Everything You Need To Know About Peptides Part 3: Peptide FAQ – Answers To Your Top 8 Questions About Peptides.

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Well, my Peptide Pupil, you have officially made it to the third and final part of this comprehensive series on anything and everything peptides.

And now, I want to put a nice little bow on this topic by answering the most common questions about peptides in nitty-gritty detail.

Ever since I started discussing my self-experimentation foray into peptides, I’ve been asked just about every question you could imagine on the topic. In fact, one of my first in-depth posts, “How To Use BPC-157: A Complete Dummies Guide To Healing The Body Like Wolverine” has a whopping 1200+ comments!

Clearly, if you're interested in optimizing your health, performance, and longevity, odds are that you're hungry for information about peptides, their benefits, and how to use them safely. But the unfortunate truth is that good information is really, really hard to come by–perhaps in part because of the novelty of this therapy and lack of clinical research, but also more likely due to the fact that peptides are not FDA-approved and therefore cannot ever be a money-maker for Big Pharma. But I’ll take off my conspiracy cap for now…

Now, while I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on peptides, I have interviewed dozens of actual experts, and in the process have managed to gather quite a bit of information on these wonder molecules. So in this post, I’ll be consolidating answers to the top eight most commonly asked questions about peptides, in no particular order:

  1. Are they safe?
  2. Are there side effects?
  3. Are they legal?
  4. Can athletes take them?
  5. Where should you get them?
  6. Do they need to be cycled?
  7. What’s better: Oral, transdermal, or injectable?
  8. Can you combine more than one peptide into a single injection?

PS: If you haven’t yet read Parts 1 and 2 of this series, make sure to do so as it will help you plenty with this article!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted, or construed as medical advice. These are just my personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. Please talk with a licensed medical professional if you’re interested in using peptides. As of now, peptide therapy is considered “experimental” and lacks clinical long-term research, so you should proceed at your own risk. In addition, most of this stuff is banned by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), US Anti-Doping Association (USADA), and other international governing bodies of sport, so you should not use any of these compounds if you are competing in any sanctioned sport. Also, please note that the world of peptides is ever-evolving, and while I do try to keep posted articles updated, I can only attest that this information is current as of January 2022. To check if your peptide is legal, visit globaldro.com, select your country, and have the name of the medication on hand to see if it's banned in any athletic sport. 


Answers To The Top 8 Most Common Questions About Peptides

You may be wondering…why the top eight?

Why not a top five or top ten list?

Well, you may know by now that I like precision. ;) When I sat down and zeroed in on the questions that come in over and over again in regards to peptides, the questions below were the frequency “winners.” Reading through the questions and answers below will take your peptides knowledge to the next level while ensuring that you have a thorough understanding of the important safety considerations—because as I've been careful to note throughout this article series, peptides are not a biohack you want to add to your arsenal without caution.

So, read away, and you may want to go ahead and bookmark this article along with Part 1 and Part 2 if you're considering a foray into the wild (and wildly health-promoting) world of peptides.


Peptide Question #1: Are Peptides Safe?

The short answer: Yes, peptides are generally considered to be universally safe.

The long answer: Yes, peptides are safe as long as you are getting your peptides from a reputable source, ideally working with a qualified physician, using the correct dose, and administering them properly.

The very long answer: Peptides are still considered to be “experimental” and have not been approved for use in humans. Therefore, long-term safety data and clinical trials on peptides are basically non-existent. While many doctors consider them to be extremely safe, proceed at your own risk.

Confused yet?

Here’s what you should know. While peptides have recently emerged as a “fringe-y” alternative healthy therapy, peptides like morphine, penicillin, and insulin have been used safely for over a century in conventional medicine. What has changed for the average consumer, however, is the commercialization of peptides, which has made them more readily available to the general public.

This commercialization is where things can get a little dicey. The truth is, the FDA hasn’t approved peptides and therefore doesn’t regulate them, so it’s a bit of a Wild West when it comes to making sure you’re getting what you pay for. Sourcing is one factor to consider with safety, which I talk more about later in this article.

In general, for just about any peptide, what you want to avoid is taking too much. My biggest message to you: Don't just administer these things willy-nilly. Work with a professional to find the right dosage for you, always start small, and adjust accordingly.

To learn more, check out: The Dark Side Of Peptides: Why You Need To Proceed With Caution When Using These Powerful But Potentially Carcinogenic Molecules.


Peptide Question #2: Are There Side Effects?

As I mentioned, despite being naturally occurring compounds in the body, long-term safety studies in humans on peptides have not yet been published.

However, based on short-term studies, side effects do seem to be extremely rare and are usually due to incorrect use of peptides or an excessive dose.

