Unregulated peptides are the latest weight loss and energy-boosting fad. What’s the science?

After decades of turning to diet pills, steroids and plastic surgery to alter the body, inside and out, people are increasingly receptive to another approach: injecting themselves with peptides at home.

Proponents say peptides — a broad class of substances that includes FDA-approved drugs, supplements and experimental treatments — can help them build muscle, lose weight, boost energy and look radiant. While the term has popped up on a range of consumer products for years, injectable peptides are gaining traction as celebrity doctors and influencers share stories of physiological transformations that go beyond diet and exercise.

These substances are prescribed to patients by doctors and paramedical providers such as nurses and naturopathic physicians, although several popular peptides have not been approved by regulators. The lack of oversight has raised concerns about ingredient purity, improper dosing and unknown side effects. But advocates say they are comfortable with any risks.

Ms Sherrill said some clients were still uneasy about in-home injections. But in the past two years, she has seen an increase in interest, especially with Ozempic, an injectable type 2 diabetes drug, gaining popularity among people looking to lose weight.

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