What is a Peptide?
Peptides are protein chains of 50 or less amino acids and occur naturally inside each living cell. They are living organisms that can be distinguished from proteins by their size, and they are responsible for a variety of essential functions involving the breaking down of foreign substances in the body, sexual development, growth control, and in the creation of antibiotics for the body’s immune system. Peptides have 50 or less amino acids while proteins are made from one or more polypeptides. Polypeptides are multiple chains of peptides linked together.
What is a Protein?
Understanding peptides and their purpose in our bodies also requires that you understand what a protein is and what it does. When a string of over 50 amino acids are linked together, a protein is created. There are 20 different amino acids that could be combined to create a protein. The sequence of the amino acids in the protein chain are what determines the function of that protein and its three-dimensional structure. In the body, proteins are critical to maintaining health. Proteins work on the cells in the body, and are involved for the function, structure, and regulation of tissues and organs. They are responsible for manufacturing hormones, and proteins are found within every cell, organ, and tissue within the body.
Our bodies are constantly breaking down and replacing the proteins in our cells. Amino acids are not stored the way carbohydrates and fats are, so living beings need to consume protein daily so the body can make new proteins. When we eat protein, such as an egg, our bodies digest it into amino acids and then it replaces the protein the body naturally breaks down. When the egg is swallowed, enzymes break the protein up into amino acids in the body. As the amino acids combine together in new ways, they form specialized proteins that may result in antibodies, hormones, enzymes, or structural proteins like collagen.
What is a Peptide Hormone?
Proteins that take on the responsibility of endocrine functions are called “peptide hormones”. Some peptide hormones create metabolic performance improvements by telling the body to release Growth Hormone (GH) into the bloodstream. When GH is released, bodies will build more lean muscle and release stored fat.
Peptide Research Chemicals
To create new medications to treat illness and disease, researchers around the world study peptides. Research and lab studies can be performed on synthetically produced peptides or on naturally occurring peptides, to see what kind of effect each substance has on immune systems and the body’s production of hormones. Adding synthetic peptides to a living organism can cause the body to create more naturally occurring peptides. Scientists and researchers use test subjects (typically laboratory rats) to uncover new potential for the treatment of ailments using peptides for improving the quality of life.
Common Research Peptides
Researchers and scientists rely on several common peptides for their research purposes. Some of the most commonly researched peptides include:
GW-501516 – studied for its ability to increase endurance and decrease fat.
GHRP-6 – studied for its ability to increase muscle and decrease fat.
IGF-1 Long R3 – studied for its ability to increase muscle growth and repair damages to nerves.
Ipamorelin – studied for its ability to increase muscle growth and burn fat.
Melanotan II – studied for possible treatment of sexual dysfunction in both males and females.
Bremelanotide (PT-141) – studied for treatment of sexual dysfunction in both males and females.