GHK-Cu Peptide Guide – Effects, Dosage, Side Effects

GHK-Cu is one solid hack for all your skin/cosmetic problems because of its natural ability to induce collagen synthesis and its potent wound-healing properties. Tune in to know more about GHK-Cu!

As much as gymming and workouts are absolutely important to keep your physical health intact, so is your skin health which needs to be cared for. 

Environmental triggers, as well as prolonged sun exposure due to whatever reasons, may compromise the health of your skin, and it may trigger skin/cosmetic damage that can be beyond repair. 

This is where peptides like GHK-Cu step in and protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun, thus ensuring to give you healthy and wrinkle-free skin that is reflective of your inner strength.

GHK-Cu is primarily an anti-aging peptide that is able to enhance collagen production, which is not only beneficial for the skin but also for quicker wound healing and other bodily functions. 

Stay with me through the end to explore GHK-Cu fully and decide for yourself if it’s the right pick for you! 

Warning: The content on Muscleandbrawn.com and the information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws. We frequently mention research chemicals that are not made for human consumption. Therefore, before purchasing any product for personal use, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first.

Key Takeaways: 

  1. GHK-Cu stimulates collagen production, and helps in tightening the sagged skin, and gives you extremely regenerated skin.
  2. GHK-Cu also possesses anti-oxidant properties that protect your skin from the environmental damage. 
  3. This tri-peptide also offers some wound-healing properties to give you an edge in your fitness/bodybuilding career. 
  4. BioTech peptides is one of the premium places to get this peptide from! 

What is GHK-Cu?

GHK is a naturally occurring tri-peptide that consists of the amino acids glycine, histidine, and lysine. It was first isolated from albumin and is said to have a strong affinity for copper which is why it is usually referred to as GHK-Cu. (1

GHK-Cu is present within the collagen and is released whenever the tissue undergoes damage. It can also be found in bodily fluids such as plasma, saliva, and urine.

How does GHK-Cu work?

GHK-Cu peptide mainly works to protect and regenerate the skin, and it does this by various mechanisms that we will go through one at a time. Other than the skin, its pleiotropic effects can also be seen in lung injuries and wound-healing actions. 

GHK-Cu has the ability to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycans, which are essential components of the connective tissue, and thus help in the tightening of sagging skin. (2

Alongside its regenerative properties, it is also involved in the activity of metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of proteins in the extracellular matrix. This action prevents the buildup of damaged proteins which can potentially affect the smooth outer appearance of the facial skin. (3

GHK-Cu increases the expressions of integrins and p63, which are responsible for stimulating the growth of epidermal basal cells. This peptide also modulates the effect of skin fibroblasts, which alongside the epidermal cells, are necessary for the process of skin regeneration. (4

Fig 1. Effects of GHK-Cu on the expression of growth factors by the fibroblasts 

Furthermore, GHK-Cu employs its wound-healing properties through a series of mechanisms. A study done on rabbits deduces that this peptide not only increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes but also stimulates blood vessel growth in wounded skin areas. (5

After infusing the wounded area with adequate blood supply, GHK-Cu stimulates nerve outgrowth through an increased production of neurotrophic factors. This action sensitizes the healed skin and ensures that its sensory abilities are not affected. (6)  

Free radicals produced by the UV rays of the sun are responsible for causing lipid peroxidation and consequently damaging the skin. GHK-Cu inactivates these free radicals, thereby exerting its anti-oxidant effects. (7

Research has shown that GHK-Cu protects the lungs of mice from induced acute lung injury by inhibiting the entry of inflammatory cells into the lungs. It also restored the functions of lung fibroblasts. (8

Fig 2. Effects of GHK-Cu in mitigating the severity of acute lung injury in mice 

A lesser-known but extremely beneficial effect of GHK-Cu is its suppression of fibrinogen, which is a molecule that forms blood clots in vessels of the body. (9

Benefits of GHK-Cu

Now that we have a basic understanding of the mode of action of GHK-Cu, it will be much easier to understand its benefits.

Due to its ability to modify collagen synthesis, GHK-Cu is able to exercise many anti-aging effects on the skin, which are by far the most recognized. These include the tightening of loose skin and improvement of skin laxity, firmness, and clarity. 

It is able to reduce fine lines and depth of wrinkles and also increases hair growth and thickness by stimulating the growth of epidermal basal cells. (10

GHK-u can also work as an antioxidant, thereby protecting the skin from the harmful UV radiation of the sun. Sun damage may also include hyperpigmentation, photo damage, and skin spots, which can be reduced by the use of this peptide.