Common side effects might include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased hunger
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased water retention
  • Itchiness or mild pain at the injection site

So once again, I must emphasize that although I've personally used dozens of peptides myself with extremely satisfactory results and know many others that have also used them safely, proceed with caution and work with a professional. If you get any of these side effects, you probably need to adjust your protocol or stop altogether.


Peptide Question #3: Are Peptides Legal?

Technically, peptides are not “illegal.”

Now, this is a bit of a grey area. Here’s why: peptides, though shown to be safe and effective, are not currently approved by the FDA. This doesn’t mean they’re illegal for you to consume, but rather that they cannot be legally sold or advertised as “for human consumption.”

However, many websites still sell “experimental” peptides labeled as “research chemicals,” “for research use only,” or “not for human use.” If you’re getting them from a reputable source, know that despite the label, I and many others have used peptides without any trouble.

It's probably worth noting that the FDA did a major crack-down on peptides last year, meaning that a lot of the major suppliers of peptides have recently had to completely pause production indefinitely after receiving legal notices regarding the compounding of products that have not been approved by the FDA. The FDA also supported a legal decision that changed the definition of what is considered a biologic drug. Because of this, many FDA-approved products that compounding pharmacies have been making for years are now rendered unable to be legally compounded.

And, sadly, as a result of these changes, it's making it a lot harder to get your hands on peptides. But please remember that even though the FDA has cracked down on laws and regulations regarding peptides, they are still not “illegal,” per se.

So in general, yes, peptides are legal for you to take. The story might be different, however, if you’re a competitive athlete. To learn more, check out: Are Peptides Legal? What The FDA’s New Bulk Drug Substance Crackdown Means For Peptides (Plus 9 Promising Little-Known Peptides To Watch Out For In The Future).


Peptide Question #4: Can Athletes Take Peptides?


It depends on the level at which you compete, and the peptide.

If you’re a competitive athlete in a sport sanctioned by NCAA, WADA, USADA, etc., certain peptides are banned and, therefore, you should not take them.

As far as I’m aware, the following peptides are on most banned substances lists:

  • Growth hormone fragments (e.g. AOD-9604, hGH 176-191)
  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and its analogs (e.g. CJC-1293, CJC-1295, sermorelin, and tesamorelin)
  • Growth hormone secretagogues (GHS) (e.g. lenomorelin/ghrelin) and their mimetics (e.g. anamorelin, ipamorelin, macimorelin, and tabimorelin)
  • GH-releasing peptides (GHRPs) (e.g. alexamorelin, GHRP-1, GHRP-2, GHRP-3, GHRP-4, GHRP-5, GHRP-6, and examorelin)
  • BHP-157, as of January 1, 2022

This is definitely not a complete list, though, and regulations may have changed by the time you’re reading this. Your best bet is to check the GlobalDro.com website before ingesting or injecting any substance unless you’re 100% certain that it’s legal for your sport.


Peptide Question #5: Where Should I Get Peptides?

I covered this topic in-depth in Part 1 of this series, however, since it’s such a commonly asked question, I’ll briefly address it here as well.

Sourcing is incredibly, incredibly important. Not only for the safety of your peptides, but also to make sure you’re actually getting what you paid for with your hard-earned dough, and not just injecting some useless baking soda + water concoction.

You should be aware of the issue that there are definitely websites out there that sell suspect, tainted, or even useless versions of these powerful molecules. In fact, according to a New York Times article from 2018, “80 percent of the peptides advertised on the web are adulterated or outright fakes.”

With that being said, my top recommendation for sourcing your peptides would be through a legitimate health care provider that can work with you to develop an appropriate protocol for your needs. You can either visit the International Peptide Society to find a physician near you, or you can seek out working with any number of clinics/practitioners I’ve interviewed and can personally vouch for, such as:

However, if for whatever reason working with a physician is not an option, I have also managed to find some reputable online sources where you can buy quality peptides yourself, including:

  • CanLab Research (The products they offer are for lab research use only by law and available for research and dev purposes only.)
  • Peptide Sciences (The products they offer are for lab research use only by law and available for research and dev purposes only.)
  • Tailor Made Compounding (They don't actually offer peptides on their site—you need a consultation first.)

Peptide Question #6: Do Peptides Need to Be Cycled?

Whether peptides need to be cycled depends on the peptide.

There are no clinical studies that say how long and at what frequency you can safely take every single peptide. So whether or not you need to cycle (or take a break every few weeks to months) comes down to a) what pathways that peptide works on, and b) the half-life of the peptide.

Peptides that act on the growth hormone pathway (e.g. are anabolic in nature) typically have longer half-lives and should be cycled, usually around every 4-6 weeks. This includes, but is not limited to, peptides like Tesamorelin, IGF-1, and Epitalon.

