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Buying Peptides? Peptide Sciences, Features, Benefits, & Limitations

There has been a buzz about peptides in cosmetics, food, pharmaceutical, and other industries in recent years. Peptides for sale now dot most virtual and land-based stores. It’s believed that specific peptides are beneficial to human health because peptides are useful in inactivating pathogenic microbes, slowing the aging process, lessening inflammation, among other benefits.

What Are Peptides?

Peptides are strings of amino acids linked by chemical bonds. Unlike proteins, peptide strings contain 2 to 50 amino acids. They can be classified based on:

  • Amino acids chains
  • Their sources, either plant or animal peptides

Dipeptides have two strings of amino acids, tripeptides three, and tetrapeptides four. Polypeptides contain 20 to 50 chains, while oligopeptides have fewer strings of amino acids.

Proteins comprise more than 50 amino acids and adopt complex conformations. Peptides are the building blocks of protein.

Due to their relatively small size, peptides are easily broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Sources of Peptides

Since peptides are biological molecules, human bodies can easily synthesize them. Their biosynthesis can be attributed to the transcription of a sequence of DNA. Every cell and tissue of the body contains peptides.

Animals and plants also make peptides. Some of the dietary sources include:

  • Wheat
  • Meat
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Hemp seeds
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Flaxseed
  • Lentils
  • Canola

Marine sources of peptides include:

  • Snow crab
  • Fish
  • Squid
  • Oyster
  • Salmon
  • Sea urchin

Most peptide supplements contain peptides from the mentioned sources. Before you buy peptides, it’s often advisable to check the source. Some sports agencies have banned the use of peptides and similar hormones like follistatin.

Synthetic peptides also exist. These are lab-made peptides that mimic those found in human bodies. They are mainly used in the clinical setup as medication for diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Bioactive peptides refer to peptides of beneficial value to human health.

What to Consider Before Buying Peptides

If you want to buy peptides, you have to be aware of their specific functions. Before buying, you need to:

  • Identify your peptide needs
  • Research on the company selling the peptide
  • Investigate the active ingredients
  • Determine if you’re allergic to the peptide

After buying peptides, ensure you follow the prescribed dosage and directions.

Are Peptides Safe?

Peptides for sale are generally safe. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before purchasing.

Individuals with underlying allergic conditions might face issues when using peptides. If you encounter any significant side effects, get medical attention immediately.

Function in the Body

Different peptides perform various roles in the body. The type, number, and sequence of amino acids influence the function of peptides.

The most popular peptides in the body include:

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that the brain’s pituitary gland produces. Its primary role is in childbirth, where it causes contraction of the uterus. It also enables breastfeeding mothers to eject more milk.

Defensins

The body’s immune system contains this peptide. Defensins have antimicrobial properties that promote the wound healing process.

Angiotensin

The liver is the primary source of angiotensin. This peptide hormone is involved in blood pressure regulation. It also facilitates the retention of sodium in the kidney.

Medical Uses

Peptides possess antimicrobial, antithrombotic, and antioxidant properties. The USA has approved over 60 synthetic and natural peptide drugs for clinical use.

Diabetes Insipidus Treatment

Diabetes insipidus is a condition that causes dehydration in human bodies. It occurs due to the absence of the pituitary hormone. Patients lose water through frequent urination and experience increased thirstiness.

Vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH), is a peptide used to prevent frequent urination. It’s naturally synthesized in the body but is absent in patients with diabetes insipidus. In such patients, medical practitioners inject ADH into their muscles. The peptide can also be administered via the nose using a nasal spray.

Vasopressin may be problematic to patients allergic to it or chlorobutanol. Expectant mothers shouldn’t use it since it causes premature labor contractions in later trimesters of pregnancies. Breasting mothers should not use this peptide a few hours before feeding their toddlers with milk.

A doctor can only prescribe vasopressin. Before getting this peptide, it’s advisable to inform your healthcare giver on existing conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Migraines
  • Kidney diseases

Temporary side effects of this peptide include skin blanching, nausea, and stomach pain.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are responsible for reducing oxidative processes such as lipid peroxidation in human bodies. Antioxidants protect body organs and tissues from reactive oxygen and nitrogen species like superoxide anions, hydroxyl radicals, peroxyl radicals, and peroxynitrite.

The antioxidative system consists of enzymes, vitamin C, amino acids, peptides, and proteins. Endogenous peptides that have antioxidant properties include carnosine, glutathione, and anserine.

As people age, the potential of antioxidant peptides in their bodies begins to diminish. The loss of activity by these peptides is due to high-fat diets, fatigue, environmental pollutants, among other factors.

Given that levels of endogenous peptides decrease with age, older people should obtain such peptides from dietary intake or supplements.