One major complication of sun damage is characterized by dry, scaly patches of the skin, known as actinic keratoses. In such conditions, GHK-Cu is able to hydrate dry skin and protect it from further damage.

The stimulation of blood vessels and nerve growth makes it extremely beneficial for wound healing purposes, which may include small cuts and bruises. GHK-Cu also smoothens the skin, which enhances its overall outer appearance and gives you an evergreen look. (11

Fig 3. GHK-Cu’s potential as an anti-aging peptide 

By altering the functions of the pulmonary fibroblast, GHK-Cu can alleviate the damage in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and restore the elasticity of the lung.

GHK-Cu can also highly benefit patients with cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting the production of fibrinogen and, thereby formation of any blood clot, which may subsequently cause a myocardial infarction. 

Is GHK-Cu Legal?

The use of GHK-Cu in cosmetic surgeries and other skin-related conditions has yielded exceptional results. 

Its effects, however, are still being studied through various research, which is why GHK-Cu has not been approved by the FDA as of yet.

Who should use GHK-Cu?

GHK-Cu is highly recommended for people who are looking for younger and healthy skin. Not only does it reduce wrinkles in aging skin, but it also improves skin tone.  

Its rapid wound-healing properties allow it to be used by people who frequently get cuts or bruises on their skin and want to achieve smoother, scar-free skin. 

Moreover, due to its hydrating properties, it can also be used for skin conditions like actinic keratoses, which have been reported to progress to skin cancer if not treated in time. (12)

Even though there is less data to support its efficacy in patients with COPD and cardiovascular diseases, some data has shown reduced levels of a blood clots and improved elasticity of the lung connective tissue – and hence can be used by people who are diagnosed with either of these conditions. 

Forms of GHK-Cu

GHK-Cu is one of the few peptides that is available in many different forms. Since it is most commonly used for skin conditions, topical and cream forms are the most popular.

It is also available as an injectable and in the form of serum.

How To Use GHK-Cu

Honestly, It is fairly simple to use the GHK-Cu peptide. The cream or the foam can be applied directly on clean skin wherever its effects are required. It can also be injected subcutaneously for the same reason.

For its hair regenerative properties, it can be administered transdermally.  

GHK-Cu Dosage

Facial creams of GHK-Cu are frequently available in concentrations of 0.05%. The same is the case with topical foam, which is provided alongside a 50mL foaming applicator. 

The recommended dosage for subcutaneous injection is 0.2 ml per day and is available in the form of a 5 mL vial. 

It is important to note that GHK-Cu is safe over a wide range of dosages, and its lethal dose is very high. 

To know more about dosage and cycling guidelines, view the peptide chart exclusively on Muscle and Brawn!

GHK-Cu Cycling

The subcutaneous and transdermal injections of GHK-Cu can be safely administered up to once a day. It is, however, recommended to see a healthcare professional before continuing long-term use since the cycling periods may vary from one condition to another.

The cycling for topical cream and foams is relatively flexible and can be used 1-2 times a day.

GHK-Cu Stacks

GHK-Cu is often stacked with other peptides that have similar regenerative and wound-healing functions for optimal effects.

These peptides include BPC-157, TB-500, Ipamorelin, and Tesamorelin sometimes. This combination specifically aims at bodybuilders who might want to recover quickly following an injury and desire improved overall health. 

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GHK-Cu User Reviews

Time to enter the real world and dig into some real insights on Reddit shared about GHK-Cu! 

One of the users said, 

β€œGHK-CU is probably my favorite peptide. 2mg a day is my normal protocol. This peptide will break up scar tissue and stretch marks. Will remove wrinkles and overall improve skin health and elasticity. Does wonder for hair growth will even fill in bald spots and make your other hair more dense. This peptide repaired my lungs. If you are a smoker or had lung damage from covid or a pneumonia this is a perfect medicine.

I have experimented with 12mg a day for one month. (4mg 3 times a day) Was able to regrow bald spots on my head. Repaired my lungs and breathing became much easier. My skin looked great reduced the size of several scars and stretch marks.”

Another one commented about stacking, 

β€œI’ve been taking GHK-Cu, BPC-157, and TB500 over the past month and feel a lot better. Can’t comment on which did what but I definitely feel healthier. Less inflammation, skin has cleared up, less redness, less acne and acne scars, skin is firmer. My ligaments feel sturdier. Always had bum ankles from spraining them in football and track. I dosed the GHK-Cu at around 2-3mg per day.”

