What is Peptide Therapy?
A peptide is a short chain of amino acids that are linked together, and can be thought of as a small protein. To date, over 7,000 naturally-occurring peptides have been identified. In our bodies, these small proteins typically act as signaling molecules. They bind to receptors on the cell surface and tell other cells and molecules what to do.
Peptide therapy, or the use of specific peptides in treatment, has gained great popularity in recent years. This is due largely to the fact that these peptides are highly specific (i.e., only do what you want them to do) while also being well-tolerated and safe. As of January 2015, there were over 60 US FDA-approved peptide medications, 140 peptide drugs being evaluated in clinical trials, and 500 in pre-clinical development.
Most of these peptide drugs are administered intradermally, but can also come in the form of transdermal creams, nasal sprays, and oral tablets.
What Conditions Does Peptide Therapy Address?
Because these peptides are so numerous and variable in structure, their effects are likewise varied and wide-ranging. One class of these peptides are known as growth hormone secretagogues and cause the secretion of one’s own, natural hGH in the body. These peptides have been shown to be very useful in the treatment of age-related conditions, osteoporosis, obesity, and various chronic inflammatory diseases, lower libido, and have several advantages over traditional hGH administration.
Another type of peptide drug is composed of part of the hGH molecule that is responsible for fat cell death and has been shown to be very effective as an anti-obesity drug. In addition to decreasing inflammation, these drugs lead to increased lean muscle mass and decreased body fat. Other peptides work to increase libido naturally and are effective for erectile dysfunction (ED)
Below is a list of the more common peptides that we use at the Renaissance Health Centre.
This particular peptide offers therapeutic benefits similar to those of hGH. CJC 1295 is a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) analogue. In other words, it is a molecule that serves the same purpose as does GHRH—the hormone that stimulates the anterior pituitary to release hGH. However, unlike GHRH, which has a half-life of only minutes after IV administration, CJC 1295 is able to remain active in the body for extended periods due to its ability to bind to a protein in the blood known as albumin and avoid degradation by various enzymes. CJC 1295 increases an important growth factor, IGF-1, in addition to hGH, leading to fat loss, lean muscle growth, and enhanced sleep.
Growth hormone releasing peptide (GHRP) 2 is a type of peptide therapeutic that mimics the effects of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”. Ghrelin is a hormone that helps regulate appetite as well as energy distribution and rate of use or metabolism. In the 1980’s, ghrelin was discovered to be the body’s natural ligand (or binding molecule) of the GHRP receptor in the anterior pituitary. This was a significant discovery, as it highlighted the role of ghrelin in hGH secretion and growth regulation. Modern biotechnology has used this knowledge to develop peptides that can be administered to mimic ghrelin’s hGH stimulation but in a more targeted fashion. GHRP 2 is one such peptide, stimulating hGH secretion by 7-15 times, increasing appetite and meal initiation, while also decreasing fat mass and cholesterol. GHRP 2 is ideal for patients who are hypercatabolic, due to critical illness, cancer, AIDS, etc. It should be noted that GHRP 2 can also increase levels of prolactin, aldosterone, and cortisol.
Bremelanotide PT 141
Bremelanotide PT 141 was developed from Melanotan II, targeting its aphrodisiac effects. This peptide has been shown to have a substantial effect on libido, generating sexual arousal in both men and women within minutes of administration. It has been shown to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction, even in men who have not responded to other ED treatments, such as Viagara. This peptide is also able to cross the blood-brain-barrier, bypassing the vascular system and acting at the level of the central nervous system. This property gives Bremelanotide an advantage over traditional ED drugs, which can decrease blood pressure to dangerous levels. This peptide can be administered as a nasal spray, making its use convenient and discreet.
MGF stands for mechano growth factor—a peptide derived from insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which plays a large role in childhood development and continues to have anabolic effects throughout adulthood. MGF has the ability to encourage repair and growth of wasted tissue through the activation of muscle stem cells, thereby increasing the synthesis of proteins necessary for tissue growth. This peptide is ideal of anyone suffering from muscle loss, either due to old age or a particular condition (i.e., HIV, cancer, etc.)
Cerebrolysin—also known as FPE 1070—is a synthetic nootropic drug. Nootropic drugs are substances that enhance cognitive functions such as memory, creativity, and motivation in otherwise healthy individuals. This peptide is extremely small, allowing it to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and act directly on the neurons of the central nervous system. Cerebrolysin has been found to improve the metabolic activity of brain tissue, shield neurons from harmful substances, and stimulate the peripheral and central nervous systems. In addition to its utility as a nootropic substance, the drug has potential as part of a treatment plan addressing Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and moderate to severe head injury.
This peptide supports and balances the immune system. As most chronic diseases are directly related to immune dysfunction
Ta1 has been shown to help with a wide array of illnesses. Below are listed just a few health conditions that benefit from Ta1:
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Weigh management issues
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Anti-Aging effects – increased oxidative stress
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia
- Autoimmune conditions
- Environmental toxins
- Chronic infections, including Lyme, viruses, candida and many parasites
- Glutathione depletion consistently results in TH1-TH2 shift
- Food allergies or sensitivities
Enclomiphene is used in the process of treating male hypogonadism (Lower function of the reproductive organs) and is a single isomer with pure estrogen antagonism. It act by increasing gonadotropin secretion and gonadal production of testosterone. Clinical research has shown that to stimulate testosterone production while preventing decrease in sperm production. It is similar to clomiphene but has much fewer side effects.
KPV is a peptide found in alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone. Several studies have shown that KPV has decreased inflammation and tumorigenesis in the body. The properties of the peptide render it suitable for the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory skin and bowel disease, fibrosis, allergic and inflammatory lung disease, ocular inflammation, and arthritis.
This is a peptide that is used for relief of osteoarthritis . It works by stimulating cartilage matrix synthesis and prevention of cartilage breakdown. In one study, after a series of 4-6 injections there was significant increase in the size of the synovial fluid hyaluronan. Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) is similar to the fluid that surrounds the joints in your body. This fluid acts as a lubricant and shock absorber for the joints. This peptide has also been shown to help with interstitial cystitis
PT – 141
Bremelanotide PT 141 was developed from Melanotan II, targeting its aphrodisiac effects. This peptide has been shown to have a substantial effect on libido, generating sexual arousal in both men and women within minutes of administration. It has been shown to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction, even in men who have not responded to other ED treatments, such as Viagra. This peptide is also able to cross the blood-brain-barrier, bypassing the vascular system and acting at the level of the central nervous system. This property gives PT 141 an advantage over traditional ED drugs, which can decrease blood pressure to dangerous levels. I have had women complain that as their libido has dropped over the years intercourse has become a chore. After using PT 141 they found that it helped dramatically increase their libido and ability to have orgasms.
Thymosin alpha-1 has been widely used and studied in multiple types of cancer and viral illnesses. It can also be used for chronic fatigue and Lyme disease. I have found it to be invaluable in treating any autoimmune disease.
Thymosin is a hormone secreted from the thymus. Its primary function is to stimulate the production of T cells, which are an important part of the immune system. The gene for thymosin beta has been found to be one of the first to be up regulated after injuries. This peptide is most often prescribed for acute injury, surgical repair and for senior athletes. It has most recently been shown to help re-grow hair in addition to PRP. It has an amazing anti-inflammatory effect. I have used this in patients with acute kidney stone pain and within an hour of injection their pain is completely gone. An additional benefit is that I have not seen any adverse side effects that are associated with other anti inflammatory medications like Toradol or corticosteroids.