In this episode, I am speaking with Jean-François Tremblay, a world-leading expert in peptides, about the amazing health benefits of peptides and how they can help improve gut health, energy, anti-aging, and more.
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Jean-François and I discuss:
- The biggest myths about peptides
- The best peptides for healing
- Can I use peptides to lose weight?
- How to boost mitochondria with peptides
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Ari: Hey there, this is Ari. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I am very excited for today’s guest. His name is Jean-François Tremblay, and he is on for the second time, at least the second time, I might have already done–
Jean-François: It is the second time.
Ari: Okay. I was thinking maybe it’s the third, but we’ve had so many private conversations I don’t know what we’ve recorded or not. Jean-François is one of the world’s foremost experts in peptides and peptide therapy, and he runs a research lab in Canada called CanLab, where they produce peptides. Again, just widely regarded as the crème de la crème in terms of knowledge of this topic. I also have to say, as soon as I got on with him, the first thing I said to him was, “You look younger since two years ago when we did the last podcast.” I said, “You have to share your secrets why you look younger two years later.” We’re hopefully going to talk about that as well.
Peptides, this is an absolutely fascinating subject that relates to so many different health goals, from healing tissues, healing injuries, to gut health, to immune health, to changing body composition, muscle gain and fat loss, athletic performance, anti-aging. There are so many different topics we could touch on. We’re going to hopefully get to a lot of those in this session. I’m going to take as much time as Jean-François will let me take from him. You let me know when you have a hard cut-off and you have to go. [chuckles] First of all, what are peptides? Let’s assume people didn’t listen to the previous podcast, they need a quick refresher on what are peptides and how they work.
Jean-François: Very fast, two things about that. One, they’re molecules that our body make so they’re natural, like any other things that we make, and in some cases, they are actually extracted from food, from meat, from proteins, basically, and that brings me to their descriptions. Basically, peptides are the end result almost of the breakdown of a protein. You take the protein in meat, if it goes through digestion, then it’s going to be broken down in a smaller protein and down to what we call a peptide, which is basically a chain of amino acids. If it’s brought down further in its breakdown, then it breaks down in amino acids, to be absorbed.
Many times, since we produce them, they don’t go through digestion, so they remain for a good while in their peptidic form, a chain of amino acid. It’s that chain structure that has biological effects within the body.
Ari: What kind of biological effects? Actually, let me–
Jean-François: It’s estimated that we have about a quarter-million peptides going around the body. Basically, name it, it does it somewhere somehow. Generally, they’re what we call signaling molecules. They tell a cell or mitochondria, or even in some cases, it introduces itself in the nucleus of the cell to tell them what’s next or what to do now. They’re signaling molecules.
Ari: You could contrast these molecules from, let’s say drugs, pharmaceuticals, in the sense that our body has hundreds or thousands of different peptides that are circulating all the time and that are signaling for certain reactions to take place. Is that accurate?
Jean-François: Yes and no. It is, but that’s the whole difference between peptides and drugs. A drug will force its action, meaning if you have high blood pressure, you take a drug for that, it’s going to lower your blood pressure. If you don’t have high blood pressure and you take the drug, then it will still lower your blood pressure and could be actually, life-threatening. You don’t want that. Either you have or not high blood pressure, the drug will push its action, it will lower blood pressure.
A peptide, it’s kind of intelligent, in that sense. Not in the sense that you can play chess with them, but in the sense that most of the time, there are exceptions always, but most of the times and much so with the natural ones, not those that are analogs of, they won’t push their action. If their action is to heal by increasing a tissue proliferation and all that [unintelligible 00:06:07] it will do so when and where it’s needed. You won’t see extra proliferation of tissue where the tissue is sane, we just pass along. Again, with some very specific peptides, you can take too much, but for more than 90% of them, you cannot overdose, you cannot have bad side effects.
Again, I put the emphasis because there is always that guy that, “No, but I got this.” It does happen very small percentage. Usually, that’s due to other condition that bring about those reactions. They’re worry-free. You shouldn’t worry that “I have to go to the emergency at 4:00 in the morning,” because you took too much the night before. That’s the huge difference, and that’s what makes me love them, basically. They’re great.
The biggest myths about peptides
Ari: Maybe let’s start with some of the biggest myths around peptides. What are some of the myths that are very prevalent out there as people start to learn about this topic?
Jean-François: One of the first thing people will encounter when they start to go on the internet is– some places are going to see that podcast by the way, but anyway, this one is good. [laughs] Is that peptides are fragiles, which is not true in the sense that you have to not shake the vials, you have to keep them in the fridge all the time. No, you can break them if you’re really not careful, but in general, and we did some testing in our lab, stability test, and there are peptides that worked out to be unstable, once you reconstitute, that they would last for a few hours. Turns out that even after a month, they were all there. That was a myth, I don’t know.
It’s [unintelligible 00:08:38] it’s called. That one, in particular, it makes sense to think so, but once you test it you realize because even biochemistry is not an exact science like medicine. I know doctors don’t like to hear that, but it’s not. If it was an exact science, they could predict the outcome. God knows they can’t. [laughs]
Ari: I think we’ve learned that lesson pretty clearly over the last couple years-
Jean-François: There you go.
Ari: -that it’s definitely not an exact science, seeing how many of the predictions from the medical community about both nonpharmaceutical and pharmaceutical measures have not panned out as predicted.
Jean-François: At all. Biochemistry’s like that. It’s mainly an exact science. It’s exact for what we did, but new things like new synthesis of a new peptide that was never done before. On paper, because in that peptides there is two links of amino acids that are known to be weak, normally, you could predict a fast degradation. Actually, we thought so. When we synthesized it we thought, “Oh, but this one won’t be stable, so we have to make one dose vial, because it wouldn’t sustain.”
Once we synthesized it and we added around purification and all that and retest and say, oh, it seems to be much more stable than we will expect. It turns out it is. I cannot blame the people who said that because it’s a prediction but at one point, after a few months, or few years, maybe they should have tested it and well with it. Long story short, they are much more stable than what we thought. Another misconception and that can be very practical good to know is that you cannot make peptides in the same vial, in the same syringe.
Yes, you can because some people believe they will interact to form some hybrid molecules that would make you grow a third leg or a tail. I don’t know. No, you can mix them because they’re molecule that they don’t have charges. They’re not the molecule plus one or plus two or minus one. They cannot interreact at room temperature. They don’t even interreact at 37 Celsius within the body where we have thousands and we don’t see those interactions. There is no reason for them to interact in the fridge for 24 hours, 33 hours, and 50 minutes. Let’s say you take it out 10 minutes, no. You can mix them.
We tested it with a couple of them, no interactions, except those people, if they ever saw an interaction and I doubt it because nobody actually tests those things. The only times that you would see those interactions is if you get really bad quality peptides and that being not well synthesized, and they would have a charge and they would interact but that’s the only case. If those people who say that saw an interaction, it just tells me that they were working with bad quality peptides, that’s all because when they’re done the right way, purified the right way, and everything is done right, there are no interactions between peptides in the same liquid.
Ari: One more myth that I could think of that I think is worth you commenting on is the idea that you have to inject for example, BPC locally, directly into the injured tissue.
Jean-François: If you’re able to do so, yes, it works. After two years and more, I’m in touch with so many doctors and clinicians. Actually, by the way, we’re starting, I’m doing a bit of a placement. I had the idea then the International Peptide Academy where we’ll be giving seminars and courses mainly for doctors, but everybody will be able to attend. With Dr. Matt Cook in California, that’s our thing now. Too much placement that I forgot what was the question. [laughs] I’m sorry.
Ari: Is the BPC directly injected?
Jean-François: Oh yes, directly. I have all those doctors now that have done local math, those infiltrations. I drove dissection where you do an injections, let’s say there is a nerve that is compressed. That’s why it’s called a dissection, but you dissect with water. You inject water, let’s say between the nerve and the tissue that is compressing it, releasing the pressure on the nerve. Many times that’s going to leave the nerve damaged. Let’s say, you’ll see it with the [unintelligible 00:14:47] nerve thing where you twist badly your back, it pinches the nerve, but then everything falls back in place but the pain continue.
There has been the case for years and years. There is that case of a woman treated 15 years and nothing worked. It did, and I drew a dissection because many times it’s the fascia, and it stick there. Even if the bone structure, muscle structure comes back to the right position, that compression remains. It injects water to release that pressure between the fascia and the nerve or whichever tissue was pressing it, which causes inflammation. Many times there is small damages that even when the pressure is released, the pain continue.
It’s the first one I’ve known to do that with hydrodissection. It would mix BPC-157 and Thymosin Beta-4 in the water we would use to do the hydrodissection and you would have a very strong and immediate healing of the tissue in that spot. The case of that woman that was in pain for 15 years, California, Norton, crazy stuff. She tried everything, nothing worked. He did that hydrodissection. Maybe it took him 5, 10 minutes for the procedure. Another 5, 10 minutes, all pain was gone, never came back. Just like that.