Honestly, it seems like people are satisfied with GHK-Cu usage. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence can’t really replace the scientific data, and surely more research is needed on GHK-Cu before giving it a full green signal! 

GHK-Cu Side Effects

Some users have mentioned that administration of GHK-Cu via injection may cause discomfort and cramping at the site of entry, which may be painful for some time. 

GHK-Cu has also been reported to lower blood pressure and thus should be carefully administered. 

Other milder side effects include headache, dizziness, fatigue, and redness around the injection site. It is also important to note that none of these effects are long-term complications. 

Where Can I Buy GHK-Cu?

It is extremely important to pick an authentic vendor for your peptides, and there is no better online store for peptides than BioTech Peptides, for sure! 

GHK-Cu by BioTech Peptides 

BioTech offers multiple variants of this peptide ranging from the basic variant to the modified ones. 

You can find GHK Basic (50mg), GHK Basic (Tripeptide-1) (200mg), GHK-Cu (50mg and 200mg), and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 GHK (200mg), depending on what you really want to use. 

All of these GHK variants will cost you anywhere between $47 to $199. 

You may think that’s pretty expensive, but with the premium quality of the peptides, I personally think it’s reasonable. 

BioTech peptides are at the top, with 99% product purity. They also offer 5%-10% discounts for customer retention depending on your purchase.

  • 99% pure and authentic 
  • Same-day shipping policy 
  • Excellent customer reviews 
  • Relatively expensive 

GHK-Cu vs. Other Peptides

GHK-Cu vs. BPC-157

Both these peptides accelerate wound healing and thus are often stacked together.

One main difference between the two is the site of action, where their effects are mostly localized. BPC-157 exerts most of its healing properties on the gut epithelium, while GHK-Cu is mostly used for dermal injuries. 

GHK-Cu vs. TB-500

TB-500 is another peptide that is frequently stacked with GHK-Cu because of the similar anti-aging and wound-healing properties. 

The only difference between them pertains to their site of origin. While GHK-Cu is naturally found in many bodily fluids and as well as collagen, TB-500 is an entirely synthetic peptide.

Is GHK-Cu Legit?

The effects of GHK-Cu are widespread throughout the body. From anti-aging and wound healing properties to the prevention of the growth of cancerous cells, it really is an effective peptide.

While it is true that the existing research exploring this peptide’s benefits are few and more studies on human subjects are required, the present data and user reviews are sufficient to establish its efficacy and potency. 

Its ability to modulate collagen and elastin synthesis makes it beneficial for different skin conditions, and with just a few side effects to consider, this might be a safe peptide for anyone looking forward to incorporating it into their daily routine! 

Does GHK-Cu activate stem cells?

Western blot and slide culture experiments showed that GHK increased the expression of integrin by keratinocytes. All these results showed that GHK increased the stemness and proliferative potential of epidermal basal cells, which is associated with increased expression of integrin.

What does GHK copper peptide do?

It stimulates blood vessel and nerve outgrowth, increases collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycan synthesis, as well as supports the function of dermal fibroblasts

Is copper peptide a DHT blocker?

Copper peptides are often found in anti-aging skin care products because they promote the production of collagen and elastin in your skin. However, they can also encourage hair growth and prevent hair loss by blocking the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

How long do copper peptides take to work?

The good news is that there aren’t any known ingredients that can’t be paired with copper peptides. Apply it twice daily for best resultsβ€”it will provide protection during the day and repair skin overnight.

