Can Peptides Improve Your Sleep and Health?

Peptides for mitochondrial function, sleep, and energy with Dr. Kevin Wallace.

On today’s podcast episode, I caught up with Dr. Kevin Wallace on the use of peptides for sleep, energy, performance, immune system function, and more. Dr. Wallace shares his insights from clinical experience with various peptides, and provides guidance on my own personal experimentation. . If you’re curious about peptides and how they work, I encourage you to listen to this episode to learn more.

In This Episode

Intro … 00:00:45
Effects and Uses of Tesamorelin … 00:03:39
Who Benefits from Peptides? … 00:17:40
Energy Gains from Peptides … 00:22:52
Methods of Treatment … 00:26:51
The Importance of Sleep … 00:28:45
Episode Wrap-Up … 00:40:57

Can Peptides Improve Your Sleep and Health? - Podcast304b KevinWallace

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Hey everyone. Today I have back on the podcast Dr. Kevin Wallace to discuss a clinician’s perspective as someone who’s using peptides quite frequently in his practice. How to best use peptides, picking his brain on how he’s using them, and also how I can modify some of the experiments that I’ve been running with things like Tesamorelin and CJC. We also discuss some peptides for sleep and some peptides for mitochondrial function. So this is definitely where we are going to the not being evidenced-limited in my saying of, “Let’s be evidence-based but not evidence-limited.” Peptides is an area where there is still not really much evidence. There’s some evidence for some peptides, but even the more well-studied peptides, like perhaps Tesamorelin, which is FDA approved for treating abdominal obesity, doesn’t have many studies on it. So this is that edge of the envelope where I’m trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, what maybe has evidence showing that a peptide supports a certain mechanism of growth hormone release or potentiation, but doesn’t really seem to have any clinically merit-worthy effects.

So per the usual, I’m open-minded on the one hand, but on the other, I’m a bit skeptical. And I’m fairly certain that with peptides, there is something here. I’m just concerned that there’s maybe one effective peptide for 10 that aren’t that effective. This is based upon my experience, which is not that extensive; I’ve used a handful of peptides, so take that with a grain of salt, but that’s the best conclusion I’m able to come from in looking at some of the evidence and also marrying that with my own personal experience. Okay, so with that, we will go to the conversation with Dr. Kevin Wallace.

➕ Full Podcast Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio radio, providing practical and science-based solutions to feeling your best. To stay up to date on the latest topics as well as all of our prior episodes, make sure to subscribe in your podcast player. For weekly updates visit DrRuscio.com. The following discussion is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor. Now let’s head to the show.

DrMichaelRuscio:

Hey everyone. Today I have back on the podcast Dr. Kevin Wallace to discuss a clinician’s perspective as someone who’s using peptides quite frequently in his practice. How to best use peptides, picking his brain on how he’s using them, and also how I can modify some of the experiments that I’ve been running with things like Tesamorelin and CJC. We also discuss some peptides for sleep and some peptides for mitochondrial function. So this is definitely where we are going to the not being evidenced-limited in my saying of, “Let’s be evidence-based but not evidence-limited.” Peptides is an area where there is still not really much evidence. There’s some evidence for some peptides, but even the more well-studied peptides, like perhaps Tesamorelin, which is FDA approved for treating abdominal obesity, doesn’t have many studies on it. So this is that edge of the envelope where I’m trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, what maybe has evidence showing that a peptide supports a certain mechanism of growth hormone release or potentiation, but doesn’t really seem to have any clinically merit-worthy effects.

DrMR:

So per the usual, I’m open-minded on the one hand, but on the other, I’m a bit skeptical. And I’m fairly certain that with peptides, there is something here. I’m just concerned that there’s maybe one effective peptide for 10 that aren’t that effective. This is based upon my experience, which is not that extensive; I’ve used a handful of peptides, so take that with a grain of salt, but that’s the best conclusion I’m able to come from in looking at some of the evidence and also marrying that with my own personal experience. Okay, so with that, we will go to the conversation with Dr. Kevin Wallace.

DrMR:

Hey everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Dr. Ruscio radio. This is Dr. Ruscio back again with Dr. Kevin Wallace, our peptide guru, and we’re going to have another powwow on peptides. Kevin, welcome back.

