The polypeptide known as vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) affects the gut, heart, and respiratory and nervous systems. It also regulates circadian rhythms.
With its widespread activity in the body the following are some of its promising therapeutic possibilities:
This peptide hormone can be extremely useful for gut health. It helps maintain a healthy intestinal wall by promoting differentiation, proliferation, and cell adhesion of your intestinal epithelial cells.
VIP is antimicrobial toward certain bacteria and promotes the proliferation of beneficial gut bacteria. It also regulates both stomach acid secretion as well as water and ion absorption in the large intestine. Lastly, VIP aids proper peristalsis by inhibiting smooth muscle contraction and by triggering mucus secretion by Goblet cells.
VIP is promising for heart and lung health thanks to its impact on smooth muscles. VIP has a powerful dilating effect causing the smooth muscle in your blood vessels, respiratory tract, digestive tract, and other organs to dilate and relax.
VIP can improve blood circulation and open up airways. It may be an effective treatment for conditions like pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
VIP can have a positive impact on the immune system. It decreases inflammation by blocking pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. This in known as immune modulation. In boosting immune health, VIP positively influences the communication channels between your immune system and the rest of your body.
VIP can help control joint inflammation and can inhibit the destruction of cartilage and bone in arthritis. It functions as a macrophage deactivating factor. This means it stops the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, IL-12) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), while stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-4, IL-10, IL-13 and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).
Exposure to toxic mold can lead to the persistent immune response known as chronic inflammatory response syndrome, or CIRS. This inflammation can cause debilitating and serious symptoms that can send your body into a downward spiral. VIP is quickly becoming an option for mold toxicity and CIRS treatment. Studies have found that restoring appropriate levels of VIP is crucial for lowering the systemic immune response seen in CIRS.
As a secretagogue, VIP induces release of various types of hormones including prolactin, luteinizing hormone and growth hormone from the pituitary, and regulates the release of insulin and glucagon in the pancreas.
VIP can help regulate circadian rhythms, as it plays a crucial role as a neurotransmitter in your sleep/wake cycle.
Benefits of VIP
In summary, here are some of the key benefits of VIP:
- Immune system modulator
- Joint protection
- Gut health & balance
Possible conditions for treatment
Based on current research, VIP shows promise in treating the following:
- Auto immune disease
- Irritable bowel diseases (UC, Crohn’s)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Cognitive decline
- Mold exposure
- Circadian rhythm regulation
Possible Side Effects
VIP appears to have an excellent safety profile with a very low incidence of side effects. When they do happen, they are mild in nature and very easy to treat. Some reported side effects are low blood pressure, rash, dizziness, irritability and headaches.
VIP is reported as an anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory peptide that has considered being a potential candidate for treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases through down-regulation of inflammatory cytokines and mediators.
VIP helps modulate effective communication in the immune system with the rest of the body. This makes VIP a key player in your immune and gut health. There is mounting evidence that increasing VIP levels can combat and even reverse some of the effects of autoimmune and degenerative disorders.
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Cutting Edge: Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Acts as a Potent Suppressor of Inflammation In Vivo by Trans-Deactivating Chemokine Receptors. The Journal of Immunology November 15, 2003, 171 (10) 49904994; DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.171.10.4990
Dulari Jayawardena, Arivarasu N. Anbazhagan, Grace Guzman, Pradeep K. Dudeja, and Hayat Onyuksel. Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Nanomedicine for the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2017 14 (11), 3698-3708. DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00452