It works amazingly good when you can, but you have to go in the injury, not next to it. People believe you have pain in let’s say in the elbow, so you shoot near the elbow. No, because there is too many capillaries and blood vessel. Even if it’s a small distance in between, the peptides will be snatched by the blood circulation before it reaches the tissue. It will come back to the tissue through the blood circulation, not through direct diffusion. Unless you can pinpoint, and most of the time, it has to be done under ultrasound to see exactly where you go with the needle.
Even the best, they did a study, doctors that were doing infiltration for years, but without ultrasound, and they did two groups, one with ultrasound 100% of the time they would hit the spot. Even experts in infiltration doing it for years, 25% of the time, they would miss the spot.
Ari: Without ultrasound
Jean-François: Without ultrasound. They were sure they were at the right place. They would say, “Yes, it is here.” No 25%. You say, “Okay, 75%.” Yes, but it’s not you doing it for the first time, so chances are, you’re going to miss the right spot anyway.
Ari: It’s very interesting because two years ago, you had said it was a myth that injecting directly into the spot. It’s great that you’ve changed [crosstalk]
Jean-François: No, of course. It’s amplification. It is a myth locally in the way that people thought you would need to do it.
Ari: It’s great that you’ve evolved your thinking on that as you’ve gotten feedback from all these doctors who have been doing these kinds of procedures.
Jean-François: Oh yes. Talking of, later on, there is a big one coming on that. [laughs] [unintelligible 00:18:51] thing anyway.
The latest science on Epitalon
Ari: For people listening, some of what you just heard is a high level of detail talking about specific peptides. Hopefully, we didn’t lose you. I want to get into some of the specific peptides for specific purposes right now. Epitalon is something that we talked about a couple of years ago. This is, I believe a Russian peptide, they call it a bioregulator and it’s considered the longevity peptide. The last time we spoke, there was some promising research where I believe they showed lengthening of telomeres and maybe life extension in animal studies.
Then you mentioned during our podcast that there was another study that was currently going on and that the study wasn’t finalized yet, and the results weren’t in. Has that study completed now and if so, what are the results of it?
Jean-François: I haven’t seen anything since that time where they released early results, let’s say they were to do six months sturdy. A mouse lives two to three years and that’s why maybe they’re still all alive and they wait for them to die of old age. I didn’t see anything final results yet, and that’s probably the cause, they wait for the last mouse to die and then see if she lived longer or not. That preliminary study, one of the marker they looked during that study and that they released was the lengthening of the telomeres. It showed that no, it’s actually they’re shortening in the study they did. It’s not conclusive, but it’s one of the things that makes you go, “Uh.”[laughs]
I think I explained it at the time. I wouldn’t go crazy about that telomere lengthening because the science on telomeres measuring, you may take a sample of a tissue in your body and measure the telomere’s length in those tissue and then take another tissue and it’s going to be different. It seems to vary depending on the organ, the tissues, and all that. Even if they take always from the same tissue, is it the right tissue to measure aging and to correlate with? That’s why I’ve always been– those studies that were done on epitalon and telomere, they were done 20 years ago about?
The science of measuring telomeres was even more native. I don’t give it much credit. Actually, the whole world of science isn’t anymore, now they use other markers. There is even True Age, a company that came out with the test. I don’t remember exactly what, but it’s much more accurate actually.
Ari: I think that from what I’ve read, the best marker of biological aging is DNA methylation. The epic genetic–
Jean-François: Yes, that’s the one they measure, and it turns out it’s much more precise. At this point, it would be interesting for somebody to do a study on epitalon and measuring that, then it would be much more conclusive. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t do the other things that it does because aging is not only telomere length. If it was only that, then it would be on free, just stop that and we’re safe. No, it’s multifactorial. It’s the same way the body has backup systems. You have two kidneys, two lungs, well, only one heart, but many times there is a backup system even biological.
Let’s say your glucose system, it fails, then you have the fatty acid system that jumps in and the body is well designed in that sense. I think I explained back then to what I believe the body is programmed eventually to die, and it seems that it has backup system where if one system is not triggered, “Hey, don’t worry, you will die anyway because now we have this system.” It’s the other side to the coin. There is not one factor. You see that it’s funny and not when you look at researchers that research anti-aging, and they look at one thing, one drug, one compound, and all that.
It’s always the same thing, “Oh, we found it.” I’m sure they’re taking it and then you look at those people when they’re in their 70s and they look like old resins. It’s like, “What happened with your anti-aging product?” Not that it’s not true, but that’s not the only one. It’s exercise, diet, to begin with, stress management to begin, without even talking about drugs or peptides or anything. If you don’t get that under control, those things won’t work or a small fraction of what you would expect. Anti-aging is really multifactorial and I think we found so far nine pathways totally independent to aging. I think that’s only the beginning.
Ari: Having said that the research on epitalon this most recent study hasn’t yet reported their findings-
Jean-François: Exactly on the–
Ari: -and then are you impressed with the research overall on epitalon as an anti-aging peptide? Are there any other anti-aging peptides that you feel do work well?
Jean-François: [chuckles] I was back then very impressed and still I’m because when we started CanLab, I think it’s over six years ago, we only had three peptides, and the first one on the list was epitalon. I said, “This one has to come out.” Then BPC and TB4. Those were the only three peptides we started with. Oh, interestingly, Thymosin Beta-4 NTA. To close on epitalon and we’ll come back if you want because that’s where my [unintelligible 00:26:05] is on epitalon in particular. It’s more of a technical, but to make a long story short, there is this researcher and last year published an article on Thymosin Beta-4.
I’ll send the link for you and the people who listen to read because I find it refreshing in a way, I’ll explain why. The guy has done quite a few studies already on Thymosin Beta-4 and specifically on the heart regeneration after a stroke, after whatever condition of the heart, and found yes, it works great. For many years, it was pinpointed on Thymosin Beta-4 for the heart. I’m sorry I had a little thing in my mouth. It turns out white on my lips. For many years, that was the only thing he saw, but it seems that suddenly, he broadened his mind on it and it’s an enlightenment for the guy.
It’s refreshing to read his conclusion because you say, “Oh, that peptide probably has the same activity in other tissues. It’s not written like that, but it’s like, “Oh, that could be an anti-aging peptide. [chuckles] it regenerate organs.” Actually, the title of the study is Thymosin Beta-4 a new peptide– I’m not sure he used that term. The way he describes it in the title, it’s a peptide that reminds the heart of its native state. It’s like it brings back the heart cells to exactly where they should be at their best when you’re born when it’s native when it was made in the womb. It’s very refreshing.
Then he says, “Yes, there must be other ones.” Oh yes, there is a bunch. [chuckles] You’ll find them I’m sure. It’s pretty amazing and I had a sense of that back then. That’s why I told you back then, epitalon, TB4, and BPC, I believe they have a place in a peptide anti-aging program, and now we know more and more why.
Ari: Is TB4 the same as TB-500?
Jean-François: No. That I’ve been debunking. TB-500 was a product name. I don’t know in the US, but I think a fridge. There was a company, one of the early company that makes fridge that was called Fiji there. All the fridge, you would buy a new fridge independently of the brand and you would say, “Oh, I bought the fridge there.” That was in Canada. That was it. I don’t know in the US. Basically, it was a brand name that was associated with a product.
Ari: It’s like Xerox became the word for copy machines?
Jean-François: Yes. Oh, I have a Xerox in my office, and it’s an IBM. It’s not the name of the peptide, it’s a brand name that was given to that peptide by one company, one of the earliest one to market it for horses. It’s ticked because it’s like that. It was in term of brand name but it’s not the name of the peptide. The name of the peptide is Thymosin Beta-4 or one of its fraction because that same company kept the same name and switches. First, they were using a smaller fraction of Thymosin Beta-4, later on, they switch to Thymosin Beta-4 but kept the same name, TB-500 just to help with the confusion that we have today.
The functions of TB4 and BPC-157
Ari: Let’s talk about TB4 and BPC-157. What are they doing in the body?
Jean-François: Heal. They’re known mostly for healing and anti-inflammatory effect but it gets interesting when you start to see how they do it. That’s why, for example, you say, “Okay, yes, it’s great. It heals the heart,” but like that researcher, when you look at how it does it, then one of its action is to remind the heart of its native state. Now, you’re going to ask me, how does it do that? It turns out, and again, that’s the last year published, probably the finding as a few years.
First, an earlier finding, Thymosin Beta-4 is a big molecule, 43 amino acid. In term of peptide, usually, you talk of peptides up to 50-amino acid. 43, it is a big peptide, but it’s a key chain where you have many keys and each key opens a different door. Thymosin Beta-4 is like a key chain. Some part of the molecule or fractions turns on those receptors and this one hook up to those receptors to do different thing. Some researcher, they say, “Okay, let’s find those keys.” They broke down Thymosin Beta-4. “Okay, let’s break it down here.”
Dozens and dozens of combination of the fractions and they say, “Okay, let’s look in the present, what does it do? Okay, this one, nothing, this one nothing. They isolated four fractions. There may be more, we don’t know, but the fractions, the bunch they looked at, four came out. They’re like, they took the key chain and they took that one key out, “Okay, this key does this, this key does this. Now we synthesize those four fractions.” One of the key specifically works on the heart for some activity that I don’t specifically remember, I don’t have that much of a good memory.
