Monumental benefits from small compounds: Targeted Peptide Therapy
Aging is a disease. Granted, it’s a phase of life that we all go through, but the deterioration over time of our bodies and the systems within is a series of conditions that will lead to death. When you approach aging with the understanding that it has a cause, then you realize there can be a way to slow the process—or even prevent it.
The body goes through a handful of phases during our brief cameo in existence. The initial phases are focused on growth as we go from a single cell organism through childhood, puberty, and into our early adult lives when we reach our pinnacle of optimal health. During this upward climb, our hypothalamus is constantly sending signals to the pituitary gland to produce growth hormones that are specific to different systems in the body. Over the course of our early lives, these signals fluctuate with meteoric spikes and the occasional plateau, but are generally always present.
Your life up until around 25 years is the equivalent to scaling the cliff-face of a mountain. But as we reach adulthood, the body no longer goes through the rapid growth and the need for so much of any hormone is leveled off. It is around this time that we begin the transition into the aging process. Think of this as taking the easy path down the back side of the mountain. It goes on for miles and the descent isn’t as precipitous as the climb up. Rather, it’s a long, meandering, and gently sloping hill. And it’s during this phase where the pituitary gland stops sending out growth hormones because the hypothalamus is no longer sending the stimulating signals as frequently. As a result, the body begins to slowly break down. We heal less quickly from injuries or illness, and your various systems—bones, muscles, vascular, gonadal, nerves, and neural—all begin to slow, resulting in the physical signs we have come to know as getting old.
The journey to treat, slow, or prevent aging has been in existence nearly as long as we have. Mythology and oral histories tell of the quest for longer life or even immortality. Wars have been waged, lands conquered, innocent youth sacrificed all in the name of preventing or reversing the aging process. And as our expected lifespans have gone from a world-average of 48 in the 1955 to a forecasted world-average of 78 by 2025, the need to retain an extended the growth and healing properties of our youth is becoming paramount. The cosmetics industry alone is poised to rake in $216.5 billion worldwide by 2021 with lotions, creams, tonics, toners, and makeup all designed to help parts of us look younger. But the reality is, those are all superficial, skin deep, ‘cosmetic’ results.
Over the past few decades, science has been able to shed light on what causes the body to stop renewing. And this has brought some exciting new approaches to the forefront. At the leading edge of these approaches is the use of targeted peptide therapy.
What are peptides?
Peptides are naturally occurring chains of amino acids that are produced in the body when the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to produce and secrete growth hormones. The exciting thing about these peptides is they are specific to different systems in the body. Which means if the level of peptides is higher for the digestive system, the pituitary will generate growth hormone that is released to that system. This is what we mean by targeted therapy.
With the right peptides signaling the pituitary, we can control and improve metabolism, the ability for the body to heal itself, improve overall body composition, treat sexual dysfunction, have better memory retention, more elasticity and better skin tone, and more. The potential is incredible, and nearly limitless—and in most cases, because these are bioidentical and work with the body to produce natural growth hormone, there are little to no side effects or negative reactions.
However, not all peptides have the same outcomes as others. Sermorelin for example, is a very effective peptide that has been used for years to help improve the release of growth hormone that is produced during slow wave sleep. The results are impressive, but the downside to Sermorelin is it has a direct effect on prolactin and cortisol levels in the body. Increased prolactin in men has been shown to be a cause of low libido and erectile dysfunction. In women it can have an effect on periods, loss of libido, facial hair growth, infertility, and increased acne.
Treating Specific Conditions with Targeted Peptide Therapy
Over the past year, I’ve been doing a lot of research and trials with a number of peptides to determine which ones would benefit patients most effectively. I am starting out offering what I consider to be the Holy Trinity of peptides based on the conditions most commonly treated at Lindgren Functional Medicine. Each of these compounds can be used alone or in combination with the other peptides, or with the current care protocol you are currently on.
Below you will find some information on the peptides available and what therapeutic benefits may be experienced. All peptides are very fragile compounds and require care when handling, and must be stored in the refrigerator.
CJC 1295 / Ipamorelin
This blended compound is very similar to the peptide Sermorelin, without the negative effects caused by increased prolactin and cortisol. CJC 1295, when compounded with Ipamorelin, is more of a broad-spectrum therapy and has the ability to stimulate the production of growth hormones that have a direct effect on the nervous system, insulin secretion, glucose metabolism, cardiac health, liver function, digestion, and skin. It has been shown to be an excellent anti-inflammatory, and is also used for treating forms of sexual dysfunction. Over time, it’s been shown to benefit patients with arthritis, auto-immunity, chronic pain, GI issues, and renal disease. Additionally, it helps promote fat loss and lean body mass and increases protein synthesis which increases muscle growth.
CJC 1295/Ipamorelin is taken as a subcutaneous injection 5-7 days per week, just before bed. Unlike Sermorelin, this peptide does not require the additional step of reconstitution.
It’s estimated that 43% of women in America suffer from female sexual dysfunction, and around 30 million men have erectile dysfunction. This has given rise to countless treatment options, generally directed toward men, that have wide ranging effectiveness, side-effects, and costs. The number of successful treatments for women can be counted on one hand.
Unlike other therapies that treat sexual dysfunction by improving blood flow, PT 141 works with the central nervous system eliciting more desire and sexual response. Use of PT 141 has no contraindications, and can be effective where treatments like Viagra or Cialis have failed in men.
PT 141 is taken as a subcutaneous injection 45 minutes before intercourse and it’s recommended to use no more than two times per week. Patients who have taken this peptide report a 50% increase in satisfying sexual events.
Body Protective Compound 157 (BCP 157) is an amazing peptide made up of 15 amino acids derived from human gastric juice, that focuses on the interaction between the gut and brain. Research shows incredible promise for rapid healing of injuries to tendons, muscles and ligaments, damaged organs, decreases inflammation, improves digestive function, and can help heal skin burns and prevent stomach ulcers. BCP 157 has the ability to improve nerve regeneration, help with depression, minimize alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and may help to regulate blood pressure.
BCP 157 is taken as a subcutaneous injection at the site of an injury, or orally. Results can be spontaneous and improve over 2-4 weeks of treatment. At that time it’s recommended to stop BCP 157 and re-examine the affected areas to determine if continued treatment is necessary.
This sounds like something I want to try
We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding peptides. If you are interested in learning more about any of the peptide therapies we offer, or if you want to know if a certain peptide will work for you, please contact the clinic to set up an appointment.