Do you know what peptides are and how they can help with hormone optimization?
Listen in as Dr. Tracy Gapin joins The Hormone Prescription Podcast to discuss peptide therapy for hormone and health optimization at midlife - for both men and women.
As we age, our hormones naturally decline. This can lead to a host of issues, including fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, and more. Peptide therapy can help optimize hormone levels, resulting in improved energy levels, better sleep, and a general feeling of well-being.
In this episode, you will learn:
- What peptides are and how they can help optimize hormone levels
- The benefits of peptide therapy for both men and women
- The best time to start peptide therapy
- How peptide therapy can help with weight loss, energy levels, and more
If you're interested in learning more about peptide therapy and how it can help you feel your best in midlife, tune in now!
[1:00] My guest today is a little unusual for a guest on this podcast. Why? Because he specializes in men's health. Well, Dr. Kyrin, you're thinking, why are you having a doctor who specialize in men's health? Because for most women, we've got men in our lives who are important to us and it matters, but also in many areas, there's a lot of overlap and he's gonna be talking about peptides and how they can be used to help with hormone balance and health optimization at midlife and beyond. And maybe we'll have a little guy talk to because what woman couldn't use to know more about the men in her life and how they function and how to help them.
[01:58] So Dr. Gapin is a board certified urologist world renowned health and performance expert, and the founder of the Gapin Institute for high performance health and the men's telehealth startup on Novi health, kind of like the counterpart to the hormone club. I think that's super cool. He's a thought leader, a professional speaker and the author of the bestselling books, male 2.0 and codes of longevity. His passion and purpose is providing fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and athletes, a personalized path to optimize health and performance. Welcome Dr. Gapin.
[03:15] Thanks so much appreciate being here.
[03:17] So super excited to get started. So you're an, a urologist by training, but you have evolved your training to provide a functional approach for men so that they can have high performance at midlife and beyond. And you've created, uh, telehealth startup too. So can you talk a little bit about your journey from mainstream corporate medicine to where you are now?
[03:41] So I am a board certified urologist, a men's health expert. Um, I was in traditional, if you will, Western medicine, forgs 25 plus years, including training. And I hit a wall. I got to a point where, um, I had some health issues that really, uh, changed my life. I was incredibly fatigued. I couldn't focus, couldn't sleep. I was about 30 pounds overweight and I knew something was wrong. And I went to see a, a local internal medicine doc here in town. And, uh, he ran some tests and, uh, the results were pretty terrible. And what really changed everything for me was he told me what I need to do was simply eat more vegetables. I need to lose some weight, exercise more. And if that doesn't work, maybe I'll be put on a statin, a prescription medication.
[04:29] And I left that day really confused because I knew I needed a lot more than that. And as a men's health expert, you would think that I would have the answers myself, but I didn't because I realized that at that point that we are failing, you know, traditional healthcare is all based on disease. We have disease care, crisis care, not healthcare. We are reactive simply waiting to treat illness or disease when it occurs rather than being proactive and intentional and, uh, focused on promoting health. And that's really what my book, Mel, 2.0 is all about, um, my sense for the gap Institute. That's what that's all about as well.
[05:21] And you know, it's interesting when I work with women, I come from OB GYN background, exclusively work with women when they get better than the next question is, well, where do I send my, the men in my life, my husband, my partner, my son, the men in my life. And so this is why one of the reasons why I thought it would be great to have Dr. Gin on the show is because this is where you send them. <laugh>. This is who you send them to, is the person who specializes in helping men.
[06:09] We would wear to a black tie dinner. And that was our reproductive capacity, our special superpower organs to make a baby in our hormones. But I learned from a functional approach that nothing could be further from the truth. And we really foundationally are very different. So I'm a fan of unique approach. Someone who specifically works with men and who knows them inside and out like Dr. Gapin and someone who knows women like I do. So that's my plug. But one of the things we're gonna focus on is peptides today. How did you become aware of the science of peptides and the power of peptides? What was that journey like?