One of the fraction, and that’s where I come to that Khavinson review he did last year on his peptides, where he list all the bioregulators. They didn’t invent them. They discovered them because they existed already. One of the peptide they list in the newer bioregulators, to say that as a bioregulator reactivity is one of the fraction of Thymosin Beta-4. It turns out that it’s small enough for amino acids like epitalon that probably it works like epitalon. Introduce itself in the cell to modify, not the sequence, but the 3D thing. The DNA is a spiral and it can dilate and compress and twist and does that.
Epitalon it seems like that fraction of Thymosin Beta-4 does the same thing. Introduce itself within the DNA, attach to it, modify the 3D structure of it, and the end result of that is an increased expressions of the genes in that part of the sequence. That expression, they express proteins in the cells that are anti-aging like P53 and all those anti-aging– P53, I think that’s the protein that repair damaged proteins in the rest of the cells.
Bang, it turns out that now, that’s one of the way it works because when you take Thymosin Beta-4, the whole molecule it’s too big. It won’t introduce itself in the nucleus, but eventually, your body will break it down to get rid of it. We have enzymes in the blood that do that. One of the fraction it’s going to break down will be that fraction and oh, then it will go in the cell to do those. It’s a bit speculative but it’s what I call the educated guess. It makes total sense that it would work like that. That’s the conclusion it seems Khavinson came up with. If he published it probably he has some hard evidence of it. They do not compare stuff, and pretty advanced.
Thymosin Beta-4 would generate organs and tissues. Oh, yes, and that fraction too now is used a lot for– it’s anti-fibrotic. Fibrosis scars. A part of the healing process, that fraction and highly anti-inflammatory. Actually, I found by experience now that it dwarfed all the other anti-inflammatory peptides. That one is amazingly important as an anti-inflammatory
Jean-François: It’s fractioned. If you want only the anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and probably anti-aging, you would use that fraction.
Ari: Would TB4 in its whole form have the same effect or do you need just the partial component?
Jean-François: It would because eventually, it will break down into those partial, but then it comes down to what you want. If you want the whole array of actions, then you use the whole molecule but I would say if you want the anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic effect specifically– let’s say you injure a tendon or a ligament or something highly inflamated. There are phases in the healing of that. The first phase is inflammation that it’s got to swell. Let’s say the elbow is going to be big like that. The first thing you want to do is bring down the inflammation. Then you could use the specific one for inflammation. Why? Because milligram for milligram, it’s 10 times more potent than Thymosin Beta-4.
It has two advantages. One, you pinpoint what you want to do, and two, technically it’s 10 times cheaper to do so. Why is that? It’s easy. That’s four amino acids. By weight and I did a calculation, it’s 10 times lighter. If you didn’t miss that chemistry class, you make a calculation. One milligram of this one that weigh this and one milligram– you have 10 times more molecules per milligram, 10 times a punch, 10 times everything, plus an extra thing added.
They found in the study, those fraction as an even greater affinity for those receptor than when it’s attached to Thymosin Beta-4 because it’s smaller, introduced easier. That’s a part of biochemistry I’m not very educated on, but they found better attachment to the receptor. Even more efficient if you use the specific fraction. Then after that, it’s the actual healing of the tissue. Then you could use that other fraction of Thymosin Beta-4.
You don’t need so much the anti-inflammatory effects. Now you pinpoint that healing and again, you get the same thing. More a punch for your money, cheaper therapy and you do that. It increases your scope of actions pinpointing what you do. I’m not a big believer in too much pinpointing in a complex process like healing. I still believe you should use a Thymosin Beta-4 as a base to those therapy and spike those effects at certain moments with those peptides.
Let’s say the first three, four days or as long as the inflammation is there, you use Thymosin Beta-4 and the anti-inflammatory fraction. Then when it’s time to heal, then you spike with the healing fraction, but still use Thymosin Beta-4 to get some anti-inflammatory, some of this, some of that. By itself, it became one peptide that you can do so many things. It’s amazing. Basically, I would say that any condition from healing tissue to Lyme disease to neurodegenerative, Thymosin Beta-4 is always used.
I think I mentioned it. I call it a more improved peptide. You’re a practitioner, somebody shows up with a condition, you don’t know what it is, given Thymosin Beta-4, more than 90% of the time it’s going to improve the condition anyway, even if you have no clue how or why or what it is.
Ari: Got it, because it’s basically an all-purpose tissue healing stimulator, it’s stimulating healing and regeneration of tissues.
Jean-François: It does everything. Heals the nerve tissues, it does remyelinations of nerves. Neurodegenerative, there is the myelination in some cases of the nerves. It provokes the myelination of those nerves. It’s a bit like the aspirin, when they discovered aspirin back then, it was like take aspirin for everything.
Ari: One other question, I remember I’ve used BPC-157 which we’re going to talk about in a minute for this purpose, for healing injured tissues, I’ve had a couple of injuries in my shoulder and my knee that I wanted to use BPC for. I know many people stack BPC-157 with TB4. However, I remember looking into the research a bit and not using TB4 because I was concerned that it might contribute to cancer. There was some research that I remember discussing [crosstalk]
Jean-François: The angiogenesis.
Ari: I remember discussing one paper with you in particular, where I think they were showing that there’s a higher presence of TB4 at the site of the cancer. It was unclear whether that TB4 was there to combat the cancer or it was there and it was somehow facilitating the growth of the cancer. Do you have any insight onto that?
Jean-François: There is a very high correlation between house fires and the presence of firemen. What will you conclude out of that?
Ari: Of course, we know that–
Jean-François: Are they responsible for the fire or are they there to fight it?
Ari: That’s the question is TB4 there to fight it or not?
Jean-François: I think they found one pro-cancer activity, but that they found in a Petri dish. Again if somebody has done research, it makes you look at this under a different angle. There are a question of degrees and when you look at a drug or a peptide that has multi activities, you have to look at everything and that’s harder to see because to measure, but the degree and you may have– no, it’s not the same but that thing lately about antioxidants turns out they’re not so good for us.
They’re good because of the homesis. It makes our body react to them and then stronger to you get a net positive effect even though locally, you have a negative effect. If you have different activities that one compound has and many times you’ll see a pro-cancer activity, but then you say, “Wait up, then on the other side through other pathways, it’s anti-cancer.” Now the question is, oh, which one wins? Which one has the net strongest effect?
The total effect is, is the molecule by itself anti or pro-cancer? See, they then made a direct correlation between cancer and the presence of time as in Beta-4. They just looked into deeper and I think they found true that pathway, it has pro-cancer activity, but then you wonder. You say “Okay, but why in other cancers you see higher level of Thymosin Beta-4 or you use Thymosin Beta-4 and it helps in the healing process or killing of the cells, whichever way you look at it?”
It turns out that clinically, I’ve been consulting and working with doctors for a long time. When I said Thymosin Beta-4 was used as a base peptide in basically all therapies, that included cancer. They never found an increase in cancerous activity when they used Thymosin Beta-4 in real life. Clinically, they see a positive effect from using it. It’s empirical, but empirically, we see that no, it doesn’t aggravate the cancer.
Ari: Excellent. That’s the real test. That’s great to hear. It’s nice to have a conclusive answer. You just now convinced–
Jean-François: Again, it’s empirical. I don’t have papers to show for it but if you would ask to any clinician and there are quite a few now all in Canada, but they really are under the radar, Health Canada and all that but in the US, so far, they’re still more free to do those kind of things. Plus, in general, when you talk, I think it’s at stage four of cancer, some people they call it the lucky stage even if it’s very serious, but they call it the lucky stage because that’s a stage, I think there is a directive by the medical associations and all that they say at that stage, let them do what they want because we cannot do anymore ourselves.
There is nothing to lose trying alternative medicines and all that. From stage four, any doctor will agree with anything you’ll bring up to use because they’re stuck. They say, “Okay, why not try this then?”
Ari: Talk to me about BPC. It sounds almost like you’re more high on TB-4 than you are on BPC.
Jean-François: I like both of them almost equally, but for different reasons. BPC too is a healing peptide. It’s a much smaller molecule. Basically, I would always use them together because they complement themselves in their healing capacity. I would say it’s that healing capacity that brings about the regenerative of tissues. Let’s say you take it for your elbow but the peptide goes around, so it will reach your liver, your heart, your lungs, and everything.
If there’s something wrong there, it’s going to fix it at the same time. You see that often. You take BPC because you hurt again, your elbow, but you had a nagging pain in your shoulder and that’s gone too. It’s not specific to the area. Yes, they complement themselves because they work through different pathways. You attack the problem through different angles, so more angles, better healing and it’s synergetic, and there are those healing effects. I would use it for anti-aging. Not continuously, but four or six times a year for short times to regenerate, heal little things that you may not even know about.
Ari: Just real quick. Four to six times a year? Every other month, you would use it for how long, a week, a month?
Jean-François: Sadly, because it can be budget-driven, I would go for 10 to 20 days. Again, budget being a factor. I think 10 days would be sufficient.
Ari: That’s for using BPC or BPC and TB4 together or the same purpose?