DrKevinWallace:

I appreciate it. Thanks for inviting me back on the podcast. I think it’s been like two years.

DrMR:

Yeah. Time…

DrKW:

Time flies, man, I know. I’m about to have a little son.

DrMR:

Oh yeah, that’s right, congratulations!

DrKW:

You moved out of CA so, that’s all good, man.

Effects and Uses of Tesamorelin

DrMR:

Well, I’ve mentioned on the podcast before that I had quite the experience with Tesamorelin, and I gained about 10 pounds. So I figured let’s bring you on, because you’re the one who advised me on trialing Tesamorelin, and it opened me up to more experimentation with peptides. It’s like there’s two different voices in the head. On the one hand, wanting to look underneath every rock that could improve performance, cognition, energy, body composition, insert goal here, and on the other, knowing that there’s probably more stuff that’s ineffective, snake oil and placebo, than there is that helps people. So just to reframe for the audience and get them up to speed, I had been on CJC with Ipamorelin for several months. It’s hard to say if that helped or if it was the fact that I started training at the same time or around the same time with Mike Nelson and was being much more diligent about sleep, and around the same time the COVID-19 associated lockdowns went into effect. And so you were hardly ever out late because there’s nowhere to go, there’s nothing to do.

DrMR:

I’m still trying to figure out if I feel a notable impact from CJC and Ipamorelin. Just sharing my personal experience here. When I went on Tesamorelin, then it was unquestionable, because nothing else really changed, yet I gained about 10 pounds of muscle, and body fat went down, visibly so, I can’t say I’ve measured. And I wasn’t even necessarily using the Tesamorelin with that objective, I was just saying, “Well, I wonder what else I can do to bolster growth hormone? Stay energetic, stay useful.” That was pretty remarkable. There were some other sides to that coin though.

DrMR:

Kevin, I’m just putting this all on the table so you can give me your perspective, so pardon me for monologuing here a bit. But I do think, and I’m almost positive about this now, that at the six week mark, even though body composition was pretty stellar, I was having bouts of anxiety, which is awful by the way, and which I never have. I just ended up getting kind of burnt out. Now, that burnout may have been from really pushing training hard, but I’m more confident that the Tesamorelin may have been antithetical to good energy levels, because I came off it for six to eight weeks then went back on, and I noticed that my workdays started feeling harder than they normally do. I started feeling more easily overwhelmed by just the array of decisions I have to make in any given day.

DrMR:

That may be a trade-off. I’m not saying it’s necessarily bad, but it depends on how bad does someone want to make body compositional gains, and are they willing to sacrifice energy and maybe a few points of cognitive output during the course of the day. So those are a few things that I’ve noticed. You’re consulting patients pretty regularly with peptides, so I figured we could use my experience as something to learn from. So I’ll throw that out there on the table, and what do you make of all that? Am I going to live?

DrKW:

You’re definitely gonna live, man. Just because you have the cognizant issue or understanding it’s like when you probably reach your max, like I said, cycling off or dosing off. So with Tesamorelin, it was FDA approved to actually treat obesity in people that had HIV. And so the concept of having somebody obese having HIV, obviously it increases inflammation and possibly some issues in regards to other medications that would work in fighting HIV. And so they created Tesamorelin to help on out with that. We obviously have good studies that show that. It’s main goal was a lipolysis agent and getting rid of obesity. And now in the anti-aging realm, we took that to exactly do what your experience was.

DrKW:

This is how usually Tesamorelin comes into play in regards to my practice. I’m doing everything right, but I’m still not able to lose the weight that I want, or I’m still possibly having issues in regards to sleep and mental clarity, which is weird because a lot of times growth hormone deficiencies improve those. And so in your case, obviously being on it and going, “Well, I’ve actually started to reduce some cognition,” then it comes to me in regards to, “Well, did we overwhelm the receptor? Do we have enough co-factors to go ahead and actually keep those gains going, or was there a problem in regards to some of the body’s ability to get rid of some of the waste product in person, some of the metabolites?” So I know genetics comes into play a little bit, and sometimes people test, and sometimes people say that studies show that maybe there’s something wrong with your ability to go to the next metabolite in the body for the liver to get rid of it.

