Investigating the Clinical Uses of Peptides
In recent years, peptides and peptide derivatives have gained recognition within the scientific community for their many potential therapeutic benefits. Burgeoning evidence indicates that some types of peptides may play a beneficial role in slowing down the aging process by reducing inflammation and destroying microbes. These compounds are easier to absorb by the body than proteins because they are smaller and thus quickly broken down; they can easily penetrate the skin and intestines thereby entering the bloodstream faster. Currently, many health and cosmetic products contain peptides for various uses – including their potential anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, or muscle building properties.
Many of the supplements currently available on the market contain peptides derived from food sources or synthetically created ones, however, the scientific community is most focused on bioactive peptides – those that have a positive effect on the body and overall health. Some of the most popular bioactive peptides include collagen peptides, often used for anti-aging benefits and skin health, as well as creatine peptide supplements consumed for muscle-building, performance enhancement, and strength improving effects.
Peptides for Performance
Increasingly, peptides are being used by professional and amateur athletes as they can stimulate the release of human growth hormone while remaining hard to detect in lab results due to fast rates of bodily absorption. As a result of their muscle-building and performance-boosting qualities, certain types of peptides have been considered performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) although, many have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Their muscular benefits have proven significant in overcoming physical injury as part of regular exercise, muscle soreness, or the repercussions of overtraining. Soft tissue injuries such as those of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are common in both amateur and professional athletes; preventing them from occurring can be done with a combination of supplements, recovery time, and healthy nutrition patterns.
In addition, current research implicates that bioactive peptides can have a beneficial impact on overall physical health by lowering high blood pressure, destroying microbes, reducing inflammation, preventing the formation of blood clots, improving immune function, and even acting as antioxidants.
Bioactive Collagen Peptides for Anti-Aging Benefits
Bioactive collagen peptides comprised of collagen, the main structural component of connective tissues in mammals, can help prevent joint damage, provide protein and other nutrients for metabolic processes, and can be easily incorporated into sports nutrition products without affecting taste profiles. Previous trials have found that specific bioactive collagen peptides can stimulate RNA-expression and biosynthesis of collagen, proteoglycans, and elastin in Achilles tendons; participants of an Australian study showed significant improvement of chronic Achilles tendinopathy and were able to return to running within three months of supplement use.
As collagen plays an essential role in skin, hair, and nail health, these peptides are often consumed to slow down the aging process with some studies suggesting that collagen-infused products can mitigate skin wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, and boost hydration. Furthermore, bioactive peptides can improve the body’s healing abilities by reducing inflammatory activity and potentially acting as antimicrobial agents.
In addition to anti-aging and regenerative properties, bioactive peptides are gaining increased attention for their immunoregulatory potential. Peptides and peptide derivatives may be able to suppress autoimmune responses, organ transplantation rejection responses, or neoplastic cell growth, as evidenced by past research. Their ability to suppress the proliferation of disease, reduce autoimmune disease-associated lesions, and better the therapeutic benefits of certain treatments have significant implications for anti-aging medicine.
For a more in-depth understanding of peptides and their therapeutic properties, clinicians are encouraged to attend our virtual educational experience Peptide Certification: The Evolving Trends and Applications of Peptides Therapies between November 13-15 led by world-renowned experts in the field.