Jean-François: If you use it for anti-aging purposes, I will alternate.
Ari: Alternate between BPC and TB4?
Jean-François: Yes, exactly. Every two months, but actually, you would take two weeks, let’s say 15 days of BPC-157. Then let pass six weeks, then do another 2 weeks or 10 days and let pass 6 weeks and 5 days. Something like that to have a complete two months with that short therapy of peptide.
If it’s purely for anti-aging, you don’t really look at the complementary effect because you’re not healing big injuries or nothing, just little patches here and there. They work well by themselves to do that. I would alternate. The first, I would do TB4, maybe 10 days or 15 days, then BPC, then TB. Nothing stops you to use them together. Again, budget-driven. If you can’t afford it, and it’s cool for you, yes, you do it together.
Instead of blocks of two months, you could do blocks of three months. Or if your budget allows it, two months. The lower I would go would be short, like that 10-day things per month. I wouldn’t do more than that. I don’t see it necessary.
Ari: Let me just ask the question so that I can understand why these timeframes, just to take it to this extreme. Why not be on BPC and TB4 all the time every day 365 days a year?
Jean-François: Well, empirically, we found that, after a few months of continuous use, the body doesn’t respond so well. We’ve seen that in therapies, life-threatening, degenerative disease, somebody has ALS. Look, he’s going to die in six months, so we are not going to take breaks. Even in those cases, we found out that we take breaks.
It depends on the people, but between two and three months, we start to see a decrease in effects, so we take a few weeks breaks two, three weeks then start again, and bang, it’s back on. There seems to be a limit to how long you can take without losing the full effect. To take advantage of that, to always have full effect, then have breaks.
Ari: If budget wasn’t a limitation in any way, and you were trying to use it to heal injuries-
Jean-François: If you would want to go to the full extent of an anti-aging therapy, like you’re in the mind frame that I don’t want to die ever, I would say 20 days out of the month. Take 10 days a month break. It’s going to be good. You will live forever. That 10 days could become counterproductive on the long-term. You’d better take the break, and at full effect, 20 days a month, no problem.
Ari: For both being on BPC and TB4 together?
Jean-François: That’s right.
Ari: Okay. Got it.
Jean-François: That’s the full budget, no problem. I’d go for it. Probably what I would do personally, in that case– again, that’s another prescription– I would do like a milligram of each per day.
Ari: Per day a milligram. One thing I want to make sure that we’re getting across to people is just the kinds of results that people are noticing. I’ve heard many, many examples of seemingly almost miraculous healings of people using BPC or BPC and TB4 together for healing injuries, even severely injured ligaments and tendons as well as also gut issues. Can you comment on just some of the real-life anecdotes that you’ve heard people report using these compounds?
Jean-François: BPC-157, Crohn’s disease, not cured, but full remission in three months-
Jean-François: -with only BPC-157 and high dose of glutamine. A lot of glutamine. It’s the break of the intestine. You have the mortar and the break together. It works amazingly good. Usually, if you have a proper peptide protocol for healing, what I’ve seen in general is– okay, let’s say you break a bone. I won’t be able to tell you how long it’s going to take to heal. Do you know who’s going to tell you? It’s the doctor that fixed it, put the cast, or all that because they have seen hundreds of the same injury. They have a very good idea, that is going to be healed in 12 weeks. That’s pretty much it. You use that 12 weeks. If you use a peptide, good protocol, cut that time in half, basically.
Jean-François: Now, you know high-level athletes that everybody thought would never go back to play that season are back in three weeks.
Ari: Wow. Pro athletes are obviously using BPC and TB4 all the time, right?
Jean-François: You know they do because now it’s banned by WADA. It’s a proof of concept. If you want to know if something works, look on that list. If it’s on the list, that’s because it works.
Ari: If it’s banned by– WADA is, for people that don’t know, what’s the right word for it? The organization that regulates what substances can be used in professional sports or even-
Jean-François: Or not.
Ari: Obviously, steroids are banned, many other performance-enhancing drugs and many peptides. That’s a shame.
How to dose peptides
Jean-François: If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t care to ban it. Back to epitalon and bioregulator. I take it personal. Actually, most of the peptide community, we made the same mistake, but I did too and it’s me talking, so I take it. Those are just anti-aging protocols. It turns out that the initial studies were in Russian, and sometimes badly translated or not well understood.
For a while, they said, oh, they wrote micrograms, but probably they meant milligrams, but then you would read the text and it wouldn’t make sense if that was the mistake, but it was overlooked. Well, it turns out that when they first discovered those peptides, what they actually are discovered gland extracts that contained those peptides.
They saw amazing results with the concentration of those gland extracts. Then they say, okay, what makes it work? They found that one or two peptides within the extract that had that effect. Now the first extract was called Epithalamin, out of which they found that the active peptide was Epitalon. For the longest time, we interchanged those terms. When we would read Epithalamin, we would say it’s Epitalon and the other way around if you wanted.
In the first extract, when the extract was used, they were using 10 milligrams of Epithalamin. It turns out that’s equivalent. There is one study that they say 0.1 milligram, 100 micrograms of Epitalon, was the active compound. For the longest time, we say, 10 milligrams Epithalamin, Epitalon, so the protocol is 10 milligrams of Epitalon. No.
It turns out it’s 10-milligrams of the extract. The same thing with Thymalin, which is the extract 10 milligrams, but what’s in it is Thymogen. Clinically, it’s sold in Russia as a medication. It’s 0.1 milligrams, 100 times less. Again, that’s great news, actually, because it makes it literally 100 times cheaper to do Epitalon thing or any bioregulator thing. It makes it amazingly affordable.
If you look in the research deep enough, you start to have that in mind, the difference between the Epithalamin and Epitalon. It’s going to jump in your face. You’ll say, “Oh, how could I miss that?” Actually, a few people didn’t miss it.
If you go on to Reddit, there is this German guy. It’s Reddit, so who knows what’s his real name? He had a small group there and is doing good things in Europe in terms of testing products and all that. He brought it up. People wouldn’t react to it because it’s too big to believe almost. It’s like, “No, come on. How could we be that wrong for so long?” We were. I was too. No, it’s not.
Now, you’ll see most of the peptide companies, they won’t tell you that because you’re making a bunch of money selling the 100 milligrams vials. They won’t say, “Oh, no, you only need one milligram.”
Ari: The good news is that the 100-milligram vial will last you 100 times longer now at the proper dose.
Jean-François: Yes. Unless you use it 100 days– no, actually, 1000 days in a row. By that thousandth day, you will see some degradation of the peptide. It’s not practical to buy 100. Again, I won’t lie about that. We sell 20 milligrams vials, but we made that decision before I realized that. It was a coincidence. Now we make 20 milligrams, which is still too much, but it makes it more proper for you by one vial and you’re good for a few months.
To come back to Epitalon, the protocol I suggest– and even myself, I’m still attached to that 5, 10 milligrams a day thing. To be on the safe side, even when the science is clear on it, I still go for one milligram a day. It’s still 10 times cheaper for somebody. Again, the money is not such a problem. One milligram a day, you have plenty. Again, to go to the full extreme, the basic protocol, actually, the cheapest one you could do is .1 milligrams a day for 10 days twice a year. That’s what the study showed those results.
They never did a study with more. I’d like to think if you take more, you may have better results. The study, it showed. That would be the basic to duplicate [unintelligible 01:04:59] some results that are amazing already in terms of health and improvements of all the markers they looked at independently of the [unintelligible 01:05:09].
Ari: Are there new studies beyond the ones that happened 20, 30 years ago that have shown benefits from Epitalon? I looked on PubMed and Google Scholar. I didn’t find much.
Jean-François: The interest in those peptides is anti-business. Come on. Again, research now is business-driven a lot. What’s the point to re-study something that would be so cheap, so non-patentable? What’s the point to spend a lot of money to do research that at the end would be purely–? Because pure intellectual research just for the sake of the advancement when you do research, you’re like, you’re standing on the shoulder of a giant. It seems like maybe what you did is nothing but you know you make the giant little by little taller.
Nobody so far tell, “Let’s look into it and see if it’s really what it is.” Actually, if they don’t, what it tells me is that they know it works. They looked at the initial studies, and it’s sound. It’s solid. They said, “We don’t want to re-prove that.” As a matter of fact, I’m going to sell this molecule that is a drug, and that’s going to be patented, and billions of dollars at the end will be made with that new drug. It’s sad to say, but that’s what I see. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I see.
Ari: I’ve been a science geek all my life since I was a little kid. I always had this, now I realize, a very naive conception of science, that it’s just all these brilliant scientists who are altruistic who are trying to just make the world a better place, and there’s just endless money that people are funneling to these scientists to find cures to disease.
Of course, there are very smart scientists and very good-hearted altruistic people involved there. I have been shocked, particularly in the last two years, to discover just how naive I was in my worldview, and how much of science is so unbelievably corrupted by financial interests. It’s been a really shocking and unfortunate realization for me. I have some friends who I think, like you, have been aware of this for a much longer time than when I have.
Jean-François: I shared quite a few of your posts on Facebook. I love your writing, by the way.
