What are peptides
Peptides are the "little brothers" of proteins. Both those and others consist of chains of amino acids, just peptides are chains of two to fifty amino acid links, and proteins are all those that are longer. Essentially, peptides are small fragments of protein molecules. They can be natural or synthetic.
What are they needed for
The most important advantage of peptides is that they have targeted biological activity. Peptides can "order" the cells which of the genetically inherent actions should be triggered at a given moment, which means they can influence many processes occurring in the body (including aging). Figuratively speaking, peptides serve as a code word, recognizing which, the cell responds and begins to act. This "order" can consist of various combinations of the twenty-letter alphabet (according to the number of types of amino acids used by living organisms). For one cell, there can be a lot of different “orders”, for example, “start dividing”, “absorb glucose” and even “die”. The content of the "order" determines the amino acid sequence (VSVAPG, FVAPFP, etc.).
When talking about peptides, it is very important to understand that they are all different, and some biological properties inherent in one of them do not necessarily apply to others. For example, if the cell is waiting for the “KEY” command to start the regeneration process, but a peptide with the “ABRACADABRA” code is introduced, then, most likely, it will not have any significant effect. However, if you approach the "expectations" of the cell as accurately as possible and introduce a peptide with the code "KEY" or "KLUCH", then it will be possible to prolong the effect of the process originally inherent in the cell (for example, to improve cellular metabolism). This principle is used in peptide cosmetics.
Advantages of peptides
The molecular weight of peptides is much less than the protein weight, which means that they have greater maneuverability and freedom of action. This property is successfully used in dermatology and cosmetology: small nimble peptides are much easier to penetrate into the skin than their clumsy "older brothers". It is important that peptides act in the deepest layers of the epidermis, which means that peptide cosmetics allow you to achieve a more pronounced and lasting result. Another important property is that it has a long-term effect: if the peptide gave the correct command, the cell recognized it, and the biological process was started, the action can continue for some time even in the absence of the peptide itself. Finally, a significant plus of peptides is that it is very difficult to "overdo it" with them. Thousands of peptides are broken down every second in the body to single amino acids (from which cells then build new proteins or peptides or are simply removed from the body), so they do not accumulate and practically cannot have a toxic effect. But for the same reason, skin care using peptide cosmetics should be regular.
Peptides have different potencies depending on their constituent amino acids and even the sequence in which each individual chain is assembled. These are the main functions that peptides can perform.
Stimulates collagen production. Collagen balance is very important for healthy and beautiful skin, as collagen levels decrease with age. Peptides possessing the ability to penetrate deeply into skin cells trigger the process of collagen synthesis or the process of reproduction of fibroblasts (connective tissue cells), which restores firmness and elasticity to the skin.
Smooths out wrinkles. The so-called matrix peptides act according to the principle of Botox - they block muscle receptors and reduce the activity of facial muscles. By relaxing the muscles, small mimic wrinkles are smoothed out, and the visibility of deeper ones is reduced (it is the "botox-like" type of peptides that is often added to eye creams and balms).
They "transport" the necessary trace elements. Some peptides carry active substances that make up cosmetics into the deep layers of the skin.
Regulates the activity of the sebaceous glands - such peptides are used to treat acne and fight post-acne.
Provide cell regeneration. Some classes of peptides can accelerate healing processes, while others suppress inflammation.
The composition of cosmetics usually includes several or a whole complex of peptides that have different functions.
Today it is possible to use peptide preparations in the form of tablets as a biologically active food supplement, which provides both a convenient form of application and a tangible effect.
True or myth?
The potential of peptides is globally recognized in cosmetology and medicine - the annual sales turnover of peptide drugs is measured in tens of billions of dollars. For the vast majority of people, peptide products work great and begin to act almost immediately, but for some they turn out to be useless. The reason for this is not the composition of the amino acid chain, but indirect factors: low permeability of the skin, the body's ability to recognize and break down certain peptides before they have time to reach their "targets", "orders" specially written in the genetic code (for example, not "KEY ", And" GLYCH ").
Another reason peptides may not "work" is addiction. The human body is a very complex system, consisting of a large number of different biological mechanisms and processes. He knows how to adapt to almost any external influence and over time muffle the effect produced. Therefore, with long-term use of many medicinal or cosmetic products over time, the severity of the effect of peptides decreases or disappears altogether, even with an increase in the dose.
Photo: Getty Images
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