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Peptides and the Future of Medicine

Medically reviewed by Leann Poston, M.D. on 9/10/20

So what exactly are peptides? 

Peptides are considered by many leaders of health and wellness to be the future of medicine. They are among the most promising avenues for clinical research and application, and yet, their benefits remain largely misunderstood or unknown by medical professionals and the general population alike. Since you can buy peptides online, some professionals are even more unsure about their safety and efficacy, but there are safe ways to buy peptides online.

To fully realize why they deserve to be referred to as the “future of medicine,” you must understand how they work with our physiology, why they can be superior to typical pharmaceuticals, and the potential they have to have a positive effect on many diseases. An exhaustive analysis of specific peptides, their proven or potential benefits, dosages, possible contraindications, and their history is well beyond the scope of this article as we hope to simply eliminate some misconceptions around peptides and establish a fundamental understanding of what they are, how they work, and why you should consider them as an adjunct or alternative therapy due to their wide range of applications. Rest assured, however, by absorbing some of the information that follows; you will be more knowledgeable on the subject of peptides than a majority of people in America.

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What are peptides?

Well, peptides are simply sequences of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) created within our bodies to perform certain functions. They are found in every cell and tissue within us. Biochemically they vary from very complex to very simple molecules. Bioactive peptides have a positive impact on body functions and may influence health (Sánchez et al., 2017). Once attached to a specific receptor, they elicit a response at the cellular and potentially systemic level. You can think of them as a key. Each and every function within our body requires a key (or multiple keys) to take place. Peptides are often this key, although there are different kinds that our body can use to get the job done.

If you find yourself in any college-level anatomy and physiology class, you will learn about peptides such as oxytocin, glucagon, calcitonin, and countless more that act as hormones within the body. Peptide hormones are natural signaling molecules with a specific task and purpose. Harnessing this specificity allows for their targeted utilization for increased performance, to speed healing of injuries, increase muscle growth, expedite fat loss, support immune function, relieve symptoms of chronic disease, and infinitely more potential uses that await further research (Groß et al., 2017).

Their unique mechanism of action is how peptides are able to work with our physiology, not against it. By identifying the key that sets into motion a series of biochemical responses, causing the desired result, we can recreate it in a laboratory and use it to facilitate or enhance our body’s own natural responses. This has created a demand for peptides and increased interest in research to understand their benefits. There are currently 5900 clinical trials in the United States underway to understand and test peptide molecules’ benefits.

Whenever any area of science is undergoing rapid development, there will always be some who take advantage of the opportunity. Internet regulations and policies have not caught up with technology, and underground online sources use this loophole to sell peptides that may be unsafe or inactive. There is only one way that peptides for sale online are safe, and that is through a telehealth platform supervised by licensed health professionals specializing in the use of peptides.

Why are they the future of medicine?

Technology and the internet have brought about some additional changes in the practice of medicine. Better communication and sharing of information globally has led to an understanding that pharmaceuticals are not always the best or most appropriate options to treat and prevent disease. Although many drugs truly are beneficial or lifesaving, most can come with a cost. Consider the following:

  • Pharmaceutical companies have a limited repertoire of synthetic compounds that can be used to treat disease.
  • Diseases are complex. They are not well defined, and there is no clear line of demarcation between disease and health.
  • Each person has genetic and metabolic differences that affect how they metabolize drugs and how drugs affect them.
  • Pharmaceutical companies frequently need to search for a treatment for a disease without clearly understanding the disease process.
  • All medications have risks, and some of these risks are not identified or understood until thousands of people have taken the medication.
  • Defining diseases, running clinical trials, and developing medications result from a complex interplay between health care professionals, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies, with each party having its own goals and motivations (Kitsus, 2011).

Treating disease would be so much easier if every person responded to a medication in the same way and as expected and no one responded to a placebo. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are no ideal drugs and many disorders resolve on their own. Everyone who is ill wants to feel better. The mind has many effects on the body including the ability to heal. Pharmaceutical companies advertise knowing these facts (Leucht et al, 2015).

As knowledge about disease and treatment increases at an exponential rate, no medical professional can keep up with all of the advances in treatment options in their field, much less across the health spectrum. As an educated consumer, you would not want to live in a world without pharmaceuticals to treat disease, but as technology evolves and knowledge increases, you would also want to ensure that you are getting the best treatment options available for you and your family and are not limited by the traditional drug options.

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Would a more precise approach be better?

According to the Precision Medicine Initiative, precision medicine is “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.” 

Enter peptide therapies. To assemble peptides, you need highly specialized equipment that can link molecules together without error. Some peptides, such as growth hormones, are nearly 200 amino acids in length. Get them out of order, and you have a completely different molecule, which can result in a different response or no response at all. This level of precision is then mirrored by the effects the peptide will have once it has been administered.