Other peptides that have a shorter half-life may not need to be cycled or can be taken daily for longer periods, like Ipamorelin (half-life of 2 hours), BPC-157 (half-life of 6 hours), or TB-500 (half-life of 12 hours), and many others. Typically you can take these for several months at a time.

Since this can obviously get a little confusing, I’d suggest following the cycling instructions from your physician or manufacturer above all else.

To learn more, check out: The Peptides Podcast: Everything You Need To Know About Anti-Aging, Muscle Gain, Fat Loss & Recovery Peptides.


Peptide Question #7: What’s Better: Oral, Transdermal, or Injectable?

This answer also depends on the peptide.

Some peptides may work systemically, which means they have the same effect in the body no matter how or where it is administered. However, most evidence suggests that injectable forms of peptides are more effective than non-injectable (I suppose there’s a reason we inject medicines like insulin, morphine, and penicillin instead of taking them in a pill).

Here’s why. Due to the enzyme degradation and large molecular size, many peptides don’t penetrate well through the intestinal mucosa and therefore may not make it past digestion. In other words, when you take some peptides orally, they don’t make it to the bloodstream where they can then travel to other tissues or organs.

Two exceptions, however, are:

  1. If you are taking something like oral BPC-157 for its gut healing effects, in which case oral would be a good option since your goal is to directly target the intestinal mucosa;
  2. In the case of a surface issue like skincare or haircare, in which case you’d want to apply a transdermal/topical to directly target skin cells or hair follicles.

Peptide Question #8: Can You Combine More Than One Peptide Into a Single Injection?

As you can imagine, peptide injections can be quite a process, especially if you’re taking a stack of several at one time. Many people wonder if you can combine multiple peptides into a single syringe to save time.

The answer is: some you can, some you can’t. Not very helpful, I know…

Since I don’t know exactly what peptides you’re taking together, your best bet would be to talk to your physician, peptide source, or compounding pharmacy to find out whether or not you can combine your peptides. If you’re still not sure, stay on the safe side and keep them separate (even though it sure can be a real pain).


Summary

There you have it.

You are officially the smartest person in the room when it comes to peptides. Now you can use your newfound knowledge to impress your in-laws or second cousins at your next family reunion.

After reading all three parts of this series, my hope is that you’ve gathered the following:

  • Peptides are an exciting therapy, but not necessarily new. They’ve been used in modern medicine for over a decade. However, the ability to synthesize peptides in a way that extends their lifespan has allowed more targeted forms to be created.
  • Peptides are not approved for human use by the FDA and are still considered “experimental.” This means they can’t be sold “for human consumption,” they’re not regulated so reputable sources are few and far between, and there’s essentially no long-term clinical trials in humans.
  • Despite being widely considered as safe by many doctors and experts and used regularly with impressive results (by myself included), you should still proceed with caution. Source your peptides carefully, start slow and low, and ideally work with a qualified practitioner.
  • While peptides can be powerful on their own, stacking multiple peptides together can be even more effective and deliver faster results. Just be careful with dosing, frequency, and which peptides you stack.

And for even more information on peptides, you can reference the following resources.

Parts 1 and 2 of this series:

Articles:

Podcasts:

What other questions about peptides do you have that I didn’t address here? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them in the commƒents!


Ask Ben a Podcast Question


7 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Peptides Part 3: Peptide FAQ – Answers To Your Top 8 Questions About Peptides.

  1. Matt says:

    Hi there Ben, I live in Singapore unfortunately, which is behind the times in regards to many health advancements. I’m looking to source NAD+ patches or drip bags. I would ideally like to order/buy some and have them delivered. Do you have any reputable companies you can recommend I can reach out to and try to have them delivered to me in Singapore?

    cheers
    matt

  2. JP says:

    Hi Ben,

    What blood markers should you test for if you are on Peptides? Does the panel you recommend from WellnessFx cover it?

    I suffered a bad ligament damage from a cortisone injection. I’ve done amniotic stem cells for the repair but I’d like to try the Wolverine stack you suggest as well.

  3. Mia Malkova says:

    What is more effective- peptides or SARMS?

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  5. James says:

    What is more effective- peptides or SARMS?

  6. cath says:

    Any ideas on dosing BPC-157 as an injectable?

    1. Hi Cath! I’m not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. There is an abundance of research on BPC-157 and it has been shown to be effective systematically when injected once daily at anywhere from 1-10mcg per kg of body weight. In most cases, this comes out to a dose of anywhere from 200mcg up to 800mcg. Some folks report the most success dosing twice per day with 250-350mcg for a total of 500-700mcg per day. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. For more info: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/suppleme…

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