Happy New Year, and welcome to The Morning Dose, your one-stop shop for all things peptides, TRT, fitness, anti-aging, and everything in between.
We’ve got a great newsletter for you today, featuring some fascinating peptides, new sleep research, how to break through Ozempic plateaus, and the questions you need to ask when choosing a new TRT provider.
In this week’s edition of The Morning Dose:
💉 Peptide Spotlight: Epithalon
🤔 What to Do When Ozempic Stops Working
⚠️ The Scary Consequences of Losing Sleep in Your Thirties and Forties
📋 How to Screen a New TRT Provider
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☕️ First time reading? I’m Matt, and this is The Morning Dose. Every week, our team scours hundreds of sources to bring you need-to-know news and insights you won’t find elsewhere. All in 5 minutes.
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💉 Peptide Spotlight: Epithalon
For this week’s peptide spotlight, we’re going to take a closer look at Epithalon, an anti-aging peptide that works at the cellular level.
Here’s how it works.
Each strand of our DNA is covered in telomeres, which help protect our DNA and ensure optimal cellular health and longevity. Our bodies naturally produce an enzyme called telomerase in the pineal gland, which promotes telomere growth and reproduction.
As we age, our natural production of telomerase declines, and we begin to age at the cellular level as our DNA’s telomere population begins to decline.
Epithalon stimulates the pineal gland to produce more telomerase, which helps keep our cells young and healthy.
Human clinical studies have shown that Epithalon treatment significantly reduces the risk of developing age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and heart disease. Epithalon also extended the lifespan of mice in rodent trials.
This may not be a peptide you’ll feel or notice right away, but one that works as a powerful anti-aging tool.
It’s not FDA-approved for human use yet, but you can purchase Epithalon for research use from companies like Biotech peptides.
To learn more and read our complete breakdown, check out our guide to Epithalon right here.
🤔 What to Do When Ozempic Stops Working
We’ve written over and over about the many benefits of GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic, and by now, Ozempic seems to be a household brand name, with many celebrities and influencers touting the benefits of weight loss peptides.
While weight loss peptides are the most powerful weight loss tool we have, by far, at a certain point they may stop working.
First, you need to understand that one of the primary reasons weight loss peptides work so well is appetite regulation. They may have impacts on digestion and blood sugar as well, but most users report virtually no appetite and physical difficulty over-eating.
This creates a calorie deficit, where the body burns more energy (measured in calories) than it takes in. When this happens, your body has to get that energy from somewhere else and will begin to burn stored fat for fuel.
As you lose weight, your energy output gets lower and lower, due to a lower body weight and metabolic changes that happen as a response to dieting.
This means that even if your appetite is controlled, you’re eventually going to reach a bodyweight where things stall because your food intake matches your energy output, and you need to adjust.
Ozempic helps get you to this point, but it’s not a magic peptide that can override the rules of human metabolism and energy balance.
Many report that weight loss plateaus after about a year on peptides…
Unless you make other changes.
And THAT is key–you need to focus on healthy nutrition and exercise, not peptides alone.
Regular exercise is essential, as it provides cardiovascular benefits, builds muscle, improves your balance, and of course, helps you burn more calories.
You may also need to track your calorie intake for a while. Peptides make you eat less, but if you’re choosing high-calorie foods, even small quantities may stop weight loss.
If your physician has prescribed weight loss peptides and you’ve stalled, more peptides probably aren’t the answer. Instead, this is a good time to do an honest assessment of your nutrition and exercise habits, and make changes if necessary.
Peptides like Ozempic can help you lose weight, but you still need to build the proper habits, rather than relying on a peptide to do all the work for you.
⚠️ Research Corner: The Scary Consequences of Losing Sleep in Your Thirties and Forties
You probably know that proper sleep is critical for cognitive function, health, energy, and so much more.
However, many of us tend to kick this can down the road. When life gets busy, we often stop prioritizing sleep, promising that we’ll make it a bigger priority in the future.
A new study shows that this may be quite dangerous for your long-term cognitive function.
According to the study, published in the Journal of American Neurology, those who experienced regular sleep disruptions in their 30s and 40s were more likely to experience cognitive issues later in life.
The study looked at 526 participants, using wrist trackers to get detailed sleep information. They measured sleep interruptions, movements, tossing and turning, and time spent in deep sleep.