Peptides for weight loss
Ari: Thank you. I appreciate that. To your point, I might have been skeptical. More than a couple of years ago, I might have been skeptical of what you just said, but now seeing the last two years, I’m like, “Yes, absolutely. The whole field of science is still corrupted.”
Jean-François: What we see right now, it’s what I call placement. Something big is to happen. They’re just placing pieces. It’s not what it seems at all. I know time is running. Just a personal thing here, but that would be of general interest. There is that peptide now that’s been used for a few years for diabetes. It regulates glucose, amazingly.
It’s a bit paradoxical and it makes us look now at glucose control from a different view because it’s glucagon analog. The peptide that does the inverse of insulin. It turns out that by true mechanism, it regulates glucose level amazing. It’s probably right now one of the best glucose medica- It’s sold under prescription in the US and Canada for that purpose.
Now it was repurposed, and it’s not sold. Maybe I did in your podcast. I don’t remember, but in a few other podcasts, I’ve been asked, “Is there a good peptide to lose weight?” My answer was, “Truth is, not really.” I would then always say, the day there will be one, you’ll know because just watch me. I’m overweight so I’m ashamed of it. Hey, I’m losing weight now.
Ari: You are. I noticed it instantly.
Jean-François: That peptide works. Dan Stickler, a very prominent doctor in that community, a medical doctor out of Texas.
Ari: Yes. I’ve interviewed him on the podcast as well.
Jean-François: He used to be exclusively in the fat loss business. I think he would even do the surgery himself, the stomach cramping, and all that. I think it’s in 2009, he gave up. He said, “Look, nothing works. I’ve tried everything. Yes, they lose weight. Six months after, they gain it back. Nothing works. I give up.”
Then he shifted his practice to what he does now. Except that in another podcast, now he changed mind since that peptide came out. He calls it a paradigm change. He said, “Wow, that works.” Ozempic. It’s a glutamate. It works. You’re going to appreciate that. Do you still have time, like five minutes?
Ari: Absolutely. I would love to take more time because there are more topics. If you have more time to spare, I would-
Jean-François: Yes, sure. Evolution it’s– sorry excuse expression– it’s a bitch. We’re stuck with 200 years of evolution. For the biggest part of it, food was scarce, right? Our primitive brain– it’s like sex. At one point, you cannot control it. It has to happen. You have to mate. It’s in the primitive brain. It’s actually survival. The two instincts, survival of the species and of the individual. Those are our two primal instincts.
In our survival instinct, basically, it was imprinted in our brain, you see food, you eat it because tomorrow it will not be there most of the time for those couple of hundred years. For sure, tomorrow there won’t be, so you see it, you eat it. That’s still there. Except now, food is there all the time. We eat all the time.
For people, it’s stronger than others, and they will openly say it, “I control my hunger.” Why do you need to control something? That means that’s not natural. It turns out it’s not. We’re programmed to eat. You see food, you eat. That’s very basic. It turns out that peptide works in the brain to cut off that signal. Because what triggers that is your blood sugar levels and a bunch of other things.
Before, we would play with those things. You do a [unintelligible 01:13:13], you do this, to play with those things that would signal to your primitive brain, now you’re full or whatever. You have this, you have that. For example, there are studies showing, by just supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals, hunger would go down because now you’d give the body what was missing so the brain says, okay, no, I’m good.
If you constantly lack of those nutrients, your brain senses, even if your stomach is big like that, your body didn’t yet get what it needed so you’re going to keep eating. That peptide somehow blocks that signal, send a signal to your brain, no, you’re good.
If it was for sex, it would be like a castrating agent in the brain, saying, no, you don’t need sex anymore. You’re good now for the rest of your life,” in extreme cases. Yes, it does that it. The end effect is, it cuts appetite. You’re basically never hungry. You go on a fast. You take that, you won’t even realize you’re fasting.
Jean-François: I was that kind of people that I love food and my girlfriend’s cooking. I was the kind of guy to take a second plate often. With that, it’s sad. Actually, it was sad a little while ago for me because I was in Europe, in France and Latvia, great food, great restaurants. I could never finish my plates. I was full, half plate, a third of the plate.
Jean-François: I would look at the food. No dessert ever. I never would get there. It was a bit sad thing because I knew what I was missing in terms of the pleasure of eating those foods but it works that good. It’s pretty amazing.
Ari: What’s the name of the peptide?
Jean-François: The commercial name, if people in the US, they ask their doctor– I know in Canada recently they accepted it for weight loss, actually. They can prescribe it for that purpose, but it’s already prescribed in the US for diabetes and hypoglycemia and all that, anything related to blood glucose.
It’s easy nowadays for most people to justify that with a blood test. Again, it’s a peptide that is synthetic. It doesn’t occur in that form in the body, so there is a patent on it. I think it costs between $1,000 and $2,000 a month if you have to pay for it. We’re talking one shot a week. It’s a daily thing.
Ari: If you were to get it prescribed by a doctor and get it via that pathway, it would cost that much?
Jean-François: No. That’s the price if you don’t have insurance. I was in the US in October and I had Matt to prescribe for me. He did. I went to the pharmacy. Not being American or American insurance or nothing, they told me the price I would’ve to pay. I said, “No, I’m not paying that for a peptide when I have a company that makes them.” We made some for personal use. Sadly, we cannot commercialize it-
Ari: Because it’s patented.
Jean-François: It’s patented, and we stay away from those. A couple of years ago, we commercialized a peptide like that, SS-31. It took only a couple of months to get a letter from some lawyers in Boston, cease and desisting or otherwise, they would come strong on us, so we stopped and we learned our lesson. Too bad. Made some for me. It works great. It is available under prescription.
Any sound doctor will prescribe it because there’s basically no side effects. It seems like this is it. Some new studies show that it even works at blood glucose regulation in the brain. Now, relate that to some scientists call Alzheimer’s diabetes type 3 because they saw a very high correlation between blood glucose dysregulation in the brain and Alzheimer’s. It’s even good for that,
Actually, the more studies are done and on other effect, it turns out– it’s ridiculous because I was only 19, 20 when I started to look into anti-aging. I bought a book back then. It was called Life Extension. You can still find used copies. I’ll send you a link again if it’s possible for you if people are interested. It’s a Bible. It was written at the beginning of ’82.
Those guys, California, San Francisco, hippie movement out of the EP and all that, doing all those crazy stuff, they talk about Nootropics’ anti-aging vitamins and stuff and a few chemicals drugs at the time. They were very advanced.
The conclusion you get from reading that book, and that comes out today too but it’s not so obvious, is that aging, you need to control only two things. You need to control inflammation, systemic, and you need to control glycemia, blood glucose.
Most of everything you do, unless with the bioregulators where you really go– bioregulator, it’s basically epigenetic. It’s not genetic manipulation. It’s epigenetic manipulation. You promote gene expression positively. That’s good epigenetic manipulation. The next step will be genetic manipulation. That scares me for the political and ethical reasons. Basically, that’s what you need to control and now we find a new approach but what you see at the end, that’s what you’re controlling, inflammation and glycemia. You control that, you got aging, that’s the base. That’s why diet, exercise, stress management, that’s what they work on at the end of the day, to control those two things.
Ari: Going back to weight loss peptides, first of all, just really quick, what is the name of the peptide that you were talking about, the glucagon analog?
Jean-François: Set glutamate.
Ari: Set? S-E-T or S-E-P?
Jean-François: Listen, I have a very bad night’s sleep. Let me Google it so I won’t make a mistake but if you Google-
Ari: Funny, you know how to synthesize it in a lab from scratch but–
Jean-François: Semaglutide because SET glutamate is another one. Not so good. Sema, S-E-M-A-G-L-U-T-I-D-E, Semaglutide.
Ari: It’s funny that you have the sophistication to be able to synthesize the peptide in a lab but you can’t remember the name of it.
Jean-François: That’s rare because I don’t have such a good memory. I’m not like some of those that remember articles and names all that, but I don’t feel bad about that. Once they asked Einstein, “What’s the speed of light?” He said, “Well, I don’t know.” Then he said, “Listen, why should I remember something that I can look up easily?”
Ari: That was pre-computer and internet day as well.
Jean-François: Yes. You may have a great memory. That’s what differentiates people who don’t see much. I think intelligence is not your capacity to recall things. It’s great. I wish I had photographic memories and all that, but you can have the best memory. I think, the intelligence it’s the way you make connections between what you remember.
Ari: Absolutely. Agreed.
Jean-François: That doesn’t occur that often.
Ari: Yes, agreed. As far as weight loss peptides, other than this one, it sounds like you’re not really a big fan of the effectiveness of other peptides. I know there are many people who talk about some of the growth hormone-secreting peptides as far as ipamorelin, tesamorelin, mod GRF, CJC 1295.
Jean-François: It will work in older people– and that goes for testosterone replacement therapies– because when they start using, they’re replacing something that’s not there anymore. What was there before was enough to maintain your body weight, your fat percentage, your muscle mass.