Carnosine is a dipeptide that has shown tremendous antioxidant capabilities. Although it exists naturally in the gut, skin, muscles, heart, and kidney, you can buy this peptide in pharmacies. Upon ingestion, carnosine gets absorbed in the blood via the small intestines.

Carnosine is a free radical scavenger capable of dealing with reactive oxygen species and other harmful products of oxidative stress. Some studies also indicate that this peptide is effective against neurodegenerative diseases like:

  • Brain ischemia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Autism

This peptide is considered safe for children and adults. Side effects are uncommon but can include weariness, vivid dreams, appetite fluctuations, and dry mouth.

Antimicrobial Effects

Pathogenic microbes have besieged human beings from time immemorial. Although antimicrobial agents have been successive in combating pathogens, there has been an increase in resistance towards conventional drugs. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) continue to emerge as innovative options for treating infectious diseases.

AMPs are a class of peptides that form the defense systems of many organisms. These peptides have inhibitory effects against pathogens like parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Due to these properties, AMPs are considered novel drug candidates.

These peptides are categorized based on the amino acids they carry and their structures. The most potent AMPs are helical cationic peptides.

Unlike conventional antibiotics, AMPs do not target microorganisms with their antimicrobial activity. Instead, they attach to the bacterial cell membrane via their charge and cause disruptions. They then penetrate these membranes and inactivate bacteria.  This mode of action is unlikely to generate bacterial resistance.

The broad spectrum of AMPs allows them to deal effectively with many pathogenic organisms. The FDA has approved AMPs such as gramicidins, daptomycin, and polymyxins.

Gramicidins

Gramicidins are linear antimicrobial peptides that contain 15 amino acids. You can find these peptides in the soil bacterium Bacillus brevis. Gramicidins are effective against gram-positive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus. They don’t perform well when used to kill gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia coli.

Gramicidins are peptides for sale that function as topical medicine. They are used to treat infected wounds, throat infections, and nasal issues. Gramicidins are also mixed with neomycin and other antibiotics to treat bacterial eye infections.

Gramicidins might be lethal to human cells when used in high concentrations. High intake causes hemolysis and might affect organs like the liver, meninges, and kidneys. You should use them in low doses.

Polymyxins

Polymyxins are polypeptides made from 10 amino acid residues. Doctors turn to these peptides as a last-resort treatment for drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria. In the human body, they are used to decontaminate the digestive tract and treat some eye infections.

Side effects of polymyxin include:

  • Irritation
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Redness
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Swelling at the injection point

Daptomycin

Daptomycin is a lipopeptide used to treat multidrug-resistant microorganisms. It has the Food and Drug Administration’s  (FDA) approval. The World Health Organization (WHO) also considers this peptide a vital medicine for humans.

Daptomycin is mainly used to treat skin and skin structure infections. It’s potent against gram-positive bacteria, particularly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It’s also used to treat bacteremia and endocarditis.

You can use most peptides for sale from home. Injections to the vein deliver daptomycin to the human body. Since it comes as a powder, you need to dissolve it in fluid before injecting it into your body. You can either inject yourself or get the injection from a doctor. Before using daptomycin, ensure you get clear directions from a healthcare giver.

Individuals with kidney and muscle disorders should seek guidance from health practitioners before using daptomycin. Breastfeeding and expectant mothers should also get clinical approval before using this peptide.

Daptomycin users may experience side effects such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upsets
  • Sore throats
  • Chest pains
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sleeplessness
  • Breathing difficulties

Cathelicidin (LL-37)

LL-37 is an antimicrobial peptide that has 37 amino acids. Humans naturally biosynthesize this peptide, but the levels dwindle with time.

It plays a vital role in killing pathogens like fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Cathelicidin has antimicrobial activity against both gram-negative and gram-positive microorganisms.

LL-37 is used to treat infections such as:

  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Gut issues

This peptide boosts immune system components like monocytes, neutrophils, mast cells, and T lymphocytes.

Other antimicrobial peptides treat hepatitis C and pneumonia.

Cancer Treatment

New cancer therapies are turning to peptides to treat cancer tumors. Bioactive peptides are helpful in early diagnosis, and at times in the actual treatment of cancer patients. Unlike other treatment modalities, peptides have low molecular weights and target specific tumor cells.

When treating cancer, peptides can be used as vaccines, stand-alone molecules, or attached to other nanomaterials.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common type of cancer that affects the colon. Survival rates from this form of cancer are low. Early detection and diagnosis are therefore essential when dealing with CRC. Currently, peptides play a crucial role in combating this type of cancer.

A class of peptides known as atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP) acts as biomarkers for pinpointing and treating colorectal cancer. Researchers herald ANP as the magic bullet for bowel cancer.

