Thymosin Beta 4 (TB-500) super thread + log! What?Where?When?Why?How?
The purpose of this super thread is twofolds; education and log. Its primary purpose is to educate the community regarding Thymosin Beta 4 (TB-500) and address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding it and peptides in the simplest fashion possible so that anyone can understand (If technical explanations etc are warranted I will offer that too but Id like to avoid overloading and confusing people so KISS principle applies here - keep it simple stupid). Its Secondary purpose is to post and document my own experiences and results including photos.
Ok, lets jump right in
Q1: What is a peptide? Vs a protein vs a drug?
Essentially a peptide is a compound that contains 2 or more amino acid monomers (simplest single amino acid building block) linked together in what is typically referred to as peptide bond. A peptide is usually less than 50 individual amino acid monomers whereas a Protein is generally a much larger and more complex 3 dimensional chain. Both peptides and proteins are bio organic compounds ie they are available within all living things and work on an intrinsically biological/cellular level. A drug on the other hand is a chemical compound that can have physiological effects but only because of its chemical influence (eg aspirin, nicotine, finasteride, dutasteride etc).
Q2: Are peptides used in current medical treatments? What are some common peptides?
Peptides have been around for a while and its popularity is ever more increasing in medicine. Some common peptide related products are insulin, somatostatin, cyclosporine, botox, peptide hormones eg vasopressin, growth hormone(somatotropin), prolactin etc.
Q3: I am beginning to understand what a peptide is and that it works at a biological/cellular level. But, are there any side effects with peptides since they appear to be "natural" products produced within our bodies?
Unfortunately, just like they can help us, they can also harm us. For example, if your body is producing excess somatostatin it can severely stunt your growth and also cause major gastrointestinal issues. If it is producing excess growth hormone then it can result in acromegaly, insulin resistance, joint issues etc.
It all comes down to what peptide, how much of it, where it is being targeted/introduced, any underlying conditions and the benefit vs risk profile as to whether a peptide/protein is worth it or not.
Q4. Ok then what is Thymosin Beta 4? What is TB-500?
Thymosin Beta 4 is a polypeptide from the thymosin group of peptides (43 amino monomers and that was ~50 peptides) that was originally thought to have been a Thymus organ hormone as it was first found and extracted from there in the 60's. Humans are found to have a few differing types of thymosin peptides and these include Thymosin alpha 1, Thymosin Beta 4/Y chromosome/10/15.
Thymosin Beta 4 is the thymosin peptide shown to promote protection, growth, repair, remodelling and healing. Studies have shown that it can promote migration of cells, formation of blood vessels, maturation of stem cells, activation of progenitor cells, survival of various cell types and lowering of the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Thymosin Beta 4 is the form that is naturally produced within the human body and obviously cant be bought.
The synthetic form of Thymosin Beta 4 that is synthesised and manufactured is called TB-500 ie this is what can be bought, injected etc. There is no difference in efficacy between the two.
Q5. This Thymosin Beta 4 obviously works for a wide range of conditions due to its inherent properties and as documented by numerous studies which is great. But, what evidence is there that it may work for hair growth/regrowth?
The research into its hair growth/regrowth potential isn't as substantial as some other aspects but it is clear that it does affect hair growth/regrowth and possibly the catagen/anagen cycles too.
Also note the contradiction presented by N Meier et al. ie that though TB4 elongates and grows hair it also can reduce the anagen phase (which if true may be counteracted by copper peptide and other products that prolong anagen phase if need be). The authors do note that further research is warranted and the limitations of their study.
Q6. What other peptides have been proven to grow/regrow hair?
The following have been shown to vastly affect hair regrowth:
1.Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1)
2.Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)
3.Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF)
4.Alpha fibroblast growth factor (aFGF)
5.Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
6.Platelet-Derived Growth Factor(PDGF)
7.Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF)
8.Macrophage Stimulating Protein(MSP)
Q7. If you already know the peptides that have been proven to regrow hair why haven't you come up with a formulation that includes a synergistic blend of them so we can grow hair!?
I tried but unfortunately not many people responded with anything concrete and my contacts required a substantially large order to bother producing the required peptides. From memory it worked out to approximately min 10-50g each. It would definitely work and it is no surprise that Histogen is having such success as it purportedly contains some of those factors such as KGF, VEGF and Follistatin but in minute quantities as opposed higher potency and dosage of my composition.
Yes I have run many peptides including TB-500. TB-500 has helped rapidly heal an injury I had and helps me recuperate from extreme gym workout very very quickly and whilst on it I have noticed thicker hair. Anecdotal reports from others also have reported thicker, denser hair with some specifically reporting hair regrowth as well as repigmentation.
Q9. Ok I want some but what quantity do I need? What concentration do they come in?
TB-500 comes in vials containing 2mg or 5mg of lyophilised powder.