Now, you’re slowly losing testosterone, you’re slowly losing growth hormones, and the byproduct IGF1 and that. Slowly, you see in older people, they lose muscle mass, they increase their fat mass. They start just to supplement enough, that’s why they call it replacement. You don’t use more than what you used to make. That’s why when you do a replacement therapy, don’t look at the numbers of people your age as a standard because all those people are down too.
No, look at youthful level. What’s the levels for, let’s say, between 25 and 30? That’s the levels you should aim at because those are the youthful level. Those are the levels that maintain and gave you your optimal muscle mass and fat level. The one that, hopefully, at that time, you were not obese and all that. Let’s say you were healthy, doing some sports and all that. Those are the level.
You reach 40, 50, 60, those levels are way down, so yes, you get fat everything. You start to replace, you bring back those level to youthful, that’s going to come back. That’s why sometimes you are like, who’s taking it? The guy is 50, changed his life. Of course. Now, he’s at youthful levels, so all those things came back to when he was 30, let’s say. That’s why too they’re not great.
If you were an overweight person when you’re 30 and you over what you produce already, those may be declined because of many processes like our aromatization of testosterone, so you make more estrogen which decrease your testosterone active levels and all that. It’s not a good idea to supplement with testosterone even if it’s low because fat itself convert testosterone to estrogen. If you take testosterone, you’re just going to make more estrogen. Not a good idea.
You have to attend the problem to a different angle to begin with. You take a healthy person, healthy levels and then they say, oh. They see that study done on 50 and up people, they gain a bunch of muscle. If I take it, I’ll gain muscle. They try and they say, “No, it wasn’t that great.” See, it depends on why and what’s your condition to begin with.
In terms of supplement to enhance, so to say performance or capacity or health or everything, if you take those when your levels are basically good, it brings you to super physiological levels. That’s not a good idea because it’s like an engine. You rev up too high for too long, it’s not good for the engine. You deplete. You start to deplete other things, and that’s not good.
That’s why they’re not that great. They don’t work that good. Let’s say, you’re an athlete, you want to increase performance, you take those peptides, don’t count on that for things to happen. You won’t become Mr. Olympia only using peptides. Forget about it. They will help a little. Again, you’re revving up things. Is that good on the long term? I don’t think so. Just aim for optimal, youthful level. Within that normal range, aim for the upper third part of the range but still within the physiological levels.
Using peptides when you are older than 50
Ari: Would it be fair to summarize that, as far as the growth hormones, secretagogues, peptides are concerned, you would say that their primary benefit would be in more people who are above age 50?
Jean-François: Yes. The higher you go, the more you’re going to hear. I hear it from people. Lifesaver. Basically, they were going down big time, and all the way up, and fast, because suddenly– yes. Growth hormone, actually, it starts slowly to go down when you’re 30. It starts already. You won’t see a real effect. I would say even 40 for a growth hormone peptide supplementation, not too strong, not too big, but maybe around 40 would be a good age to start for healthy ageing purposes.
Ari: Are there any peptides that you think would be uniquely helpful for someone suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome?
Jean-François: That’s much more complex. That could be a whole other podcast. Therapeutically, with all the therapies, clinicians, I’ll call them, because many times they are doctors, other times they are naturopaths and all that, clinically what we have seen where multiple approaches are used, one approach that I would never go without now, it’s called mineral rebalancing. That’s why that would be another podcast. I’m not very versed in that, but a few years ago I did a study and I worked with some of the practitioners that do only that. It’s amazingly potent. Again, to make a long story short, let’s say you’re deficient in magnesium and magnesium is necessary to more than 300 enzymatic processes. Some of them are vital. That’s why you go to a hospital, magnesium level are low, it’s life threatening. Basically, they shoot you with magnesium IVs, but your body is missing magnesium, but the enzymes they’re life sustaining, they need to go. What will they do?
They will replace the magnesium by a heavy metal that is plus two. It will fit in the enzyme, but it’s not the atom. The enzymes won’t have the exact perfect shape to fit in the receptors or to participate in the reaction in that case. Sorry, not the receptor, but to fit in to have its activity. Instead of working at 100% it’s going to work at 40, 50, 60% of the enzymatic reaction.
Now you talk to me about chronic fatigue. I was asked, checking with people who suddenly feel chronic fatigue and I say, “When did it start?” They say, “Oh, it started a year ago.” They say, “Is it what I ate during that year?” I say, “Well, maybe you should look what you didn’t eat for the last 40 years or 30 years,” because that deficiency is builds up.
When you’re 20, you’re missing- if your diet miss already magnesium, then you are maybe deficient 10%, but deficient diet time over time, suddenly the deficiency is 20, is 30, is 40, and that’s replaced by a heavy metal. That’s why I believe forced detoxification is not good, because now you may be taking heavy metal that now- or life sustaining for you. It’s not the best thing, but it’s better than nothing. You don’t have enough magnesium. Sometime forced detox can be life threatening and you see it.
Sometimes people, they start to detox, they have a huge, bad reaction. Sometimes it’s because you start to eliminate too fast the toxins and all that, but sometimes it can be life threatening, because of that. What you do, and there is a science now that’s called– It’s not mineral supplementation, because they found ratios between- you can be deficient in magnesium not only because it’s lacking in your diet, but for example, because you have too much calcium or you can be deficient in Zinc, because you have too much copper.
There is a balance between all those minerals that is optimal. That science balances that and reestablish this. By establishing it, then your body senses it and you say, “Oh, I don’t need that heavy metal anymore, because now I have enough available magnesium.” The body start to release it. We’re equipped to detox naturally of it, slowly over a few weeks, few months, you’re going to detox naturally.
After a few weeks, a few months, you’re going to start to work better. Now turns out that a lot of the receptors for drugs, for hormones, for peptides have minerals part of their composition, and the same thing happened there. We found some therapies that worked miracles with some people and would do nothing for other. Then I started, it was in a group.
I started to send private messages and I asked them, what have you done? For chronic fatigue, lyme, and this and that. I ask them, what have you done in the past few months and few years before starting the peptides? The common point of the people who had good results was that at some point within a year before, they did some form of soft detox without knowing– Maybe not the perfect one, but some kind of remineralization, balancing, and elimination of heavy metal.
It’s a known fact, heavy metal toxicity blocks partially testosterone receptors and hormonal receptors. That’s a classic one, but if you have a fish in your house, that’s unhealthy. The first thing you look at is at the water, not at the fish. You have to look at those things first. Peptides are amazingly great, but they’re another tool. When you have something complex as chronic fatigue, don’t look to fix it with a peptide to begin with. First try to find why you have chronic fatigue. Then maybe yes, maybe no, maybe a peptide will be adequate for your case. Maybe not.
The best peptides for mitochondria
Ari: Okay. I agree completely with you. Let’s say we’re in the context of using peptides in some supplementary role. Are there ones that come to mind that you think would-
Jean-François: The mitochondrial peptides, MOTS-c and Humanin and necessarily when we could, for short few months we sold it.
Ari: How did those work?
Jean-François: Mitochondrial levels, different aspect, it’s not all known, but basically the– Okay. If you don’t have problems, it falls into that category that if you take it, it revs up your mitochondrias. You produce more ATP and like they go, “Hmm.” Gives you energy. It’s like, ‘Whoa.” Actually it’s not a good idea to do long-term, because you’re going to- something will happen. You cannot rev up like that and cannot be good for long-term. Actually, even in a case– Okay. [unintelligible 01:37:01] I’m a proponent of, let’s say you have headaches.
I will tell you, “Okay, let’s find out why you have a headache. What’s the cause?” Today you have the headaches. If it’s me, I’m going to take aspirins, believe me. Then I look why the headaches came up. Same thing with peptide. Okay, that may be not the cure to the why you have chronic fatigue, but it may help you to keep your head out of the water, at least, until you go deeper and find out why. MOTS-c would be the to-go peptide in that case.
Ari: Okay. Have you seen reports from people that that have used MOTS-c with chronic fatigue?
Jean-François: Oh, yes. It pulls them out of it most of the time.
Jean-François: Okay. Again, either you’re stuck taking MOTS-c all the time for the rest of your life, because it’s not going to cure it. It’s just going to pull you out, like an aspirin will help with the headache. If you’re a billionaire, you don’t care spending all that money on one peptide and shooting yourself every day and then the risk overuse and all that is not a problem, then yes, do it. That’s you and I don’t suggest it. Now I say, “Okay, you could use it for time.” At least you feel better and you are not harming yourself, but please look deeper into the causes of it and try to fix that.
Ari: I agree completely. Very, very interesting stuff. Okay. Maybe two more topics, if we can quickly touch on them. One is– Which one do I want to do first? Athletic performance endurance. Are you aware of any peptides that have a role to play there? I know there’s a–
Ari: MOTS-c again.
Jean-François: Yes. It’s on the ban list of WADA.
Ari: Okay. Got it. That works. There’s research reporting that it’s effective for giving endurance?
Jean-François: It’s on the list. No, studies proving, but it’s on the list.
Ari: You’ve seen lots of people who put–
Jean-François: Empirically, [unintelligible 01:39:28] athletes actually were the first who came up with, because there was no study done at all in term of, “Okay, what should be the dosage?” They’re the first one through the grapevine to release dosages. “You take that much.” I know at the time it was two or three years ago, Tour de France, they were all on it, but it tested already– Yes.
