Peptides are short chain amino acid sequences, while longer chains are considered proteins. This difference in size imparts a significant impact on their ability to travel within and interact with a cell more readily. They serve as messaging agents, supporting everything from DNA transcription to intracellular communication and from hormone production to messaging with organs. The size and configuration of each individual peptide plays an important role in the way it can interact in a specialized way with specific parts of our bodies.
Peptides and Aging
In concert with hormones, peptide signaling starts to decline in our 30’s. Our bodies start to slow production of naturally occurring peptides and we become less sensitive to the ones that are available. These age-related changes aren’t felt immediately, but occur over 1-2 decades. As your natural peptide supply decreases the pathways slow down enough to sap your and surpluses. When compensatory mechanisms are depleted, the vague symptoms of aging begin. Loss of metabolic flexibility, efficiency, resilience and homeostasis are some of the consequences. When exposure to toxins, chronic infections or unhealthy lifestyles are introduced, this process accelerates.
Fortunately, this decline does not need to occur, as we now have tools to regain our metabolic vigor.
Enter Peptide Therapy
Peptides are currently in the spotlight for a couple of reasons. Convergences in the advancement of biotechnology, formulation and cellular research have allowed for more identification, isolation, understating and utilization of their benefits. There is also a greater need for them in the 21st Century. The assault of today’s industrial toxins, stressors and chronic immune challenges have made clear the limits of conventional therapies as well as supplements. Synthetic conventional therapies come with a myriad of side effects, as our bodies often identify them as foreign and supplements, although natural, often lack the ability to impact true metabolic changes. Peptides have proven successful at filling the gap for truly therapeutic results.
- Peptides are specific. They act by stimulating or inhibiting our existing metabolic pathways.
- Peptides are non-toxic. Peptides are formulated to match our naturally occurring amino acid sequences.
- Peptides do not cause an immune reaction. They work as an extension of your body’s normal function.
- Peptides have little to no side effects. When taken properly, they stimulate our bodies in a way that allows auto-regulation, which keeps our inhibitory mechanisms in place and limits potential side effects.
Recently, new peptide formulation technology has made peptides more accessible, affordable, and stable than ever. Still, most peptides do not survive the gut environment and must be injected to be properly utilized by our bodies. It’s true that self-injection can be seen as an obstacle for some patients. However, once they become accustomed to this method and experience the healing benefits for themselves the process becomes as mundane as taking a pill.
Although most peptides are injectables, there are advances in formulation that allow a few of them to be taken intranasally or orally (as a pill). Timing and diet also play important roles in the efficacy of peptides. Some are best taken at night, some on an empty stomach and some requiring no caloric intake for an hour after use. Because each of our bodies are different, each peptide may require a period of discovery to find the best routine.
Peptides Are Not New
Although they’ve only recently entered mainstream awareness, peptides have been in use for more than 100 years. The first peptide to be used medically was available in 1923 in the form of Insulin. Not until more recently have peptides been studied and made commercially available by pharmaceutical companies.
We have still yet to uncover the benefits of all of the available peptides. One of the reasons for this is because many peptides have been researched for one purpose, and then abandoned when that specific endpoint was not met. These “orphaned” peptides have been shelved until more research into their metabolic pathways is conducted. They can sit for years at a time, especially without the dedicated funding or a specific purpose to renew and complete this research, delaying the discovery of the plethora of positive impacts that peptides have on our systems.
The positive impacts of peptides are also sometimes discovered by accident. One example of this is Liraglutide (aka Victoza), a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 receptor agonist) also known as incretin mimetics. It was initially studied and developed with brain health in mind, but when initial clinical trials identified profound, unexpected effects on blood glucose and body fat, it was then applied to diabetic management. As Liraglutide has continued to be studied, additional benefits are being realized in cardiovascular disease, independent of its benefits in blood glucose management.
What Can Peptides Do For You?
If you’re interested in learning more about peptide science and their utilizations for your health, resilience and performance, contact us for a free introductory evaluation.