[06:49] . I go see that doctor, you know, because of that experience. And so I think it's really important for the women in your audience to understand that, that you need to be advocates for your men because oftentimes men will not be proactive enough to take charge of their health and they'll simply wait for a problem. And typically that problem that will finally get them to see a doctor is issues with sex. And so don't wait for that to happen. Jump on it well before then, obviously. So that being said, um, <laugh>
[07:49] I did work with men at one point in the past decade, and you're I found that you're exactly right. You know, they wouldn't come cuz they're tired. They wouldn't come because they can't sleep, or they don't have their drive. But when they couldn't get an erection, <laugh> that they would say, you know, something's wrong. And I, I would really, but I would find a lot of them were still hesitant to even have that conversation with doctors. So how can the women who are listed, who are in my audience, whose partners are having difficulty with erectile dysfunction, even get their partners to talk to doctors about that, how do they do that?
[08:33] So I'm going to give you 20 seconds of science here that I think is important to understand how an erection has increased blood flow to penis. What causes that a molecular level is increased nitric oxide secretion from the blood vessels that cause Vasodilation and increased blood flow. What affects nitric oxide production while most notably insulin resistance, insulin resistance blocks, nitric oxide production. So that's the correlation between metabolic issues in your body, your nutrition, your stress, your sleep, et cetera, which has a dramatic effect on your sex life. And so women recognize that if there's an issue with ed in your man, it could potentially be a sign of major underlying health issues that need to be checked out.
[09:40] Yeah. Like heart disease, heart attack. So super important. I always tell them when something's wrong below the belt, there's really something wrong above the belt and that could kill you. So you need to investigate that. All right. So now back to the peptides, when did that get on your radar? Yeah.
[09:57] So when I recognize that our healthcare system is failing, that really sent me on a journey to learn, how can I really transform men's health? How can I reinvent the way we think about health and performance and longevity. And that's where I learned about functional medicine. I learned about epigenetics, which is, you know, the science of how our lifestyle and our genetics interact to affect our health, both good and bad. Um, I learned about hormone optimization and it's amazing that in medical school, in general surgery residency, in urology residency, I'm talking about 10 years of medical training before I actually went out there and hung my shingle up.
[10:44] And so I promise I'm getting to your peptide question and along my way here, you're fine. You know, when I think of health, I think of it like a high performance bicycle wheel. You have the hub and that hub can be energy, weight, sex, cognitive focus, whatever it may be. And you have spokes coming out of that wheel. And each of those spokes are vitally important aspects of your health that are directly impacting that core function. That may be things like insulin resistance. I just mentioned, which is how your body handles glucose. It may be what you're eating when you're eating.
[11:29] It may be how your body handles toxins. It may be your sleep. It may be your stress. It may be hormones. And I want to emphasize not just testosterone. You know, men are so focused on testosterone, which certainly is important and levels are plummeting worldwide. We could talk about but there are other hormones that are critically important in men as well. You know, we have growth hormones. We have D H E cortisol insulin melatonin, vitamin D. It goes on, tThere are probably 15 hormones that we care about. Those are all different spokes of the wheel. And so coming back to this concept of cellular medicine, it's a systems approach to health. And so how do we impact all of the, the systems in your human body to achieve that outcome? And that's where peptides come in. Peptides allow us to, to specifically address things like inflammation at the cellular level, specifically impact immune function.
[12:17] We use peptides for specifically musculoskeletal repair. All of these different functions are working at a cellular level to impact what we're trying to accomplish. And so that's really the, the beauty of peptide therapy is that it allows a very precision based approach to health mm-hmm <affirmative> and they're not drugs. They're not pharmaceuticals. You know, peptides are nothing more than chains of amino acids. They're short proteins, and they're signaling molecules that our bodies already recognize. You know, as we age our levels of certain peptides decline and what we're doing with peptide therapy is really helping our body to restore those levels. So I'll give you a great example here.
[13:09] And there's a process involved there. And so we can stimulate our bodies to increased production of growth hormone, and that's gonna be amazing for helping things like sleep. One of the biggest complaints I hear with high performing men and women who I work with is trouble with sleep. It can help with weight loss. It could help with energy, with mood. It could help with metabolism, exercise capacity on and on and on growth. Hormone is a critical hormone that is often ignored. And so that's where we can really look at peptides to have a very precision based approach.