DrKW:

And so some of these things can increase anxiety into the system in regards to not being able to get rid of some of your catacholamines, which is like adrenaline and some of the byproducts of those things. So in your case, going back through just in the concept, I think we might’ve cycled it maybe a little bit different and maybe come off of it a little bit sooner, and then added it back on and had a little bit more of a rest period, instead of trying to really overwhelm the system, coming off of it, staying off of it, and reintroducing it back in. So I think there would have been a little bit different of a cycle-on/cycle-off process in regards to that.

DrMR:

What would you recommend in terms of the cycle-off period? Mine was roughly eight weeks, I believe. Would you say more?

DrKW:

Actually, eight weeks would probably be plenty, in that regard. So when you were on it, you were talking about better sleep. I know obviously one of the side effects that you had was a little bit of an impingement syndrome, which we obviously can get with growth hormones just because of the process of it increasing some of the collagen aspect. And so we get these impingement syndromes, like a carpal tunnel, sometimes maybe your thoracic inlet, these different types of things. The process of you coming off of it, how was your cognition? You said it was actually decreased a little bit?

DrMR:

Yeah, it’s hard to say if it was cognition or if it was just having less energy. When you have less energy, it’s harder to think clearly. That’s one of the things that I think is so appealing to academics with caffeine and why so many college towns have coffee shops peppered. It’s just because stimulation helps with difficult work and difficult thinking. It took a few weeks, and actually to share a very vivid example of this, I had started back on about three weeks ago, and took maybe three weeks to feel like I got back to more of my normative baseline. Three weeks in, this was actually last Friday, we were doing the interviews for the next clinician that we’re going to hire at the Austin Center for Functional Medicine.

DrMR:

So it’s me, Joe Mather from the office, and also one of the prospective applicants. I get hit right in the middle of the interview with this intense wave of anxiety. It’s very interesting to observe what your mind or the voice in your head is saying, and this is where I think meditation is vastly helpful because it prevented at least me in this case from overreacting and just going off the rails. But I had this really sharp, striking feeling of anxiety, and just feeling like I needed to get off the call and not liking being confined to having to be on that call and be present and pay attention. It’s one of the things that meditation has been helpful with, just to be able to feel a feeling, see it for what it is, let it register, and say, “Well, that’s an interesting emotional signature. Let me put that on the shelf, step back and examine it, and not necessarily be enslaved into it.”

DrMR:

And it passed after maybe a minute or two, but that was the first real definitive data point I had from the first round of Tesamorelin when I was having anxiety, that it wasn’t just a coincidence because there was that repeat. As you’re saying, it could potentially be catecholamine associated. It makes me wonder if there may be this overshooting of optimum. I think men make this mistake often with testosterone. They think some is good, so more is better. They feel good on the way up, and then their receptors downregulate and they feel even worse than they did before because they overshot the Goldilocks Zone. And so I wonder if with Tesamorelin, it was just more than was needed. I didn’t need to gain 10 pounds of muscle. I didn’t mind, but it just tells me that maybe my body had an unusually strong response to it. It could also be that these things are chemicals that are a bit foreign to the body.

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DrMR:

What’s a typical experience on Tesamorelin? How do you typically reconcile these things?

DrKW:

So usually I don’t think the majority of the people that I have on Tesamorelin have exactly the same mindset as you do in regards to wanting to experience optimal being willing to take it to that area where it feels like they’re wondering if it is optimal. Well, numbers might show optimal. You already know when you see people with labs that show great numbers, but are not optimal in regards to how they feel. I’ve had to change the dosing strategy around for the four other people that I have strictly on Tesamorelin, because I think you put the nail on the head. We go by typical dosing strategies or by what’s taught to us, and then we don’t accommodate what specific need the patient has.

DrKW:

So that’s where I think a lot of adjustment has to come into play. In regards to how many micrograms, we’re utilizing Tesamorelin in some of the on to off stages, and then making sure that obviously everything is fitting into everything else in life. The four or five people that I have on it haven’t experienced specifically your side effect, but I don’t think they’ve taken it to the optimal concept as well. I think their goal is just to lose a little bit of weight and be a little bit better with their sleep. So we’ve dosed them on out, and those things have remedied. We’re not taking it past that point, where I think with someone like yourself and myself, I want to see what happens.

