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Home » Peptides 101: What are Peptides? How to use Peptides?

Peptides 101: What are Peptides? How to use Peptides?

Everything you need to know about peptides and how to use them

Since the introduction of insulin, we have been using peptides without knowing. They have become an important part of medical practice, and still some people don’t know about them.

What are peptide? How are they useful? In this section, we’re going through peptide therapy and everything you need to know about their types and medical applications. 

What are peptides?

We can help you understand peptides a bit more if we talk about proteins. People often talk about proteins, and they are basically a very big peptide, created by linking amino acids together. They complete different actions inside and outside of the cell.

Whilst proteins fulfill a very complex role, peptides are usually messengers transported in the blood. They run rapidly from one place to the other and create a link or communication between distant cells (1).

Peptide therapy makes use of these natural substances to activate metabolic reactions, carry information, create structures in the cells, and transport substances in the blood.

What are the benefits of using peptides?

We named insulin as one of the first peptides. It was introduced in the clinical practice by 1920. It originally came from animals and was isolated and introduced in humans. Nowadays, there are tons of methods to obtain different types of insulin (1). And, what would happen to people with type 1 diabetes and advanced type 2 diabetes without insulin?

Besides insulin, there are many other peptides. Each one of them has an application and a series of benefits. For example:

  • Ipamorelin: This peptide can be very useful for individuals with a growth hormone deficiency. It is a secretagogue, which means it triggers the release of growth hormone (2).
  • IGF-1: This peptide is similar to insulin. Actually, IGF stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor. It is a substance that promotes growth in different cells and tissues. For example, it works fantastically to promote muscle mass increases through hyperplasia. There are many subtypes of IGF-1, but one of the most effective forms is IGF-1 subtype LR3 because it has a very long half-life (3).
  • BCP-157: This is an interesting peptide we can find in gastric juice. Body Protection Compound, and helps tissues survive stress. It can be very useful to accelerate the healing process. It can be used in different types of wounds and tissue damage (4).

We can use hundreds of peptides for many conditions and concerns. For example, chronic inflammatory disease, obesity, lean muscle mass loss, age-related problems, and many others. Some of them can be useful to prevent degenerative problems and chronic disease.

What are peptides made of?

We mentioned above that peptides are basically made of amino acids. These amino acids are organic compounds with a few characteristics in common. They are not very large, and they contain an amine and a carboxyl chemical group. When these amino acids are brought together, they form peptides or proteins.

Peptides are very small proteins, usually made up of a minimum of 2 amino acids and a maximum of 50 amino acids. Peptides with more than 50 amino acids are considered either polypeptides (up to 100 amino acids) or proteins (more than 100 amino acids).

There are thousands of combinations, but we can use only a few of them after going through clinical trials.

What are the different types of peptides?

According to their functions, we can have different types of peptides:

  • Transporter peptides: These are small molecules that facilitate the transport of substances in the body. For example, we can have small peptides in the blood that transport water-insoluble substances from one place to the other. We can also have transporters in the cell wall to control the entry and exit of substances. A classic example would be glucose transporters, attached to the cell and facilitate the entry of glucose into the muscle tissue.
  • Enzymatic peptides: Enzymes are peptides or complex proteins that speed up a metabolic process. For example, lactose is the main sugar found in milk, and lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Lactose could be broken down by itself, but it would take too much time. Lactase speeds up the process and uses one molecule of water to break down lactose into glucose and galactose.
  • Hormonal peptides: Hormones are peptides or bigger proteins that run into the blood and send messages from one cell to the other. For example, insulin is secreted by the pancreas to tell the rest of the body that there’s available glucose in the blood. In response, the muscle tissue and the fat cells open up their glucose uptake transporters and lower gycemia.
  • Structural peptides: Some proteins and peptides create structures in the body. For example, myosin and actin create structures inside the muscle. That’s why most use proteins to increase muscle mass. On the other hand, collagen is a complex protein that contributes to give shape and flexibility to the skin and bone tissue.

How do they work?

Peptides behave like Lego structures. Each Lego would be an amino acid, and the final structure is a peptide. We can use different configurations to achieve different shapes and functions.

Once assembled, peptides work according to their type. 

Transporter peptides can recognize other substances and differentiate which one is allowed to enter. Enzymatic peptides will also recognize other substances, but this time, they cause cleavages and changes to their target substance. Hormonal peptides are received by a receptor in the cell. This receptor recognizes the shape of the hormone and triggers a response. And structural peptides have a mechanical role of resisting pressure or creating movement in the case of muscle fibers.

Due to the numerous benefits and the fact that peptides are a natural part of our organisms, peptide therapy is becoming an exciting alternative to certain health concerns such as age-related diseases, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and others.

Interested in peptides? Click here to view our catalog of peptides for sale.

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