As a functional medicine-trained doctor, I thrive on discovering therapies that harness the body’s ability to heal and rejuvenate itself. I’m talking about therapies that build upon the fundamentals associated with proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and medication.
And that’s why I continue to be impressed with the benefits of therapeutic peptides — those chemical molecules that bind to receptors on the surface of cells and trigger positive responses at the cellular level. I experienced these benefits firsthand recently when I started to treat an old rotator cuff (shoulder) injury of mine with a combination of two therapeutic peptides — Body Protecting Compound-157 (BPC-157) and Thymosin Beta 4. Look for a separate blog post about this later this month. For now, I’m going to share what you need to know about the use of therapeutic peptides in a medically-supervised plan of care.
What Are Therapeutic Peptides?
Peptides are short strings of amino acids — much shorter than protein molecules and easier for the body to absorb and break down. Therapeutic peptides are those that are bioactive and have a beneficial effect on the body. Some common peptides are available in over-the-counter supplements, such as collagen peptides for skin health, and creatine peptides, which may help build strength and muscle mass. Some therapeutic peptides are natural or derived from natural sources; others are synthetic — manufactured in labs.
Pharmaceutical companies have developed a wide variety of natural and modified peptides into medications that act as hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters, ion channel ligands, and anti-infective agents. One example is insulin, which is a peptide hormone produced by the pancreas.
Semaglutide (also known as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus), which is commonly used to control blood sugar and support weight loss, is another therapeutic peptide that you may have heard of. More than 60 peptide medications have been approved for use in the United States and other major markets.
Using Therapeutic Peptides to Treat Specific Medical Conditions
Peptides are now being used in plans of care to treat many illnesses and diseases, including: Continue reading…