DrKW:

When I say overdose, I mean it almost like homeopathy back in the day. So I go overdose and see what the symptoms are, and so what creates the cure is obviously possibly reducing the amount or finding out what other things are going on in the system from which your body is not able to recover. The process of not introducing another receptor, the process of creating waste, the process of trying to get rid of that waste, having more oxidative stress, especially within the brain, and other peptides can come in to get rid of those reactive oxygen species that maybe growth hormone is actually increasing a little bit. So just the concept of increasing your metabolism.

DrKW:

From a study standpoint, I don’t necessarily know. From a practical standpoint, I normally go ahead and either wean people off, take them up to the CJC, the Ipamorelin, which I don’t think has as a pronounced effect upon that. Tesamorelin is the third generation, which has a little bit better stability and it works at the receptor site for around two and a half hours as compared to CJC and Ipamorelin, which works for about an hour and a half.

DrKW:

Those are the things that you might actually be doing with the peptide, but you do everything right as well. Calorie restriction, you’re sleeping, you’re probably taking your amino acids, like Argenine, those types of things, to go ahead and actually boost growth hormone. So now we have to take that into play as well, because if you’re doing everything right naturally, and now we induce a peptide, we could be going above and beyond what your body needs, because you’re doing everything right to begin with.

Who Benefits from Peptides?

DrMR:

You pose an interesting thought, which is if I’m running fairly close to optimal, although there’s always stuff to work on and to improve, but day to day, when I have everything dialed in, I feel like I’m humming along in a pretty good clip. I’m humming along in a pretty good clip and anything that doesn’t push me further to optimal is very noticeable. It’s almost like someone who has really been working at a fast mile time for like two years. Dr. Rob is a pretty avid runner, and I believe he was telling me that he notices that when he wears different shoes, he’ll have a ten second differential in his mile time, so it’s kind of like that. I’m assuming though that if people are motivated enough to come see you in experimental peptides, they’re probably in a similar boat or is that not representative of the other four people who you’re currently working with?

DrKW:

It’s tough for the general public, because I think being in the medical field, you and I and probably the other people that are really involved in anti-aging probably understand how to supplement appropriately. We do understand the role of sleep. From a foundational standpoint, I probably have to work with that more with the general population that comes in. When we introduce Tesamorelin, then it becomes down to the typical understanding of what their goals are. People say they want to be optimal, but I don’t think too many people know exactly what optimal is. Optimal for them might be, “Well, I need to ride my bike; I do 30 miles a week,” as compared to someone who wants to do a five or six minute mile. They’re totally different in the mindset and how your body utilizes resources.

DrKW:

So with Tesamorelin, I’ve had two people that have done really well and put on the bulk because I know they’re on testosterone, as well as doing some of the supplement protocols that I’ve put forth, and now we have them on that. They say, “I’m feeling 80%. What else can I do to go ahead and assist myself now?” Usually one of the easier things is to go ahead and put on a growth hormone, checking their IGF1 and their IGF binding capacity, those types of things, and try to get them into optimal ranges. And then we bring on Tesamorelin, and then all of a sudden they’re much more lean.

DrKW:

In regards to aesthetic look, obviously we try to do some things with grip strength, those types of things. If they can go see someone that really knows how to measure these things, just so I have valuable measurements so we’re on a protocol, and it’s actually working. So if I have you on Tesamorelin or something like that and you’re still benching 150 pounds, then something’s going on, or your grip strength is off, which is obviously a measure of good mortality and vitality. So those are the things I try to go ahead and have people do just to make sure that they’re actually performing well. Then obviously we do proper blood labs on a regular basis as well. I just really think the mindset is different between someone like yourself that’s in that field. You understand health, you understand that you want to strive to be 99.9% optimal just because our body’s naturally not 100% efficient as compared to the general population.

DrKW:

But the Tesamorelin works for everyone. Whether you’re a mom that just had your child, which, Dr. Sundermeyer is coming up to have hers, and so we’re probably going to go ahead and do a trial. When I say trial, we’re probably going to put her on a little bit of growth hormone so she can get back into her activities appropriately, in that regard. I think it just all becomes what the goal is. The process of being the practitioner, which you know, and being the person who studies is way different just because you and I have to see people and meet them on where they’re at, as compared to someone like yourself that comes to me and just wants to be optimal. I already know you’re doing everything right, so let’s just do this.

