Peptide Therapy: What Is It and How To Know If It’s Right For You
MARCH 2023 | Dr. Ashley Southern
What Are Peptides?
Peptides are an essential source of energy that our bodies depend on for survival. They exist in every cell and tissue of our body and fuel all our basic functions. Peptides can be thought of as smaller versions of proteins, as both peptides and proteins are made up of chains of amino acids (the organic compounds essential to various vital functions, including cell signalling and regulating our immune system).
Because they contain fewer amino acids (typically about 2 – 50 amino acids), peptides are believed to be a more efficient energy source than protein – they are easier for the body to digest and break down into the energy it needs.
Due to their size, peptides can also penetrate skin and intestine membranes more easily, allowing them to enter the bloodstream quickly. Once in the bloodstream, they are carted off to the various systems in our bodies. They bind to receptors on the cell’s surface and then tell that cell how to act and what functions to perform.
What Do Peptides Do?
There are over 7,000 known peptides in the human body, each one responsible for a different action. The function of the peptide is dictated by the types and number of amino acids that make up its chain. Some act as neurotransmitters, and others act as hormones. They are produced in numerous different tissues and glands located in the stomach, intestines, and brain.
Key functions of peptides include but are not limited to:
- soft tissue/ muscle repair and growth
- cellular growth
- immune system regulation
- recovery and healing management
- pain management
- weight loss and weight management
- sexual function and libido
- endocrine function, including hormone production and regulation
- cognitive function and memory
- antioxidation, antimicrobial
- lipid and cholesterol regulation
- blood sugar regulation and diabetes
Our bodies naturally produce peptides, and maintaining sufficient levels is key to our health. Common conditions including natural aging, stress, and lifestyle choices like drinking, smoking, and dietary choices can impact our body’s peptide production.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at producing peptides, and the quality and quantity decreases over time. Since our bodies depend on peptides to run properly, a deficiency can cause a rippling of dysfunction throughout the body. Insufficient levels of peptides can prevent the body from working optimally at a cellular level, causing our systems to break down.
Research shows that insufficient peptides can impact vital systems including digestion and metabolism, sexual function, and libido, increase inflammation, lead to neuropathic dysfunction, and exacerbate symptoms related to aging.
Fortunately, there is a way to reverse these affects through peptide therapy. Scientists have been able to harness the unique properties of peptides to replenish the essential amino acids our bodies depend on to function. By ensuring our bodies are getting enough peptides, we can keep both ourselves and our bodies happy and healthy.
What is Peptide Therapy?
Peptide therapy restores peptide levels to stimulate cellular growth. Arguably considered a type of regenerative medicine, peptide therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions and symptoms related to insufficient peptide levels. It works by enhancing your body’s natural healing processes. By replenishing the peptides our bodies need, peptide therapy helps to reset our bodies back to optimal functionality.
Because there are so many different types of peptides, there are many different types of treatment available, and can be used to target a specific set of symptoms. Treatments can be completely customizable to address a person’s unique needs, which is what makes peptides so effective. Peptide treatments are typically injected directly into the subcutaneous fat for optimal uptake, but can also be administered as a nasal spray, taken orally, or applied topically as a cream. The therapeutic peptides commonly used in PT are generally derived from natural animal or plant protein sources, including milk, meat, eggs, soy, oats, wheat, hemp seeds, and flaxseed.
Common Applications and Conditions Treated
Research shows that peptide therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions and symptoms, including:
- anxiety and depression
- hair and skin health, including hair loss
- immune dysfunction
- sexual dysfunction, including low libido and performance
- hormone and endocrine dysfunction, including cortisol management
- cognitive dysfunction, including memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease
- chronic pain
- insulin management
Benefits of Peptide Therapy
Because peptides are responsible for such a long and varied list of functions, the benefits of maintaining sufficient peptide levels are just as long. Peptide therapy is safe and effective because the peptides used in treatments mimic the peptides naturally produced by the body, which increases intake and absorption rates and makes it an effective treatment with minimal side effects.
Benefits of peptide therapy for both adult men and women include:
- improve hormone production and regulation
- cellular regeneration
- build lean muscle mass through development of new muscle cells
- increase muscle strength and stamina
- improve healing and injury recovery through new cell growth
- decrease joint and muscle pain
- enhance cognitive function
- enhance memory
- improve sleep quality
- increase energy levels
- increase concentration and memory retention
- lower blood pressure
- strengthen and promote healthy immune function and regulation
- reduce symptoms of aging
- stimulate hair growth
- stimulate and improve sexual function and libido
- decrease inflammation
- improve skin elasticity and health
- improve blood sugar and insulin dysregulation
Types and Side Effects of Peptide Treatments
Since peptides have such a wide-range of effects on the body, the list of treatments available is just as long. There are different categories of peptides, targeting different symptoms and needs. Studies show several peptides including AOD-9604 have proven to be effective across multiple categories. Talk to your healthcare professional to find the treatment that best supports your needs.
Common peptide therapy categories and effective treatment types available include:
Peptide Therapy Side Effects
Research shows that peptide therapy poses minimal risk because the peptides used are similar to those we already naturally produce, thus readily absorbed and utilized by the body. While most studies report minimal to no side effects, some treatments may cause adverse reactions depending on the individual. These include lethargy, heartburn, headaches, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. It’s important to use peptide treatments as prescribed and directed by your health care physician and not to overuse.
Topical creams and ointments may cause rash, skin irritation and itching at application site. Injected treatments may cause bruising or soreness at the injection site.
Peptide therapy is not recommended for children, or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It’s important to note that the FDA classifies many peptide treatments as supplements, and therefore does not regulate it in the same way they do medications. As such, it’s important to work with a registered healthcare provider who has access to reputable sources to ensure the treatment you are getting is of the highest quality.
Is Peptide Therapy for Me?
Peptide therapy is a safe and efficient means to optimize the body’s health for both men and women, and might be right for you if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- higher levels of fat, particularly around waist
- chronic fatigue
- decreased libido
- decreased sexual performance
- mood fluctuations
- loss of lean muscle mass
- heightened sensitivity to heat or cold
- reduced bone density
- decreased strength or stamina
If any of the above symptoms sound familiar, or if you are considering whether peptide therapy is right for you, schedule a consultation with Nascent Health today. Our team is well educated on the pros and cons of peptide therapy, and with access to the utmost reputable sources, we guarantee our wide variety of peptide treatments are the safest and most effective available. We will work with you to ensure you get the best support for your lifestyle, health, and goals. Reclaim your body’s natural vitality today with Nascent Health!