As the raw materials that make up protein, peptides are found in a variety of foods and are incredibly beneficial to overall health. In fact, there are more than 7,000 different types of peptides hanging out in your body at any given moment. They regulate hormones, optimize organ function, and keep your skin looking fresh and radiant.
They can also be a powerful muscle-building supplement for those who are already in the gym, as the amino acids that make up these protein molecules are very important to building muscles and improving strength. For this reason, peptides are becoming increasingly popular for anyone who wants to look and feel their best.
Peptides are short chains of amino acids that form the building blocks of proteins like collagen, elastin and keratin. Peptides are naturally occurring in the body and work as little messengers that trigger cells to perform certain functions. Collagen peptides, for example, encourage the production of collagen, which makes skin stronger and more resilient to help smooth wrinkles and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Depending on the specific sequence of amino acids that comprise a peptide, it can have a wide range of effects. For instance, the peptide b-pychostatin A can be used to enhance cell growth and inhibit inflammatory responses in the body. Others, such as follistatin and cleaved zymogen ACE, can stimulate the production of new muscle cells for improved strength and increased endurance.
Another type of peptide that’s growing in popularity is palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, which has been shown to boost collagen and elastin for firmer, more elastic skin. It can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially when taken over a long period of time.
Peptides can be produced in a few ways, including derivation from natural proteins; chemical synthesis and reasonable engineering based on structure; and phage-display technology. The latter involves using a library of peptides to screen for desirable characteristics in order to select the most effective compounds for development and commercialization.
As for safety, peptides are generally considered to be quite safe. Since they are essentially smaller versions of proteins, there isn’t much risk of an allergic reaction or other serious side effects. However, they aren’t a replacement for a balanced diet or regular exercise.
As with any supplement, it’s important to do a patch test before you start taking peptides to ensure that they aren’t irritating to your skin. You should also avoid combining them with direct acids, as they may be susceptible to hydrolysis (a process that breaks down peptides into their individual amino acids). Keeping these things in mind, peptides can make for a valuable addition to your supplement regimen.