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Energy Gains from Peptides

DrMR:

This question is purely selfishly motivated, but outside of Tesamorelin, are there any peptides in particular that you find to be best for overall energy levels? I’m assuming something like CJC with Ipamorelin comes up, or some type of mitochondrial peptide, but the reason why I’m asking, what I’m learning here from my own personal experiment is the Tesamorelin may have been more anabolic, and to put on and maintain that muscle wasn’t worth it for me because my chassis, so to speak was already pretty good. To add more muscle to it was antithetical. Perhaps if I had been a bit overweight and a bit sarcopenic, and I needed the muscle mass, that would have been a good gain for me. But as someone who is already weight training fairly intensively three days per week, and also doing fairly robust cardio three days per week, the additional muscle gain was just a drag on the system. So what would you recommend for someone like me? I’m also assuming there’s probably a decent facet of our audience who are saying, “Okay, body composition would be nice, but it’s not necessarily what I’m trying to optimize. I’m trying to optimize for, energy and vigor.”

DrKW:

If we think about mitochondria, what everybody knows as the powerhouse of the cell, which is kind of like a misnomer in regards to what is utilized. ATP production is obviously what our cells utilize for fuel, trying to make the mitochondria as optimal as possible. You already put down the basics, sleep and nutrition. I know you reiterate that over and over again, because if I give you something like Tesamorelin but you’re just still putting down a two-liter of Pepsi, I don’t care what goals you want, you’re never going to reach them. So first is obviously attacking those types of things. Then if we want to go ahead specifically for energy, MOTS-c is a mitochondrial peptide that helps the body activate AMPK, which actually helps the body start to produce a little bit more ATP.

DrKW:

There are different peptides that beat into the system, like 5-amino-1MQ that actually helps recycle ADP to ATP, those types of things. I always have to reiterate your co-factors; your B-vitamins, niacin, Tryptophan, and I think a lot of times people are amino acid deficient with Tryptophan just in regards to the Renin pathway that actually helps regulate an immune function. Those are usually where I start out with specific energy regarding mitochondria. It’s a tough thing because if people come to me and they have energy, but I know they’re immunocompromised and that’s where their energy has been zapped in regards to the body trying to fight off something, then I think we talked about Thymosin Alpha, different ones to actually help regulate the immune system. And then also BPC-157 to help the body repair.

DrKW:

After you do those two things, then actually a lot of times the energy will start to come back just because now our body has that hierarchy, it’s like “Where does my energy need to go best?” If you want energy for better cognition and want to be able to go out and have energy 12 hours out of the day, but yet you have an underlying infection or something’s going on, those are the things that we try to improve first because that actually might take care of it. You won’t need something that’s extravagant or expensive or something that’s not going to go ahead and actually target what you think or what your body needs at that specific time.

Methods of Treatment

DrMR:

And how are you typically using the BPC? I know there’s a few different oral preparations that are available outside of prescription now. Or are you doing injections?

DrKW:

Regarding GI problems, obviously, if they can’t absorb squat, then sometimes oral forms, but they are now starting to make BPC sprays and suppositories. But I’ve found really good results using the subcutaneous injectable, just because now we don’t have to go past the digestive system to get into the body and actually have it perform it’s work, even though I’ve utilized all of them. A lot of times when people can’t do the injectable; if they don’t want to basically inject themselves on a daily basis, than an oral form, but I still have to make sure that they can actually absorb it just so they’re not wasting their money in regards to not having a malabsorption problem or Crohn’s or something like that. You want it to be able to be absorbed appropriately.

DrKW:

But a lot of times if I have a system that’s very debilitated and they want to do growth hormone, we actually start with BPC just to try to rebuild the system along with typical regenerative protocols. Then we put them on growth hormone or otherwise we find that we actually have a tendency to slow the process down when they get on growth hormone. Because again, the body sometimes doesn’t want to pick itself up if it’s trying to suppress the immune system from fighting. With viral loads, bacteria loads, or parasites, these types of things, sometimes the body will actually put itself and our immune system into the tank because it doesn’t have the resources to actually put up a fight. And so sometimes we have to build that up, and deal with underlying issues and then starting people on growth hormone.

