Peptides are compounds made from amino acids that signal your body to do certain functions. In this part of my series on peptides, I will discuss some peptides that can give you a boost in your energy.

It seems like fatigue is a common complaint of patients in my practice. There are many reasons why you might become fatigued, and first an evaluation to determine the reason for the fatigue is indicated. When problems are discovered, I first take care of the problem or problems.

Hormone Optimization and Body Metabolism

One of the most common reasons you may have fatigue is because you don’t have optimal levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones and testosterone both need to be optimized to give you the best boost in energy from these hormones. Testosterone must be balanced with estrogen in a woman for best results.

A simple blood test can tell you if your levels are low or suboptimal. If yours are low, you should consider supplementing low thyroid levels with thyroid hormones, and low testosterone levels with testosterone therapy to raise these hormone levels to more optimal levels. Having levels like you had when you were younger and you had that youthful vitality is a great plan.

In addition, there are other reasons why you may be having fatigue problems, and one of these is that you may just be overweight. Dragging around extra weight can make anyone tired and fatigued. Thus, an important action you can do is to get rid of that extra weight. You’ll be amazed at how great you’ll feel when you get rid of that spare tire that’s weighting you down.

Although it seems like an oxymoron, exercising also can improve your energy and reduce fatigue. When you drag yourself to the gym, think about this: you may not like exercising, but you will like the way it makes you feel. Vigorous exercise for just 10 to 12 minutes a day may boost your metabolism to help make you feel stimulated and energetic.

Boost Energy with Growth Hormone

Another hormone that declines as you get older is growth hormone. I have discussed growth hormone stimulation via peptides in another article. I do not recommend direct injections of HGH. Boosting growth hormone levels improves energy production and decreases fatigue, but you want to do this in a natural physiologic way, like with peptides that stimulate your pituitary to produce more growth hormone.

In addition, using the peptides to do this does a bunch of other actions too. Growth hormone can also increase muscle mass so you’re stronger, decrease fat mass so you lose weight, and improves your thought process so you think clearer. It may also have anti-aging actions, which may help you live longer.

Age-Related Fatigue and Mitochondria

Another reason that may be causing your fatigued has to do with the natural age-related decline in energy production that occurs as you age. Your body must produce energy for all the functional processes of your body; to move, to think, to beat your heart, to digest food, etc. This energy comes from your mitochondria, the powerhouses of your body.[1] These nanosized parts of your cells are like your power houses that produce the energy for your body.

Just like the electric powerhouses that produce electricity to power all the lights and machines close to it, your mitochondria produce ATP which are packets of energy that power all the functions and parts of every cell in your body. In addition, just like electric energy sometimes can spark and cause damage, so can the byproducts of energy production in your cells.

This continued process of damage to your mitochondria results in aging of your body.[2] With less energy production you become more tired, of course.  But the cells of your organs also suffer from this low energy and this can result in age-related chronic medical disease problems. For instance, one of the initial problems with dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease is a sluggishness in thought process. This has been associated initially with the increase in ROS production that damages brain cell mitochondria.

This mitochondrial damage occurs due to formation of free radicals (ROS) from normal functions of the mitochondria to produce energy (ATP) for the cell. Mitochondria produce a compound that protects the mitochondria from the damaging effects of ROS in a natural fashion, which is a good thing otherwise none of us would be able to keep our energy production going. This compound is a natural peptide.

MOTS-c Peptide for Energy

This natural peptide that protects the mitochondria from ROS damage is called MOTS-c. In addition, MOTS-c can stimulate your mitochondria to produce more mitochondria in addition it regulates gene expression to increase their production.[3] All this results in more ATP production, which equates to more energy and less fatigue. Moreover, if you can boost your energy productions as you age, you may have a more active life and potentially live longer too. Thus, MOTS-c may ultimately correlate with extended longevity.[4]

Due to its effects on the mitochondria, MOTS-c has also been shown to improve insulin regulation and metabolic homeostasis, improving insulin resistance, reducing diabetes[5] and help patients lose weight.[6] This may improve processes such as aging, inflammation, and stress resistance. Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to abnormal sugar metabolism in diabetes and is thought to be part of the destruction from diabetes.[7]

In essence, you are simply using MOTS-c, which is actually produced by the mitochondria’s own DNA, to protect the mitochondria from age-related degradation. The result is that you get a boost of energy production from your own mitochondrial powerhouses.

Dose: MOTS-c Comes in a 10 mg vial. After reconstituting the vial with sterile water, 10 mg is injected subcutaneously into the skin weekly for the usual dose. Unfortunately, this injection may burn for a few minutes, but this does go away and does not injure the tissues.

Summary:

Boosting energy production to reduce fatigue is a multifactorial process involving optimization of many hormones, losing weight, eating right, and exercising. Boosting levels of growth hormones with peptides decreases fatigue too. Energy production is done by your mitochondria. Boosting protection of the mitochondria from ROS, the production of mitochondria, and the production of ATP by mitochondria is important.

MOTS-c is a peptide that can potentially boost all these mitochondrial actions to help you have more energy. In addition, as you age, energy production from mitochondria decrease and this is thought to be partly the cause for development of age-related chronic medical problems. Boosting mitochondrial functions with MOTS-c peptide could help protect you from these conditions while enhancing your energy levels.

References:

[1] Filler K, et al. Association of mitochondrial dysfunction and fatigue: A review of the literature. BBA Clinical. 1, June 2014:12-23. doi.org/10.1016/j.bbacli.2014.04.001

[2] Kim, Su-Jeong. Et al. Mitochondrial peptides modulate mitochondrial function during cellular senescence. Aging (Albany NY), 10(6) June 2018: 1239-1256.

[3] Lee C, et al. The Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide MOTS-c Promotes Metabolic Homeostasis and Reduces Obesity and Insulin Resistance. Cell Metabolism. 21(3) March 2015:443-454. doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.02.009

[4] Fuku N, et al. The mitochondrial-derived peptide MOTS-c: a player in exceptional longevity? Aging Cell (2015) 14, pp921–923. doi.org/10.1111/acel.12389

[5] Lee C. et al. MOTS-c: A novel mitochondrial-derived peptide regulating muscle and fat metabolism. Free Radical Bio and Med. 100, Nov 2016:182-187. doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.05.015

[6] Op cit. Lee C. doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.02.009

[7] Ramanjaneya M. et al. Mitochondrial-Derived Peptides Are Down Regulated in Diabetes Subjects. Front. Endocrinol., 31 May 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2019.00331