I would recommend minimum of 4mg-10mg per week for the first month and then maintenance dose of 2mg per week eventually reducing to perhaps 4mg a month. If you are going to give this a go I would said youd want 12 vials (2mg each) or so. Remember its free shipping for those in the USA but factor in $25 for international purchases so make it worth the shipping fee)
Q10. What else do I need besides the TB-500 vials?
You will need the following:
- 1ml insulin syringes 29G or above. Needle length is upto you I typically just go for the 12.7mm needle length as it can be also used for other peptides and locations.
-A solvent and I prefer Bacteriostatic Water for all my peptide usage. However, given that 2mg vial will be used in 1 go and you won't really need to store any reconstituted amount around for a day or more then Sterile Injection Water will do too.
-Sterile Alcohol pads
Q11. How do I reconstitute the powder? What are the specific instructions?
1. Get the tops of your vial and bacteriostatic/sterile water vial off.
2. Using an alcohol pad, clean the top of both vials (tb-500 and water)
3. Using a new sterile insulin syringe, draw syringe full of air(1ml) and inject it into the bacteriostatic vial then withdraw 1ml of bacteriostatic water.
4. Inject this 1ml of bacteriostatic water into the side of the tb-500 vial. Dont force it and don't spray it onto the lyophilised powder but rather into side of the vial so that the powder merely dissolves into it.
5. You can repeat step 3 and 4 if you are going to dilute the powder using more than 1ml eg 2ml
6. Check to see that all powder has dissolved and gently roll vial to ensure it has all dissolved well. DO NOT SHAKE.
7. If you want to equalise the pressure inside the vial you can pierce it with your insulin syringe but with no plunger in it
8. Withdraw appropriate amount of the now dissolved tb-500 into your syringe, try and avoid any major bubbles by tapping side of syringe and adjusting plunger. Ready for injection. (You can use a brand new syringe if you want the needle to be sharp and use the one that you pierced the rubber tops of your vials with to simply fill/load the new syringe with)
Video examples to help you understand:
Similar concept though its for botox.
Q12. I am ready to inject! Now what do I do?
1. Using an alcohol pad clean the scalp area that will be injected.
2. Decide on whether you are going to inject straight in OR if you want to inject it at an angle into your dermis/skin? I would suggest that the skin/dermis might be best.
3. Imagine a grid pattern over the area and keep the injection points uniform and slightly apart.
4. Pierce the skin at a low angle and push the needle tip in only a little eg 20-30degrees from the scalp/2-3mm in and inject a small amount eg 4-6 units in each location.
5. As you are injecting you should feel resistance and you should notice the skin plump up and stay that way. This tells you that you are inject into the skin layer. But if you want to inject straight in you wont notice a lot of resistance.
Stem any bleeding with a tissue. You can clean the area with another alcohol pad if you want once you are all done. Most similar treatments recommend derma rolling post treatment but whether you do or don't is upto you.
You can check for some videos on youtube eg PRP Injection but most would be straight in injections rather than angled for dermal layer. You could also use a mesotheraphy gun to make it easier and quicker over a larger area or repeat treatments.
Q13. But what about a large treatment area? What is this I hear about a mesotheraphy gun?
Well you have three options if the treatment area in a single session is going to be large; a-manually injecting it yourself using above steps or b-using a mesotheraphy gun or c-using a mesotheraphy gun with a multi-injector plate.
A mesotheraphy gun or auto injector automates the process of piercing and injecting to minimise wastage, pain and bleeding whilst allowing rapid and accurate treatment. Add a multi-injector plate to it (typically available in linear or circular pattern) and you can now inject a whole area in one shot. Pricing can differ greatly and I have seen these anywhere from ~$500 upto $3000 for the gun and $100-$400 for multi-injector plates. With multi-injector plate keep the area that you are treating in mind as these are not typically adjustable/bendable and assumes a fairly level surface. Keys things to look for with a gun is build quality, depth control, volume control, total volume and speed control. Remember even with a gun you still have consumables eg mesotheraphy needles, alcohol pads, syringe+needles to load the gun etc.
Google it to see what they look like or youtube it if you want to see a videos of it.
Q14. I really need some guidance regarding injections? What types of injections are there? Are there spreading techniques to an injection? Any photos/videos to give me an idea?
Ok first off we need to establish the 3 most common injection techniques in medicine;intramuscular, subcutaneous and intradermal. What is the difference? The difference is how deep you are going to inject and therefore what you are planning to inject ie muscle? fat layer? dermis/epidermis? The length of the needle and angles used differ depending on the technique used.
Are there spreading techniques to an injection? Yes there are but for the purposes of scalp injection you dont need to worry about those. Those are more appropriate for dermal fillers etc and include linear, fanning etc. Again you dont need to worry about these.
Now what you are trying to do is referred to as intradermal injection. Considering the scalp is a thin layer you are only aiming for 2-3mm penetration and then injecting smaller quantities in each injection point in a grid pattern that you imagined from before.