The Importance of Sleep

DrMR:

Something that runs parallel to this, which just to be clear for our audience, is currently a hypothesis is something that I’ve just started testing in the clinic. It will likely be at least three to five months until I can report back confidently one way or the other. I suspect more so for men, there are underlying breathing and sleep disorders like Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, which is very similar to sleep apnea that are undiagnosed and that are causing people not to sleep well every night. What’s telling about this is that it’s hard to know that you have the problem. I was just diagnosed via two different home sleep tests with mild airway resistance or mild apnea. The tests use different indices to report and how they map on, but being specifically diagnostic is there’s a little bit debatable. But mild on the one, and mild to moderate on the other.

DrMR:

To give an example of what this looks like, my pulse rate on one test peaked at 88 during sleep and the other peaked at 123. Knowing that 20 to 40% of U.S. adults snore is a dead giveaway that there’s some sort of airway collapsibility or lack of tone in the airway. These problems that we’re seeing in terms of low testosterone, presumed low growth hormone, presumed infection or weak immune system may all be derivatives of, in a subset of people, this poor sleep. Just knowing that as anyone can probably attest, if they go a few nights where they go to bed too late, or they have interrupted sleep, they feel that immeasurably. So again, I’m trying to bridle my enthusiasm because if I’m right here, then this opens up a huge therapeutic avenue for people in the sense that working with a mild functional therapist to do some exercises or maybe using something like a Relaxator, essentially this piece of plastic you put in your mouth and you breathe through. It’s almost like playing a flute or something. It gives you resistance to breathe out against, and that apparently is supposed to help with tonality of the muscular trend.

DrMR:

There was one study that found playing a woodwind instrument actually reduces obstructive sleep apnea. It’s not to say that the only way to resolve this is with a CPAP machine, which understandably is not a very attractive option. Anyway, just to throw this out there for our audience, as I’ve been chronicling these issues, sleep, and interviewing different sleep experts and various orthodontists and dentists, that’s the picture is starting to emerge. So sorry to take a tangent there, Kevin, but this is something that I think runs parallel, because there could be a deeper layer here that’s causing people to need all this support, myself included. I may perform better and not have any inkling to want to pursue any more of an edge once I have these sleep things better. Maybe not, but I guess we’ll see.

DrKW:

I agree. I think sleep is one of the lost arts of healing. For some reason, everybody that comes in says they sleep six hours. Your body now has become more maladapted to your lifestyle. It’s not adapted; it’s maladapted. So that whole concept of, “I only need six hours. I’m perfectly fine. I feel good.” But when do those things catch up? So unfortunately, with myself and yourself, we get them when they have to be caught up. Let’s say we test people and we get them early enough, are we going to have this major functional deficit throughout our lifetime? That’s the thinking where I wish health would go more towards rather than we finally get them when they’re broken and we have to really use wrenches. We try to fix stuff rather just saying, “This is why sleep is important.” I don’t even know if that’s taught in school anymore.

DrMR:

I remember way back when I was going through health education in middle school and junior high, probably more so junior high, it was somewhat, but it really wasn’t taken seriously. This is where I think the parents and parenting really is crucial. What you model is how health is going to need to be taught. We did have a good health teacher, but it falls flat if you’re, 13 or 14 in junior high. Are you going to go home and say, “Well, Mom, I want you to cook this way, and also I want to tend to my sleep hygiene.” That’s a big ask for a kid who is 12 or 13.

DrKW:

It’s like, “You know that 10 o’clock show that’s really risqué. No, I’m not going to try to stay up and watch that.”

DrMR:

Exactly.

DrKW:

Well, it brings up a valid point for what I see clinically though, the concept of immune system and imagine your body not being able to sleep. And obviously when we sleep, that’s when the body now can go quiet and actually heal. It doesn’t have to worry about digestion of food, and it doesn’t have to worry about all these other parameters, and it can actually go start to heal itself. If I don’t sleep well for seven days or anything like that, I’m done. I mean, I’m physically offline. But the cool thing is they actually have a peptide called Delta sleep-inducing peptide that can actually help, in regards to people that have either self-induced insomnia because of their lifestyle or they actually have the inability to produce a deeper sleep.

