What are Peptides?

The word peptide is derived from the Greek word peptos. They are short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. The simplest forms of peptides include dipeptides, tripeptides, and tetrapeptides. Another form of peptide is a polypeptide. It is a long, continuous and unbranched peptide chain. Peptides are exclusively formed from proteins and are based on size; all peptides contain up to 50 amino acids.

Peptides can be classified according to their sources and function. There are organisms that produce peptides as hormones and signaling molecules while others produce peptides as antibiotics such as microclines. It often has posttranslational modifications, which is a biochemical modification that can occur to the amino acids. Examples of organisms that experience posttranslational modifications include phosphorylation, hydroxylation, sulfonation, palmitoylation, and glycosylation and disulfide formation.

Non-ribosomal peptides are assembled by enzymes. Glutathione is a common non-ribosomal peptide. It is a component of antioxidant defenses of the most aerobic organisms.

What do Peptides Do?

Peptides work within our bodies to help with various necessary functions. Many of these peptides see a reduction as we age so it is important that we replenish them. Some examples of the functions that peptides have include:

Help with wound healing.
Muscle growth and reparation.
Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Assist with sleep cycles
Boost immune health
Reduce soreness after a hefty workout
They can kill microbes.
Reduce high blood pressure.
Reduce inflammation
Act as antioxidants
Prevent the formation of blood clots

Sources of Peptides

Most peptides come from animal sources of protein, such as eggs, milk, fish or shellfish, beans and lentils, oats, flaxseed, and more. They are typically found in the human body and are produced in various organs. Based on nutritionists, bioactive peptides have more beneficial effects within the human body. However, synthetic peptides are a common way to increase the instance of peptides in an individual’s system and some peptides that are commonly used include:

Collagen peptides which reverse the effects of aging and are beneficial for your skin.
Creatine peptides that build strength and increase muscle mass.
Peptides hormones which are responsible for an enhancement in athletic activity.

More Information on How Peptides Work

Improve Immune System

There are some peptides that increase the amount of T cells that are produced to fight or aid with attacking and destroying viruses such as the flu.

Slows the Ageing Cycle

Hair and nails are the product of collagen. Collagen, like many other peptides, reduces naturally as we age making fine lines and wrinkles what we must look forward to. However, studies indicate that collagen rich food supplements can improve skin elasticity, skin wrinkles, and skin hydration. Peptides may incite the production of melanin, which acts as a skin’s protector against harmful sunlight radiation.

Improve the Wound Healing:

There are many peptides which can facilitate faster wound healing through an array of methods. Bioactive peptides can reduce inflammation, which can aid in quick healing. In contrast, excess or reduced levels of antimicrobial peptides may enhance skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea, etc.

Boost up your Strength and Muscle Mass:

Research has shown that peptides can boost your strength and muscle mass. Creatine peptides are one known variety of peptides that are known to boost strength and help to build muscle. Collagen and creatine peptides are easy to digest and less responsible for digestive problems.

Prevent Age Induced Bone Loss:

Scientists have found that collagen peptides may increase bone mass in rats which is a positive outlook if it can be replicated in humans. Another study done with animals found that peptides are useful in restricting the loss of bone mass due to age. In case of humans, more research data is still needed.

Author's Bio: