Over the past few years, peptides and peptide therapy (PT) have gained massive popularity, especially in the fields of alternative medicine and hormone replacement therapy.
Before we dig into more detail, we must understand what a peptide is, how it works, and why would you need peptide therapy.
What is a peptide?
A peptide is a group of amino acids linked together by chemical bonds. These peptides vary greatly in the number of amino acids they incorporate, as well as in their spatial structures; some peptides are linear, others are branched, and another group is cyclic.
These compounds are crucial to the body’s normal functioning. Every cell in the body has hundreds of peptides that are primordial to its survival. The cell needs peptides if it wants to synthesize a new compound, signal other cells, or adapt to new biochemical and anatomical situations.
What is an example of a peptide? Well, insulin.
Other examples include glucagon, oxytocin, epinephrine, and glutathione.
How do Peptides work?
As we mentioned earlier, peptides possess a wide array of functions in the cell. Some peptides induce hypertrophy (growth) of muscle tissue while others stimulate the breakdown of fatty acids stored in adipose tissues.
Moreover, peptides are also the building blocks to essential proteins, such as collagen, elastin, and fibrin, which are crucial to maintaining healthy skin and connective tissue.
In fact, it is this wide range of functions observed in peptides that led scientists and physicians to be interested in integrating this method as a therapeutic modality.
What is Peptide therapy?
PT entails the use of specific peptides to induce certain reactions in the body and achieve health goals.
Peptides are able to promote weight loss, increase muscle mass, and improve the recovery time of muscle repair processes.
Scientists noticed the potential of these compounds and studied them further. Most peptides are injected via the subcutaneous route; however, other forms, such as oral form, spray, and creams do exist.
Some physicians believe that the oral form is not as effective as the other forms. This is because peptides are composed of amino acids, which are very susceptible to structural damage when exposed to extreme environments, and what environment is more extreme than the acidity of the stomach? A “light bulb” might just have lit up inside your brain; “ahaa, this is why they don’t give diabetic patients insulin via the oral route.”
Unfortunately, peptide therapy is not part of conventional medicine, as it belongs to a branch known as alternative medicine. Some experts also classify it in the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) field.
For this reason, not all physicians are trained to give peptide therapy since it is not taught in medical schools.
In order for a physician to become certified in recommending and providing peptide therapy, he/she needs to be trained in a private clinic that offers this service.
Benefits of peptide therapy
There are several benefits to peptide therapy, depending on the type you receive. Narrowing down our list to these benefits is no easy task; however, we opted for the most common health benefits.
The way peptide therapy induces weight loss is diverse; it includes appetite suppression, activating the metabolic pathways that use fatty acids as fuel, and increasing basal metabolic rate (BMR) by bulking up the muscles.
BMR is a metabolic pathway used in the medical community to describe the number of calories your body needs to maintain your organs’ functionality. This number is influenced by age, body type, sex, degree of physical activity, and muscle mass.
Peptide therapy increases muscle mass, which inadvertently reduces weight.
This is mediated by inducing the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which will promote the hypertrophy of fiber muscles to become larger.
This will help you get the body of your dreams, improve your general health, and decrease the percentage of fat you have.
During a workout session, your muscles will undergo what’s known as microscopic tears. These are tiny tears in the muscle fibers that occur due to intense stretching.
I know this might seem bad, but it is exactly our goal.
During the recovery period, your body will secrete hormones and amino acids to promote the process of repairing these tears, which help the muscle grow bigger to be able to adapt to the intense exercise in the future.
Some peptide analogs are specifically beneficial in reducing the time required to conduct this process. In other words, it will take less time to repair and grow the muscles than it usually does. A classic analog is BPC 157, which has been demonstrated to accelerate the healing of many different wounds.