Peptides are sequences of amino acids that have amazing properties that can improve your health, your muscles, your immune status, your energy level, and much more. They have been around for years but only over the last few years has their benefits really been appreciated.[1] Now you can enjoy these benefits too if you embrace their powers.

Peptides are essentially signaling proteins that tell particular cells in parts of your body to do certain functions. Each peptide can exert a specific signal to different cells in your body which results in a desired action for improving your life. They may correct the underlying mechanism of action of many different disease states and can boost your quality of life too. Peptides build strength and improve weakness as we grow older.

The Aging Process

You all know that you’re going to grow older, which is good because the alternative isn’t so good. However, you want to grow older with good health, with a fit body, and with a clear mind that still remembers stuff. To age well, you need to do maintenance and take care of your body. Peptides may be a method for you to assist you in this process.

Before we go further, let’s discuss what happens when you age. As you get older, your body tends to go into a catabolic (breaking down) state instead of an anabolic (building up) state. You see a decrease in energy, which is from dysfunction of the powerhouses of your cells, the mitochondria. This dysfunction is due to increases in free radical formation within the mitochondria as they produce energy, also called reactive oxygen species (ROS).

You may see yourself gaining weight that is mostly fat and not muscle. You may also see a decrease in muscle mass, and when this becomes really bad it is called sarcopenia, and you become frail. If the mental function is not maintained adequately you will see a decline in your cognitive functions and memory becomes poor. You start to have that foggy brain problem.

In addition, your ability to fight off foreign invaders tends to decline and be less efficient, which is your immune response. This decrease in immune response results in poor ability to fight off infections and to get rid of bad dysfunctional cells that occur as your age, including spontaneous mutations of cells that could become cancer cells. The result is an overaggressive response by your immune cells with resultant formation of inflammation, which can then damage surrounding cells and tissues. The result is anatomic changes and dysfunction of the tissues that we see as we age; i.e. those aches and pains we notice as we get older.

Boost Your Growth Hormone (GH) Status Safely

As you age, your levels of growth hormone decline so that by age 80 you hardly have any HGH in your body. This results in much of the decline in your body as discussed above. With less GH you see decreased energy production, decreased muscle mass, increased fat mass, declining health and frailty. Many of these changes can be countered with hormone therapy, such as estrogen and testosterone, which we recommend that almost everyone should be taking if they can to keep their hormone levels optimized.

However, to boost this even more, an added hormone that can help prevent or reverse these chances is growth hormone. The safest and most effective way to boost your GH level is by using peptide therapy to stimulate your pituitary to secrete higher levels of growth hormone in a more natural fashion as you age. Combined with the other hormones, the result is increased lean body mass (muscles), decreased fat mass, which can help you lose weight, boosted energy production and a clearer mind,[2] a better memory,[3] and you feel great.

You may have heard of people using HGH (Human Growth Hormone) as an anti-aging regimen. However, you have probably also heard that it is very expensive, has lots of side effects, but does bulk you up. Unfortunately, actual growth hormone injections have turned out to not be the best therapy for anti-aging and may even do the opposite.[4] Thus, we do not recommend that you use human growth hormone, also called HGH, due to the many problems associated with it.

If excess amounts of GH are present, such as when you give yourself HGH shots, anti-aging benefits go away and the opposite may happen, as seen in genetically abnormal people who have excess GH present, called acromegaly. But when secreted in physiologic amounts, anti-aging levels are achieved, and this can be accomplished with use of peptides.

Certain peptides are a new option for boosting GH levels safely that can help you age with a better body and mind. They can give you anti-aging benefits. They are also less expensive. Plus, they allow your HGH to come from your own pituitary gland in a physiologic manner. There are several peptides that do this, including CJC-1295, Ipamorelin and Tesamorelin.

Side effects from doing GH are usually minimal and may include swelling of your joints. This is common with HGH injections, but not with the peptide injections because you’re just letting your pituitary do its job and secrete the right amount of GH in a physiologic manner. This means the pituitary secretes GH in a pulsed fashion, which is the natural way the pituitary works. Stimulating the pituitary to do this in its physiologic pulsed fashion is what controls the levels and prevents excess GH to be secreted. That’s what the peptides do.[5] You just want levels to replenish the gradual decline that you see as you age, not excessive amount.

Maintaining these levels of GH as you age can result in essentially improving the efficiency of every cell in your body. The result you see is you have more energy, develop more muscles, lose fat weight, and improve your immune status. Plus, you could potentially not only increase your quality of life, but also your lifespan, i.e. anti-aging.

Enhance Energy and Well-Being

When you have adequate levels of GH present, you essentially improve the efficiency and function of every cell in your body. Your body’s cells use less oxygen for exertion and there is less production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), which means less damage to cellular structures, such as mitochondria and DNA. Consequently, you see improved mitochondrial function and, as you recall, mitochondria are the powerhouses for every cell in your body. The more mitochondria you have and the more efficient they function; the more ATP is produced and the better energy you have.

In addition, by improving mitochondrial function, your heart pumps better, your muscles move with better endurance and strength, and you are able to build your muscles up like you did when you were younger. One of the obvious changes that is observed when you take these peptides is an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in fat mass, if you also exercise your muscles. In addition, with better energy your brain cells function optimally.

All these actions can result in improved quality of life and well-being. In addition, by maintaining the health of every cell, you generally feel more energy, you lose excess weight and you sleep better too.[6]

Decreasing Inflammation Results in Less Chronic Medical Problems

Inflammation is the root cause of most chronic medical diseases. No one wants to develop heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease or cancers. These all may be helped when the efficiency of the cells is improved. Increasing HGH through certain peptides may improve endothelial function and thus improve heart disease,[7] the number one killer of people.

