What are peptides? And, can they help you stay young? Some experts feel that peptides might provide a fountain of youth for those desiring to stay young and live longer. Because of their potential to improve health, peptides are being studied more and more. And, what a great time to learn more about these promising biological molecules.
Can you believe it is now the year 2020. This is the perfect year to use 20-20 vision to look towards the future of healthy living and aging. Want to live and stay young longer? Peptides may help you achieve that goal.
What are Peptides?
You can think of peptides as being small proteins. Both peptides and proteins are made up of amino acids of which there are 20. Whereas, proteins are composed of hundred or more amino acids, peptides typically are made up of 100 or fewer peptides.
Proteins have a vast array of biological functions. Peptides are more targeted in their biological effects. This has to do with the difference in the. sizes between proteins and peptides. The bigger the molecule, the more biological effect. The smaller the molecule, the more limited the effect. And, peptides are smaller than proteins.
Some hormones are proteins/peptides but not all proteins are hormones. Some hormones have a wide range of effects – like our sex hormones. Peptides on the other have very limited effects.
For example, testosterone which is a steroid hormone, exerts effects on all organ systems. It increases bone and muscle mass, increases oil production in the skin, stimulates production of red blood cells, improves mental function and mood, improves energy, and improves libido and sexual function.
But, some of those effects can be undesirable. For instance, excess oil production can lead to acne. Increase red blood cell can lead to blood high. Too high of a testosterone level can lead to breast enlargement ( not desirable in men) through conversion of testosterone to estradiol.
But, if all you want is to build muscle – if that is your goal, then the peptide LGD-4033 is an alternative. LGD-4033 is a selective androgen receptor modulator primarily working only on muscle and bone. This means it works on the same receptors as testosterone does in muscle and bone. Thus, it has some (but not all) of the effects as testosterone without the side effects that can be seen with testosterone – high red blood cell counts, breast and even prostate enlargement, and acne are avoided.
There are nearly 300,000 peptides each having a limited targeted effect. Some peptides facilitate weight loss. Some help growth of neurons and can protect against dementia. Some improve sleep. Some improve sexual function. Some even help tanning of the skin. Some stimulate collagen production improving skin quality. Some improve metabolism and energy utilization. Some protect your DNA from damage. Some help tissue and would healing.
Thus, through selective use of combinations of peptides one can more easily “customize” a biological profile one desires to improve or maintain their health with limited, if any, side effects.
Use of Peptides
Peptides are just now being used in the United States, but have been used in Australia for 30 years and Russia for 50 years. They are used for regenerative purposes somewhat like stem cells. They are not new, but are becoming more studied in the United States in recent years.
Peptides are frequently named by letters and numbers which makes learning and understanding them a little confusing. Though, some peptides like insulin have names.
Here are examples of peptides:
- LGD 4033
- CJC 1295
- PT 141
- BPC 157
- TB 4
- AOD 9064
- PKD 1
- GLP 1 (this is a group of peptides now used in the treatment of diabetes).
- GHRP 6
Again, these are just a few of the nearly 300,000 peptides that exist.
In upcoming articles we will delve deeper into the benefits of specific peptides and how each peptide might help you stay young and live longer.
History of Peptides
You may be surprised to learn the peptides have been used for medicinal purposed as early as 37 BD when steppe viper venom was used to stop bleeding from a wound from a sword.
Leeches secrete peptides which do the opposite. In the not too distant past leeches were used to prevent blood from clotting.
The first peptide to be identified was insulin in 1921 and used clinically beginning in 1922. In 2018 the FDA approved use of the peptide Tolvaptan for the treatment of Autosomal Dominant Polycycstic Kidney Disease or ADPKD.
Peptides are being use to treat gastropanecreatic neuroendocrine tumors. One such drug is Lutathera.
Because of their ability to promote tissue healing and recovery, peptides are being use more and more by athletes at all levels of competition. Many of these peptides, however, are banned by professional sports organizations like other performance enhancing drugs.
Again, in the future we will write more on specific peptides that may have the ability to improve your health and help you stay young.