You may know about amino acids and how essential they are to health. But have you heard of peptides?
It’s something that I myself have only begun to dig into recently – and I have to say, I am VERY excited to share with you.
In short, peptides help our bodies reset after exposure to stress.
Sound familiar? I’ve been talking about the benefits of a stress reset for the last 2 decades and now this newfound interest seems to align effortlessly. Coincidence? Likely not; let’s dive in.
The Discovery of Peptides
In the 1970s, during the Cold War, a man (in his 20s at the time) named Dr. Vladimir Khavinson was recruited to help determine why soldiers on submarines seemed to be falling ill with various symptoms which were referred to as “premature aging.” Their symptoms? Fatigue, sleep issues, digestive issues, decreased immune function, anxiety, and depression.
Does this sound familiar? It should; these are some of the most common symptoms my patients (like you) have – and just like the soldiers more than 50 years ago, the symptoms still to this day mainly stem from… STRESS.
Yes, as it turns out, Dr. Khavinson determined that the “premature aging” the soldiers were experiencing was actually a result of stressors on the body: Not enough sunlight, odd sleep cycles, cold temperatures, high-pressure situations, and exposure to toxic substances (radiation).
What Are Peptides?
Additionally, Dr. Khavinson and his team discovered “peptides,” which are a chain of two to three amino acids hooked together, made in the human body that has the ability to signal regeneration.
These peptides, which are tissue-specific, communicate directly at a genetic level and result in recovery from stress exposure – known as epigenetics. Dr. Khavinson refers to peptides as “bioregulators” because they regulate tissue recovery.
Dr. Khavinson authored over 700 scientific publications over the years (find references and links below), including long-term studies that showed decreased mortality, improved function, and increased telomere length. In fact, Dr. Khavinson was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his discovery in 2010.
Two Types of Peptides
Originally Dr. Khavinson worked with “natural peptides,” which are derived from animal sources. Later he developed “synthetic peptides.” Interestingly, the peptides ARE NOT species-specific, so peptides from an animal source signal inside the human body identically. As long as it’s a “liver peptide” or “brain peptide” it can be from an animal and still work for humans and still work to signal the liver or brain respectively.
Synthetic peptides, on the other hand, are mirrored to exactly match the natural ones, with the same rate of effectiveness. That said, it is the general medical and scientific consensus that synthetic peptides work faster, while natural peptides last longer. As a result, patients often take a customized plan that includes both for optimal results.
How Do We Benefit From Peptides?
As it turns out, peptides signal directly to the DNA in our cells to respond. It’s not like a light switch however, that goes off and on when we want. The tissue being signaled to ONLY responds if it is in need of help or out of balance. That’s when the peptides can signal for it to reset or re-calibrate.
So what does this mean? For healthy people, nothing. In essence, peptides have no effect. However, in someone who is under duress or when function is imbalanced, the peptides will signal to get things back on track.
And best of all, peptide therapy is incredibly safe – with ZERO side effects known to date.
The Anti-Aging Skin “Secret”
A lot of Dr. Khavinson’s work centers around the theory of “anti-aging.” Circling back to the initial theory that the men on the submarines during the Cold War were suffering from “premature aging.” While Khavinson’s work didn’t actually help to turn back time, he did stumble upon the incredible benefits of peptides that are now being incorporated into health and skincare treatments.
Specifically, peptides help repair and replenish proteins throughout our bodies, including collagen, elastin, and keratin in the skin, which are decreased by stress. The results? Smoother, tighter, healthier-looking skin, improved energy, immunity, memory, and cellular function in general.
My Experience With Peptides
As mentioned above, over the last year I’ve heard more and more about peptides until I finally started investigating on my own. I read as many articles as I could find, watched videos on YouTube, and read up on Dr. Khavinson as much as possible.
A few weeks ago, when I was in Saint Petersburg, Russia, I decided to visit his clinic – the Institue of Bioregulation and Gerontology – in the hopes of seeing first hand how they implement peptide therapy in his clinic.
To my amazement, I was not only able to see the clinic, but I was welcomed with such openness and incredible generosity of time and information by the executive director of the clinic, Dr. Olga Mikhailova, who has worked with Dr. Khavinson for over 20 years. And then she introduced me to Dr. Khavinson himself. What an honor!
I excitedly asked if it would be possible to receive peptide therapy myself while at the clinic. They said yes!
First Dr. Khavinson’s team did a VERY thorough examination on me to get a comprehensive view of my medical history and current conditions. I was so impressed with their process, and being on the other side of such an in-depth workup was amazing to experience.