Although it will ride through your circulatory system just like any other compound, peptides bind only to the receptors which they have been designed to target. For instance, BPC-157 (BPC stands for body protection compound) is a peptide commonly used to facilitate repair and recovery of injured tissues. Once in your system, it will seek out specific signaling molecules released by the injured tissue(s). When it has discovered the biochemical SOS from injured tissue, it goes to work increasing cell division, resulting in a  quicker recovery process. BPC-157 has been shown to increase the repair of muscle, tendon, intestines, bone, teeth, brain tissue, the cornea, and has profound effects on modulating the immune system. It is important to note that BPC has no direct effects whatsoever. All of the tissue healing effects come from signaling your body to perform natural tasks that it has been designed to do!

Synthetic peptides are modeled after natural proteins in the body

Another beautiful example of the ability for peptides to work synergistically with our physiology comes from a few of the most commonly used categories of peptides on the market: GHRH’s (growth hormone-releasing hormones) and GHRP’s (growth hormone-releasing peptides). As we age, our bodies essentially start breaking down at the cellular level, causing us to be in an oxidative and catabolic state more and more. We encounter decreased muscle mass (sarcopenia), decreased mitochondrial function, decreased appetite, decreased immune function, a decline in libido, depression, and many more unwanted effects that seem to inevitably come as part of the aging process (Garcia et al., 2019).

Much of this dysfunction can be reversed by the skillful administration of GHRH (compounds such as Sermorelin, CJC-1295, Tesamorelin, and more). Because these compounds work to stimulate your anterior pituitary to release its own natural growth hormone, you avoid the potential side effects of simply taking exogenous growth hormones!

Pair GHRH therapy with its sidekick GHRP (GHRP-2/6 and Ipamorelin, and more), the anterior pituitary is stimulated to release growth hormone using two separate receptors (Ghigo ey al, 1997). To fully cover the systemic effects of these two classes of compounds will require another article. For now, suffice it to say that the teamwork between the two facilitates your own body’s release of growth hormone, mitigating the unwanted issues resulting from or caused by aging. This is why the weightlifting industry leads the demand for peptides for sale online. They are willing to take possible risks to receive the benefits. Everything has risks. Any company that tells you otherwise is not being truthful. Other people feeding the demand of peptides are those interested in anti-aging options.

When you understand how peptides are developed to mimic the activity of natural proteins and hormones in the body, you can see how they have the potential to positively affect every disease state imaginable. Overall, peptides and the therapies they enable are an amazing avenue of research and eventually actual application. North America is certainly leading the charge in researching and isolating specific peptides, but we are nowhere near the front of the pack in terms of clinical application. In particular, Australia has been performing clinical trials on peptides for over a decade now, and the results speak for themselves (Craik & Payne, 2018). 

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Where should you get your peptides from?

Almost without exception, when you buy peptides online, they come from China and can be ineffective or dangerous. Most peptides for sale online that are sourced from China have been shown by researchers to either be dosed in inefficacious amounts, contain none of the actual compounds it should, and/or have completely different compounds than it claims to have.

In order to ensure you are getting the product, dosage, and therefore the results you want; I recommend visiting a licensed facility and having your peptide therapy administered by a certified professional.

There are several options to buy peptides online that come with a prescription through online telehealth clinics such as Invigor Medical. You can have a doctor’s consultation over the phone or video right from your living room or office. Telehealth is very convenient and affordable. There are also wellness clinics that offer peptides for sale 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. 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!

DISCLAIMER

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider.  You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case.  The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice. 

References:

  1. Adrián Sánchez, Alfredo Vázquez, Bioactive peptides: A review, Food Quality and Safety, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1 March 2017, Pages 29–46, https://doi.org/10.1093/fqsafe/fyx006
  2. Groß, A., Hashimoto, C., Sticht, H., & Eichler, J. (2016). Synthetic Peptides as Protein Mimics. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology3, 211. https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2015.00211
  3. Kitsis. (2011). The pharmaceutical industry’s role in defining illness Virtual Mentor. 2011;13(12):906-911. doi:10.1001/virtualmentor.2011.13.12.oped1-1112.
  4. Leucht, S., Helfer, B., Gartlehner, G. et al. How effective are common medications: a perspective based on meta-analyses of major drugs. BMC Med 13, 253 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0494-1
  5. Garcia JM, Merriam GR, Kargi AY. Growth Hormone in Aging. [Updated 2019 Oct 7]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279163/
  6. Ghigo E, Arvat E, Muccioli G, Camanni F. Growth hormone-releasing peptides. Eur J Endocrinol. 1997;136(5):445-460. doi:10.1530/eje.0.1360445
  7. Craik, D.J. and Payne, R.J. (2018), Emerging Peptide Science in Australia. Peptide Science, 110: e24080. doi:10.1002/pep2.24080