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1. Pickart, L., Freedman, J. H., Loker, W. J., Peisach, J., Perkins, C., Stenkamp, R. E., & Weinstein, B. (1980). Growth-modulating plasma tripeptide may function by facilitating copper uptake into cells. Nature, 288(5792), 715–717. https://doi.org/10.1038/288715a0
2. SimΓ©on, A., Wegrowski, Y., Bontemps, Y., & Maquart, F. (2000). Expression of Glycosaminoglycans and Small Proteoglycans in Wounds: Modulation by the Tripeptide–Copper Complex Glycyl-L-Histidyl-L-Lysine-Cu2+. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 115(6), 962–968. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1747.2000.00166.x
3. SimΓ©on, A., Monier, F., Emonard, H., Gillery, P., Birembaut, P., Hornebeck, W., & Maquart, F. (1999). Expression and Activation of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Wounds: Modulation by the Tripeptide–Copper Complex Glycyl-L-Histidyl-L-Lysine-Cu2+. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 112(6), 957–964. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1747.1999.00606.x
4. Kang, Y., Choi, H., Na, J. I., Huh, C., Kim, M., Youn, S. W., Kim, K., & Park, K. (2009). Copper–GHK increases integrin expression and p63 positivity by keratinocytes. Archives of Dermatological Research, 301(4), 301–306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-009-0942-x
5. Cangul, I. T., Gul, N. Y., Topal, A., & Yilmaz, R. (2006). Evaluation of the effects of topical tripeptide-copper complex and zinc oxide on open-wound healing in rabbits. Veterinary Dermatology, 17(6), 417–423. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3164.2006.00551.x
6. Sensenbrenner, M., Jaros, G. G., Moonen, G., & Meyer, B. J. (1980). Effect of conditioned media on nerve cell differentiation. Experientia, 36(6), 660–662. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01970123
7. CebriΓ‘n, J., Messeguer, A., Facino, R. M., & AntΓ³n, J. M. G. (2005). New anti-RNS and -RCS products for cosmetic treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 27(5), 271–278. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2005.00279.x
8. Campbell, J. D., McDonough, J. H., Zeskind, J. E., Hackett, T., Pechkovsky, D. V., Brandsma, C., Suzuki, M., Gosselink, J. V., Liu, G., Alekseyev, Y. O., Xiao, J., Zhang, X., Hayashi, S., Cooper, J. D., Timens, W., Postma, D. S., Knight, D. A., Lenburg, M. E., Hogg, J., & Spira, A. (2012). A gene expression signature of emphysema-related lung destruction and its reversal by the tripeptide GHK. Genome Medicine, 4(8), 67. https://doi.org/10.1186/gm367
9. Heinrich, J., Balleisen, L., Schulte, H. D., Assmann, G., & Van De Loo, J. (1994). Fibrinogen and factor VII in the prediction of coronary risk. Results from the PROCAM study in healthy men. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, 14(1), 54–59. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.atv.14.1.54
10. Pasyukova, E. G., & Vaiserman, A. (2017). HDAC inhibitors: A new promising drug class in anti-aging research. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 166, 6–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2017.08.008
11. Pickart, L. (2008). The human tri-peptide GHK and tissue remodeling. Journal of Biomaterials Science-Polymer Edition, 19(8), 969–988. https://doi.org/10.1163/156856208784909435
12. Website, N. (2021, November 18). Actinic keratoses (solar keratoses). nhs.uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/actinic-keratoses/#:~:text=Actinic%20keratoses%20(also%20called%20solar,further%20damage%20to%20your%20skin.)

Contributors

Kumar Rathi

Kumar Rathi | Writer

Kartik is a medical student with a passion for anatomy and physiology. He writes research papers, articles and blogs to raise awareness and also has a strong interest in teaching and public speaking. Aspiring to be a successful cardiologist, Kartik believes in connecting with people on a personal level and is an expert in peptides.

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Elizabeth
Elizabeth
9 months ago

Hi good morning. Can you take topical and SQ GHK-Cu at the same time? If so, is there a recommended dosing regimen?

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

I would first ask why we would planning this

gary stuart
gary stuart
8 months ago

I ordered GHK, not GHK-CU…any notable differences in dosing protocols, benefits, etc..?

Kim
Kim
7 months ago

Has there been any research or trials using GHK-cu with people having a spinal cord injury. Do the stem cells replicated include nerve cells?

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Not that I am aware of, no

Marty
Marty
5 months ago

Would you suggest topical GHK-Cu for treating acne scarring & for hair loss over the subQ injections?

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  Marty

It could have benefits, yes

Alesia
Alesia
2 months ago

Hi,
If I have a 50mg vial. How much water do I add? Where number to I pull my syringe to? I heard it stings. Is there a way to make it hurt less?

Chemical Structure

Mechanism of Action

GHK-Cu is a tri-peptide which is commonly found in bodily fluids such as the serum, saliva and urine. It is mainly an anti-aging peptide which brings about changes in the body by regulating the production of both collagen and elastin. This consequently reduces wrinkles, improves skin tone and hydrates the skin. Furthermore, this peptide has been considered extremely beneficial due its ability to regenerate nerves and blood vessels which allows for quicker wound healing. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which makes it specifically beneficial as a protective agent against sun damage.

Class of Compound

Peptide

Street Names

GHK-Cu, GHK-Copper, Copper tri-peptide

Effects

Anti-aging , Promotes wound healing , Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

Side Effects and Dangers

Hypotension , Headache , Cramping at site of injection

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