ANP is responsible for cardiovascular homeostasis. Its antiproliferative property makes it the ideal peptide for anticancer therapy. ANP’s anti-tumor effect mainly targets DNA synthesis in cancer cells. It doesn’t affect normal body cells.

Prostate Cancer

A variety of anticancer therapies currently treat prostate cancer. Peptide-based treatments such as Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) have the necessary approval for clinical treatment of prostate cancer.

LHRH regulates the amount of testosterone produced by the testicles. It does this by blocking signals that promote testosterone production. Examples of peptide drugs that use this hormone include:

  • Goserelin
  • Triptorelin
  • Histrelin
  • Leuprolide
  • Degarelix

Injections administer LH-RH to the body. The injections can be performed by a doctor or by yourself at home.

Individuals with liver issues, irregular heartbeats, and osteoporosis shouldn’t use LH-RH. Obese males should also consult medical practitioners before using this hormone.

The most common side effects of LH-RH include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea

Peptide-Based Vaccines

Vaccines have been used for decades to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  However, conventional formulations are known to trigger allergic and autoimmune responses from the body. Such reactions occur because most vaccines tend to leave behind biological residues during their production.

Peptide vaccines are known to counter the side effects of traditional vaccines.

Peptide-based vaccines are synthetic vaccines that mimic proteins found in pathogens. They are safe, easy to synthesize, relatively stable, and, importantly, free from biological contaminants.

Besides their immunity against pathogenic microbes, peptide vaccines have the potential to slow the spread of cancer. Immunotherapy using peptide vaccines generates an anti-tumor T cell response in cancer patients.

Despite the many advantages of these vaccines, the US hasn’t approved their clinical use. The major issue that has curtailed their development is the lack of immunogenicity. These vaccines frequently fail to deliver the required immune response.

Dietary Supplements

Away from clinical use, people are increasingly using peptides in dietary supplements. Some of the health benefits of peptides include:

Anti-aging

As people grow older, their skins undergo several changes. The skin becomes thin and develops wrinkles and fine lines. The degradation of collagen is the main reason for these skin changes.

Collagen is considered the building blocks of skin, bones, and cartilage. It accounts for one-third of protein composition in the human body. This protein provides structure to the skin, ensuring the skin remains youthful.

The body naturally generates collagen. However, when people reach their mid-20s, the production levels of collagen begin to drop. This decrease causes the skin to lose its vibrancy and elasticity.

Collagen peptide supplements can help such people to regain youthful skin. Several studies show that these peptide supplements increase the skin’s elasticity and hydration.

Reduces Joint Pain

Cartilages protect most bone joints in the human body. These cartilages also allow bones to move smoothly. The more people age, the more their joint cartilages degrade. This deterioration causes stiffness and signals the onset of arthritis. Joint pain arises when unprotected bones rub against each other.

Collagen facilitates the growth of cartilages. It does so by providing structural support and repairing worn-out cartilage. There are 16 distinct types of collagen, but Type II is what supports joint cartilage.

Collagen supplements can help reduce osteoarthritis and similar joint issues. Other studies have also shown that collagen supplements speed up joint recovery, particularly in athletes.

Health experts often recommend taking collagen supplements with vitamin C.  Collagen works synergistically with vitamin C to reduce joint pain.

Improves Wound Healing

Many wound treatment procedures use collagen. Collagen comes in the form of amorphous gels or powders.

Research shows that collagen peptides facilitate skin restoration and boost the generation of the extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is an intricate network comprising collagen, enzymes, and other macromolecules. ECM components restore tissue integrity, regulate inflammatory processes, and facilitate the metabolism of cells involved in healing.

Collagen dipeptides also promote the secretion of hyaluronic acid. This acid plays a significant role in tissue regeneration and wound healing.

Antimicrobial peptides play a significant role in healing chronic wounds. This form of healing is ideal for patients suffering from non-healing injuries. Non-healing injuries mainly occur in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. This form of diabetes impairs the biological healing process.

Peptides can help such patients overcome their wound problems. Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, and other microbes usually colonize non-healing wounds. In diabetic individuals, these microorganisms form biofilms that are highly resistant to antibiotics.

The topical application of antimicrobial peptides helps patients overcome such biofilms. Antimicrobial peptides are capable of reducing infections, preventing pro-inflammatory responses, and promoting cell proliferation.

Cosmetics Use

Because of their anti-aging and antimicrobial properties, topical creams use peptide formulations. Tripeptides such as glycyl-histidyl-lysine (GHK) and Peptamide-6 are known to prevent premature aging. These peptides for sale are for topical use. They mainly boost collagen synthesis and prevent photodamage to the skin.

Takeaway

To get suitable peptides, dosage, and effective results, you need to buy peptides from genuine facilities and stores. If you are allergic to peptides or have underlying medical conditions, you should get recommendations from a doctor before buying peptides.

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