Peptides and Peptide Therapy

At Optimal Wellness MD, we are often asked about Human Growth Hormone and other Peptide Hormones and whether our patients might benefit from using them.

What are Peptides?

Peptides are molecules made up of short chains of amino acids. They may be fragments of a protein such as Growth Hormone or other larger protein molecules or they may be manufactured by your cells just as they are. Peptides, polypeptides and proteins are naturally found in every cell in the body and are involved in virtually every metabolic process. Proper peptide balance is important for maintaining optimal health. Doctors can now prescribe pure peptides which are made by pharmaceutical companies that have specific effects on various parts of your body.

What can Peptides do for Me?

Peptides are prescribed to improve health. Typical reasons are to improve skin and hair quality, reduce wrinkles, slow the ageing process, help you to grow muscle and lose fat, heal faster from injuries, treat digestive disorders, improve libido, enhance sexual performance, stimulate the immune system, treat depression and anxiety, treat insomnia, and many more aspects of health. We are only at the beginning of discovering how peptides can be used to enhance heath and wellness. More peptides and uses for peptides are being discovered every day!

  • Prevent or reverse loss of muscle mass
  • Increase energy
  • Assist with Weight loss
  • Boost natural declining hormones
  • Healing the gut in diseases such as Crohns or Gastric ulcers
  • Increase mental acuity and memory
  • Increase skin pigmentation for tanning
  • Help with Mood Disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, PTSD
  • Boost Immunity
  • Increase skin collagen, hair growth and nail strength
  • Increase healing after injury or surgery
  • Increase libido and sexual performance in Males and Females
  • Treat ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

How can I be treated with peptides?

The first step is to undergo a thorough medical evaluation such as we offer at Optimal Wellness MD. Once we have identified areas in which you may benefit from one or more peptides, then they can be prescribed, if commercially available and FDA approved, from accredited pharmacies. It is important to only use peptides under the supervision of a trained physician. Just like any medication, it is important to use the correct peptide at the correct dosage and delivery route to get the best results and avoid any unwanted side effects. Although you may be able to purchase various peptides online, peptides for human uses are only distributed by specialized pharmacies that can test peptides to be sure they are genuine, free from dangerous impurities, and ensure sterility. Peptides should only be obtained from a PCAB-certified 503A or 503B pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription.

How are peptides supplied?

Depending on the specific peptide, they can be supplied as a capsule, as a skin cream, or as an injection. Some must be injected because they will not survive the digestive system intact if swallowed. Others are absorbed from the gut quite well. Hair Growth and Skin Wrinkle-targeting peptides, work best as a skin cream.

What are the most popular peptides?

Human Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a pituitary peptide hormone that causes growth when a child and repair of cellular damage as an adult. If deficient, adults tend to develop frailty, wrinkling, obesity, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, depression, and fatigue with poor healing of injuries. Causes of HGH deficiency include head injuries, alcoholism, poor sleep, lack of exercise, low protein diet. HGH is a controlled drug, so it can only be prescribed for those with proven deficiency. Alternatives to HGH are the growth-hormone releasing peptides such as Sermorelin, Ipamorelin, and CJC-1295, which work by encouraging your own pituitary to produce more HGH. These are safer than HGH injections as HGH levels do not exceed the normal range.

Growth Hormone Boosting Peptides

CJC-1295 is a peptide, which mimics the natural growth-hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) and works though the GHRH receptor. It stimulates the release of growth hormone from your own pituitary gland, which can support better sleep, improved muscle growth, fat loss, and improved energy. It is long-acting, stimulating a boost of growth hormone for up several days after one injection. It is often combined with Ipamorelin as both of these peptides work to boost growth hormone levels, but through different mechanisms.

Ipamorelin and Hexarelin. These peptides stimulate the release of growth hormone from your pituitary gland, via the ghrelin receptor. The rise in growth hormone may lead to benefits in sleep, increased muscle, reduced fat, increased energy. Usually these peptides are combined with a GHRH mimic, such as CJC-1295.

Ibutamoren (MK-677) is an orally active ghrelin mimic. It acts similarly to growth-hormone boosting peptides to raise growth hormone. It can be used as an oral capsule, unlike the other growth hormone releasing peptides, which must be injected. It has been shown to boost muscle mass and increase bone density in the elderly without adverse effects.

Anti-Aging Peptide

Epithalon is a peptide reported to slow the ageing process by lengthening the telomeres on the chromosomes and extending the Hayflick cell division limit. Human and animal studies have shown lifespan extension (in animals) and decreased mortality rates in humans as well as improvements in various metabolic indicators.