[13:37] So thank you for explaining that. I know some people, when they first hear about this concept of peptides that could help, and they're, they're told, oh, well they're basically amino acid that change their proteins. They say, oh, I don't need all that. I'm justgoing toa take a protein supplement or amino acid supplement or a collagen supplement. And my body's going to know what to do with it. So I don't need these fancy targeted things. What, what do you say to that?
[14:05] So when you're taking, you know, collagen, when you're doing protein, you know, weigh or P protein, whatever, you know, yeah. You're getting amino acids, but, uh, I want to be clear, a peptide has to be a very specific sequence taken in the exact right way for it to be effective. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so you're really talking apples and oranges that there's really no comparison. And the beauty of peptides comes down to it's non-pharmaceutical it is asuddenly sudden molecule that your body recognizes. the, the side effects are, are typically negligible and again, at a cellular level, amazing potential benefits.
[14:42] Mm-hmm <affirmative> so they're non-pharmaceutical but some of them require a prescription. Why is
[14:47] So there are numerous ways of getting peptides. You can get peptides over, you know, direct to consumers from these companies that are, uh, completely unregulated. It is the wild west out there. When, when you're looking at these and I, I would say that any place where a consumer, a non-physician can go purchase peptides, I would be very wary of it because the oversight of, and the, and the quality assurance at those places is truly questionable. And so when I prescribe, and I use the word carefully there to prescribe peptides for my patients, they come from compounding pharmacies, pharmacies that have oversight. They have quality assurance. They have to, um, have certificates of authenticity and, and they get tested regularly to be sure that you're actually getting what you're supposed to be getting. Um, and that's where I think a lot of people run into trouble where when you go over the counter, uh, direct to consumer you, you just don't know what the heck you're getting and you get side effects or issues, complications, or it doesn't work. And then you, you, you think that it was the pep tie when in fact it was purely just the, the source.
[15:48] Okay. So it, they, you need a prescription because they come from a compounding pharmacy, but it's not regulated by the FDA, but if you get one from a compounding pharmacy, you know that you're working with an organization that is regulated itself, so you should be getting a good quality. Correct?
[16:03] You're spot on, correct there. That it is, you know, peptides, they're not FDA approved because to clarify this for the FDA to approve something, it has to actually undergo clinical trials through the FDA. And that's what pharmaceutical companies do when they develop a drug for that drug to be sold. It has to go through that process. You'll never get that process to be done for a peptide because it's a by definition, generic product, because it is simply a chain of amino acids that any compounding pharmacy with the right equipment can produce manufacturer. And so it is therefore by definition, generic and the, the millions of dollars that are needed to produce these massive prospective, double blinded clinical trials to get a drug clear through the FDA. It's it's impossible.
[16:54] And so that's why my program <laugh> my, my high level program is called N one performance health. And it's called N one, because everything we do is N of one medicine or N equals one medicine. And, and Kyrin, you, and I know what that means, but for the listeners, that means that everyone is uniquely different. And it's an individualized approach. Understanding, you know, at a cellular level, what things do, but that everyone's going to respond differently, and we have to really tailor individualized things. And so to that effect, a lot of the peptides we use are based on tons of science, don't get me wrong. We're not, we're not being cavalier. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, but they're not gonna, it's not possible for them to go through that FDA approval process.
[17:33] Yeah. Kind of like the bioidentical hormones <laugh>
[17:37] Everyone loves to say, oh, they're not FDA approved. Well, estrogen is, and testosterone is, but when they compound it in this unique preparation that nobody's going to do that study. Yeah. So you mentioned, you
[17:50] Know, a comparison, I'm sorry to interrupt you. A co a comparison I would make is to say, well, vitamin D's not FDA approved. Well, it it's vitamin D it's generic. It's like, it's, it's, you can't approve, like, no one's going to do studies. It's just, that it's a hormone that we need. Vitamin D is in fact, a hormone, not a vitamin that we need. And so you don't need FDA approval to know that it is needed and how it works
[18:11] Is a great point. Yeah. Sorry, D is not FDA approved. Right. All right. So you mentioned growth hormone, which I, I think is super important. What are some of your other peptides that you might use to have various effects? What are some of the most powerful ones that you see at midlife that would be, that are important for men that are also important for women?
