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Peptides and Aging: Build Strength and Improve Weaknesses

older man lifting weights

There has been a great deal of discussion about peptides as a mainstay in therapeutic options for acute and chronic conditions. The environment and landscape are quickly unfolding to embrace peptides as another treatment option. Currently, there are 140 clinical trials involving peptides, and there are 500 more pre-clinical trials that will start up soon. As of today, over 60 peptide drugs are FDA approved. They are potent, safe, and specific, with little to no side effects. Peptides are essentially made of amino acids. When certain amino acids are combined, they can create different kinds of peptides. When peptides are connected, they form different proteins. On a historical note, Insulin was the first peptide introduced to the market back in 1921.

Peptides can assist in improving wellbeing, aging, and repair. If we look at any disease process or the actual process of aging, from the late 1920s to early 1930s, we start losing the ability to produce growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone is the end hormone in relative regulation and manipulation of the mitochondria, and then also of the immune system and then of immune-regulating cells.

As we lose the ability to produce growth hormone, it has a direct effect on the cell, the function of the mitochondria, and the function of our immune cells.

Middle Aged Man doing push-ups

What Aging Can Lead To

1. Increased Oxidative State

  • Increased ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) or free radicals

  • Disruption of redox signaling – this leads to damage in the mitochondria, which causes inactivation of regulatory enzymes and abnormal cell growth, division, and death.

2. Mitochondrial Dysfunction

  • Decreased production of sex steroid

  • A decrease in growth, inflammatory and immune transcription factors

  • Decreased apoptosis of cells

  • Decreased stem cell activations

3. Increased Catabolic State

  • Decreased immune function

  • Decreased PH

  • Increased demineralization of bone

  • Increased sarcopenia

  • Decreased nutrient acquisition (loss of appetite)

  • Loss of energy

  • Loss of sleep (loss cognitive and restorative function)

  • Increased sedentary lifestyle

  • Depression

How Peptides Work to Combat Aging

There are many peptides which work on different areas of the body. To start, we need to understand how our bodies function. At the base of our brain there is a small gland called the pituitary gland. Although the pituitary gland is small, it is the control unit to other hormonal glands; for example, adrenals and thyroid, which are vital in controlling a large part of your body and general wellbeing.

Growth hormone is produced directly by the pituitary gland. With peptides, we can recreate the possibility of our growth hormone release in a physiologic (normal bodily function) form. Certain peptides are designed to stimulate specific receptors on the pituitary gland. These peptides stimulate your body to produce isoforms, which are just different forms of growth hormone, depending on what’s needed. We basically help produce our own growth hormone, naturally! We can bring back the physiologic production like when we were 30.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 40, 60, or 80 years old, the anterior pituitary will produce the same amount of growth hormone as it did when we were 20 if it’s appropriately stimulated. We don’t lose the machinery to produce growth hormone; aging just causes problems in releasing that growth hormone.

To understand the benefits of anti-aging, it is important to understand benefits of increased growth hormone in the body. Growth hormone acts in many tissues in the body. In children and adolescents, it can stimulate the growth of bone and cartilage.

In all ages, it boosts protein production, promotes the utilization of fat, interferes with insulin, and can raise blood sugar levels.

GH also raises levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is important in the development of lean muscle and a key factor in the negative feedback loop that causes decreased natural production and release of GH from the pituitary when the hypothalamus is made aware of the levels of HGH in the body.

When there are low levels of growth hormone, the hypothalamus will release stimulators of a growth hormone called Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones (GHRHs), and when the levels are high it will work to lower production. It’s like a safety net. Growth hormone peptides stimulate the release of GHRH, which then causes the release of GH.

There is ample and robust evidence supporting the effects of increased Human Growth Hormone. Some of the benefits of Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones/Peptides (GHRHs/GHRP’s) include:

  • Accelerated wound healing

  • Enhanced angiogenic potential and tissue reparative properties of stem cells

  • Neurochemical regulation of sleep and improvement of slow wave and REM sleep

  • Promoted muscle growth and fat burning

  • Muscle repair

  • Improved exercise capacity

  • Improved physical performance and increased protein synthesis

  • Protection from fractures

  • Stimulation of the immune system

  • Increased plasma IGF-1

  • Increase calcium retention, and strengthening and increase in mineralization of bone

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Reduced risk of future heart disease

  • Improved Mitochondria regulation/function

Compared to steroids and testosterone, peptides aren’t a magic potion that will turn you into an ageless, indestructible, super-athlete overnight. Peptides are more of a vehicle that can help us get the results we want when combined with lifestyle enhancements and proper exercise.

With a plan and the correct peptides can assist your body in doing the things it already does to achieve your desired results. Peptides can be used for muscle gain or weight loss, endurance improvements, quicker recovery, reduced inflammation, and are at the forefront of many new individual specific treatments for a range of conditions and disorders.

Peptides can potentially help you burn fat while working, eating, talking, and even sleeping, but they should be combined with other lifestyle factors over several months to see the best results. A lot of us are results-driven (I know I am), and it doesn’t matter that the method might include a little madness. Peptides could be part of the magic that is ready and waiting to enact your heart’s desire.

Peptide Side Effects

Always remember to ask what the peptide does, how long to take it, how to take it and what side effects it has so that you have realistic expectations. Used incorrectly, peptides have the potential to cause bad side effects of varying degrees depending on the person.

These can include:

  • Itchiness at the injection area

  • Increased water retention

  • Increased hunger

  • Dry mouth

  • Tingling or numbness

  • High blood pressure

  • Extreme kidney pain

  • Joint pain

  • Darkening of moles and increase of freckles

  • Weight gain/loss

  • Decreased fertility

Should You Use Peptides?

When asking what you should put into your body, you should always ask whether the benefits outweigh the side effects. Like any substance, peptides should not be bought online from research labs or unregistered suppliers (or borrowed from a friend). Always make sure your peptides come from a pharmacy and always use them under the care and supervision of a physician. Contact us today to learn more about how peptides could improve your life and body!