At Sarasota Interventional Radiology (SIR), Dr. Gerald E. Grubbs is at the forefront of the exciting new realm of peptide therapy. With ever-increasing evidence and research to support the use of peptides to treat a wide variety of medical and physical conditions, Dr. Grubbs has the knowledge to understand exactly how peptides are used effectively and safely. He is a board-certified interventional radiologist, a trained physician in peptide medicine, and among only a handful of physicians who have received certification from the International Peptide Society.
While many have heard the word peptides and may be familiar with the role of peptides in the production of HGH (human growth hormone), they may not be aware that there are more than 7000 naturally occurring peptides. So, what exactly are they?
Peptides are naturally occurring substances in the body that support and stimulate the body’s internal and functional processes. They are compounds of small proteins that are made from two or more amino acids. The size of the peptide and its amino acid sequence determine its function.
- Dipeptide—two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond
- Tripeptide—three amino acids joined by two peptide bonds
- Polypeptide—a long chain of peptides joined by peptide bonds
- Protein—a compound of polypeptides, such as collagen
Formation of peptides depends on the presence of amino acids. Aging, physical changes, diet, and stress all affect the supply of essential amino acids, and a diminished supply reduces the production of peptides. When this occurs, physiological functions that depend on adequate production of peptides are impacted, such as growth, appetite, metabolism, cardiac function, stress, reproduction, etc.
Other functions of peptides in the human body include:
- Neurotransmission (transmission of a nerve impulse from one nerve to another nerve, muscle, or organ)
- Production of enzymes and antibiotics that assist the immune system in managing foreign substances that enter the body
- Production of hormones (e.g., human growth hormone, or HGH) that increase lean body mass, lower the percentage of body fat, and accelerate recovery after physical exertion
- Skin health, including anti-aging effects such as texture, firmness, appearance of wrinkles, and skin revitalization
Benefits of Using Peptides
While peptides have been used for muscle gain, weight loss, and decreased inflammation, breakthroughs in medicine have shown the benefits of using peptides for the diagnosis and treatment of a number of medical and physical disorders, as identified by the International Peptide Society. These include:
- Antimicrobial—Antimicrobial peptides offer optimism to combat the serious problem of antibiotic resistance. Clinical trials are ongoing to refine and modify the chemistry of these peptides to make them effective antimicrobial agents.
- Bones—Research shows that several peptides are useful to stimulate bone healing, density, and regeneration.
- Brain— A specific peptide that provides protection for brain function has been developed and has the potential to treat the effects of such diseases as Alzheimer's, ALS, and and Parkinson's.
- Cancer—Peptides show great promise in the discovery and development of alternative therapies to conventional chemotherapy to treat cancer.
- Dermatological—Peptides in skin care products help to reduce signs of aging by stimulating the production of collagen. The result is fewer wrinkles and smoother, tighter, younger looking skin.
- Diabetes— The C-peptide blood test illustrates the ability of the individual to make insulin, so it is a valuable tool for physicians in the management of diabetes.
- Endocrine system—Peptides in hormones secreted by the endocrine system play a vital role in helping the body regulate and control numerous functions as well as the aging process.
- Gut—Gut peptides help to maintain gut homeostasis and equilibrium.
- Immune system—Peptides are essential in defending the body against foreign invaders and activating the immune system to treat disease.
- Liver—Sufficient liver peptides maintain the function of the entire digestive system, while certain peptides are effective in managing toxins and restoring liver enzymes to normal.
- Obesity— Gut peptides regulate and control the appetite and show promise for anti-obesity therapies.
- Pulmonary—Specific peptides, have been identified which are strong bronchodilator and vasodilators, have the potential for therapeutic treatment of asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and sarcoidosis.
- Thyroid—The peptide thyreogen helps to regulate and restore the thyroid gland.
A physician’s referral is not required for peptide therapy, so you may directly schedule a consultation with Dr. Grubbs. During this consultation, Dr. Grubbs will review your symptoms and clinical history, discuss the potential benefits of peptide therapy, and answer any questions you may have. Administration of peptides are primarily done via subcutaneous injection, but some are oral or intravenous. At this time, peptide therapy is not covered by insurance.
HGH, the human growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland, works to regulate a number of body functions to maintain stability (homeostasis), such as body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, insulin levels, blood pressure, and even digestion. HGH stimulates the growth of bone and cartilage in children and teens, while it assists in protein production, fat processing, and control of blood sugar levels in people of all ages.
HGH has remedial properties that provide protection from fractures, increase lean muscle mass, decrease body fat, improve capacity for exercise, and boost recovery after exercise. Because of these effects, some individuals seek supplementation of peptides that boost the release of HGH from the pituitary gland. This has led to the controversial use of these peptides in the sports arena, which have been banned by many athletic governing bodies.
As administered by an expert physician, HGH can legally be administered to help patients with specific conditions that warrant its use. At SIR, Dr. Grubbs has vigilantly kept abreast of the research and clinical opportunities that the dynamic field of peptide medicine presents.