What are peptides?
Peptides are short chains of amino acids, usually consisting of 2-50 amino acids. Proteins are also built from amino acids, but they contain much more of them. Peptides are easier for the body to absorb in comparison with proteins because they are smaller and thus faster broken down than proteins. In addition, because they penetrate the skin and intestines more quickly, they are able to enter the bloodstream more quickly.
There are numerous health and cosmetic products that contain different peptides, which may have anti-aging, muscle-building, or anti-inflammatory properties.
Bioactive peptides are of interest to scientists. These are peptides that beneficially impact human health and positively affect the body. Different bioactive peptides differ in their properties. The effect of each bioactive peptide on human health depends on the amino acid sequence it contains.
Among the most common peptide supplements available are:
- Collagen peptides, capable of improving skin health and reversing the effects of aging.
- Creatine peptides, which can increase strength and muscle mass.
Benefits from peptide supplements
There is evidence that bioactive peptides may:
- reduce inflammation
- act as antioxidants
- prevent the formation of blood clots
- lower high blood pressure
- improve immune function
- kill microbes
Slowing down the aging process
Collagen is a protein found in the nails, skin, and hair. Collagen peptides are broken down collagen proteins. The body absorbs collagen peptides more easily, so taking collagen peptides may slow down the aging process and improve skin health.
Certain studies found that dietary food supplements containing collagen peptides may improve skin wrinkles. Other studies also found that collagen peptides supplements may improve elasticity and hydration of the skin.
In addition, peptides may stimulate melanin production. Melanin is a skin pigment that can improve the protection of the skin against sun damage.
Prevent age-related bone loss
According to animal research, a moderate intake of collagen peptides is linked with an increase in bone mass in growing rats who did running exercises.
Although a study suggests that collagen peptides being is beneficial in counteracting age-related bone loss, more researches are needed, particularly in humans.
Improve wound healing
As we already know, collagen is a vital component of healthy skin. Thus, collagen peptides may benefit the faster healing of wounds.
In addition to reducing inflammation, bioactive peptides can also act as antioxidants, thereby improving the body’s ability to heal itself.
Currently, researches are ongoing into antimicrobial peptides capable of improving wound healing. However, having very low or very high levels of certain antimicrobial peptides may lead to skin disorders, including rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
Build strength and muscle mass
Some studies on older adults have shown that collagen peptides supplements may increase the strength and mass of muscles. In the study, the participants took supplements along with resistance training. Creatine peptides can also increase strength and help build muscle.
Since creatine protein powders have been used by fitness enthusiasts for many years, creatine peptides are becoming more popular.
These peptides are easier for the body to digest and absorb, meaning they may cause fewer digestive problems in comparison with creatine proteins.
Peptides side effects
Because of their similarity to peptides found in foods, peptide supplements are unlikely to cause serious side effects in healthy individuals.
As the body breaks down peptide supplements into individual amino acids, oral peptide supplements may not enter the bloodstream.
One study was conducted where females took oral collagen peptide supplements for eight weeks, and researchers did not find any adverse reactions.
Topical creams and ointments that contain peptides may cause such skin symptoms as rash, skin sensitivity, and itching.
Always purchase peptide supplements from a reputable company, and discontinue use if adverse reactions appear.
Also, it is better to talk with your healthcare provider before taking peptide supplements or using topical products containing peptides. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medicines, or have a medical condition, you should consult your doctor before using peptides.
You can learn more about the different types of peptides and their functions by Click Here.