[18:33] That's actually very important as well when it comes to certain recent illnesses that we may have experienced. Right. And so I love them and alpha for improving boosting immune function, both men and women, you know, there are, are actual recent studies that came out, supporting its use for certain, um, illnesses that have been around lately. I love thy and alpha for immune function. Thy and beta is, uh, closely related. Uh, it is incredible when it comes to musculoskeletal repair, we're looking at tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone. I just had elbow surgery and I am using thymus and beta for recovery for my elbow surgery, for example. So that's amazing. And again, boosting your body's ability to heal properly. This is not a pharmaceutical, again, it's a peptide with the, the amino acid sequences that are needed to, to achieve that specific outcome.
[19:52] And speaking of that recent illness that some people, a lot of us have had, I had it, you helped greatly. We were at a conference in, on the West Coast and one of our colleagues who didn't attend called us from Atlanta, and she was in a bad way, <laugh> having thinking she had to go to the emergency room, and you actually talked with her and got her hooked up with certain peptides to help her. Yeah. And I mean, unfortunately she had a more severe case, but I really think she credits the peptides as really helping her.
[20:27] Yeah. Yeah. I got sick, uh, way back in March 2020, when everything first started, I was one of the first ones to get super sick that second week of, of March. And I took a combination of four different peptides that I'm sure had a dramatic effect on my recovery.
[20:40] Do you want to mention the thymus and alpha and beta part of that?
[20:44] Yeah. So th ayin, um, alpha is a great again, immune function Pepi that I really recommend.
[20:50] Yeah. Okay. Great. All right. So boosting immune system function, what are some of the others that you would say, oh, wow, everybody needs this. Cause like for women over 40 or 50, I say, you know, we all need our estrogen progesterone testosterone.
[21:05] n. So someone specifically focused on reducing inflammation, um, in the gut oral BPC is fantastic. I've had several patients who initially came to see me with nothing more than serious irritable bowel symptoms. And a month later they're on BPC, and they're completely fine. And I'm like, Hey Mike, how you doing with your gut? He's like, what do you mean? I'm like your gut stuff. And he completely forgot he even had it. And it was so pretty amazing how BBC cleared that up pretty quickly. BBC subq injection is also great for musculoskeletal or joint inflammation. So when we're looking at inflammation in the joint arthritis, injury, surgical repair, that sort of thing as well. So I love B BPC for inflammation, but again, there's not a peptide that I would recommend that every single person needs to be on.
[22:25] So having said that some people listening are thinking, well, how do I know which ones I need? Is it by symptoms? So is it like a symptom And then you get, like you said, joint inflammation, and then I need BPC subq, or is it based on laboratory findings? How does, how does somebody know?
[22:45] I think the answer is you work with a professional who is experienced at assessing patients from a functional perspective, understanding what's needed and prescribing the appropriate peptides. I can't tell you how often I'll have both men and women come in the office here and Hey, I really want this. I really want D S I to sleep deep sleep inducing peptide. For example, I really need, I heard about, I read about D S I, I really want to have that one, or I really want Mo SC, which is this mitochondrial biogenesis, peptide, uh, this or that. And when I actually talk to them and dive deeper into understanding their health issues, challenges, goals, that's not all what they actually need. And so I would caution against any, you know, person out there with, without medical experience, trying to go out and buying your own peptides. Peptides are amazing, but they should be really used in the context of a much bigger, more, you know, uh, systems approach to health.
[23:32] I like to emphasize, you know, a foundation of, you know, emphasis on fixing and correcting issues with sleep and stress and detox and hormones and nutrition and movement and mindset and breathing, all that stuff I think is critically important. And there's a tendency to fall back into that pill for every ill approach, with disease model medicine, and try to apply that same approach with peptides. And that's not how it works. You know, this is again, part of a systems approach to health. It's understanding how all the inputs to our human system are ultimately affecting that outcome. And peptides are great, but think of them as the icing on top of the cake.
[24:10] Yes. Progress is impossible without change. And those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything from George Bernard Shaw. So really that's the hard work of health. Anyone can take a supplement, anyone can really follow any diet. Yeah. But doing the hard work of changing the way you're living your life. Has that been a factor for you in, in regaining your health? Did you find there were any thought or feeling patterns that you had to transform to optimize your health?
