Why are peptides such a hot topic right now? It is almost easier to list what peptides don’t do than what they do. Peptides are used in advanced skin rejuvenation products (like OneSkin), nutritional supplements, and injectable formulations to promote healing and support immunity.
Here at Phase Plastic Surgery and Longevity Clinic, we believe that peptides such as CJC-1295, Ipamorelin, Sermorelin, BPC-157, and thymosins are potentially among the most effective anti-aging treatments out there. They have been widely used for years but are often misunderstood and misused. This may explain part of the controversy with peptides after the FDA banned sales of some of them by the compounding pharmacies in the U.S. that have been providing them in late 2023. Here’s what you need to know about peptides and why we are introducing them:
What are Peptides?
Peptides are a sort of mini-proteins that function in the body as signal molecules. Insulin and semaglutide (Ozempic) are familiar examples of peptides. Thousands of peptides have been identified, though only 30 or so are used clinically. Some are FDA-approved and used either on-label or off-label, and others not approved for a specific condition but have a long history of clinical use. I’ve listed some of the ones we use below. Most of them are given by self-injection (like insulin) and all require a prescription.*
Sermorelin is a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) that naturally syncs with cycles of growth hormone release during sleep. This helps to restore growth hormone levels, which decline with age. The use of GHRH improves muscle mass, decreases body fat, increases energy levels, and improves sleep quality, skin tone, and overall well-being. Because the use of growth hormone is highly restricted and has certain risks, the use of peptides such as Sermorelin is considered a safer alternative.
CJC-1295 + Ipamorelin is a GHRH paired with a Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide (GHRP) called Ipamorelin, which work synergistically for greater effect. They are typically compounded together as a single injection.
BPC-157 is a peptide naturally produced in the stomach, where it protects against damage from gastric acid. BPC stands for “Body Protection Compound.” It is used to promote healing from surgery or injury throughout the body. BPC-157 can be taken in pill form or injected near the site of injury or surgery.
Thymosins are peptides produced in the thymus gland, which directs immune response by creating different types of T-cells. The two used clinically are Thymosin Alpha 1 (TA1) and Beta 4 (TB4, also called TB500.) TB4 is anti-inflammatory, promotes healing, and may help to minimize scarring.
How Can I Get Peptides?
We have two peptide programs, one for longevity medicine and one for postoperative healing. The longevity medicine program is inspired by a study done at UCLA a few years ago that was one of the first to show that epigenetic age (biological age) could be reversed. The study used a combination of growth hormone and metformin, because of the diabetes-like effect of GH on blood sugar levels. Using GHRH like Sermorelin and CJC-1295 likely has less of this effect, but we believe that adding metformin makes sense anyway because of its other anti-aging properties.
The longevity medicine program is a subscription model rather than a single visit and a prescription. It involves blood tests so that we can track results and customize your anti-aging plan.
The post-surgery recovery package is for a shorter period of time but may be converted to a long-term anti-aging plan. For more information on peptides and anti-aging go to my free ebook Biohacking Longevity.