There seems to be a hot new supplement coming out every other day today. Whether it’s one to enhance your body, skin, smile, or anything else that comes to mind, we cannot exhaust the list of products that are said to help our bodies one way or another. Peptides are the latest buzz in town.
There is a lot of information on how peptides can benefit your health, muscles, and skin, but if you’re here, you might be wondering what peptides are and whether they are deserving of all the praise. Read on to find out:
What Are Peptides?
They are scaled-down versions of proteins, also called ‘polypeptides’. They are made of strings of amino acids, just like proteins, but they do not have as many amino acids as protein does. Peptides are naturally occurring in the body but because of the benefits they have on the body, nowadays lab-made peptides are manufactured and sold as supplements or in skin care products.
What are some of these benefits? Better skin, anti-inflammatory properties, weight regulation, and muscle building. These will be discussed in detail later. Some peptides are considered PIEDs, or Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs. These are drugs taken to improve physical appearance or athletic performance.
It is also worth noting that the FDA does not monitor supplements and cosmetics as tightly as it does drugs. Therefore, be cautious when purchasing and utilizing peptide products.
What Are the Functions of Peptides in the Body?
Every cell and tissue in the human body contains peptides, which are crucial for many biochemical reactions and play an important role in basic physiological functions. They play many different roles in organisms and must be kept at the right concentration levels to achieve homeostasis which is a state of balance among all systems needed for the body to function and survive.
Peptides, for example, act as structural components of cells and tissues. Others act as hormones that are released from cells to affect other areas of the body while others perform biological functions as enzymes, antibiotics, and toxins. Some examples of peptides include:
• The hormone oxytocin
• The pancreatic hormone insulin
• Glucagon which has a hyperglycemic factor
• Glutathione which stimulates tissue growth
• Melittin which is the honey bee venom
What Can Supplementary Peptides Do in Your Body?
Lab-made peptides are derived either from food or made synthetically. They are made to share structural similarities to natural peptides so that they can interact with and activate several receptors all over the body. As such, they have an impact on a wide range of physiological processes.
Depending on their sequence and composition, certain peptides may help protect cells from damage, reduce blood pressure and inflammation, prevent blood clots, boost the immune system, and reduce cholesterol. Others promote muscle growth, body fat loss, exercise performance, and recovery, making them alluring to bodybuilders who want to maximize the benefits of their training.
According to recent studies, several peptide types may be useful in skin rejuvenation to slow down the ageing process. Of all the above benefits, the most popular peptides are creatine peptide supplements for muscle growth and improved athletic performance as well as collagen peptides for skin health and anti-ageing.
What Are Some Natural Sources of Peptides?
Peptides are much smaller than proteins. As such, they are more easily broken down and easier for the body to absorb. They can swiftly enter the bloodstream because they can more readily permeate the skin and intestines. Peptide supplements sourced naturally are gotten from plant or animal sources such as:
• Hemp seed
Potential Benefits of Peptides
1. Slow Down the Ageing Process
Collagen is a protein that is found naturally in your nails, hair and skin. Collagen peptides are gotten from collagen proteins to help the body absorb them better. They slow down the ageing process and hence are used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles.
Not just that but they tighten the skin, increase blood circulation, and increase skin moisture and elasticity. Peptide skin supplements also stimulate the production of a skin pigment known as melanin which improves the skin’s defence against UV damage.
2. Build Strength and Muscle Mass
Collagen and creatine peptides both promote muscle development, repair and build strength. Research suggests that they may help older persons build more muscle and have greater strength.
Athletes have used creatine protein powders for ages but creatine peptides are becoming more and more common since they are simpler to digest. Note however that some types of synthetic peptides known as GHRP-6 and growth hormone releasing peptides, which are said to be connected to muscle growth, are sold mostly for research purposes only.
3. Weight Loss
This is not yet proven but proposals have been made to suggest that some peptides could help you lose weight.
4. Faster Wound Healing
Bioactive peptides act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation. They can therefore enhance the body’s capacity for healing. Antimicrobial peptides are currently under research since they are thought to speed up wound healing. These may help with skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.
5. Prevent Bone Loss Due To Aging
According to research, growing rats who also engaged in running activity showed an increase in bone mass after consuming collagen peptides in moderation. Although this is yet to be proven in humans, there is potential for age-related bone loss benefits.
Are Peptides Safe? Do They Have Any Side Effects?
Because peptide supplements are comparable to the peptides found in typical meals, they are unlikely to have negative side effects on healthy people. However, according to the available research, the short- and long-term consequences of using peptides have not yet been clearly demonstrated. In one study of females consuming peptides for 8 weeks, there were no adverse reactions, though.
The use of peptides carries several associated risks such as increased fatigue, water retention, and numbness in the hands and feet. As previously stated, supplements are not subject to FDA regulation in the same manner that pharmaceuticals are. People should therefore exercise caution when taking any supplements.
Peptides are all the rage right now. They fight against ageing and wrinkles, boost muscle growth, blood circulation, and others. Seeing that there is not enough research around peptides though, it would be wise to go easy on them.