What are peptides and why is copper so important in healing?
What are peptides?
Peptides are normal signaling proteins produced by our own body to perform a particular function. Our bodies normally produce peptides!
When we injure ourselves, our body produces peptides to direct the wound healing cells to start the healing process. It informs the cells to produce more collagen, improve blood flow and help with remodeling of the scar, for example. This is the NORMAL healing process.
Another example of a peptide is insulin. When the blood sugar level in the body is high, our bodies increase insulin production to lower blood sugar.
Important peptides that control healing
We have incorporated several peptides into our post-surgical protocol to help accelerate healing. These peptides in combination:-
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Work as antioxidants
- Stimulate collagen formation
- Improve healing in a more orderly fashion to reduce abnormal scar formation
- Increase production of growth factors that increase new blood vessel formation and blood flow
- Activate stem cells
- Assist with nerve regeneration
- Enhance cell regeneration and used for anti-aging purposes
Why is copper so important in healing?
One of the peptides that we use in our protocol is a peptide simply known as GHK-CU.
Copper peptides are small, naturally occurring protein fragments that have a high affinity for copper ions, which are critical to normal body function. GHK-Cu has a variety of roles in the human body including, but not limited to, promoting activation of wound healing, attracting immune cells, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulating collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis in skin fibroblasts, and promoting blood vessel growth. (Doctor language, I know!)
What that means is that when there is tissue injury (such as during surgery) the body naturally produces peptides to direct the wound healing process.
- Acts as a protector of tissue damage and an anti-inflammatory agent in injured tissue.
- Plays a big role in signaling tissue remodeling which removes damaged/scarred tissue and generates new, healthy tissue.
Why supplement with GHK-CU?
As we age, we produce less peptides and that is why supplementing with copper peptides during the healing process can augment the healing process and we can heal faster and better. Remember how we use to heal when we were younger? Why children heal so much faster than adults do?
Other uses of copper peptides
Here at the Ong Institute, we utilize this important peptides for several other treatment indications:-
Cosmetic and anti-wrinkle reduction
The use of GHK-Cu for anti-aging cosmetics has been extensively researched and is used widely throughout the United States in a large portion of the population.
When applied to the skin, GHK-Cu can cause firming of the skin, anti-aging, and anti-wrinkle activity. There have been multiple clinical studies done to determine the efficacy of GHK-Cu for treatment to the face.
One study was done on 20 females and confirmed that GHK-Cu outperformed vitamin C and retinoic acid in increasing collagen in photoaged skin.
Abdulghani, AA; Sherr, S; Shirin, S; Solodkina, G; Tapia, EM; Gottlieb, AB (1998). "Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin - A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study". Disease Manag Clin Outcomes. 1: 136–141.
GHK-Cu can also used in combination with hyaluronic acid and other peptides in a customized cosmetic formula.
GHK-Cu also tends to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study indicated that GHK-Cu was able to significantly decrease the amount of inflammation.
Hair Growth Restoration
It has also been found that GHK-Cu stimulate hair growth. It was even shown that the efficacy of GHK-Cu for hair growth was comparable to that of 5% minoxidil, which is one of the most commonly used medications in the restoration of hair growth.
Uno H, Kurata S "Chemical agents and peptides affect hair growth. J Invest Dermatol. 1993; 101(1 Suppl):143S- 147S
Within the hair follicle, GHK-Cu has been shown to promote collagen production and strengthen already existing hair by stimulating growth in areas that are lacking thickness.
GHK-CU , along with several other hair growth peptides are currently being used in our hair protocols.
Peptides, are being utilized to enhance health outcomes and surgical results at the Ong Institute of Plastic Surgery & Heath in Scottsdale, Arizona.
To learn about peptide therapy and how it can optimize your health, please call us (480) 771-7771.
Functional Medicine & Cellular Health