Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a peptide hormone of 28 amino acids. It is found in the intestines, pancreas, and central nervous system. It is involved in various important bodily functions such as heart contraction, blood circulation, energy production, blood pressure regulation, and smooth muscle relaxation.
Overall Health Benefits
- Lowers risk of heart disease [1-6]
- Promotes healthy lungs [7-12]
- Promotes wound healing [13-17]
- Regulates blood pressure [18-20]
- Promotes a healthy digestive system [21-24]
- Prevents cancer [25-28]
- Boosts immunity [29-31]
- Improves mental health [32-33]
Proven Health Benefits
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Numerous studies support the beneficial effects of VIP on the cardiovascular system:
- A study showed that VIP is important for maintaining normal blood flow to the heart. 
- In patients with heart failure (HF) due to dilated cardiomyopathy, increased VIP levels in the blood were associated with restoration of blood flow. 
- A study showed that low concentration of VIP was associated with a higher risk of coronary disease. 
- In mouse models, injection of VIP reduced injury from myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) and decreased the number and size of plaques caused by atherosclerosis. 
- A study reported that combined administration of VIP and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) protected against heart disease. 
- In patients with HF, decreased concentration of VIP led to worsening of symptoms while increased levels improved blood flow to the heart. 
Promotes Healthy Lungs
VIP has also been shown to exert beneficial effects on lung health:
- A study found that VIP can help improve lung function and protect against pulmonary disorders. 
- In patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis (lung inflammation and scarring), VIP inhalation through nebulizer produced anti-inflammatory effects. 
- A study found that VIP-based agents can be used in the treatment of various pulmonary diseases. 
- A review of several studies presented the potential role of inhaled VIP as an alternative drug for lung disease. 
- A study showed that VIP’s anti-inflammatory effects could play a role in treating asthma, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 
- A study reported that VIP decreased cell injury induced by high oxygen levels, which in turn reduced the progression of lung impairment. 
Promotes Wound Healing
Studies also support the regenerative properties of VIP:
- In human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC), VIP produced protective effects against cell damage and promoted wound recovery. 
- In rabbits, VIP injection accelerated the healing of alkali-induced corneal burns. 
- In mice, VIP-coated wound dressings were effective in promoting wound healing by stimulating tissue and blood vessel growth. 
- In diabetic mice, VIP boosted wound healing by regulating inflammation and nerve regeneration. 
- In mice, VIP treatment has been shown to increase the survival rate of the transplanted cornea. 
Regulates Blood Pressure
Evidence also suggests that VIP has antihypertensive effects:
- In hamsters, the administration of encapsulated VIP was effective in lowering blood pressure. 
- In healthy patients, VIP’s blood vessel-dilating properties lowered systemic blood pressure. 
- In cats, VIP increased blood flow while lowering blood pressure. 
Promotes a Healthy Digestive System
Studies suggest that VIP is essential for a healthy gut:
- In mice, VIP maintained microbiota balance in the digestive system. 
- A study suggested that VIP plays a significant role in the excretion of body fat. 
- Studies also reported that VIP can help improve gastrointestinal function by increasing blood flow to the different structures in the gut and regulating the secretion of gastric acid. [23-24]
VIP can also combat various types of cancer:
- A study showed that VIP prevents cancer progression by controlling cell migration. 
- A study found that VIP has a tumor-regressing effect against gastrointestinal cancers. 
- In breast cancer cells, VIP inhibited the growth and multiplication of cancer cells. [27-28]
Studies show that VIP has beneficial effects on the immune function:
- In animal studies, VIP showed great therapeutic potential against inflammatory diseases. 
- A study suggested that VIP modulates the body’s immune tolerance by regulating the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory substances. 
- In murine cytomegalovirus (mCMV) infected mice, VIP injection significantly increased the survival rates of the subjects by enhancing their innate and adaptive cellular immunity. 
Improves Mental Health
VIP also plays a role in maintaining good mental health:
- A review of several studies discussed the potential therapeutic role of VIP in treating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Autism spectrum disorders. 
- A study reported that VIP exerts its neuroprotective effects by inhibiting the loss of neurons in the brain. 
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