If you’ve ever embarked on a journey to lose weight, you know just how challenging it can be to meet your goals, especially when using traditional methods. A lack of timely results can be particularly disheartening for those trying to prevent the serious medical conditions that may occur due to obesity, such as heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, kidney failure, certain types of cancer, and mental health disorders. Don’t let the pressure of what’s at stake and past unsuccessful attempts to lose weight get you down. Hope can be found in the functional medicine approach!

Functional medicine practitioners always start by finding the root cause of any issue, including the inability to lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight. Then, the root cause is addressed by implementing lifestyle strategies related to nutrition, movement, sleep, stress, and detoxification. Finally, if you still need an extra boost, there are other innovative therapies that can be discussed. When it comes to weight loss, the most effective and exciting of these is the use of peptides.

What Are Peptides? 

Peptides are biological molecules found in all living organisms. They are chains of 50 amino acids or fewer, versus proteins which are made up of 100 amino acids or more. Your body uses peptides as signaling agents and they play essential roles within your system related to weight loss, growth, metabolism, digestion, energy, healing, immune health, and cognitive function, just to name a few. There are more than 7,000 naturally occurring peptides and each has its own precise, specific function. Over 500 of them have already been proven to have therapeutic benefits.

How Can Peptide Therapy Be Used for Weight Loss and Body Composition? 

Although everyone produces peptides, this production declines with age. That’s why peptide therapy can be useful. It supplements your natural peptides so your body can continue to function as it was designed to. Because each type of peptide has a different job, it’s easy to pinpoint and target which ones need to be increased to signal your desired bodily changes.

As much as this may sound like a science fiction movie, don’t forget that it’s natural. The process of administering peptide therapy is also very simple. Depending on the peptides, they may be administered via injections, nasal sprays, oral capsules, or transdermal creams. Keep reading for more information about four specific peptides that are used most often for weight loss and body composition, as well as other issues.


This synthetic chain of 30 amino acids releases growth hormone and boosts protein synthesis. Due to this, CJC-1295 has been shown to increase fat loss, muscle growth, cellular repair and regeneration, bone density, collagen production, cognitive function, and memory retention. This peptide also promotes deep sleep, which further enhances muscle growth and repair, mental clarity, and helps you have enough energy to work toward your weight loss goals when you’re awake. This peptide can be particularly useful for people who are more focused on becoming stronger and trading fat for lean muscle than they are on the number the scale shows.

Here’s some of what this peptide combats:

  • Excess body fat
  • Signs of aging
  • Poor sleep


This peptide is composed of five amino acids and emulates natural growth hormone release. It works by inhibiting another peptide called somatostatin, which is responsible for regulating multiple aspects of your system, including that growth hormone release. Some equate inhibiting somatostatin to “taking the breaks off” growth hormone production. Why would you want that? Well, people have been injecting themselves with artificial growth hormone for years to optimize their body composition. Ipamorelin does this naturally and studies have shown that this type of peptide therapy has resulted in accelerated fat loss. It helps that ipamorelin does not come with the side effect of increased hunger, which can’t be said for all peptides, and it has a number of other health benefits.

Here’s some of what this peptide combats:

  • Excess body fat
  • Poor sleep
  • Low energy
  • Signs of aging
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings


This peptide consisting of 15 amino acids is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the mucosal barrier in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that protects tissues from the harmful actions of gastric acid, bile, and other digestive compounds. In functional medicine, the immense impact of the gut on the rest of the body is discussed often. If there is dysfunction in your gut, that most certainly can stand in the way of weight loss. The good news is that BPC-157 can help treat even some of the most serious GI issues, including GERD, IBS, leaky gut, ulcers, and Crohn’s disease. Beyond the gut, clinical testing has shown that this peptide can accelerate the healing of other ailments and wounds by increasing blood flow to damaged areas and reducing pain.

Here’s some of what this peptide combats:

  • Gut dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone injuries
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Oxidative stress
  • Depression
  • Negative side effects from prescriptions and other medications


You may have already heard of this peptide as its ability to help control blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes has made it newsworthy. This chain of 31 amino acids works by mimicking the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which is a natural hormone the body releases after eating. GLP-1 targets the parts of the brain that are in charge of regulating food intake and appetite. This means not only can it help with blood sugar levels, but also weight loss.

The results that have been seen thus far are so impressive that even the National Institute of Health has recognized semaglutide as a possible supplemental therapy for obesity. In June of 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the semaglutide injection Wegovy as a new treatment for chronic weight management. In one study from The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of American Medical Association, participants who took semaglutide injections weekly lost an average of almost 15% of their body weight after 15 months while the placebo group lost just a little over 2%. However, it is important to note that both groups from this study combined their semaglutide therapy with lifestyle changes.

Here’s some of what this peptide combats:

  • Obesity
  • Chronic weight management issues
  • Overactive appetitive
  • Strong cravings
  • Diabetes
  • Other blood sugar imbalances
  • High blood pressure

Is Wegovy or Ozempic the Solution You’ve Been Searching For?

Despite the acclaim of Wegovy, and a similar injection named Ozempic, compounded semaglutide may be a better treatment option for you. This is because compounded semaglutide can be titrated in very specific incremental doses to avoid side effects. It can also be combined with other peptides, like BPC-157, and nutrients, such as B6 or B12, to enhance results.

What Are the Side Effects and Other Drawbacks? 

Because your body already produces and uses peptides, it knows how to break down and recycle them, so they carry very few side effects. The most common reactions to peptide injections are site erythema and pruritus, and peripheral edema. Basically, you might temporarily be a little itchy, red, swollen, or uncomfortable after getting a shot. Also, certain peptide protocols may carry a low risk for lunula of the nails temporarily turning blue, headaches, anxiety, and mood swings.

When it comes to semaglutide therapies like Wegovy and Ozempic, some people experience nausea and diarrhea, but even these tend to clear up over time as your body gets used to the treatment. However, although semaglutide has a very safe track record so far, we have to anticipate that more potential issues may arise as research continues. Being that it slows down digestion and decreases appetite, one possible consequence that could reveal itself is nutrient deficiencies. That’s why it’s essential to monitor micronutrient levels when on this therapy.

Now, a lot of general practitioners don’t go the extra mile after prescribing peptide therapy, like monitoring your levels and helping you implement lifestyle changes. Due to the newness of these treatments, it’s crucial to work with doctors who are trained to administer peptide therapy. It’s also wise to seek the help of a functional medicine practitioner specifically. This is because the very best results are seen when peptides are paired with a hands-on approach that optimizes your overall health.

How Do You Start Losing Weight with Peptide Therapy? 

There is no magic pill or injection that results in weight loss overnight. However, there are health professionals who are willing to work with you so you can achieve your desired outcome, as well as holistic wellness. If you’re ready to get started, check out the GrassRoots Adaptation Programs. We run comprehensive tests on our patients to determine the root causes of their struggles, then we create personalized peptide protocols and nutrition plans for each individual.

You don’t have to keep trying the same old weight loss strategies that have never worked for you over and over again. It’s time to get innovative so you can have the life you want and deserve. Book your free discovery call with our enrollment team to find out if the GrassRoots Adaptation Programs could be the right fit for you.

About the Author: Dr. Seth Osgood is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) Certified Practitioner. Dr. Osgood received his post-graduate training in Functional Medicine through the IFM and from working with Dr. Amy Myers. He has helped people from around the world improve their health utilizing a Functional Medicine approach.