DrKW:

So this peptide has been utilized quite well in regards to getting people to finally have that ability to go to sleep and actually stay asleep. So it does work a little bit more in regards to neuro-transmitters and helping with serotonin, but it also helps with the MMDA receptor. I’d have to do more research specifically, but I’ve utilized it on about five people that I’ve tried everything on. Melatonin, reversing sleep cycles when they go to bed at 10, and they say they get up at six, but they woke up and they only got three hours. What I try to do is work backwards. “Well, if you get up at six, then I want you to stay up until three, and actually not just sleep three straight hours.

DrKW:

Rather than doing that, we work backwards and that helps. But then we put them on the Delta sleep-inducing peptide, and it actually helps them break that cycle. It has assisted people getting off of Ambien in that regards as well, just because I think a lot of my patients have been on Ambien now for so long. It’s like their biochemistry is just really not efficient in that regard. So it is a peptide that I have utilized to help on out with those sleep issues beyond what we normally try to do in regards to helping people sleep.

DrMR:

That’s one that’s on my list to try, and I’ll be curious to do a pre-post or a data analysis on that. My sleep’s generally pretty good. It wasn’t for awhile; I have a few peculiar reactions to things that took me a while to figure out and they’ll manifest as poor sleep. Once I sorted that out and was a bit better about sleep hygiene, my Oura has been pretty good. I’m still working on some of the airway piece, but that peptide is one that I remember you mentioning in conversation that I wanted to try in addition with a mitochondrial peptide. So those will probably be the next two things I filter into the mix here.

DrKW:

Well, the cool thing with the DSIP, it has this other side effect. It actually increases LH, so the nice hormones. I have guys that don’t sleep, and they don’t want to be on testosterone. I don’t want to give them HCG or gonadorelin, so we try the DSIP. And so obviously they sleep a little bit better. Their LH actually has increased. So I do have some good results with checking pre-imposed DSIP in regards to luteinizing hormone and their testosterone labs. And so I was surprised by that. So I’m like, “Well, let me try it.” It actually helped with my levels as well, and it definitely helped with sleep, but after I was done with it, I was actually still able to maintain it. And so that was the good thing about this peptide. The people that I’ve had on it, they haven’t had to be on it for their lifetime. Why replace Ambien with something else they’ve got to take for a lifetime. The good thing about it is it actually helped to reset my sleep cycle. And so I was fantastic with that. That was probably the most important thing.

DrMR:

It’s great that it’s going to be a longer-term effect.

DrKW:

Exactly. There’s a couple of peptides such as BPC, but a lot of the peptides can be interchangeable in that we don’t have to be on them, especially if they do goal setting and they reach their goals. And then it’s like “Great, let’s see what happens.” A lot of times people reach their goals and they’ll stay very well, but then they’ll fall off the wagon and they’ll come back. But I’ve had a couple of patients with growth hormone, calorie restriction, sleep; how calorie restriction obviously works is because Ghrelin is released when you fast. Ghrelin is basically a memetic in regards to helping release growth hormone or synergistic. So that’s why when we’re always having food in our stomach, our growth hormone actually will start to go ahead and decrease. And so fasting and having Ghrelin release will actually improve that. If they get on those kicks, like we were talking earlier, where you were on Tesamorelin and you do everything right, then they’re actually able to maintain. Their IGF-1s look good, they’re not collapsing, they’re not falling off the planet. Great, then they just need to see me when I guess the rails fall off.

RuscioResources:

Hi everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio. In case you need help, I wanted to quickly make you aware of what resources are available to you. If you go to DrRuscio.com/resources, you will see a few links you can click through for more. Firstly, there is the clinic, which I’m immensely proud of. The fact that we deliver, cost-effective simple, but highly-efficacious, functional medicine. There’s also my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, which has been proven to allow those who have been unable to improve their health, even after seeing numerous doctors, to be able to help them finally feel better. There’s also our store where there’s a number of products like our elemental heal line, our probiotic line, and other gut supportive and health supportive supplements. Health coaching. We now offer health coaching. So if you’ve read the book or listened to a podcast like this one, or are reading about a product and you need some help with how or when to use or how to integrate with diet, we now offer health coaching to help you along your way. And then finally, if you’re a clinician, there is our clinicians newsletter, The Future of Functional Medicine Review, which I’m very proud to say, we’ve now had doctors who’ve read that newsletter, find challenging cases in their practices, apply what we teach in the newsletter, and be able to help these patients who are otherwise considered challenging cases. Everything for these resources can be accessed through DrRuscio.com/resources. Alrighty, back to the show.

