What to know about peptides for health What to know about peptides for health

What to know about peptides for health

Peptides are molecules that are composed of smaller chains of amino acids.

Proteins are considered the building blocks of and can provide a range of beneficial properties, including pro-aging support, anti-inflammatory effects, and muscle-building support.


Studies have revealed that specific peptides could be beneficial in preventing ageing, decreasing inflammation, and eliminating bacteria.


Proteins and peptides are built from amino acids. However, peptides are composed of fewer amino acids than proteins. As with proteins, peptides can be found in many food sources.


Peptides have been found to have several potential health benefits, and as a result, a variety of supplements are now available that contain peptides. These peptides can be derived from food sources or created synthetically.


Peptide supplements are widely used for various purposes, such as collagen peptides for anti-ageing and skin health and creatine peptides for building muscle and improving athletic performance.


This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using peptide supplements, exploring both the positive and negative effects of using them.

What are peptides?

Peptides comprise a small number of amino acids, usually between 2 and 50, and are the smallest form of protein. Proteins are made up of larger numbers of amino acids that are linked together to form a longer chain.


Peptides are smaller, more broken-down molecules than proteins, making them more accessible for the body to absorb. Because of their small size, peptides can penetrate the skin and intestines more efficiently, allowing them to enter the bloodstream more quickly.


Protein sources for the peptides in supplements may include plants and animals, including:

  • Meat

  • Milk

  • Fish and shellfish

  • Wheat

  • Hemp seeds

  • Eggs

  • Oats

  • Flaxseed

  • Soy

  • Beans and lentils


Researchers are particularly intrigued by bioactive peptides, which are known to have a beneficial effect on the body and may improve human health.


The properties of bioactive peptides are determined by the sequence of amino acids that they are composed of. Depending on the sequence, peptides can have various effects on the body.


Several types of peptide supplements are available for purchase, including but not limited to:

  • Collagen peptides improve the appearance of the skin and reduce the signs of ageing.

  • Creatine peptides may help to increase strength and build muscle.


Follistatin, a peptide known to increase muscle growth, is one of the many peptides and hormones some people may take to improve their athletic performance.

Unfortunately, the World Anti-Doping Agency has deemed this practice illegal and has thus banned its use.

Uses and benefits of Peptides

According to research, bioactive peptides may have several beneficial effects.

  • Inflammation can be reduced

  • Prevent the formation of blood clots

  • Kill microbes

  • Improve immune function

  • Lower high blood pressure

  • Act as antioxidants


The following effects are often achieved with peptides:

Slow down the ageing process

This protein is an essential component of the skin, hair, and nails. By taking collagen peptides, the body can absorb the proteins more efficiently. This can positively affect skin health, such as improving elasticity and reducing wrinkles, as well as providing anti-ageing benefits.


Studies have shown that dietary supplements containing collagen peptides may benefit the skin. These supplements can reduce wrinkles, improve elasticity, and increase skin hydration. The Copper Peptide GHK-CU is shown to increase collagen up to 70%


The use of peptides like Melanotan 2 (MT2) may help to increase melanin production in the skin, a sunscreen that shields the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.


Certain anti-ageing cosmetics contain peptides, which marketers assert can reduce wrinkles, help skin tighten, and promote enhanced blood flow.

Peptides can improve wound healing

Because collagen is crucial to healthy skin, collagen peptides may help promote quicker wound healing.


Bioactive peptides have the potential to decrease inflammation and act as a powerful antioxidant, which can enhance the body's natural healing capabilities.


Research is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of antimicrobial peptides to promote wound healing. An imbalance of certain antimicrobial peptides has been linked to skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.

Peptides can prevent age-related bone loss.

Research conducted on animals suggests that a moderate intake of collagen peptides in conjunction with running is effective in increasing bone mass for growing rats.


Further research is required to confirm the potential of collagen peptides to mitigate age-related bone loss, particularly studies conducted on human subjects.

Peptides can build strength and muscle mass.

In a study examining the effects on older adults, participants who combined collagen peptide supplements with resistance training saw increased muscle mass and strength.


Creatine peptides are thought to help boost strength and contribute to muscle growth.


In recent years, creatine peptides have gained popularity amongst fitness enthusiasts as an alternative to the more commonly used creatine protein powders.


The digestion of these peptides may be easier compared to creatine proteins, potentially leading to fewer digestive issues.

Side effects of Peptides

Peptide supplements, for individuals in good health, are generally safe as they are similar to the peptides naturally found in food. Therefore, the risk of severe side effects is low.


Due to the body's digestive process, oral peptide supplements may be broken down into individual amino acids, which prevents them from entering the bloodstream.

The supplements improved skin hydration, elasticity, and thickness of skin. They also decreased wrinkles and fine lines, as well as improved skin texture.


Peptide-based topical creams and ointments can result in skin side effects, which include inflammation, irritation, and itching.


It is crucial to ensure that any products are purchased from a reliable source, and if any adverse effects are experienced, usage should be stopped immediately.


Therefore, it is essential to consult with a physician before consuming peptide supplements or applying topical products that contain peptides.


Peptides can have serious side effects, and they may not be compatible with certain medical conditions or medications. It is essential to speak to a doctor before using peptides to ensure they are safe and appropriate.

How to use

Peptide supplements, creams, and lotions all have their recommended dosage and timing instructions, which should be followed. Take only the recommended serving size. If any adverse reactions occur, users should immediately discontinue use and seek medical advice.


Eating a protein-rich diet is the best way to get the peptides your body needs. Taking peptide supplements or using topical sources of peptides is not necessary.


Some people may consume collagen peptides to slow the ageing process, while others may take creatine peptides to increase muscle mass and strength.


Despite some limited research, there still needs to be more evidence to prove that these products are effective. Therefore, more extensive studies must be conducted to evaluate their efficacy and safety properly.


Although research is still in the early stages, scientists may uncover the potential health benefits of peptides in the future. Until then, it is important to be cautious when taking supplements and discuss the risks and potential benefits with your physician.


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