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What to know about peptides for health

Peptides are smaller versions of proteins. Many health and cosmetic products contain different peptides for many uses, such as their potential anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, or muscle building properties.






Recent research indicates that some types of peptides could have a beneficial role in slowing down the aging process, reducing inflammation, and destroying microbes.






People may confuse peptides with proteins. Both proteins and peptides are made up of amino acids, but steroids powder contain far fewer amino acids than proteins. Like proteins, peptides are naturally present in foods.






Due to the potential health benefits of peptides, many supplements are available that contain peptides that manufacturers have derived either from food or made synthetically.






Some of the most popular peptides include collagen peptides for anti-aging and skin health, and creatine peptide supplements for building muscle and enhancing athletic performance.






In this article, we discuss the potential benefits and side effects of peptide supplements.






Peptides are short strings of amino acids, typically comprising 2–50 amino acids. Amino acids are also the building blocks of proteins, but proteins contain more.






Peptides may be easier for the body to absorb than proteins because they are smaller and more broken down than proteins. They can more easily penetrate the skin and intestines, which helps them to enter the bloodstream more quickly.






Scientists are most interested in mechano growth factor peptide, or those that have a beneficial effect on the body and may positively impact human health.






Different bioactive peptides have different properties. The effects they have on the body depend on the sequence of amino acidsTrusted Source they contain.






Some of the most common peptide supplements available are:






Collagen peptides, which may benefit skin health and reverse the effects of aging.


Creatine peptides, which may build strength and muscle mass.


Some people may take other peptides and peptide hormones to enhance athletic activity. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency have banned many of these, including follistatin, a peptide that increases muscle growth.






Collagen is a protein in the skin, hair, and nails. Collagen peptides are broken down collagen proteins that the body can absorb more easily. Taking collagen peptides may improve skin health and slow the aging process.






Some studiesTrusted Source indicate that dietary food supplements that contain collagen peptides can treat skin wrinkles. Other research indicates that these supplements may also improve skin elasticity and hydration.






Peptides may stimulate the production of melanin, a skin pigment, which may improve the skin’s protection against sun damage.






Topical anti-aging cosmetics can also contain Melanotan Peptide, which manufacturers claim can reduce wrinkles, help skin firming, and increase blood flow.






Improve wound healing


As collagen is a vital component of healthy skin, collagen peptides may facilitate faster wound healing.






Bioactive peptides can also reduce inflammation and act as antioxidants, which can improve the body’s ability to heal.






Research is currently ongoing into antimicrobial peptides, which may also improve wound healing. Having very high or very low levels of some antimicrobial peptides may contribute to skin disorders, such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.






Prevent age-related bone loss


Animal research links a moderate intake of collagen peptides with an increase in bone mass in growing rats who also did running exercise.






The study may point to collagen peptides being a useful way to counteract age-related bone loss. However, more research is necessary, especially on humans.






Build strength and muscle mass


Some researchTrusted Source on older adults indicates that collagen peptide supplements can increase muscle mass and strength. In the study, participants combined supplement use with resistance training.






Creatine peptides may also improve strength and help to build muscle.






While fitness enthusiasts have been using creatine protein powders for many years, creatine PEG MGF peptide are increasing in popularity.






These particular peptides may be easier for the body to digest, which means they may cause fewer digestive problems than creatine proteins.






For healthy individuals, peptide supplements are unlikely to cause serious side effects because they are similar to the peptides present in everyday foods.






Oral peptide supplements may not enter the bloodstream as the body may break them down into individual amino acids.






In one studyTrusted Source where females took oral collagen peptide supplements for 8 weeks, the researchers did not note any adverse reactions.






However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate supplements in the same way they do medications. As a result, people should exercise caution when taking any supplements.






Topical creams and ointments containing peptides may cause skin symptoms, such as skin sensitivity, rash, and itching.






Individuals should always buy from a reputable company and discontinue use if adverse reactions occur.






Also, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor before taking peptide supplements or using topical products that contain peptides.






Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medications, or living with a medical condition should avoid using peptides until they speak to their doctor.


The timing and dose of peptide supplements will vary, depending on the type and brand.






Always follow the package instructions when taking peptide supplements or using topical peptide creams or lotions. Never exceed the recommended serving size. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur.


Peptides are naturally present in protein-rich foods. It is not necessary to take peptide supplements or use topical sources of peptides.






However, some people may wish to use collagen peptides with the aim of slowing down the aging process. Others may take creatine peptides to build muscle and strength.






There is still limited evidence to indicate that these products are effective, and much more research is necessary to assess their efficacy and safety thoroughly.