Episode Wrap-Up

DrMR:

Speaking of seeing you, and I don’t mean to cut our conversation short, but for our audience, I burned the first 15 minutes of our interview flitzin’ around with this new computer that I have, and needing to get mic setups and logins all calibrated. And I’m booked a little bit tight this afternoon, so I hate to cut off our conversation a little bit early, but we’ve referred a few patients over from the Center to work with you for peptide advising, what you do via telehealth. Tell people a little bit about your practice and if they wanted to tinker with some of these things, how they can go about linking up with you.

DrKW:

Like you already know, the COVID thing forced us into doing more telemedicine. And so we just said, “Screw it.” We basically closed our physical practice, even though I still do a little bit of regenerative injections here in Tucson. But they can find at integrativetelemedicine.com. That is our website. Along with doing this podcast, we do have a thing called a Sunday Buzz. The last one we did was actually on growth hormone, so if you go onto our website, you’d be able to see the Sunday Buzz. The next one coming up is called The Work Program. Dr. Sundermeyer pretty much sees a lot of the females. She’s going on maternity leave, so everybody that needs to see somebody will see me for awhile, even though she’s much better looking to see online. I’m not too bad.

DrMR:

I guess better to be the man behind the good looking woman.

DrKW:

Yeah, exactly. They just see me fading back into the bushes and stuff. But Integrative Telemedicine, we are fantastic. We see people throughout the United States in regards to assisting with these types of processes. Then obviously, with all the GI stuff, Dr. Ruscio, I’m actually starting to refer those people to you now.

DrMR:

Awesome. Well, yeah, thank you. That’s that’s where I nerd out. So happy to help there if I can.

DrKW:

Exactly. So, our practice obviously focuses on peptides and hormones and all those types of things to try to make us as optimal as we can.

DrMR:

Awesome. Well, like I mentioned, I really had a pretty interesting experience with Tesamorelin which came through your recommendation. You walked me through the protocol. I’ll probably ping you at some point to try the sleep peptide and maybe a mitopeptide. For our audience, I’m always running some kind of experiment. I’ve got a Vagal nerve stimulating unit here that I put away and was collecting dust, but I was at an event, met a neuroscientist who told me that his HRV jumped 10 points once he started using his Vagul nerve stimulator once per day. So I’m always tinkering with stuff, and all these things are getting built into the optimization program at the Clinic. I don’t know exactly when that’s going to roll out, but it’s kind of the Clinic 2.0, meaning Clinic 1.0 is getting you where you should be with diet, lifestyle, gut health and these fundamentals. And then 2.0 is, how can you run faster, jump higher, have better energy, better sleep, perhaps a peptide referral.

DrKW:

That’s awesome. I would be much interested in the vagal tone, because I’m having everybody do a cold water face dunk.

DrMR:

How are women doing with that? Because every time I mention cold water to women, I get the look of being about to be smacked in the face.

DrKW:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. You already know that stuff that gets on the dust, all these old notes and stuff like that, I’m like, “I remember this, let’s get them into parasympathetic tone, from sympathetic dominance.” And so the cold water face dunk has done well, but if you can send me information on the Vagul thing so I can look at it, possibly purchase it, and have people purchase it.

DrMR:

The unit’s called Xen. It’s a Xen unit. The instructions on the app are very unhelpful, so I’m trying to figure out the best way to use this. I’ll send you some notes, and for our audience, if or when I feel like that’s something that’s worth sharing, that’ll be something that we’ll do a podcast or an article about. So stay tuned on that.

DrKW:

All right, man, well, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on, man. You’re always awesome, man.

DrMR:

Yeah. Thank you, sir, I appreciate it, and we’ll talk soon.

Outro:

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