The activities of cells in the body are controlled by protein molecules, which are huge conglomerations of amino acids. The real activity of the protein molecule, though, is actually a very small section of the molecule - usually just a few amino acids linked together. These are peptides.
This analogy might make it easier to understand: Sometimes people carry large rings of keys. When they want to open a lock, they don't throw the ring of keys at the lock in hopes it will spring open. Instead, they very carefully select the one key that is right for the lock, insert and turn it to open the lock. Think of peptides as the key on the key ring - or the amino acid chain on the protein that accomplishes the desired task.
Peptides have been used in medicine for decades - or even longer. For example, insulin which is given to people with Type I diabetes is actually a peptide.
Peptides have been identified for a wide group of body activities. Some help muscles and joints to recover more quickly from overuse. Some help with weight loss, others help with mental alertness. Some stimulate the immune system and some help you get a deeper tan. And that is just the start!
Peptides are pleiotropic, meaning the effect is not limited to just one action.
BPC-157 (Body Protective Compound) is sometimes referred to as the "healing peptide." It has been found to promote both muscle and tendon healing, and is used to treat diabetic wounds. BPC-157 counteracts NSAID lesions in the GI tract (such as peptic ulcers and Crohn's Disease) and has been used to treat IBD. Overall, it promotes better and faster healing without side effects, according to some publications.
Growth Hormone production decreases significantly after puberty. While some patients seek replacement growth hormone, peptides act by stimulating the brain to produce it. These are referred to clinically as Growth Hormone-releasing Hormones, or GHRHs.
Sermorelin: Stimulates production of GH to assist in wound healing and reduction of inflammation. This can reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass, so it is frequently used to enhance a weight loss program. In addition, since Sermorelin works overnight, it also promotes Stage III sleep (slow wave sleep).
CJC 1295: Stimulates growth hormone and Insulin-like Growth Factor - 1 in large amounts. This leads to fat loss and increased protein synthesis (growth).
Ipamorelin: Stimulates production of GH but can cause a reduction in GH if overdosed, so is only used for 6 weeks at a time.
CJC1295/Ipamorelin: The combination of Ipamorelin and CJC 1295 has been shown to be effective in raising levels of a hormone identified as Insulin-like Growth Factor - 1, or IGF-1. Low levels of IGF-1 are associated with excess body fat. The combination is reported to be five times more benefit than CJC 1295 or Ipamorelin alone.
Possible benefits of this combination peptide include: improved recovery and repair from injuries, including nerve regeneration. It may promote improved cognition, increase muscle mass, and enhance fat burning.
Ibutamoren: Stimulates GH production without affecting cortisol. Stimulates the appetite so is used more in persons who want or need to gain weight.
Melanotan II - This peptide is one that stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin and induce skin tanning. Some people use this to have a constant tan about two shades darker than normal.
Bremelanotan (PT-141): This peptide was initially "found" as a side effect of the use of Melanotan. It increases sexual desire in both men with erectile dysfunction and women with sexual arousal disorder. It does not act on the vascular system, as does other medications; rather, it works on the nervous system to increase sexual desire.
Enclomiphene: This peptide is used in the process of treating conditions in men which reduce the function of reproductive organs. In brief, enclomiphene increases production of testosterone while decreasing the production of estrogen. It is commonly used as adjunctive therapy in testosterone hormone replacement therapy in men ensure the testes continue to produce testosterone, and prevent testicular degeneration.
Don Selvey, NMD, PLLC
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