Ari: A lot of the athletes were on it.
Jean-François: Oh, yes. For endurance, look at Tour de France, they’re the champion at that, and champions at evading testing.
Ari: Okay. Do you have any specific concerns around– I know you’ve just alluded to this, but any specific things you’re concerned about with long term use of MOTS-c?
Jean-François: In high dosage, yes. You don’t want to rev up. Maybe– Okay. There is that one study that came out, and they found out that those centenarian in Okinawa, they have abnormal high levels for their age of MOTS-c.
Ari: Oh, interesting.
Jean-François: That’s why it’s believed to be an antiaging peptide, but again, that’s a discussion I had in other podcast about the bioregulators. It’s not the way they work. Epigenetically is I strongly believe that we barely know all they do. One study was done on this peptide with its effect on the heart or that’s a bio regulator for the liver. If you look deeper, then you find that some of those peptide even specific to an organ, they have effect on other organs. You know that, because for some reason, somebody study it. Me, my intuition is those bioregulators, they have much deeper effect that we don’t know about, because nobody studied it, but that help regulate all those overall processes.
I wouldn’t be surprised that if somebody one day decide to look at it, somehow, somewhere, those bioregulators, well, they regulate MOTS-c levels and Humanin levels and SS-31 levels and this and that, but that would call for so many studies that it seems that only Kevin said in Russia is- and there is so many he can do. That’s why for a while I would consider it, but truly with time, I’m talking years, because you’re talking of a long term effect. I could start an antiaging protocol with- including MOTS-c, a bit like BPC, maybe do 10 days every two, three months just to help regulate a bit to have that, what seems to be an antiaging effect. Slowly I would put more the weight of those effects on the sound bioregulator protocol, and a bit of BPC and TB.
Ari: That’s Epitalon and anything else in that category of bioregulators?
Jean-François: Well, as a base, as antiaging and healthy aging, that is proven. It was Epitalon and Timogen or the extract, Epithalamin and Thymalin. Those two as a base.
Jean-François: That’s it. Now, if you suspect by aridity– In my family, everybody had heart problems. Then there is a bioregulator for their heart. You say, “Well, chances are you have a little problem there. Throw in that heart bioregulator.” When you get older, there is bioregulator for the prostate and one for the testicle. Hey, why not throw that in? Then you can tweak with that too. You find out that in your family, nobody ever had heart problem. Chances are you won’t die of that. Don’t push it on that side, but on the other side, they had the diabetes problem. There is a peptide for the pancreas. Maybe throw that in in those yearly cycles. You can tweak with that a bit with your family history, your personal history, and try to influence that with those.
The best peptides for athletic performance
Ari: Got it. I have two more questions for you. One is on the other side of athletic performance, body composition. Any peptides uniquely effective for muscle gain? Then my last one is skin antiaging.
Jean-François: Oh. Okay. Fast.
Ari: You don’t have to go in-depth on muscle gain on muscle gain stuff.
Jean-François: No, no, exactly. Sport performance. BPC and TB, because they’re repairing. Okay. You train, you break down tissues. Then once it’s repaired, you build up, right. Well, it’s one of the [unintelligible 01:45:20] You can’t build muscle without breaking down, but that’s only part of it. You can build muscle by breaking it down, then it rebuilds. If you have that heavy training, then if you use BPC and TB, and that’s why it’s on the list of WADA too, that repairing part is shortened.
You can train more often. Hence, get more results faster. Hence, it’s muscle building in that sense. It’s not anabolic as a steroid would be, like in its actual protein synthesis increased, but in the repairing parts of the tissue and, yes, maybe a bit in the protein synthesis part in terms of rebuilding the tissue to build more [unintelligible 01:46:18] and Actin, because the muscle is bigger, so you have more of those. Actually, those two would be long term. They would be actually more potent than any growth hormone secreted, all that. y the way, one of the healing effect they found again last year, is that BPC increases the receptivity of the growth hormone receptors.
Jean-François: That’s one of the way it works. Growth hormone is repairing to an extent. With the same amount of growth hormone you produce, you take BPC. Suddenly, that growth hormone is more repairing. It’s part of the many angles of healing that is increased.
Ari: Excellent. Any other peptides worth mentioning as far as muscle gain?
Jean-François: Again, it’s more for older people you’ll see a drastic effect. Unless you take the [unintelligible 01:47:26] four times a day, and some they do. Then that’s going to bring your growth hormone levels to way over supraphysiological levels. You will get the muscle gain you would get from taking exogenous growth hormone.
Ari: Okay. Got it.
Jean-François: Again, that’s not that impressive, at the end of the day. Again, I’ve worked for many years with athletes, and I have not known one athlete driving only on, at the time, growth hormone. They tried it. It’s like, too expensive, not worth it.
Ari: Got it.
Jean-François: No big deal.
The best peptide for skin and antiaging
Ari: Okay. Last one is skin anti-aging any peptides good for that?
Jean-François: With or without copper. If it’s one Dr. Pickart that has over 20 years of research, is like the father of GHK. Khavinson in Russia once stated, “Oh, I wish I had discovered that peptide,” because it turns out enough, but always for a positive outcome, more than 4,000 genes.
Jean-François: It’s a very epigenitic peptide, three amino acid. It is a bioregulator, except it’s not called like that, because it’s not discovered by Khavinson who has a patent, I think for the name or the copyright. He said, “I wish I discovered it.” It’s amazingly potent antiaging, skin, collagen, everything, and it can be applied on the skin. Now, the thing is to work in many, not always, sometimes GHK three amino acid works by itself in some processes, but many times too it needs to be attached to a copper ion to work. Now, if you take GHK base, we’ll call it, and it needs copper, then it will find– Because studies has shown that empirically it’s not in vitro, but they see that happening. It will find copper in the albumin in your blood. It will bind passively. Just to see it and touch, it binds. Then you have GHK copper and circulation, and it’s going to be used up, such as. You don’t need to inject GHK-Cu, because it will become Cu for what you need. That’s a good thing, because injector, it’s very painful, because of the copper. Without the copper, it’s painless. If you apply it on the skin and it works, GHK will not find copper on your skin. You need to use with copper, so it’s attached, and apply it on the skin and you have all the skin like collagen with the increased production. Healing, because it’s healing small scars. Retinoic acid is for the skin, it’s great for wrinkles, and all that. If you compare GHK copper with retinoic acid, retinoic acid has that 60% of the effect of GHK with copper applied on the skin. It’s almost twice as potent for that purpose.
Ari: Wow. Amazing. Jean-François, thank you so much. This has been amazing.
Jean-François: You were asking at the beginning. I’ve been using it.
Ari: Ah, that’s why.
Jean-François: It’s one of those things.
Ari: You’ve lost weight from the glucagon analog peptide, and you’ve been using the GHK on your skin. That’s why you look younger. Well done.
Jean-François: Thank you.
Ari: In two years since I last saw you, you look 5 to 10 years younger. Amazing.
Jean-François: Well, again, something is working.
Ari: Yes. Awesome.
Jean-François: It would be interesting to do another podcast on what I do, only me. [unintelligible 01:51:51] peptides and others. I’m sure people would like that, because I’ve been in the field for actually beginning of the ’80s, and since then I’ve been taking, trying stuff. I have my own little protocols that are time-proved. If you feel that your crowd would be interested to know what I do, that’d be cool. I’m up to that. It won’t be only peptides. Sometimes, you got to be a bit scary and off the main roads.
Ari: I would absolutely love to do that. One big topic that we didn’t touch on at all is SARMs and some of the related compounds. They’re not technically SARMs.
Jean-François: We could talk about that too. Yes, sure.
Ari: Let’s do that. I’ll email you right after this and we’ll get it in the works. Jean-François, thank you so much for all the extra time. Spending twice the allotted time doing this interview, I really appreciate it. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom with my audience. As a final word, one thing I know that is important to touch on that I should probably ask you to say a few words on, is the importance of quality peptides. I’ll just say you can go online, you can do a Google search for how to buy peptides, and please be aware everybody listening, there are lots and lots and lots of websites that are trash, that are scam websites or that are selling Chinese peptides.
Jean-François: Straight up, you brought it up, Chinese. Listen, they mass produce. Basically, that’s what they do. Everything. You know that. That includes peptides. In the past, I wrote to companies just to test them. I knew they did, but you say, “I want a kilo of TB4.” Oh, they say, “Yes, we can synthesize it. We’ll have it in a month.” Well, that’s what it takes to synthesize TB4. It gets a big one as I told you, but they will synthesize one batch of Thymosin beta-4.
As by experience, there is a mass effect, it’s called. Where you have the– It’s not a synthesizer like those machines you see, the blue something. They’re microwave synthesizer, you have 99.9%. If those company tells you they use that to make the peptides they’re selling you, they’re lying, because those machines are amazingly good, but they can make only milligrams of peptides at the time. They cannot even make one gram. It’s 100, 200 milligrams. Now, you’re telling me you use that and you’re selling hundreds of vials. It doesn’t make sense.
