Peptides have played an important role in varying medical treatments like insulin therapy since the 1920s, and over 150 peptides are being actively developed today.
Not only are peptides used in medicines, but they are also key ingredients in many hormone replacement therapies and over-the-counter products we use today.
But, what are peptides exactly? And more importantly, how can you use them in your everyday life to improve your overall health and well-being?
Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about peptides!
What Are Peptides?
Peptides are short chains of two or more amino acids that are linked by a bond known as a peptide bond.
Peptides are often confused with proteins, but peptides don’t contain as many amino acids as proteins do. Instead, peptides are the raw materials that make up the proteins that are found in your body.
Peptides are found in every cell in your body and are the building blocks of cell walls and their internal structures.
Synthetic peptides mimic certain peptides found in your body and are used in medications for health conditions like diabetes. Others are used in products for your skin, muscles, weight loss, and as dietary supplements.
What Do Peptides Do?
Peptides play different roles throughout your body. Some peptides are antidiuretic hormones and help regulate the fluid around your cells by making your kidneys absorb water.
Oxytocin is also a peptide hormone that regulates uterine contractions during childbirth and plays a role in milk production.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone found in women throughout pregnancy. As the embryo forms, it begins to make hCG to help with the production of other essential pregnancy hormones like progesterone and estrogen.
It’s used in fertility treatments for women to help with ovulation, and men can take hCG to improve their sperm production.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) is made by your pituitary gland and plays a role in sexual functioning and development. For women, it helps trigger ovulation and control the menstrual cycle. For men, it causes the testicles to produce testosterone.
Certain fertility medications contain LH to alter menstrual cycles and increase the chances of pregnancy.
Antimicrobial peptides help your skin by fighting bacteria and promoting wound healing.
Collagen peptides help to make collagen and elastin, which are proteins found in your skin. Synthetic versions of this will help you with age spots or hyperpigmentation by increasing skin hydration and elasticity.
Collagen peptide supplements can also benefit your joints by encouraging your body to make more cartilage. It can also reduce the pain you feel with conditions like osteoarthritis.
Creatine peptides help boost your muscle growth and repair and are often used by people looking to lose weight and build muscle.
Where Can You Find Peptides?
You can ensure you consume peptides on a daily basis by choosing foods that have peptides naturally occurring in them, such as:
- Wheat and oats
- Flaxseed and hemp seeds
You can also find peptide powder to take as a dietary supplement. These types of supplements are high in protein and contain collagen to help you with your skin, hair, and joints.
Many over-the-counter skin care products contain peptides such as lotions, serums, creams, and face masks. You can also find collagen supplements in pill form at most health stores.
Creatinine supplements are also popular, and you can typically find them in powder form. You can take 3 to 5 grams daily and mix it with water.
What Is Hormone Therapy?
The hormones in your body control your essential body functions and act as a communication system between your cells. Hormones coordinate things like:
- Immune function
When your hormone levels drop due to age or other health conditions, they become unbalanced, and you’ll experience symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, and weight gain.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is mainly used to treat symptoms of menopause, osteoporosis, and adrenal and thyroid disorders. The hormones are derived from plant-based estrogens and typically include estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
You can take bioidentical hormones in the form of:
Peptides for hormone therapy are based on the same principles as they support your body’s natural hormone production and are often used along with other hormone therapies. They’re used for things like building muscle, reducing fat, increasing energy, and improving sexual function.
There are over 60 peptides in the US approved for use, and you can take them in different forms like pills, creams, nasal sprays, and injections.
Common Peptide Hormone Injections
Thymosin Beta 4
Thymosin Beta 4 helps with inflammation and wound healing and can provide pain relief when injected directly into the area of injury.
Peptide AOD 9604
This peptide stimulates the pituitary gland to boost your metabolism and burn fat, while peptide CJC 1295 can increase the amount of protein in your body, which also improves your metabolism.
Bremelanotide PT 141
Bremelanotide PT 141 improves sexual dysfunction in both women and men by boosting sexual desire.
MK677 is a peptide with compounds similar in structure to human growth hormone (HGH), and is used to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce more HGH. Unlike Growth hormone replacement, MK677 doesn’t stop your natural production of HGH, and will not make your body dependent on it long-term. It can help to:
- Increase bone density
- Strengthen the cardiovascular system
- increase muscle mass
- Improve ability to burn fat
- Increase sex drive
- Improve recover and repair from injuries
- Regenerate nerve tissues
- Strengthen immune system
- Improve cognition and memory
- Improve skin elasticity
Finally, growth hormone peptides like CJC 1295 can boost your energy, memory, and cognitive functions.
Turn to Blue Sky MD for Your Hormone Therapy Needs
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What are peptides?” you’ll be able to understand your own health needs better.
It’s time to turn to the professionals at Blue Sky MD for help. We’ve been providing safe and effective weight loss and hormone therapy since 2008 and have four locations throughout North Carolina.
We offer hormone replacement therapy and medical weight loss and have a team of doctors, dietitians, and wellness coaches who will help you every step of the way.