What Are Peptides?
Let’s start with the most common question...what are peptides? Peptides, in a basic and literal sense, are the molecules that make up proteins.
First, amino acids form a chain called amino peptide. Then, when those peptides link together, they become a protein.
They are present in every living organism, and peptides in humans are responsible for a variety of functions. They act as hormones, deliver messages from tissue to blood, regulate appetite, and more.
One of the most important proteins in your body is collagen. It lies just under your epidermis, in the dermis layer. The dermis layer contains all the nerves, fat, blood vessels, elastin, and collagen.
Collagen peptides are responsible for making your skin smooth, firm, and glowing. In your youth, you will produce collagen at a higher rate until you hit 20. The rate slows down to less than 1% per year until you turn 40. Then the production stops completely.
Another handy use for these peppy little molecules is in bodybuilding. Peptide supplements are in high demand for those seeking to build body mass. They provide a building or anabolic effect on muscle mass. What is the anabolic effect? This refers to the creation of complex metabolic pathways from simpler molecules.
What Is a Peptide Hormone?
Peptide hormones are those with peptides or proteins as molecules. Compared to synthetic peptides, these hormones have longer amino acid chains.
They have a shorter half-life, which means it takes a faster time for the body to transform half of the substance to another form. The body is able to use these peptides for a variety of processes more quickly.
Some of the examples of peptide hormones are:
Human growth hormone (hGH), which promotes bone density growth, metabolism of fats, and muscle synthesis
Prolactin, which stimulates the mammary glands to produce breast milk during pregnancy or breastfeeding
Insulin, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels by acting as a messenger for glucose to the cells
Some neuropeptides, which allow the parts of the brain to communicate, can also be peptide hormones. A good example is oxytocin, which the body produces when people bond socially or intimately.
What Is Peptide Therapy?
Peptide therapy refers to the use of peptides to perform specific actions or create particular results in the body. These can range from peptides in skincare to dietary supplements and peptide drugs to treat common health issues, such as weight loss and chronic inflammation.
Some synthesized hormones from peptides and proteins include Salmon Calcitonin. It is one of the ingredients for managing Paget’s disease, a condition wherein new bone slowly replaces the old one, leading to deformity.
Human Growth Hormone
What Are the Different Classes of Peptides?
Here are the various classes of peptides:
Milk Peptides — Come from milk, a protein-rich source, and are formed when milk ferments, leading lactobacilli to create proteinases.
Peptones — Formed by protein hydrolysis, which occurs when protein comes in contact with water. Peptone water is commonly used as growth media for bacteria in laboratories.
Ribosomal — Formed upon mRNA translation and can be easily modified to become newer peptides.
Non-ribosomal — Made without ribosomal machines and are usually created by microorganisms that inhabit the soil. Some can be used to revive soil contaminated by oil while others can be used as antibiotics.
Peptide Fragments — Can be made both synthetically in a lab or in nature. They are primarily used for quantifying source proteins.
In Muscle Repair
In the fitness industry, GHRP or growth hormone-releasing hexapeptide helps athletes recover more quickly after injuries.
Athletes are very prone to injury due to the nature of their lifestyle. Some of those injuries are even on purpose.
Bodybuilders, for example, focus on lightly tearing their muscle fibers in order to make them grow stronger and bigger.
The GHRP helps soft tissue or muscles heal faster to return to productivity after an injury. Athletes prefer GHRP as they don’t have the same side effects as anabolic steroids.
Here are some of the peptide treatments for fitness:
TB-500 — A synthetic peptide that heals muscles as well as eye and skin tissues.
BPC-157 — Helps facilitate the healing of injuries such as muscle tears and bone fractures.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators — Stimulate the male hormone into having effects that mimic testosterone but without side effects. It can boost strength and bone density.
Peptide Information Credit:
Dr. William Seeds