Next in our Peptide Series, we take a look at a different peptide called Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide or VIP. It is used to treat a large number of conditions. Like other peptides, it can provide a novel remedy to chronic health issues. It is especially good for immunity and fighting inflammation. Please read on for the details!
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A peptide is a small protein, made up of a chain of amino acids. We have recently written many blogs about peptides. Click on the links to see our articles on peptide therapy, HGH, CJC 1295/Ipamorelin, BPC 157, PT 141 and Ta1.
What Is VIP?
VIP is more complex than some of the other peptides we have looked at before. It is a neuropeptide, or a protein produced by neurons or nerve cells. VIP modulates neurons and is a neurotransmitter. A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger transmitting messages between nerve cells and nerve cells and muscles.
VIP, as a peptide, is a chain of 28 amino acids (Iwasaki M, 2019).
- It is involved in different organ systems: the gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, endocrine, and central and peripheral nervous systems (Iwasaki M, 2019). It has widespread effects on these organ systems and this has made it challenging to clearly analyze (Iwasaki M, 2019).
- It is an immune regulator (Delgado M, 2013), an anti-inflammatory and is involved in the regulation of carcinogenesis, the immune response and circadian rhythms (Iwasaki M, 2019).
- It is a vasodilator; it opens (dilates) blood vessels allowing blood to flow more easily (Walsh JH, 1994). It regulates smooth muscle activity, epithelial cell (skin cells) secretion and blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract (Walsh JH, 1994).
What can VIP do?
Many of the benefits of VIP are related to its anti-inflammatory properties. Excessive uncontrolled inflammation can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death (Delgado M, 2013). VIP affects immune responses and inflammation (Delgado M, 2013).
- VIP is anti-inflammatory and induces immune tolerance (Sanlioglu AD, 2012). For this reason, VIP is an emerging therapy for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, uveoretinitis and type 1 diabetes (Sanlioglu AD, 2012). It has been tested in clinical trials of obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary hypertension, sepsis and migraine (Sanlioglu AD, 2012).
- Treatment with VIP decreases symptom frequency and severity in various diseases; sepsis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, respiratory inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, RA and other autoimmune diseases (Delgado M, 2013). It also helps with a number of other conditions; diarrhea, IBD, Crohn’s disease, sarcoidosis and cancers (Iwasaki M, 2019).
What are the Applications of VIP?
- The Immune System
- Food Allergies
- Gut Health
- Mold Illness
- Neurodegenerative Disorders
- Asthma & Respiratory Conditions
Using VIP as a Solution
Despite all of the benefits of VIP, making a version of VIP to take as a supplement or medication is a challenge (Iwasaki M, 2019). It is unstable and quickly degrades. This limits how much VIP gets into the body and how much is absorbed (Iwasaki M, 2019). It also needs to be very targeted as to where it goes in the body. Making a stable VIP with targeted delivery is needed and research is being done to figure out how to do this and get the benefits of VIP (Iwasaki M, 2019).
Does VIP have Side Effects?
Clinical trials show VIP to be well-tolerated (Sanlioglu AD, 2012). It can occasionally have minor side effects in patients (Sanlioglu AD, 2012). It is taken via a nasal spray. The nasal spray method increases how much VIP enters the brain (Cui X, 2013). The VIP nasal preparation can cause minor irritation, but in one study, this resolved spontaneously within a week at the end of treatment (Cui X, 2013). Research concludes that VIP can be delivered successfully to the brain using the intranasal spray (Cui X, 2013).
It is very important to work with an experienced Functional Medicine practitioner when taking VIP or any other peptides. Our clinic has extensive experience with peptides and can help you with VIP or other peptides.
** Please stay tuned for our next blog on Peptide Therapy **
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