What is it?
Peptides are small proteins comprised of short chains of amino acids that act as targeted signaling molecules. By attaching to receptor proteins on the surface of certain cells, peptides will stimulate specific affects which alters how that cell responds to certain stimuli.
There are over 7000 known peptides in our bodies which direct an enormous number of different bodily functions ranging from hormone production, tissue and muscle repair, immune modulation, brain and central nervous system health, libido and sexual arousal, weight loss, inflammation reduction, DNA repair and aging and direct anti-microbial effects.
While somewhat new to the US market, peptide therapy has been gaining rapid interest due to its extraordinary high levels of safety and uniquely specific effects. As opposed to hormones, which generate broader and more global effects, peptide signaling results in more rapid and precise tissue-selective effects with minimal to no risk or side effects.
What conditions can it treat?
Given that peptides act to stimulate very specific and targeted effects in the body, their range of therapeutic benefit is equally as broad. As such, the list of potential conditions is nearly infinite. Peptides can potentiate the effectiveness of many other treatments as well as enhance overall wellness, optimize body image and improve how we age both physically and cognitively. A short list of known benefits include:
- Immune modulation
- Chronic bacterial, viral and fungal infections including Lyme disease
- Inflammation in the body and the GI tract
- Joint and muscle repair and recovery
- Cognitive dysfunction, memory decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and MS
- Anxiety, depression and ADHD
- Libido, erectile function and sexual arousal
- Muscle building, weight loss and tanning
- Anti-Aging and Telomere lengthening
- Growth hormone stimulation
What are the different types of Peptides?
Since peptide therapy can be used to address such a wide array of conditions from immune modulation to tissue repair to cognitive dysfunction, the choice of which therapy to use must be done based on your individual needs. In general, these treatments are best utilized as part of a more comprehensive wellness plan and can be discussed with one of the treating physicians at Bear Creek Naturopathic Clinic.
Some of the peptides that are more commonly used include:
Thymosin alpha-1 is naturally produced in the thymus gland and lymphoid tissue and is involved in T cell maturation. The function of this peptide is critical for the body’s ability to appropriately recognize and subsequently mount an adaptive immune response to foreign invaders. Currently in phase III trials for the treatment of hepatitis B and C; it has also been studied extensively for its ability enhance the immune system for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It is already approved for clinical use in more than 35 countries and has been shown to be effective for the treatment of many conditions such as bacterial and viral infection, autoimmune illness, cancer and immune deficiency.
One of the most exciting clinical applications of this peptide involves its ability to immuno-modulate the body from a “TH-2” dominant response to a more balanced “TH1” responsive system. This subsequent reduction in IL-4 and increase in IL-2 can reduce immune mediated inflammation and break the vicious cycle of immune dysfunction found in chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Because of it’s ability to reverse immune suppression seen in chronic infection, improve natural killer cells and enhance the immune recognition of stealth pathogens, it has enormous promise as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of resistant intracellular bacteria like those found in Lyme.
Other immune mediated conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, recurrent cancer, scleroderma, HIV, chronic EBV, mold illness, chronic pain, fibromyalgia and even some mental health conditions could all be benefited from the immune modulating ability of Thymosin alpha-1. Used in conjunction with other immune supportive therapies such as ozone (major Autohemotherapy), Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Low-Dose Immunotherapy (LDI) amongst others, Dr. Tichauer believes it could help to resolve a wide range of chronic afflictions.