[25:14] Definitely. Yeah. Great question. So, you know, when I wrote my book, Mel, 2.0, you know, M a L E is actually an acronym for mindset, aging lifestyle and environment. And it's my system's approach to health. And it starts with M for mindset because until you fix that until you get your mind, uh, properly focused, you're never going to have success with everything else. And so I, I'm a huge advocate for mindfulness practices and uh, even meditation. That sort of stuff is wonderful. I also emphasize living with intention. And so every guy I work with, the first question I ask, one of the first questions I ask is what is your, why? Why are you doing this? And he'll say, well, I wanna lose 30 pounds. No, that that's. Excuse my language. You, you, you're not here cuz you wanna lose 30 pounds. What will that get you?
[26:01] And so if you only focus on these superficial things like weight loss, without focusing on the real, why then we're never gonna be successful. And so focusing on what is your why to me is really paramount. And then the next step is getting rid of limiting beliefs. And so like you were just alluding to most men have these thoughts that I'm too old to change. I'm set in my ways I can't change. This is how it is or the best one. I don't have time. I don't have time nonsense. That's nonsense. You don't have time. It's all about how do you schedule your day? What is your priorities? Again, it comes back to the three words that I emphasize living with intention.
[26:45] Yeah. I don't have time as code word first. I don't see the value in it. Really? Yes,
[26:51] We all get the same 24 hours in a day. We all have the same amount of time. You know, it's interesting. We were talking the other day with this specific group of women we're talking with now, uh, about blue zones and how one of the, the characteristics of the Arians in those communities was that they all had a life purpose that they could articulate. They had a why they had a why for why they do everything and what was important. And they lived with intention. So I had have given everyone the challenge to share their life purpose, be able to articulate it, everybody listening. I'm gonna invite you to do that too. Cuz you, you heard it also from Dr. Gin, that it's important. And you mentioned that your wife is amazing. I have to ask you about that. Cuz I know there's some women who are saying, oh, I want my husband to say that about me. What makes you say that about her?
[27:46] You know, I had a, I had a childhood with, with no real strong father figure. And so now for, for me, it's all about how can I be present and engaged with my family and, and give them what they need. And at the same time, I couldn't do that without my wife who is incredibly supportive and nurturing and loving and um, you know, we're a team and, and that's, you know, it should be easy. You know, one of my colleagues here, he's out there in the dating world, which I, I couldn't imagine being there again, but I gave him the, the guidance that it should be easy.
[28:24] . There's be times where, where you disagree with things, but it should still always be easy. And you're always in alignment, always in the same page. So I love the fact that we are a team. She's my best friend. And, and actually when I was filling out your form, I, I had to give you three quotes and the first two were easy. I say 'em every day and the throw one, like I need to throw a quote and, and she's Sarah sitting next to me. My wife's amazing. Yeah she is. And so I wrote that. So <laugh>,
[28:49] I love that. Well, let's share the other two too. You said, I believe there's nothing more than important than the quality of your life. And that starts and ends with your health. I couldn't agree more. And you also said you don't get today back, so make it count. Do you wanna say any more about all of these?
[29:06] Yeah. So the, the second one there, my brother-in-law John, he was this larger than life guy who everyone loved everywhere. He went, he was everyone's best friend and uh, loved him. He died of a heart attack at the age of 49 way too young. And we found out after the fact that he, although he looked like he was healthy, he was actually in fairly poor health for a while, but we never would've known, you know, what was striking about John was almost every day I saw him. He would say to me, Tracy, you don't get today. Back, make a count. He was that kind of positive, powerful person in my life. And when he passed at a very young age, it made that, that comment that he would always say that much more powerful and it still resonates with me today. Yeah. So that's that quote you don't get today back.
[29:51] So make account mm-hmm <affirmative> and then the, the first one, you know, I feel that we have a short time on this earth and we need to live life to its fullest and reach our full potential and to experience that you have to make your health, your top priority. And so often people don't. So often people are, again, back to the mindset part, not viewing it properly and not placing the emphasis where it needs to be. And so I believe that the quality of your life is important and you should be allowed to, and you should expect to have fun and enjoy life. But if you're not healthy, if you're not, well, you could never do that. So you gotta take care of that first. So that's what that's about.