From there they created a peptide protocol customized specifically for me. I received both injections and inhalations (with a nebulizer) of peptides, three days in a row, as well as capsules containing peptides to take on a daily basis. They explained that most patients who visit their clinic come daily for 10 consecutive days, and then continue with capsules at home.
The Peptide-Stress Connection
One of the greatest takeaways for me from meeting Dr. Khavinson and his team was that it was apparent that (without even knowing my focus on stress-related conditions) they consider a majority of their work – and the benefits of peptides – to come down to stress recovery.
The “premature aging” the soldiers experienced were reactions to excessive stress exposure – and in my opinion, this is what we see in most people today. Too much stress, not enough stress recovery.
Some exhibit symptoms by way of digestive troubles; some have sleep issues; some get autoimmunities; others have fertility issues, viral infections, and/or cortisol imbalances – but it all comes back to stress.
That’s where peptides come in. They have the ability to go in and signal a reset to our cells at a GENETIC level. It’s like a key fitting perfectly in a door… or having a big RESET button to push, to get our bodies back into optimal function again.
Two peptides, in particular, have a broad-reaching “stress reset” ability that I’m interested in, and that Dr. Khavinson himself feels are most significant.
- The first is from the pineal gland (in the brain) which amongst other things, produces melatonin. For anyone who has read my book, The Natural Insomnia Solution, you know how effective melatonin is for regulating sleep cycles. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles have conditioned us to send our bodies inaccurate signals – such as when we go to sleep, light exposure, or too much stimulation before bed. The peptides for the pineal gland can reset our circadian rhythm. Better sleep = less stress.
- The second peptide is from the thymus gland (in the neck) which is known as the home of our immune systems. When we are stressed, the function of the thymus gland can become reduced, decreasing our immunity and resulting in a greater threat of susceptibility to infections and viruses. Peptides signaling to reset this gland can have far-reaching effects for resetting and supporting the immune system.
What’s more convincing of the benefits of peptides on stress recovery is that a 15-year long study (YES, 15 YEARS!) of people taking peptides found a 49% increase in the longevity of one’s lifespan. As an example, someone who was going to live to 80, would live to be 85. This is a significant amount of time that supports how stress recovery can truly extend our lives.
Let’s not forget that getting enough sleep, exercising, eating clean, addressing leaky gut, and helping your adrenals to recover all work towards living a healthier life, longer. Combining these efforts with peptides can help you feel better not just in the short term but to live longer, long term.
Working With Dr. Doni
While six peptides have been defined as drugs by the Russian pharmacopeia, in the United States they’re classified as supplements.*
Peptides (as supplements) are delivered via capsules, and again, are determined by the specific organs you want to support. As they are highly customizable, we will determine which peptides to use for your case depending on your outlined health goals.
Introducing peptides into your daily routine has the potential to benefit your stress recovery and immune system against all viruses (HPV, Epstein Barr, flu, and other viruses). There are peptide products for the thyroid, the ovaries, liver and digestion, brain, hormones, bladder, eyes, and more. From diabetes, to autoimmunity, and fertility and neurological conditions, there are peptides that can be used to help your body recover.
Where to Source Peptides?
You can find peptides online but to ensure quality, I recommend getting them directly from a practitioner you trust. Likewise, any peptides available from my office will be of the highest quality available – something I value when customizing protocols with supplements and herbs for my patients.
To get the set of 3 peptides suggested to help you during the current pandemic, click here.
For current patients that are interested in customizing a peptide protocol, click here to set a time to meet with me.
For new patients who want a comprehensive consultation with me, including a peptide plan, click here.
For Quick Insights into your case, to help you get moving in the right direction, I offer a phone or email session. Find it listed in the online scheduling system here.
As always, wellness wishes to you – I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.
19th March 2020
*Please keep in mind that any and all supplements—nutrients, herbs, enzymes, or other—should be used with caution. My recommendation is that you seek the care of a naturopathic doctor (with a doctorate degree from a federally-accredited program) and that you have a primary care physician or practitioner whom you can contact to help you with individual dosing and protocols. If you ever experience negative symptoms after taking a product, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor right away.
- Janssens Y, Wynendaele E, Vanden Berghe W, De Spiegeleer B. Peptides as epigenetic modulators: therapeutic implications. Clin Epigenetics. 2019;11(1):101. Published 2019 Jul 12. doi:10.1186/s13148-019-0700-7
- V.K. Khavinson, B.I. Kuznik, S.I. Tarnovskaya, et al. Short peptides and telomere length regulator hormone irisin. Bull. Exp. Biol. Med., 160 (3) (2016), pp. 347-349
- Khavinson Peptides International Research Foundation
- Khavinson Publications