It’s like if you tell me you have a restaurant and you’re selling 3,000 burgers per day and you have one cook. It’s something doesn’t work out. When they tell you they have that machine, they’re lying to you. No, they just took the picture off of internet, “Look at our machine.” No, they use reactors. I think there is that little video I made, you see the reactor.
Ari: I haven’t seen it.
Jean-François: You see that and it’s like, “What the fuck is [unintelligible 01:55:24] chemistry here?” It’s just bubbling in there. It looks weird. It doesn’t look like those machine. Anyway, it’s in a round ball and it’s brewing in there. Anyway, it’s a long process, but you block one side and you throw the amino acid. Then it cooks up. It’s a chemical reaction happening in there. You have all those chemical things after they get there. There is a mass effect where the bigger that ball is, the more you throw in, but then the sheer weight of the mass that’s on the upper level, a bit like pressure when you’re going to the ocean, creates a pressure on the lower part of the ball.
That increased pressure slows down or inhibit the right reactions. Basically, you lose quality right off the bat when you make huge quantities in one shot. We found, for example, BPC. As soon as we make more than 50 gram at the time, purity goes down. We limit, we stay there, and we make more, but China, they don’t care about that. They make one kilo, two kilo all in the same ball, filter, ship it out. Another aspect of it is when you buy a peptide, it’s not only the percentage of what you get that’s important.
A few years ago, I bought GHK from China. Not with copper, the pure one. Then we made it. You don’t see that, because it’s a few milligrams, and pretty much all companies they mix it up with mannitol, then it’s diluted with white excipient. If you look at the pure product, and we tested ours and theirs, they were about 98.7%. Sme percent, like good quality actually if you only look at a percentage. If you look at the powder, the Chinese one was yellowish, ours is crystal white. Now, let me ask you what’s in that 1% that makes theirs yellowish and not ours? It should be crystal white. Their is not.
What you should worry about is not that 99% purity, it’s that 1% impurity. What the fuck is in there that makes it not the right color? Now, we were not equipped to test for heavy metals and all that, but then there are studies and FDA report where they tested the peptides out of China, and actually they found bacterias in it. If you go on Kan Lab, just Kan Lab on Facebook, I wrote a short article with the article referring to that. If you look at the kinds of bacteria they found in the vial, it’s a bacteria that thrive in polluted water.
That tells you that they use not filtered, pure water. They use, I would say, tap water to get those bacterias in there. It’s when you start to look into that, it’s scary. I find it funny, because you go in groups and all that and they say, “Oh, I get from China and I get good results.” They buy the raws and they do all [unintelligible 01:59:20], and of course, it’s going to work. They get a high percentage, but they’re the same people that, for example, are anti-vaccine. Not the latest one, but anti the vaccines they give to kid. All because there is some aluminum in it. They get a minute amount of aluminum in it given. You think that one shot, one-time aluminum thing, that is nothing compared to the other [unintelligible 01:59:56] you put on there, you wrestle every day, that’s full of it, aluminum. You think that one shot made your child autist, but you don’t give a sht about taking a peptide every day for weeks and months coming out of China and you have no clue what’s in that 1%. Probably there is those heavy metals. It’s like, “Come on, give me a break.” The only reason you take it is because it’s cheap and you want to pay cheap. Well, you get cheap. That’s the end of it. Sorry, I’m little upset about that, because that’s what people do and then they complain we’re expensive and all that. Now we’re that expensive at all.
Ari: It’s critically important, especially when you’re talking about anything that’s being injected directly into the bloodstream. Any contaminants or bacteria–
Jean-François: You bypass all your defenses.
Ari: That’s right. It is critical if you’re going to inject anything into yourself to get it from a quality source. Having said that, and I hope you don’t mind me saying this, Jean-François, there are other reliable sources of peptides, there are high-quality sources. You can go through a doctor, you can get it through companies, legitimate companies. I think it’s called Tailor Made.
Jean-François: They used to be. I think they got some problem with the FDA. Actually, we got access to– It’s a bit their fault. Just warnings they got from the FDA. When you work in– It has to be GMP. You get regular visits from FDA people to inspect facilities and all that. Little things, but they go, they will find something. How you get, clean this or that should be done this way. They add warnings that they didn’t care much. They didn’t correct. One after the other, at one point the FDA, they say, “No, come on. You cannot do it anymore.”
Ari: Oh. They’re shut down now. Tailor Made no longer exist?
Jean-François: They exist, but now they make biological– No. They make peptides I think, in oral use as supplements. It doesn’t apply to the same strict FDA requirements. I’m not sure exactly what they do and don’t do anymore, but I know the compounding, most doctors now they don’t get from Tailor Made anymore. I think they’re very, very limited in what they can do, but they have other activities.
Ari: There are maybe a couple of other sources of peptides that are good. Then there’s– I don’t know if you want to mention them by name since you know more than I do, but– Then there’s–
Jean-François: I wish I could. When I was at the IPA conference, International Peptide Society, back in 2019, before when we could travel freely, there was a lot of– Well, Tailor Made was there and there was quite a few other component pharmacies. They all told me the same thing independently, that’s funny. That there was one supplier of raw peptides for all those companies. They were mad and looking for another supplier, and that’s why they approach us, Kan Lab, because they found out that main supplier was sourcing from China.
Ari: Oh, wow.
Jean-François: Okay. Now with the GMP certification from China, but that was good enough. Looking into it, yes, sure, it’s GMP China. They were pretty mad at them and they were actively looking for local, meaning North American source, and they approached us, but we are into research. We don’t want to become GMP, because that would call for too much government lookover.
Ari: It’s worth mentioning–
Jean-François: Which indirectly means- sorry- means big pharma entrance on long term for some stupid reason. Tailor Made, they shut you down, not for the real reason, but they come up with something.
Ari: It’s worth mentioning to be explicit. One question I wanted to ask you earlier.
Jean-François: Oh, if you want to know, research-grade is better quality than human-grade, by the way.
Ari: Okay, got it. One question I meant to ask you earlier is just if there’s all these compounds out there, this category of peptides that have all these amazing effects on our physiology, how come so many people haven’t heard of them before?
Jean-François: How come it took so long for people to hear about Bitcoins? It’s a menace. You say that in English. Menace.
Jean-François: Menace. I pronounced it in French. To the Bitcoin is a menace to the banking establishment. They know it exists. They’re going to talk it down or they just will not talk about it. Big pharma, they know very well about peptides. They know so well about it that they try to find way around patenting them, now they patent the applications. Eventually, they will have patents on those. They’re working really hard on that. At the same time, they tell you they don’t work, like Thymosin alpha 1. That was sold in pharmacy up to beginning of last year,. Coincidence, it’s found to be one of the best thing you could take for COVID, then FDA withdrawal its acceptation of it for human use and forbid compounding pharmacy to compound it. Coincidence? Do I need to say more?
Ari: No. I think that’s sufficient. Just one last comment on this. It’s worth mentioning that for people who are new to this topic, that this category of compounds is essentially gray market, you could say. It’s for research purposes only. CanLab, John-Francis’ company sells these products for research purposes only not for human use, because it’s this category- basically, legal category that if they were to sell them for human use, it would require a whole different legal regulation and oversight over what they’re doing. You can technically get a prescription from a doctor. There are doctors that work with peptides who specialize in this area. You can get a prescription and get it from various sources that way. I you prefer to do things that way, that is an option for you.
CanLab, John-Francis’ company, universally everyone swears by it. It is extremely good quality. I hope you can tell by his integrity and honesty during this podcast, he is an extremely high integrity person and he’s producing extremely high-quality stuff, and I can vouch for it personally. We will have a link to purchase from CanLab on our website in the show notes for this episode @theenergyblueprint.com/canlab, C-A-N-L-A-B. You can go through that link and maybe John-Francis will be nice enough to give our listeners a little discount if they want to purchase through that. We haven’t talked about that, but hopefully, he will.
Jean-François: Yes. Not a huge one like some other will do. Again, it is made there, we cannot match China at prices.
Ari: Just like 99% off the normal price. Just a small discount, 99% off.
Jean-François: It’s a bit more, but the other way around. Now, listen, it’s going to be reasonable for everybody.
Ari: Great. John-Francis, thank you so much. I really appreciate everything. Thank you so much for all the extra time and for sharing your wisdom.
Jean-François: Again, sorry I mentioned it, but I put it CanLab, C-A-N L-A-B on Facebook. I write, I’m not much of a writer, but key important things I put up there, like that study with it on the stability or little articles. There is a good one on GHK where I explain in details what I explained earlier, and I try key points that mostly correct misconceptions, I do on that page.
Ari: Okay. Wonderful. Thank you so much for all the extra time. Again, people can find the show notes in the–
The biggest myths about peptides (07:34)
The latest science on Epitalon (18:50)
The functions of TB4 and BPC-157 (30:55)
How to dose peptides (58:43)
Peptides for weight loss (1:08:15)
Using peptides when you are older than 50 (1:28:00)
The best peptides for mitochondria (1:36:02)
The best peptides for muscle gain (1:44:44)
The best peptide for skin and antiaging (1:48:18)