Peptides are biological molecules present in all living organisms and play an important role in various biological processes. In a human body, peptides are essential components of cells and tissues and they perform important functions. Peptides are tiny versions of proteins, usually consists of 2 to 50 amino acids.
Since they are small, it would be easier for the body to absorb them compared to proteins. They are one of the primary components of many supplements primarily because of their anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and muscle-building properties. Sources of peptides include meat, eggs, milk, beans and lentils, fish and shellfish, oats, soy, wheat, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
What is it made of?
A peptide consists of two or more short-chained amino acids that are linked together in a sequence by peptide bonds. Amino acids are monomer and they form a peptide polymer chain with other amino acids when one amino acid’s carboxyl group reacts with the amino group of another amino acid.
Hence, they form a covalent bond between residues of amino acids and release water molecules. They are distinguished from protein because of their size. Peptides are shorter than protein. When multiple peptide subunits are formed, they are called polypeptides, and just like cells, peptides form many biological functions.
In a simple explanation, peptides are small proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and any amino acids fewer than 50 are considered peptides. A peptide made up of two amino acids and joined by one peptide bond is called dipeptide while a peptide consists of three amino acids joined by two peptide bonds are called tripeptides.
Why are they so popular?
Peptides are popular because of their health benefits. They are used in making supplements because of their ability to kill microbes, lower high blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, prevent blood clot formation, and improve the function of the immune system.
- Slows down the aging process – a special type of peptide, collagen peptide slows down the aging process, improves the elasticity of the skin, and prevents the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. What it does is it stimulates the production of melanin, a pigment that protects the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. the majority of cosmetic products contain peptides to stimulate the flow of blood, reduce the formation of wrinkles, improves the elasticity of the skin, and to keep the skin firm.
- Hastens wound healing and recovery – The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of peptides promote wound healing and hastens recovery, especially after performing strenuous physical activities.
- Builds strength and muscle mass – Peptides play a vital role in increasing muscle mass and strength like testosterone. Fitness enthusiasts know how important peptides are along with other essential supplements like creatine. A perfect example is a creatine peptide, which delivers the same benefits as the creatine supplement but causes fewer digestive problems.
How does it work?
There are different kinds of peptides and each performs distinct functions. Peptides perform many bodily functions – hormones, neurotransmitters, and controls body reactions to various biological processes such as diet and exercise. Some have to be present in a sufficient amount to produce hormones. This is very particular in the world of health and fitness, where athletes take supplements containing amino acids to boost their performance and help the body recover from strenuous physical work.
Some peptides increase the body’s production of human growth hormone by stimulating the pituitary gland to make more human growth hormone, which helps lessen the effects of the aging process. growth hormone improves the level of insulin-like growth factor, which helps in the development of lean muscle mass.
Supplements containing peptides are becoming more popular not only to athletes and bodybuilders but to people who want to take advantage of its benefits. When compared with other supplements, peptides are easily absorbed and digested by the body because of their smaller size. They are more stable in the body and its side effects are little to none. Peptides stimulate particular receptors for growth hormone, which is one of the main reasons why athletes used them – to id in weight loss, improve muscle gain, hastens recovery, and reduces inflammation.
Should you take a peptide supplement? The answer lies in your health and fitness goals. Peptides do a wonderful job in helping you lose weight, help build lean muscle mass, improve the body’s recovery from strenuous physical work, and delay geriatric changes in the body, you still have to practice a healthy lifestyle to maximize the therapeutic effects of peptides. Before you take peptide supplements or other types of supplements, make sure you observe all the necessary measures - weigh the pros and cons, check the ingredients, and read reviews and feedback. More than the efficacy, safety should always be the top priority. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.