In an ideal world, we could eat whatever we want, exercise as little as we’d like and somehow magically lose weight and gain muscle mass. Pure fantasy, you’d think, other than for those blessed by the gods with incredible metabolisms.
Not so, according to Dr. Ana Mihalcea of AM Medical. In fact, a way of achieving such an outcome already exists, in the form of peptides. These short-chain amino acids are now being used to treat everything from Alzheimer’s to autoimmune diseases and yes, they can help people lose weight and improve health, even while consuming a high-fat diet. “The peptides are an integral part of this practice because they are so profound in what we can access and do,” says Mihalcea.
The field of peptide therapy is exploding. Of the 7,000 existing peptides, currently 60 are FDA-approved, but more are under review. Peptides act like a key in a lock, allowing them access to many levels of cellular function. “What’s so exciting is that we now have a way to tell the cell to rejuvenate itself in very specific ways,” says Mihalcea.
Regular cells produce energy, using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to power metabolism by enabling the mitochondria to convert the food we eat into the energy our body needs. NAD helps produce cellular energy, but as we age, our levels of NAD decline, leaving us at risk for a host of health problems. “Some people take NAD as a supplement,” Mihalcea notes, “but there are peptides that increase the biosynthesis of NAD, so your cells are producing more of it to create more energy.” Increased energy means increased health and function.
Peptide therapy has many applications. One form known as Mots-C has been shown to improve insulin resistance and increase the body’s ability to use sugar to produce energy by accessing mitochondrial DNA. People lose weight and gain energy, says Mihalcea. Mots-C has also been linked to healthy longevity.
Anti-aging is a hot topic in peptide therapy, especially after researchers made a significant discovery. “It always appeared that you can reverse the age of a cell up to a certain point, but if it’s been old for a long time, the cell is locked into that aging process,” Mihalcea explains. “The more of these old cells you have, the faster you age because those cells are signaling inflammation. Now with peptides, we have ways to unlock those aging cells and put them back into reversible states. This can be applied to all chronic diseases because they all work the same way – through inflammation.”
Researchers at the University of Washington recently developed a peptide called Dihexa that causes neurons to grow like a tree, reversing the loss of neurons and shrinkage of synapses and dendrites which occur with Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s called the wonder drug of neurology,” Mihalcea says. “It’s used in treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
And then there’s CJC1295 with Ipamorelin, which causes weight loss and muscle mass gain, Weight loss is key for overall disease prevention, Mihalcea maintains. “Basically, metabolism rules your health,” she says. “If there are problems with obesity and diabetes, you are more at risk. It’s been shown that if your blood sugar is above 85, which is still considered in the normal range, your risk of heart disease already goes up by 40 percent. We’ve had cases of people on CJC1295 with Ipamorelin, who have gained eight pounds of muscle mass but lost 12 pounds of body fat in one month.”
Peptides can even help to regrow cartilage for those struggling with osteoarthritis. Peptide AOD 9604 has been shown to reduce pain and swelling, says Mihalcea. “If you inject it into a knee, there have been clinical trials where it’s been very effective for osteoarthritis treatment. Our patients can function better, and they feel better.”
Although AM Medical has been open for just three months, already she’s seen results in patients using peptide therapy, including cognitive improvement and weight loss. “People have lost 20 pounds in six to eight weeks,” she says. “There’s also an improvement in energy to get through the day. I’ve had a lot of people tell me, ‘I remember what it feels like to get back to having energy to do things.’ That’s really wonderful.”
Mihalcea encourages anyone who wants to learn more to check out AM Medical’s YouTube channel, where she goes into peptide therapy in depth. “I think this is an exciting new health care field,” she says. “It’s important for people to understand that there are more options. There’s no such thing as the impossible anymore. The research is so progressive and so rapid in all these areas that the future of medicine is unfolding now.”
Learn more at the AM Medical website or by calling 360-960-8538.