What are Peptides?
Peptides can be thought of as small proteins that act as highly specific signaling molecules in many crucial functions in our bodies. They assist in hormone production, cell signaling, and cell-to-cell communication. Researchers and clinicians alike are looking at peptides as a breakthrough in medicine because:
- Low toxicity
- High chemical and biological diversity
- High potency and specificity
- Good efficacy, safety, and tolerability
- Broad range of targets
- Enhances cell growth
But perhaps the biggest advantage of therapeutic peptides is the fact that they are amenable to rational design. Therapeutic peptides can be designed to be involved in virtually any cellular process. This means that they can be designed to block interactions of proteins as long as enough of the sequence of the target site is known and conditions allow for the peptide to bind it.
What Conditions Can Peptides Therapy Treat?
Peptides can be used to treat a wide range of illnesses. The list of potential conditions that can benefit from peptides is nearly endless, but here are just a few:
- Lyme disease
- Mold-related illness
- Joint injury
- HIV and chronic infections (HBV, HCV, CMV, etc.)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Neurodegenerative conditions (Parkinson’s, MS, etc.)
- Erectile dysfunction, low libido
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Cerebrolysin is a nootropic that may enhance cognitive functions, such as memory, creativity, and motivation. Rather than being a single peptide, Cerebrolysin is a mixture of very small peptides derived from brains of pigs. The small size of Cerebrolysin means it can cross the blood-brain and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers and directly act on the central and peripheral neurons. The clinical value of Cerebrolysin comes from its neuroprotective effects. It has been shown to be effective when used for:
- Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment
- Recovery after a stroke
- Traumatic brain injury, concussion
- Spinal cord injury
- Treatment-resistant depression
Studies have indicated that Cerebrolysin is safe in humans for short-term use (up to 3 years). However, it has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Cerebrolysin and Recovery After Stroke (CARS)
A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Multicenter Trial
Dafin F. Muresanu, MD, PhD, Wolf-Dieter Heiss, MD, […], and Alla Guekht, MD, PhD, DMedScience
Cerebrolysin had a beneficial effect on function and global outcome in early rehabilitation patients after stroke. Its safety was comparable with that of the placebo, suggesting a favorable benefit/risk ratio. Because this study was exploratory and had a relatively small sample size, the results should be confirmed in a large-scale, randomized clinical trial.
Semax is a peptide based on a fragment of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
In Russia, Semax is used as a medication for the prevention and treatment of circulatory disorders including stroke, traumatic brain injury, addiction, ADHD, ADD and depression.
Uses: peptic ulcer, learning issues, gastric protection, physical exertion, metal toxicity, anti-thrombosis, cognitive functioning, mold, chronic stress, vagal reflex
Semax is listed on the Russian List of Vital & Essential Drugs, a reference of key medications which is reviewed and approved by the Russian government.
Semax is also used as a nootropic, or cognitive enhancer, due to evidence that Semax can enhance memory performance and reduce the negative effects of stress.
How it Works
- Increases brain BDNF levels.
- Prevents the breakdown of enkephalins.
- Protects the nervous system from oxidative damage.
- Affects the expression of genes related to the immune and vascular systems during stroke.
Semax has been shown to protect the body and brain from various types of oxidative damage/stress.
Semax improved memory and attention in a Russian study of task performance in healthy men. Semax also decreased learning time in animal studies.
Brother of semax, nootrophic, immune peptide, reduces histamine response from mass cells, inhibits secretion of histamine, reduces inflammation/vascular permability, ulcer control, calming affect without sedation, influences concentration and relaxation, modulates inter-lueken 6 (t-helper cell-T17, signals how lineage develops, regulates cytokines)-modulates immune function, BDNF to help with neuroplasticity, sertonin metabolism, provides immediate relief, alters affinity for GABA- increases inhibitory action, antiviral activity, anticouglant, prevents weight gain, decreases blood glucose levels, creativity.
Uses: Depression, balances sleep and wakefulness, anxiety, metal toxins, post digestion issues (higher food tolerance).
IGF-1, LR3 insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I)
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also known as somatomedin C, is a protein similar in structure to insulin. IGF-1 is a primary mediator of the effects of growth hormone (GH). IGF-1 then stimulates systemic body growth, and has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in the body, especially skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, liver, kidney, nerve, skin, hematopoietic, and lung cells. In addition to the insulin-like effects, IGF-1 can also regulate cellular DNA synthesis .
The thymus gland is located behind your breastbone and between your lungs. Although it’s only active until puberty, it nevertheless plays a crucial role in the development of the immune system and in protecting the body against autoimmunity, a state in which the body’s immune system turns on itself. It is responsible for producing and secreting a hormone called thymosin, which stimulates the development of white blood cells called T-lymphocytes or T cells. For their roles in regulating the immune system, thymosins (also known as thymic peptides) are referred to as immune-modulatory peptides.
There are two thymic peptides commonly used in peptide therapy: Thymosin alpha 1 (Tɑ1) and thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4). Both of these peptides have been shown to have important clinical applications, such as in modulating immune responses, neuroplasticity, blood vessel formation, etc.