Notice how close to the skin it is? Notice how little penetration is involved? Notice the angle of penetration? Notice the white plumpy nodule forming at injection point? That is basically what you are aiming for.
Check this video now which shows corticosteroid injections into scalp.
You'd want to go less deep than that depending on scalp area being treated but notice how little she is going in? notice that it plumps up underneath?
One of the best videos to show you what intradermal injection would be like is
(ignore Japanese language and fact that is forehead and not scalp)
Do you notice how shallow those injections are? Do you notice how it turns paler and plumps up? Great because thats how you would do your injections unless you are opting for deeper/easier injections.
1 tip that I have especially if you are nervous, worried and its your first time; practice on the skin of the under side of your arm. Just draw some saline water or bacteriostatic water and practice intradermal injections on the underside of your arm(2-3mm). This way its not your absolute first time and you have practiced injecting intradermally at a similar depth with similar thickness.
Thats it. You should now be empowered and ready to commence with your injections. Dont worry if you bleed a little or anything. You might be worried especially if its your first time but you will get better VERY quickly and it wont phase you.
Q15. Where can I purchase syringes, needles, water etc?
Q16. Can I avoid injecting this? Can I put it into a cream? Can I inject it somewhere else apart from my scalp? Would iontophoresis work so that I can avoid injections?
Noting the size of the molecule ie ~5k Dalton no. Injection is the only way that this would work effectively. Creams, lotions etc would render it useless as peptides are sensitive to temperature, ph, electrical and chemical variances.
No iontophoresis would not work either (neither will tretinion etc). The best documented result was shown on 2 patients using botox and even then it was only 70% as effective only on the highest voltage and even then only for 3 months. Whereas the injection was 100% effective and lasted 6 months. Keep in mind that botox is ~900 Dalton and TB-500 is ~5000 Dalton.
Remember the skin can only accommodate upto 500 Daltons and the higher the Daltons past that point the less likely it would be able to penetrate. In the case of botox which is only 900Daltons even with a dermal modifier ie iontophoresis it wasnt as effective nor as long lasting as an injection.
There was a study a while ago done using EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) which is ~6200Daltons using dermarollers. You could see that dermarolling the skin (~2.5-3mm) vs control did have an effect but nothing like the injection group. Some of the difference could have been because of the act of dermarolling itself and some could have been because of increased absorption.
Nothing but an injection will work effectively.
Yes you can inject it elsewhere eg Shoulder to help heal a shoulder injury quicker.
You can also inject it into your muscle intramuscular.
You can also inject it subcutaneously into the fat of your stomach area for a more systemic effect.
But if you want the most potent effect on your scalp then youd want to inject it there.
Q17. I am interested! But who should I avoid? Fakes?
The synthetic form of Thymosin Beta 4 ie TB-500 can be bought at various websites and from various peptide producers.
The ones I would not recommend using as some of their other products had been independently tested and shown to be bunk are:
Great White Peptides
Whenever you buy any peptide try 2 basic tests to atleast rule out the most common forms of bunk products.
1- taste a small amount on the tip of your tongue and if need be use a bit more and swish it around your mouth.
2- Get a pregnancy kit from your local pharmacy and test your peptide.
Lots of fake peptides are found to contain salt, mannitol and or HCG. Salt and mannitol you can taste ie salty or sweet. HCG would indicate pregnancy in your pregnancy test kit.
Simpler peptides ie cheaper to produce are less likely to be faked.
Also certain peptides have certain effects and if you are not getting it then the product is most likely bunk. You can also carry out some blood tests to see if the appropriate figures have changed sufficientl
Q18. Where Can I buy this from? Who do you recommend?
(If you appreciate my efforts and time taken to put all this together and keep helping you guys please try and use the referrer link. Either way, you are welcome to use the discount code)
I have also gone ahead and negotiated with the company to get you guys a further discount of any of their products.
Simply purchase using code for 10% discount: samiam
Extra bonus for TB-500 buy 5 get 1 free during checkout in comments note:
samiam; buy 5 get 1 free
So now you can go to the bulk section and buy 10mg(5vials x 2mg) of tb-500 which is at a cheaper price than buying 5 separate vials, apply samiam to get further 10% off and in comments write down samiam; buy 5 get 1 free and you will get an extra 2mg free. There is no limit ie if you buy 20mg(10vials) you get 4mg(2 vials) free, 30mg(15vials) you get 6mg(3vials) free and so on.
I have bought many products of them and never had an issue. I have also not read or heard of any issues on any other boards or amongst others that have used their products. They are fast and ship worldwide (yes including Australia, New Zealand, Germany and all other pedantic locations) and if you don't receive they will refund/reship. Shipping within USA free and shipping EXPRESS worldwide eg fedex/dhl $25. Paypal accepted.
They also test each batch of their products using HLPC and MS ensuring highly potent products and quality. They are produced in the USA(if that matters for you) and each product has test results published on their site and your specific batch will includes its analysis with it.