[30:28] I could not agree more. And everybody listening, Dr. Gin is doing a wonderful little masterclass with women in my program. So as soon as we jump off the podcast interview, they're gonna get to have a private Q and a with him and really pick his brain about the men in their life and, um, how to help them to be their healthiest, which I think is super important. Like you mentioned earlier, women are the healthcare decision makers in their family. So it's, you know, I hate to say it, but we, we have a big responsibility to make sure that the men in our lives are getting what they made fair or not fair. It just is what it is. So we're gonna have chats about that as well, as more in depth on peptides and how the, we can get the icing on our cake with our health. So we'll be diving into that. Dr. Gapin, I keep saying it incorrectly. I apologize. How can people find out more? Where can they send the men in their lives? What resources, um, do you have for everybody?
[31:26] Sure thing. Yeah. So, um, my website is Dr. Tracy Gapin.com and, um, I have a couple free gifts if your audience would be interested,
[31:34] Please, if you wanna tell 'em about it, that's great. Absolutely. We will have links in the show notes, but feel free to talk about it. Yeah,
[31:40] So since we're talking about peptides, um, if you'll check out, um, my website for my center, which is gap institute.com, um, there, you can get a copy of my ultimate peptide guide, which will dive a lot deeper specifically into what we talked about today, Karen, about peptides and, and all the different peptides that we use that you could check out, uh, download from the site. But I'll also share the listeners if you wanted, uh, text health to 2 6, 7, 8, 6, and I'll put that number in the chat 2, 6, 7, 8, 6, uh, text the word health. What you'll get from there is a free copy of my secrets to high performance health guide. Cool. We'll also get a complimentary digital copy of my book mail 2.0, which I published, um, bestselling book a couple years ago. And if your men would like to get a, a complimentary discovery call with my team to understand how we can help them. Um, they're welcome to do that as well with the link that will be provided.
[32:35] Awesome. So they would use the text link.
[32:37] They'll be given a link. Exactly. That's right.
[32:39] Oh, okay. When they go there. Okay,
[32:40] Great. Yeah. Yeah. The text health is 2 7, 8, 6.
[32:43] Thank you for those amazing resources. I hope you continue to think that your wife is amazing and that she thinks the same of you. I love that. You know, I, I think that every great relationship is founded on great health. So congratulations to both of you for doing, doing the work <laugh> and thank you for sharing, um, your wisdom and your journey with us. Thank you for sharing your passion for peptides and for root cause resolution medicine and health, and any last word you'd like to leave everyone with or any take action challenges.
[33:16] Yeah. I'm gonna give y'all one simple thing that everyone can do starting today that will actually make a amazing impact on your life. You may not even realize it, but how you breathe has a direct effect on performance, how you breathe, affects tissue oxygenation, which affects your brain, affects your ability to lose weight, your ability to build muscle, your exercise capacity and so on. And so I want you to think about breathing through your nose. One simple single change that you can make starting today right now is close your mouth. And I mean that in the most loving way possible break
[33:53] So true. So yes, continue to breathe through your nose as much as possible. Thank you so much Dr. Gapin for joining us today.
[34:02] And thank you all for joining us for another episode of the hormone prescription podcast with Dr. Kyrin. Hopefully you have learned something today that has inspired you, or maybe it's challenged you something that you're going to take action on. Don't let this just be information that goes in one ear and out the other, but ask yourself, how are you going to start to use this information to make changes in your life. Sometimes small steps lead to powerful impact. So I challenge you to do something different today, and I will talk to you next week when we'll have more hormone, fun and games until then peace, love and hormones. Y'all thank you so much for listening.
Get a copy of Dr. Gapin’s 10 Secrets to High-Performance Health, a digital copy of his book, and a free discovery call with his team.
Text Health to 26786
You may also visit his website:
Join The Hormone Bliss Challenge
FEEL ENERGIZED, SEXY & CONFIDENT IN YOUR BODY AGAIN... IN JUST 5 DAYS.
Discover How To Balance Your Hormones & Jumpstart Your Metabolism So That You Can Lose Weight & Regain Energy!