Research into peptides is in the early stages, and in the future, scientists may discover health benefits of different types of peptides. Until then, people should exercise caution when taking any supplement and discuss the potential benefits and risks with their doctor beforehand.






Protein–protein interactions (PPIs) execute many fundamental cellular functions and have served as prime drug targets over the last two decades. Interfering intracellular PPIs with small molecules has been extremely difficult for larger or flat binding sites, as antibodies cannot cross the cell membrane to reach such target sites. In recent years, peptides smaller size and balance of conformational rigidity and flexibility have made them promising candidates for targeting challenging binding interfaces with satisfactory binding affinity and specificity. Deciphering and characterizing peptide–protein recognition mechanisms is thus central for the invention of peptide-based strategies to interfere with endogenous protein interactions, or improvement of the binding affinity and specificity of existing approaches. Importantly, a variety of computation-aided rational designs for peptide therapeutics have been developed, which aim to deliver comprehensive docking for peptide–protein interaction interfaces. Over 60 peptides have been approved and administrated globally in clinics. Despite this, advances in various docking models are only on the merge of making their contribution to peptide drug development. In this review, we provide (i) a holistic overview of peptide drug development and the fundamental technologies utilized to date, and (ii) an updated review on key developments of computational modeling of peptide–protein interactions (PepPIs) with an aim to assist experimental biologists exploit suitable docking methods to advance peptide interfering strategies against PPIs.


Delivering drugs specifically to patient neoplasms is a major and ongoing clinical challenge. Function-blocking monoclonal antibodies were first proposed as cancer therapies nearly four decades ago. The large size of these molecules hindered their commercial development so that the first antibody or antibody-fragment therapies were only commercialized for cancer therapeutics and diagnostics 20 years later [1,2]. A classic development during this period, a radiolabelled peptide analog of somatostatin (SST) was used to target neuroendocrine tumors expressing the SST receptor instead of targeting the receptor with an antibody [3]. The concept of using a peptide as a targeting moiety for cancer diagnosis and treatment has since led to current peptide drug developments in both academia and pharmaceutical industries. In addition to cancer treatments, melanotan 2 peptide that mimic natural peptide hormones also offer therapeutic opportunities. Synthetic human insulin, for instance, has been long exemplified for its clinical efficacy for diabetic patients [4].






In comparison to small molecules, such as proteins and antibodies, peptides indeed represent a unique class of pharmaceutical compounds attributed to their distinct biochemical and therapeutic characteristics. In addition to peptide-based natural hormone analogs, peptides have been developed as drug candidates to disrupt protein–protein interactions (PPIs) and target or inhibit intracellular molecules such as receptor tyrosine kinases [5,6]. These strategies have turned peptide therapeutics into a leading industry with nearly 20 new peptide-based clinical trials annually. In fact, there are currently more than 400 peptide drugs that are under global clinical developments with over 60 already approved for clinical use in the United States, Europe and Japan.






Protein–protein interactions (PPIs) are the foundation of essentially all cellular process. Those biochemical processes are often comprised of activated receptors that indirectly or directly regulate a series of enzymatic activities from ion transportation, transcription of nucleic acids and various post-translational modifications of translated proteins [7]. Drugs that bind specifically to such receptors can act as agonists or antagonists, with downstream consequences on cellular behavior. Peptides and small molecules that interfere with PPIs are thus in high demand as therapeutic agents in pharmaceutical industries due to their potential to modulate disease-associated protein interactions. Accumulating evidence has suggested that better identification of targetable disease-associated PPIs and optimization of peptide drug binding characteristics will be key factors for their clinical success [8].






Unfortunately, understanding the molecular recognition mechanism and delineating binding affinity for PPIs is a complex challenge for both computational biologists and protein biochemists. This is largely because small molecules are superior in binding to deep folding pockets of proteins instead of the larger, flat and hydrophobic binding interfaces that are commonly present at PPI complex interfaces [9]. Although monoclonal antibodies are more effective at recognizing those PPI interfaces, they cannot penetrate the cell membrane to reach and recognize intracellular targets. In recent years, peptides with balanced conformational flexibility and binding affinity that are up to five times larger than small molecule drugs have attracted enormous attention [10,11]. Cyclic peptides, for example have small molecule drug properties like long in vivo stability, while maintaining robust antibody-like binding affinity and minimal toxicity [12]. In this review, we will focus two aspects of peptide drug development: (i) Fundamental technologies utilized for peptide drug developments to date, and (ii) key developments of computational modeling techniques in peptide–protein interactions (PepPIs). Recent topics and basics in conventional docking of PPIs will also be covered with an aim to assist experimental biologists exploiting suitable docking methods to advance peptide interfering strategies against PPIs.