Joint problems can severely inhibit your mobility and diminish your overall quality of life. Unfortunately, such problems are common; scientists estimate that more than a third of all Americans will face arthritis at some point in their lives, experiencing such symptoms as swelling and pain in their joints. And arthritis is just one of several medical issues that can affect the joints. Traumatic injuries can also have an outsized, negative effect.
The good news is that there are a number of therapeutic modalities that clinicians have approved to treat joint pain and to promote joint health. Some are well-known, and include things like steroids. But others aren’t yet as prominent in the public health discourse. Peptide therapy is a prime example.
Peptides at a Glance
When we talk about peptide therapy, what exactly are we talking about?
At the root level, a peptide is simply a string of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins. Your body naturally manufactures all kinds of peptides, and each peptide corresponds to a particular bodily function, such as metabolism or hormone production.
Clinicians have long known that peptides can be used to channel your body’s natural healing potential, leading to holistic wellness effects. As such, scientists have begun synthesizing different peptides, laser-targeted to produce specific health effects. These synthetic peptides are not naturally manufactured in your body but they do mimic naturally-occuring proteins. When administered via pill or injection, these peptide therapies can address a range of common health problems, including joint discomfort.
Peptides and Joint Health
The American Academy of Pain Medicine lists peptide therapy among its approved remedies for arthritis, and peptides have shown some efficacy in improving other joint problems, too. So how exactly do peptides affect the joints?
In short, certain types of peptides have been shown to quell inflammation, which is the primary cause of arthritis. Peptides also help to regulate human growth hormones; these hormones are necessary for your body to heal itself but, in excess, can cause swelling and inflammation. The right peptide therapy can potentially help you get your growth hormone levels in balance, helping to alleviate common disorders of the joints.
The Scientific Consensus
The use of peptide therapy to improve joint health isn’t just theoretical. There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that peptides may be a great way to treat conditions like arthritis. Consider just a sampling of the available evidence.
- According to one study, collagen peptides (including those derived from pork skin or cow bone) can be especially helpful for managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- Another clinical trial demonstrates that including peptides in your diet may be a way to control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, though the study notes that results can vary quite a bit from patient to patient.
- Still another study shows that a diet rich in peptides, combined with essential vitamins and minerals, not only improves joint health but also the health of the skin.
- More generally, there are a number of studies revealing that peptides possess a lot of antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties, making them promising remedies for joint pain.
The bottom line: There is ample reason to herald peptide therapy as a potential breakthrough in the treatment of joint dysfunction.
Peptide Therapy Side Effects
Still, you may wonder: What about potential downsides?
Because peptides are made to closely mimic naturally-occuring substances, there is a very high rate of tolerance and a low risk of rejection. There can be some side effects, but these tend to be mild in nature. Examples include nausea and water retention. Side effects are most common among patients who are imprecise with their dosing, or who use peptides without first consulting their doctor.
Tips for Safe Peptide Use
As for safe peptide use, consider a few guidelines.
- As you shop around for peptides, make sure you look for manufacturers that are US-based and abide by rigid standards of quality and purity.
- Make sure you carefully read any dosing instructions you are given. As with any supplement, overuse can result in an increased risk of side effects.
- Make sure you talk to your doctor, particularly about the risk of peptide therapy interfering with any other medications you’re taking.
Peptide Therapy is Increasingly Popular
As word spreads about the medicinal benefits (and low risk level) of peptide therapy, these supplements are becoming more and more common. For example, you can now find a common peptide called BPC 157 for sale, marketed for improved gut health and accelerated soft tissue healing. And that’s just one example among many.
As you consider ways to improve your holistic wellbeing, including your joint health, it’s certainly worthwhile to have peptide therapy on your radar.
 Holst-Jensen, S., Pfeiffer-Jensen, M., Monsrud, M., Tarp, U., Buus, A., Hessov, I., Thorling, E., & Stengaard-Pedersen, K. (1998). Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with a peptide diet: a randomized, controlled trial.. Scandinavian journal of rheumatology, 27 5, 329-36 . https://doi.org/10.1080/03009749850154339
 Czajka, A., Kania, E., Genovese, L., Corbo, A., Merone, G., Luci, C., & Sibilla, S. (2018). Daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides combined with vitamins and other bioactive compounds improves skin elasticity and has a beneficial effect on joint and general wellbeing.. Nutrition research, 57, 97-108 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2018.06.001
 Fu, Y., Therkildsen, M., Aluko, R., & Lametsch, R. (2019). Exploration of collagen recovered from animal by-products as a precursor of bioactive peptides: Successes and challenges. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 59, 2011 - 2027. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2018.1436038