The average age of the participants was 40, and the researchers followed up 10 years later.
They found that in those who experienced regular sleep interruptions, cognitive function was significantly impaired 10 years later.
We typically think of neurodegenerative disease as something that strikes much later in life, but this study suggests that the problems can start even if you’re only in your 30s and 40s.
Now, the obvious limitation is that we don’t know these people were sleeping during that 10-year waiting period. But if they’re anything like most of us, sleep patterns don’t change, so it’s safe to assume they continued to experience sleep disruptions.
Our takeaway? If you have sleep challenges, fix them ASAP.
There’s no point in waiting, and assuming you’ll fix your sleep “someday” is a dangerous game.
Build better sleep habits, like avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, sleeping in a cool, dark room, and avoiding electronics.
These small things may not seem like a big deal, and if you’re young, you may think you have plenty of time… but the sooner you address poor sleep habits, the better off your cognitive health will be for decades to come.
📋 How to Screen a New TRT Provider
When it comes to TRT, not all providers are created equal. Not even close.
We’re huge fans of the providers at Fountain TRT, who provide top-notch care for both TRT and GLP-1 patients.
However, Fountain isn’t available in every state just yet, and we have readers from all around the world who also don’t have access to Fountain.
We’ve reviewed several other online TRT clinics here, but there are hundreds of options to choose from, ranging from online clinics to local men’s health clinics that perform in-office injections.
Before you choose a TRT clinic, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
We’ve heard too many horror stories of men who experienced health concerns from cookie-cutter protocols given to every single patient by a given clinic, and we want to help you avoid this.
You need to find a doctor who will treat you as an individual, carefully assessing your individual history, lab work, and symptoms, and then monitor your ongoing progress and adjust when needed.
Finding a doctor who fits this criteria can be challenging, so to help you out, here are some screening questions we recommend asking in your initial consultation.
What are your thoughts on aromatase inhibitors?
Aromatase inhibitors may be needed in some cases, but more often than not, crashing your estrogen unnecessarily can do more harm than you realize. Estrogen is essential, even in men, and it’s normal for estrogen levels to increase as testosterone levels increase.
That’s not to say you don’t need an aromatase inhibitor, but this needs to be on a case-by-case basis. If your doctor’s “protocol” includes a mandatory aromatase inhibitor, run far away.
Do you prescribe medications to help maintain fertility, like HCG or Kisspeptin?
If you’re starting TRT at a younger age, fertility is a very real concern. There’s no guarantee that TRT will completely shut you down, as countless men have had children while on TRT.
However, there’s also no guarantee that you’ll be able to restore fertility if you do decide to come off TRT and try for children.
Using peptides like HCG or Kisspeptin can help maintain testicular function while on TRT, which may make it easier to restore a healthy reproductive system if you come off TRT. Be sure to ask your doctor if they’re able to help with this, if you’re concerned about fertility.
How do you figure out how much testosterone to prescribe?
If your clinic has a standard protocol, avoid them at all costs. Many clinics start every man on the same dose, but it’s not uncommon to need far less, or far more, than the average person.
A good doctor will start you on a dose they feel is appropriate and perform regular bloodwork to carefully monitor your levels. You don’t want your testosterone to be too low or too high, so find a doctor who will help you dial in your proper dosage.
Can I perform my own injections (if needed) or do I have to come to the office?
If you’re working with an in-person clinic, make sure they’ll let you perform your own injections, if you’re not using pellets or cream. Many clinics insist on you returning for a weekly injection–inconvenience aside, many men don’t like the peaks and valleys that come from weekly injections, and prefer smaller injections spread over the week.
How can I reach you if I have a question?
For the online clinic folks, make sure you can easily reach your doctor if you have questions or concerns. I once hired a doctor to help me dial in my levels, and his consultation fee was $150 per hour. After our initial hour-long appointment, he limited each follow-up to 5 minutes or less (for the same cost) and when I had questions, I was only allowed to send emails that were then answered by an assistant.
Needless to say, he’s no longer my provider.
During your initial discussions and research, be sure to ask how follow-ups work and make sure you can reach your doctor with questions.
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-The Morning Dose
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Disclaimer: This content is NOT medical advice. The information included in these emails is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only.