Peptides to Heal Injury

BPC-157 is a peptide that is used to accelerate healing of both gut damage and body injuries. BPC-157 has been used to treat gastritis and stomach ulcers, intestinal inflammation such as seen in inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns, UC), tendonitis and joint injuries.

Thymosin Beta-4 is a peptide that appears to trigger regeneration and healing in a variety of tissues after injury. It also reduces the levels of inflammatory cytokines. Used to accelerate wound healing, reduce chronic pain and inflammation, increase flexibility.

GHK-Cu is a copper-containing peptide that stimulates collagen production in the skin, promotes wound healing, and thus improves wrinkles and stimulates hair growth. Typically made into a skin cream or scalp lotion and used for anti-aging and cosmetic purposes, it may also help heal wounds such as diabetic ulcers and traumatic wounds with reduced scarring.

Peptides for Sexual Wellness

PT-141 or Bremelanotide is a peptide which boosts libido in men and women and enhances erection hardness and stamina in men. It is actually an FDA-approved drug called Vyleesi, marketed to women with low sexual desire, but can be compounded and used by both men and women. We have found it to be very helpful for men with ED, causing harder and sustained erections.

Kisspeptin-10 is a peptide that triggers the production of LH and FSH when injected. It is normally found in high levels in teenagers and is the trigger to start puberty. It can be used to boost natural testosterone production in older men and to reverse testicular atrophy caused by testosterone use.

Peptides for Weight Loss

5-Amino 1MQ boosts cellular NAD+ by blocking an enzyme called NNMT. It is reported to reduce obesity by causing the cells to burn fat for energy.

AOD-9604 is a fragment of the growth-hormone polypeptide but with no effect on IGF-1. It appears to cause increased fat burning and is reported to help build muscle as well.

MOTS-c is a mitochondrial peptide that causes increased fat burning, increased energy, and reduces insulin resistance/diabetes. It works by activating the enzyme AMPK

Peptides to Boost Brain Health

Cerebrolysin is a mix of peptides derived from pork brain tissue including BDNF, GDNF, NGF, and CNTF. Primarily used in Eastern Europe, Asia and Russia to improve brain function, memory, and focus as well as to treat brain diseases such as vascular dementia or brain injury.

Dihexa is a peptide that has been shown to be similar to but much more powerful than BDNF (brain-derived-neurotrophic factor). Like BDNF, Dihexa causes the brain to make new brain cells from neural stem cells and make new connections between existing brain cells. It has been tested on animals and humans and shown to improve memory and the ability to learn new information without apparent toxicity. It may be a potential treatment for dementia, ALS, and other neurodegenerative illnesses.

Semax is a peptide, which increases the levels of BDNF in the brain and activates the serotonin and dopamine neural networks. It therefore has antidepressant and antianxiety effects. BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is a peptide naturally found in the brain, which increases production of new neurons in the brain from stem cells and enhances connections between neurons. It therefore is necessary for learning, attention, and memory. Unrelated to its effects on the brain, Semax has fibrinolytic activity, reducing the risk of blood clots. Semax has been used for mood disorders, improving the ability to learn new information, and to treat brain injury, stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Peptides for Mood Balance

Selank is a peptide, which improves anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. It is also used also to manage alcohol dependence. It helps with weight loss. It does not cause dependence, as do drugs such as benzodiazepines.

Semax is a peptide, which increases the levels of BDNF in the brain and activates the serotonin and dopamine neural networks. It therefore has antidepressant and antianxiety effects. BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is a peptide naturally found in the brain, which increases production of new neurons in the brain from stem cells and enhances connections between neurons. It therefore is necessary for learning, attention, and memory. Unrelated to its effects on the brain, Semax has fibrinolytic activity, reducing the risk of blood clots. Semax has been used for mood disorders, improving the ability to learn new information, and to treat brain injury, stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s

Peptides to Improve Appearance

GHK-Cu is a copper-containing peptide that stimulates collagen production in the skin, promotes wound healing, and thus improves wrinkles and stimulates hair growth. Typically made into a skin cream or scalp lotion and used for anti-aging and cosmetic purposes, it may also help heal wounds such as diabetic ulcers and traumatic wounds with reduced scarring.

Melanotan 1 and 2 are peptides which cause skin darkening (tanning) and, like PT-141, melanotan-2 can improve libido and erections.

Peptides to Improve Immune Function

Thymosin Alpha-1 is a peptide that stimulates the immune system, particularly cell-mediated immunity controlled by the thymus gland as well as boosting antibody production. It has both antiviral and anticancer effects and a clinical trial is ongoing to see if it can prevent COVID infections or reduce their severity. It is commonly used to enhance immune function, prevent or diminish viral infections, assist in the treatment of chronic infections, and to support the eradication of cancer cells.

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