By now, you’ve likely heard about different types of peptides and their purported health benefits. It’s true that peptides are getting a lot of attention in the health and wellness community among people who are looking for better ways to treat problems and improve their quality of life. Now, more than ever, there are a lot of resources pouring into peptide research to discover how they can help us live better for longer and gain the edge, so many of us are seeking.
But what are peptides, exactly, and how do they work? Unlocking information about peptides and what they do will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to the product you use. We’ve put together some helpful information to aid you in your journey to know what the difference between a peptide and a protein is.
Let’s explore some of the details of each. Read on to learn what separates peptides from proteins and other information you need to know.
What Is a Peptide?
Both peptides and proteins are made up of linked amino acids. These are called amino acid chains, and the amino acids are held together by what’s called peptide bonds. Anytime you have between 2-50 amino acids linked, it’s called a peptide. Once you get into territory where you’ve got more than 50 amino acids, you’ve got proteins. We can delve into the science that separates them, but on a basic level, more amino acids mean more complex functions.
Peptides are sometimes referred to as protein building blocks. Multiple peptides linked become proteins. They can perform more complex functions in the body and trigger complicated reactions. Of course, we know that proteins have long been recognized for their health benefits. People who eat high-protein diets are better able to build and retain muscles. There are cognitive benefits to eating a lot of protein. You also feel fuller for longer when you eat a lot of protein as opposed to other “empty” calories like bad carbohydrates, sugar, etc.
Peptides, on the other hand, typically have a much more targeted, specific purpose. While they are some similarities in that
Why People Are So Pumped About Peptides
Both researchers and the people who use peptides are interested in the potential health and performance benefits of peptides. To be sure, they’re also excited about proteins, but the world of peptides has a lot more left to discover than that of proteins. With peptides, you can target health issues or concerns more precisely. This helps to avoid some of the side effects associated with taking things like prescription drugs and other treatments that can leave people feeling sick.
With any treatment, there is always the balance of risk and reward. The hope with peptides is that, because they break down in the body so quickly, there are fewer stability issues, and they are potentially more safe than other disruptive traditional treatments.
For example, peptides used in animal models showed very promising results when it came to treating depression. When you compare the traditional effects of taking prescription anti-depressants that have serious side effects, the ability to use peptides holds a lot of potential.
Peptides are also easy to synthesize in labs and other manufacturing facilities. They occur naturally in food as well. Peptides are found in things like soybeans, poultry, milk, eggs, and other foods.
The Future of Peptides
We know now that peptides, and in particular small peptides, will be used more in the future. They open the door to different therapeutics that are used to promote health and treat disorders. Peptides are being custom-made to treat specific conditions and improve health overall. Developers are building ways to make them in a cost-effective way that allows more people to experience their various benefits. Hopefully, in the next decade or so, peptides will be extremely common in the medical field and provided to people as alternatives to other, more disruptive treatments that cause symptoms like nausea, headaches, weight gain, and more.
The ongoing shift to peptides is showing applications ranging from anti-aging to heart benefits in animal models, and there is research into how peptides can help prevent diseases like diabetes.