PAL-GHK is also known as palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and is a small copper-binding peptide made up of three amino acids linked to a palmitate molecule. GHK was first discovered in human plasma and was found to be in significantly higher concentrations in plasma from young people when compared to the elderly; linking the peptide to aging. The peptide has a wide range of biological functions and has been found to regulate a huge number of proteins in the human body, with many being linked to health-promoting abilities . PAL-GHK stimulated genes essentially reset cells to a healthier, younger state. GHK was shown to stimulate many DNA repair genes and increase the expression of 14 genes linked to antioxidant production . These genetic modifications are proposed to reduce the signs of aging and remove free radicals and toxic agents that cause age-related diseases. These genetic changes also activate tissue healing and this has been demonstrated in rodents and pigs, where GHK was shown to stimulate whole-body healing . When GHK was injected into rat muscle it caused rapid wound healing and this was also demonstrated in mice. In pigs, the peptide was able to heal surgical defects, even when injected at a location that was distant from the wound. The peptide can also heal bone fractures and this has been confirmed in rats . The PAL-GHK peptide also plays a major role in skin regeneration and can be used for cosmetic purposes, where it is marketed as copper-tripeptide 1. GHK can stimulate a number of structural molecules found in the skin, including collagen, dermatan sulphate, chondroitin sulphate, and decorin. In cosmetics, the peptide tightens skin and improves elasticity, skin density, and firmness, leading to a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. A number of studies have shown that creams containing GHK can significantly increase collagen production and that they improve skin clarity and appearance and increase skin density and thickness .
GHK has a half-life of around 1 hour following injection and has been administered in animals at doses of 0.5 mcg/kg, which equates to roughly 2 mcg/kg if scaled for human use. The suggested dose is therefore 1.5 mg per day injected either subcutaneously or intramuscularly for whole body effects. For localised skin regeneration and repair, the peptide can also be applied as a 2% or 4% gel by reconstituting with BAC water and mixing either hydroxypropyl methylcellulose or a standard moisturiser.
GHK has been widely used as a gel or cream in human studies for skin healing with no adverse effects . Since the GHK peptide is naturally present in human serum then it is likely that PAL-GHK can be administered at the recommended dose with minimal or no side effects.
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