Peptides 101

You may have heard about peptides and their benefits for your health, skin, and muscles, but don’t know much more. Peptides have muscle-building, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties and are smaller versions of proteins.

Peptide supplements are included in cosmetic and health products. What are peptides, and what are the benefits they provide?

What Are Peptides?

Amino acids are the “building blocks” of proteins, and your body makes peptides that are amino acid strings. However, peptides don’t contain as many amino acids as proteins do. Peptides are also created in labs and can mimic some amino acids found naturally in your body. Peptides are used in medications to treat conditions like multiple sclerosis or diabetes. 

Naturally occurring peptides have many different functions from hormone, growth factors, neurotransmitters and more.

What Are the Benefits of Peptides?

Many different peptides exist, each playing a different role in your body. Some benefits that peptides offer are: 

  • Anti-aging benefits:  Collagen peptides may be the most well-known and studied peptide, and taking collagen peptides helps the body make elastin and collagen proteins found in healthy skin. Some peptides are antimicrobial (AMP), which are involved in producing the skin pigment melanin. Other AMPs are involved in skin whitening, so a synthetic AMP may help eliminate “age spots” or hyperpigmentation. 
  • Improve the skin barrier:  When you use specific peptides like antimicrobial ones, they can assist in promoting wound healing and fighting bacteria. This can help strengthen and improve the skin’s natural barrier.
  • Help grow muscles:  Collagen peptides and creatine help boost muscle repair and growth. Some synthetic peptides, called growth hormone-releasing, are believed to be linked to muscle growth but may not be safe or legal. 
  • Aid weight loss:  Scientists are researching whether peptides help you lose weight.

Through cell signaling amino acid sequences, the targeted use of peptides has the potential to rewrite bodily chemistry relationships and build regenerative health.

Skin Care Products With Peptides

Studies indicate peptides may help your body make more elastin and collagen. These compounds act as antioxidants that help repair skin damage. Other peptides may also boost your skin, but it’s essential to have realistic expectations, as changes are subtle and occur slowly. Skincare products that contain peptides are available in:

  • Face masks
  • Serums
  • Lotions 
  • Creams

Peptide Supplements

Pills, protein shakes, and powders are peptide supplements that claim to boost fat and weight loss, help aid in muscle recovery, and build muscle. However, more research is needed to support these statements, and clarification on how much of the peptides your body can absorb from these supplements. Some peptide supplements are:

  • Creatine peptides are said to help the body build muscles.
  • Collagen peptides are believed to help with weight loss, and hair, skin, and nail health.
  • Ipamorelin is said to aid in fat-burning and weight loss.
  • Follistatin is believed to help the body with losing weight and gaining muscle.
  • BPC-157 may aid in joint recovery.

Peptides in Food

Peptides naturally occur in many foods and may be the safest way to consume peptides. You may not have to worry about overdosing or side effects when you eat foods high in peptides. If you are interested in foods that contain peptides, consume the following:

  • Flaxes
  • Wheat
  • Hemp seeds
  • Oats
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils and beans
  • Shellfish and fish
  • Meat

Consult a Doctor for More Information

Before you try peptide supplements, consult a knowledgeable doctor. Dr. Leo knows about peptides and can help you decide if they are a good supplement for you. If you have health issues or want to optimize your health, call us to schedule your first appointment. We enjoy helping our clients obtain better health! We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park.

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Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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