Peptides are simply smaller versions of proteins. They are naturally occurring molecules found in every living organism. Peptides play vital roles in our body and, just like proteins, they are made up of amino acids and can be found in both plant and animal food sources. The major difference is that proteins contain more amino acids than peptides. While proteins consist of 50 or more amino acids, peptides can contain anything from 2 to 50 amino acids.
Peptides and Immune System
Peptides contain several potentials that can strengthen the immune system and improve the body’s overall health condition. They are common molecules in many health products in the market. Their popularity has grown recently due to their numerous health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anti-aging properties. All these properties make peptides a good choice for strengthening the immune system and improving general health.
There are various classes of peptides, categorized either by their source or by their function. They include antibiotic peptides, brain peptides, bacteria peptides, fungal peptides, and cancer and anticancer peptides. Others are endocrine peptides, plant peptides, invertebrate peptides, respiratory peptides, and vaccine peptides. Peptides are named based on the number of amino acids they contain or their function. Monopeptide, for instance, consists of one amino acid, while dipeptide contains two amino acids, tripeptide contains three, tetrapeptide contains four, and so on.
Can Peptides Strengthen Your Immune System and Your Health?
One of the functions of peptides is to help the body fight external attacks on the immune system. In our everyday activities, we expose our bodies to various biological and environmental hazards that can affect our health. The food we eat, our exposure to emission and hazardous waste, potential physical conditions, and everyday stress are some of the factors that weaken the immune system as we age.
If the immune system stops working optimally, it becomes more ineffective in its protective role of the body. A weak immune system will lack the required ability to fight pathogens that enter the body. The resultant effects include inflammation of the body’s internal organs, blood disorders or abnormalities, autoimmune disorders, loss of appetite, digestive problems, and abdominal cramping. This can lead to poor overall well-being, frequent sickness, and a long recovery process. Fortunately, studies on peptides have affirmed the fact that peptides can help improve our immune system and overall health.
How Peptides Boost the Immune System and Overall Health
Such studies have shown that peptides have the ability to function as immunomodulatingagents. Immunomodulating agents are substances that can suppress or stimulate the immune system and may help combat cancer, infection, or other diseases. Peptides function by either stopping the immune response or causing the immune response to generate tolerance. With this knowledge of conformational aspects of peptides,scientists have been able to develop therapeutic agents like peptides for various autoimmune diseases. In cancer therapy, for instance, peptide epitopes are used to help train the body to recognize and fight cancer cells both systematically and locally. They are also used for autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid, systemic lupus and HIV infection.
Growth Hormone Related Peptides and Your Immune System
Human growth hormone (HGH), produced by the brain’s pituitary gland, is one of the most important hormones in the body. It plays an important role in regulating body functions, such as insulin levels and the digestive system. According to the American Association of Immunologists (AAA), it has been known to enhance immune responses. Studies also suggest that HGH may promote the growth of the thymus, a gland that stimulates the production of immune cells known as T cells. The main function of T cells is to protect the body from pathogens.
In order for the pituitary gland to produce HGH, it must be triggered by another hormone called growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). However, almost all pituitary hormones are altered by the human aging process. Factors that are responsible for this also depend on an individual’s body composition, comorbidity, medication use, intercurrent illness, and level of exercise. The good news, however, is that with the help of peptides, you can boost your growth hormone levels.
How to Strengthen Your Immune System and Health with Peptides
Some peptides are designed to increase the body’s production of GHRH to naturally release more human growth hormone. These peptides work by stimulating the pituitary gland to create and excrete more HGH into the bloodstream. This will lead to boosting protein production, blood sugar level regulation, slowing down the aging process, and many other health benefits. Growth hormone-releasing peptides promote amino acid uptake, cause slow-wave sleep and bone growth, and regulate the effects of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism.
Other Benefits of Peptides
With their ability to impact the growth hormone and enhance the immune system, the use of peptides will lead to several other health benefits in the body. Apart from testimonies from their users, there is also a large body of scientific research demonstrating various health benefits of peptides, which include:
Peptides Slow Down Aging Process
Many dietary foods and cosmetic products contain some amount of peptides in them to help people look younger and maintain an energetic body. There is a type of protein in the skin, nails, and hair called collagen. Due to age and other factors, the body starts producing a smaller amount of collagen as you grow.
The collagen level in your body can be boosted with a certain type of peptides called collagen peptides. Peptides are also believed to have a faster effect as they are absorbed more easily by the body than protein due to their smaller size. Peptides may also promote melanin production in the body. Melanin is another anti-aging pigment that protects the skin against sun damage.
Studies have also shown that there are many other ways peptides can help slow down the aging process. These other properties include helping skin to maintain firmness, reduction of wrinkles, and an increase in blood flow.
Peptides Promote Bone Healing
Injury, mineral deficiency, and some physical conditions are major culprits for several cases of bone soreness. Some of these issues leave the musculoskeletal system in indecent shape. An estimated 1.5 million bone grafting procedures are done annually in the United States. As a result, researchers in the musculoskeletal field become interested in peptides.
Peptides are used by a large number of people not only for their ability to boost the immune system but also for their health properties to promote a quick recovery process in the body. In order to keep up with everyday demand on the body, there is a need to recover fast in an event of injury or fatigue. Whether you are an athlete or work in the office, repetitive everyday tasks can put pressure on your musculoskeletal system. This leads to inflammation and soreness in the connective tissues. Fortunately, you can speed up the recovery process with peptides.
Various peptides have been shown to promote the bone’s healing response. In a systematic review that investigates several claims about peptides and bone healing, it was found that peptides have the potential to upregulate the bone healing response. The study highlighted chrysalin and teriparatide, the two commercially available products for this purpose. The researchers claimed that, in terms of the available experimental and pre-clinical results, the drugs have “excellent backgrounds.” This suggests that peptides may be a game-changer in the musculoskeletal field of medicine.
Peptides Improve Wound Healing
Apart from its anti-aging effects on the skin, collagen peptides could also stimulate wound healing. Naturally, the human body consists of certain cells that trigger self-healing when you have injuries. However, age, disease, stress, and other factors slow down the functions of these cells. This adds difficulty for the body to self-heal quickly, especially with age. Due to their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects, bioactive peptides may promote the self-healing process in the body.
How to Use Peptides
The most common way of administering most peptides is through injection. However, there are also more recently developed methods, including topical products such as creams used in skincare. Whether you use the injectable method or skincare product, peptides are to be administered within a medically approved prescription. You should also ensure you buy from a trusted source. If done correctly, peptides can be a game-changer option to improve your overall well-being.