Thymosin Alpha 1 (Tɑ1)
Thymosin alpha 1 is a naturally-produced peptide of 28 amino acids that can enhance the body’s ability to recognize and respond to foreign invaders. At the cellular level, Tɑ1 interacts with proteins called Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), and it is the interaction with TLRs on dendritic cells and precursor T cells that results in immune-stimulating effects, including:
- Increased natural killer cell activity
- Increased expression of TH1-type cytokines
- Increased levels of cytotoxic T cells
- Reduced apoptosis of immune cells
- A shift of T helper cells to Type 1 T helper (TH1) cells
- Activation of dendritic cells
Studies show that immune dysregulation and/or immunosenescence (gradual deterioration of the immune system associated with age) results in an imbalance of TH1 and TH2. TH1 and TH2 cells secrete proteins called cytokines that exhibit protective effects. TH1 cells produce interferon (IFN) -g and interleukin (IL)-2 which tend to be pro-inflammatory, while TH2 cells produce IL-4, IL-5, Il-6, IL-10, and IL-13 which are anti-inflammatory.
TH1 and TH2 cells produce also differ in the types of immune responses they produce. TH1 cells typically deal with pathogens that get inside cells, such as bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, TH2 cells parasites that attack from outside the cells as well as toxins and allergens.
Both sides need to work together to have a well-balanced immune system. Neither should be in a dominant position. However, in some people, there is a prolonged period of time in which either TH1 or TH2 dominance occurs, leading to health problems. In particular, an increase in TH2 relative to TH1 has been linked to:
- Insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia
- Autoimmune disease
- Chronic infections (including Lyme, viruses, parasites)
- Oxidative stress
- Alterations in gut microbiota (i.e., dysbiosis)
- Food allergies
- Changes in sex hormone levels
- Zinc and other mineral deficiencies
This is one of the most significant clinical applications of Tɑ1. As an immunomodulator, Tɑ1 restores balance to the body by increasing TH1 and decreasing TH2, thus breaking the cycle of immune dysfunction so often found in these illnesses.
Several clinical studies have shown that Tɑ1 can benefit a broad range of conditions, some of which include:
- Boosting influenza antibody response
- Hepatitis B
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Lung cancer
- Fungal infections
- Cystic fibrosis
Due to the success of these clinical trials, drugs containing Tɑ1 have been approved for clinical use in over 35 countries (including the U.S.) and have had very few reports of adverse effects so far.
Thymosin Beta 4 (Tꞵ4)
Thymosin beta 4 is also produced in the thymus gland and is also the predominant form of thymosin in the human body. This means it can be found in all human cells, although it is typically found in high concentrations in wound tissue and in certain blood cells involved in wound healing.
- Despite being a peptide of only 43 amino acids, Tꞵ4 is involved in modulating a wide range of regenerative activities. When the wound healing process begins, Tꞵ4 aids in:
- Promoting formation of new blood vessels to the injured area which carry essential reparative substances
- Increasing “good” inflammation that can help the wound heal faster
- Increasing the amount of cell-building proteins such as actin
- Restoring tissue structure and metabolism
- Promoting hair growth
- Reducing acute/chronic wounds
– BPC 157 is a partial sequence of body protection compound (BPC) found in human gastric juice.
– BPC 157 can be used to accelerate healing of a variety of wounds including tendon-to bone healing and healing of damaged ligaments.
– Acts systematically in the digestive tract to combat leaky gut, IBS, gastro intestinal cramps and Crohn’s disease
– Protects and prevents gastric ulcers
– Can be used to protect liver from toxic damage (alcohol, antibiotics, etc.)
– Promotes healing of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
– Improves healing of many types of wounds
– Protects intestinal organs and prevents stomach ulcers
– Combats leaky gut, IBS, gastro-intestinal cramps and
– Accelerate healing of skin burns
– Works as an anti-inalmmatory
– Maintains integrity of mucosal lining GI tract
– Repairs tissues of GIT, tendons, ligaments, brain, bone, etc.
– Improves digestive function
– Protects and promotes healing of liver due to toxic stress.
– In response to tendon and ligament injury, BPC-157 accelerates healing by increasing type 1 collagen in these tissues.
– BPC-157 is cytoprotective and thus helps maintain the mucosal lining of the GI tract.
– As an anti-inflammatory, it aids in the protection and healing of inflamed intestinal tissues.
– BPC-157 also aids in tissue damage repair by increasing blood flow to damaged tissues.
– Additionally, BPC 157 acts as a neuroprotective by modulating serotonin and dopamine production in the brain.
Anti-obesity, better with females than males, want to lose 20-30 lbs, lipolytic affecting peptide, activated HgH receptor, increased peripheral IGF-1, does not compete with gH, improved production of lipopolysaccharides, cell activity in the gut, improves thermogenesis
Uses: weight, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, diabetes, cancer, edema, metabolic disorder.