The Next Fountain-of-Youth Craze? Peptide Injections
As influencers share stories of physiological transformations, more people are seeking out experimental treatments: ‘If I can be a superhero and function at my absolute optimum, why wouldn’t I?’
After decades of turning to diet pills, steroids and plastic surgery to alter their bodies inside and out, people are increasingly open to an alternative method: injecting themselves with peptides at home.
Proponents say that peptides—a broad category of substances including FDA-approved drugs, supplements and experimental treatments—can help them build lean muscle, shed weight, increase energy and get a dewy glow. Though the term has appeared on a range of consumer products for years, injectable peptides are getting more attention as celebrity doctors and influencers share stories of physiological transformations that go beyond diet and exercise.
These substances are being prescribed to patients by doctors as well as paramedical providers such as nurses and naturopaths, even though several in-demand peptides are not approved by regulators. The lack of oversight has raised concerns about the purity of ingredients, improper dosing and unknown side effects. But advocates say they’re comfortable with any risks.
“I remember filling up my first syringe, and I was thinking, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe I’m gonna do this,’” said actor Brian Austin Green. Despite his fear of needles, he started taking peptide injections in 2021, when he was a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” under the guidance of William Seeds, an orthopedic surgeon.
Soon, he was taking three injections every morning for several months. He said that even with the show’s physical demands and grueling rehearsal schedule, “I so didn’t feel my age.”
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