It’s All About Time

Photo Credit: HealthGAINS

The other night, a friend jokingly told me he wanted to live to one hundred. He proudly made this declaration in the middle of a spirited Zoom call our friends from college had put together shortly after the pandemic started. The call was comprised of people from a variety of backgrounds, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised by the cacophonous reaction.

Some were in rebuke; some were in agreement…most were in jest because, well, we all went to school with this guy. But there I was, actually surprised by the wide gamut of responses to this seemingly simple proclamation.

As I’ve gotten older, the question of time hasn’t so much been about whether or not I want more of it (I absolutely do) the question has, for the most part, been about how I am going to live it.

The Science Behind Peptides

One of the most exciting areas where science and medicine overlap right now is in the study and application of peptides as a therapeutic treatment. With more than 60 different approved uses and dozens of safe and effective treatment programs, it’s not hard to see why those vitality-minded individuals would be so interested in peptide therapy.

Peptides are most commonly defined as compounds consisting of two or more amino acids that form the building blocks for proteins. For decades, we’ve known peptides act as transmitters within the body, relaying information to the network of nerves and muscles contributing to everything from sleep quality to libido2.

First taking hold in the 1920s with the introduction of insulin therapy for diabetics, the therapeutic use of peptides has been used to treat dozens of diagnosable conditions in men and women and is approved by the FDA 3. Following advances in modern medicine, research into peptides has produced a host of safe, effective treatments to combat a variety of injury and age-related ailments.

Although there are many available peptides, they typically fall into one of two categories for therapeutic use:

  • Collagen peptides, which were developed for improving the health of hair, skin, and joints, as well as the treatment of joint-related pain and wound care
  • Creatine peptides, which are typically used for improving physical attributes like boosting weight loss, improving muscle growth, and body sculpting.

But there are others. Some peptides are effective at improving sleep and one of the most effective therapies right now is for boosting energy, libido and improving mental focus. Through the clever normalization of your body’s optimized levels, it’s now possible to drastically improve the quality of your life.

Benefits of Peptide Therapy

Through the thoughtful use of peptide therapy, it’s now possible to make improvements that many would consider slowing the aging process4. For example, recent research indicates that medically supervised peptide therapy can help:

  • lower high blood pressure
  • kill microbes
  • reduce inflammation
  • prevent the formation of blood clots
  • improve immune function
  • act as antioxidants

Increasingly, medical professionals are turning to peptide therapy to effectively treat:

Age-related Conditions

Probably the most popular use of peptide therapy is for combatting many of the effects of aging on the body. It’s no secret as we age, the production of several key compounds within the body begin to wane. What peptide therapy attempts to do for patients is to normalize their body’s chemistry to levels on par with that of a healthy person at the peak of their life.

Although there are a variety of possible benefits associated with peptide therapy, some of the most popular and common benefits of peptide therapy for the aging adult are in their physical improvement.

Peptide therapy has been shown to improve skin, hair, and nail quality, boost muscle growth, and improve the elasticity and function of tendons, ligaments, and joints.

Slow Healing Wounds

One of the most prolific uses for peptide therapy has been to improve wound healing. As peptides are such a vital component in skin, their introduction in wound care has dramatically improved both outcomes and the time needed for the healing to occur.

There’s also growing evidence that peptides act as anti-inflammatory antioxidants throughout the body, which also has been known to contribute to improved healing5. Some peptide treatments have also been developed to fight off bacterial infections.

Peptide therapy has also been shown to be effective in helping suffers of many common skin conditions. It is suspected the oxidative stress caused by abnormal peptide levels can contribute to skin disorders including eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea6.

Bone Loss

Bone loss is one of the quiet maladies affecting millions of people every year. Keeping the density of your bones at healthy levels can make all the difference when considering the long-term problems encountered by those already suffering from osteoporosis or severe bone loss. Collagen peptide therapy was tailor-made for this exact purpose. Although the study is ongoing, researchers suspect the benefits of peptide therapy for treating bone loss stems from their ability to seemingly counter-act age-related bone loss.

Muscle Building and Strengthening

Another popular use of peptides in the building of muscle and strength. For years, people have used creatine powders as part of the exercise regimen. Increasingly and because of the high absorption rates, injectables have become an integral part of many aging adult lives. Their use has been shown to be effective at increasing muscle mass and improving strength. All without any of the digestive issues associated with powders and oral supplements.

Possible Risks

Today, you can access a wide combination of benefits through the medically-supervised use of peptide therapy, such as the personalized programs offered at HealthGAINS. Because different combinations of these bioactive compounds can produce different results for each individual, it’s important to work with an experienced provider who can individually assess your condition, provide treatment and offer ongoing support as your body, and your body chemistry, is repaired.

However, much like any medical treatment, there are associated risks with peptide therapy. Typically, for healthy individuals, peptide therapy is extremely unlikely to cause side effects. This is due in part to their compounded makeup, which is nearly identical to the peptide structures found in everyday foods.

That said, used incorrectly or without the supervision of an experienced medical professional, it is possible to experience some side effects which, which if left untreated, can lead to serious health issues.

Some of these side effects include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Redness, itchiness, and/or pain at the injection area
  • Increased water retention and bloating (a common sign of overdosage)
  • Greater hunger
  • Lowered fertility
  • Dry mouth
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Chronic high blood pressure
  • Debilitating kidney pain
  • Joint pain
  • Pronunciation and darkening of moles and increase of freckles

Living to 100

I think it goes without saying if a person says they want to live to be one hundred, then they mean they want to live well during the years they have left. Who knows if I’ll live to be a hundred? I certainly hope so, but if I only make it to 99 years and 364 days, I hope at least those days are spent living well; enjoying everything life has to offer me, and taking advantage of every opportunity afforded to me.

References

  1. Andrasfay, Theresa, and Noreen Goldman. “Reductions in 2020 US Life Expectancy Due to COVID-19 and the Disproportionate Impact on the Black and Latino Populations.” PNAS, National Academy of Sciences, 2 Feb. 2021, pnas.org/content/118/5/e2014746118.
  2. J;, Linder. “The Science behind Peptides.” Plastic Surgical Nursing : Official Journal of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Nurses, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22647954/.
  3. Lau, Jolene L., and Michael K. Dunn. “Therapeutic Peptides: Historical Perspectives, Current Development Trends, and Future Directions.” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Pergamon, 1 July 2017, sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968089617310222.
  4. Chakrabarti, Subhadeep, et al. “Food-Derived Bioactive Peptides in Human Health: Challenges and Opportunities.” Nutrients, MDPI, 12 Nov. 2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6265732/.
  5. Chakrabarti, Subhadeep, et al. “Food-Derived Bioactive Peptides on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress.” BioMed Research International, Hindawi, 2 Jan. 2014, hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/608979/.
  6. “Peptides and Skin Health.” Linus Pauling Institute, 1 Jan. 2021, lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/peptides.

 

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