Certain peptides have been shown to decrease hypertension, dilate blood vessels through NO production, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce intimal artery thickness,[8] reduce ROS, reduce inflammation, all of which reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Improving the health of the lining of arteries, called the endothelium, is one of the most important actions you can do to improve your total body health. The multiple actions of GH via peptide stimulation can decrease cardiovascular disease.[9]

Intimal artery thickness is a measure of the thickness of the endothelium usually measured at the carotid arteries. If excessively thick, this correlates with increased cardiovascular disease. The thickening usually suggests the presence of plaques within the endothelial walls. If unstable, these plaques could rupture resulting in a blockage. In the heart the blockage results in a heart attack. If in the brain, the blockage results in a stroke. Neither one is a good option, so let’s try to prevent them with GH, because we can.

Brain cells have more energy too. This may translate to less chronic medical problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. One of the changes one sees with Alzheimer’s disease is a decrease in energy production from mitochondrial damage within the brain cells resulting in less ATP produced. Physiologic GH secretion may therefore improve this and potentially decrease your risk of developing dementias. Plus, as discussed, it can help prevent the cells from becoming senescent, rejuvenating brain function.

Alzheimer’s disease not only has decreased energy production from mitochondrial damage, but another hallmark sign is Beta-amyloid deposited on the neurons. This change starts with increased inflammation in the brain. It so happens that GH in the right amounts via stimulation by the peptides can potentially prevent this inflammation[10] and the Beta-amyloid deposition, allowing the neurons to continue to function in a more normal fashion.[11]

Decreasing inflammation may also decrease cancer risks.[12] Peptides seem to decrease development of cancers by decreasing formation of blood vessels to the cancers (angiogenesis), inhibiting transcription of genes that can cause proliferation of the cancers, and make the cancer cells die from internal cytotoxicity, also call apoptosis.[13] Less cancer risk equates to anti-aging too.

Dosage and Labs

We do not obtain growth hormone levels in the blood because it is expensive and difficult. Instead, we use IGFD-1 levels, which is produced by the liver as a direct result of GH secretion. This is therefore and indirect affect of the presence of GH but is used with good results. Deficiency of GH is variable between doctors, but generally if your IGF-1 levels are below 100 ng/ml you are most likely deficient in GH.

Dosage of CJC 1295 and CJC 1295/Ipamorelin is usually 0.1 cc (100 mcg) given as a subcutaneous injection (just under the skin in the fatty layer) with a very small needle for 5 days on and 2 days off. It should always be done at bedtime, before your sleep, for you make most of your GH when you sleep.

Conclusion

Not only can peptides increase your quality of life, they may also help protect you from developing the many chronic medical conditions that occurs with aging. When you get older HGH levels declines. Boosting HGH levels to higher levels in a physiologic manner with peptide releasing actions is a very good option for Anti-aging, a potential prevention strategy. Learn more about other peptides in subsequent parts of our Peptides series.

References:

[1] Henninot A, et al. The Current State of Peptide Drug Discovery: Back to the Future? J. Med. Chem. 2018, 61, 4, 1382-1414. July 24, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00318

[2] Aleman A, et al, Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I and Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Men, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 84(2), 1 February 1999: 471–475, https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.84.2.5455

[3] Devesa, J., Núñez, I., Agra, C., Bejarano, A., & Devesa, P. Treatment with Growth Hormone (GH) Increased the Metabolic Activity of the Brain in an Elder Patient, Not GH-Deficient, Who Suffered Mild Cognitive Al

terations and Had an ApoE 4/3 Genotype. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(8), 2294. doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082294

[4] Tran D, et al. Insulin‐like growth factor‐1 regulates the SIRT1‐p53 pathway in cellular senescence. Aging Cell. 13(4) April 2014. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12219

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[6] Sigalos JT, Pastuszak AW. The Safety and Efficacy of Growth Hormone Secretagogues. Sex Med Rev. 2018;6(1):45–53. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.02.004

[7] Randeva HS. Et al. Growth Hormone Replacement Decreases Plasma Levels of Matrix Metalloproteinases (2 and 9) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Growth Hormone–Deficient Individuals. Circulation. 2004;109:2405–2410.doi.org/10.1161/01.CIR.0000129763.51060.77.

[8] Laitnen ML. et al. VEGF Gene Transfer Reduces Intimal Thickening via Increased Production of Nitric Oxide in Carotid Arteries. Hum Gene Ther. 9(`5). Mar 2008. doi.org/10.1089/hum.1997.8.15-1737

[9] Berlanga-Acosta J, et al. Synthetic Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs): A Historical Appraisal of the Evidences Supporting Their Cytoprotective Effect. Clin Med Insights: Cardiology. March 2, 2017, doi.org/10.1177/1179546817694558

[10] Labandeira-Garcia J, et al.  Front. Aging Neurosci., 03 November 2017. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00365

[12] Cicero AFG, Gogacci F, Colletti A. Potential role of bioactive peptides in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases: a narrative review. Brit. J of Pharmacol. 174(11). https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.13608

[13] Atul Tyagi, Abhishek Tuknait, Priya Anand, Sudheer Gupta, Minakshi Sharma, Deepika Mathur, Anshika Joshi, Sandeep Singh, Ankur Gautam, Gajendra P.S. Raghava, CancerPPD: a database of anticancer peptides and proteins, Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 43, Issue D1, 28 January 2015, Pages D837–D843, https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gku892