Peptide therapy has officially entered the Poosh chat.
Most of us are familiar with peptides as they relate to our topical skincare, but peptide therapy is kind of a whole new pickleball game and a topic that’s been blowing up our Slack channel. Sam, our VP of brand partnerships, recently wrote about her experience with MesoGlow as “a cocktail of peptides that’s applied via microneedling” and how her skin has never been more radiant.
But we Pooshies are always looking to learn more, so we tapped Dr. Kelly Bender from Pure Vitality Rejuvenation Center to give us a 101 lesson in peptide therapy. Grab your notebooks (or your Notes app) because class is in session.
Peptides are great communicators.
“Think of peptides as tiny messengers made up of amino acids, the building blocks that also make up larger proteins like those in meat or beans. While proteins are the building blocks of our body, peptides are the communicators,” Dr. Bender says. “They simply ask your body to do certain things like decrease inflammation, regenerate tissue, produce collagen, and even influence sleep quality.”
We naturally create them.
“Our bodies naturally create a myriad of these tiny messengers, and scientists have managed to recreate many of them for medical treatments. A common example is insulin, which tells our cells to absorb sugar from the food we eat.”
But we produce fewer as we age.
Enter: peptide therapy. “Adding them back into our system can help maintain strong communication within our body, leading to various health benefits.”
Different peptides do different things.
That’s why Dr. Bender says it’s important to make sure you’re using the right one for the desired results. She adds that it’s a common misconception that all peptides are the same.
Special shout-out to the peptides below:
- GHK Cu (Glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine-Copper)
“This is by far one of the most popular and beneficial peptides I use in practice. It is a naturally occurring copper complex that was first found in human plasma, but we now know it’s in many tissues throughout the body. It’s best known for improving skin because of its ability to stimulate your body to produce more collagen,” Dr. Bender explains. “Research has also shown it to help heal wounds, repair joints, and even increase hair growth. My patients can’t get enough of it.”
- Growth hormone-stimulating peptides
“There are several out there that fall into this category including CJC/ipamorelin, sermorelin and tesamorelin. The things these all have in common is they stimulate your brain to make more growth hormone,” Dr. Bender says. She says that many people notice:
- improved sleep,
- improved energy,
- better body composition (less fat, more muscle),
- and sometimes improved mental clarity.
“These may not be right for everyone, so talk to your doctor first,” she adds.
- BPC 157 (Body Protecting Compound 157)
“This is a great one because you can take it in pill form,” Dr. Bender says. “Most of the peptides must be taken as an injection or some other form that bypasses your stomach for them to work properly.
“I use BPC 157 orally for patients that need support for their GI tract or skin because, as we know, the skin is a mirror of the GI tract. So, if you have inflammation in your skin, you probably have inflammation in your gut. BPC 157 has been shown in studies to be anti-inflammatory (big win for everyone!) and regenerative, which means it actually helps you heal faster and regrow tissue.”
Peptide therapy is a holistic approach.
“Peptide therapy uses a nourishing and rebuilding approach to wellness, rather than suppressive. It can have lasting effects, even after the treatment has stopped, because it works by enhancing the body’s natural healing and regenerative processes,” Dr. Bender says. “Remember, peptides are just signaling molecules. We’re reminding your body what it’s like to repair, heal, strengthen.”
Ofc, it’s important to note that peptide therapy can be pretty costly and involve injections, making it less accessible than other holistic modalities.
Definitely talk to a physician who is an expert in this topic before starting any kind of peptide therapy.
“Each peptide has its own set of potential side effects or considerations, so I recommend you talk to a physician that’s an expert in this topic,” Dr. Bender says. “Generally speaking, most of the peptides are safe and well tolerated. However, they may not be appropriate for people with certain conditions.”
And make sure you know where your peptides are coming from.
“There are lots of places out there where you can buy peptides from ‘research laboratories’ that aren’t held to any standards. You never know what you’re getting, and sometimes there can be dangerous contaminants. Always talk to a healthcare provider before starting any of these treatments, and always get them from a reputable pharmacy,” Dr. Bender advises.
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