively low, contain none of the actual compound it claimed, and/or have completely different compounds than it should. In order to ensure you are getting the product, dosage, and therefore the results you want, it is advisable to visit a licensed facility and have your peptide therapy administered by a certified professional. There are wellness clinics in most cities now that are able to walk you through the process as well as provide you with lifestyle, training, and nutritional guidance that will help enhance the positive results you can see and feel from peptide therapies. Another excellent option is to find a reputable telemedicine clinic that can walk you through the process of receiving a prescription over the phone and your actual products delivered directly to your doorstep – from a licensed pharmacy. Whether you are looking for anti-aging, performance, fat loss, muscle gain, or generally just want to feel better overall, there are protocols to get you headed in the right direction today!