Types of Peptides and their uses


What are peptides?
7 types of peptides and their uses
What are peptides used for?
Navigating peptide diversity

Are you aware of the types of peptides and their multifaceted healing power? If not, you’re in the right place. Today, we discuss everything about these miniature molecules’ massive potential.

Peptides are making waves in modern medicine and wellness industries. From reversing the signs of aging to tackling health concerns, we’re yet to discover their scope. But what we now know is quite promising.

Whether you’re well acquainted or only learning about them now, peptides should be on your radar. They’re the next big thing in healing, and their diversity is a major part of their capabilities.

Join us to learn about the different types of peptides and their applications. We discuss their categories, functions, and practical ways they may improve your life.

What are peptides?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids linked by chemical bonds. They can be as short as two amino acids, or as long as 50. When organized in complex structures with over 50 acids, they become proteins.

A peptide bond is a type of covalent link that happens due to the loss of water. In simple terms, one amino acid loses its OH group, and the other loses a hydrogen atom. The acids connect, and a water molecule gets released.

Why do these chemical structures matter, and why should you learn about them?

Science has figured out the biological importance of proteins centuries ago. At first, we considered them the primary material needed to build a living organism. We saw peptides as their building blocks but not much else.

Researchers zeroed in on these structures in the 20th century. They discovered functions that exceeded our original beliefs. Beyond building proteins, it turned out peptides support essential bodily functions.

These molecules are naturally occurring and appear in all living organisms. Like proteins, the body synthesizes them from the DNA sequence.

We need peptides to survive and thrive, but the body doesn’t always produce enough. That’s why supplementation is useful for general well-being. We derive some of these molecules from plants and animals, like meat and wheat. Synthetic options are also available.

Peptide therapy supplements naturally occurring peptide molecules in the body. It re-balances and optimizes your internal functioning.

Various types of peptides enter these wellness enhancers, so let’s see what they are.

7 types of peptides and their uses

We can categorize peptides in several ways, depending on our intention. We’ll focus on the practical one today, but let’s mention some different distinctions.

When looking at types of peptide bonds, we have oligopeptides and polypeptides. The former category contains under 20 amino acids, while the latter has 20–50. But this distinction doesn’t matter much to non-chemists.

We can categorize peptides based on their source. Endogenous peptides are those the body naturally produces. They can come from plant, animal, or synthetic sources.

More importantly, we discuss types of peptides based on their value to humans. That way, we may pinpoint their therapeutic applications and healing implications. These nine categories are well-corroborated and may be revolutionary.

1. Antimicrobial peptides

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a part of all living organisms’ immune responses. We also call them “host defense peptides” for their ability to guard against pathogens. We divide them into two groups based on the way they’re synthesized:

  • Ribosomally synthesized peptides exist in nearly all organisms, including plants and mammals. They include gramicidin S, bacitracin, and polymyxin b, common ingredients in antibiotics.
  • Non-ribosomally synthesized peptides are usually produced by bacteria. This group also has antibiotic properties and incorporates vancomycin, teicoplanin, and penicillin.

AMPs are types of peptides with numerous therapeutic applications. They’re also valuable for crop and packaged food preservation. They may get added to cosmetic products to prevent skin infections.

2. Antifungal peptides

Antifungal peptides (AFPs) are molecules that defend organisms against fungal infections. They emerge in plants, animals, and bacteria, although synthetic production is possible.

This group contains different types of peptides of various structures, sizes, and mechanisms. Notable examples include:

  • Peptaibols are short amino acid chains isolated from soil fungi. They can serve as antifungal and antibiotic agents.
  • Echinocandins are semi-synthetically produced AFPs. They’re promising for treating various fungal diseases.
  • Eujavanicin A is a cyclic peptide that helps fight aspergillosis diseases caused by molds.

Given the rising rates of fungal infections and the existence of drug-resistant mushrooms, AFPs may be game-changing. We still lack research to turn most into medication, but labs are hard at work to make it happen.

3. Neuropeptides

Neuropeptides are small, protein-like signaling molecules in the nervous system. They help information get transmitted between nerve cells. As such, they play a role in perception, mood regulation, and behavior control.

Examples of neuropeptides include dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Neuropeptides have a modulating role, increasing or decreasing the strength of brain signals. They work alongside neurotransmitters to keep the mind functioning optimally. Beyond the brain, they exist in the periphery and affect physiological functions.

When neuropeptides are dysregulated, neurological and psychiatric disorders may follow. For example, an imbalance of neuropeptide Y correlates with anxiety. On the other hand, a balance of these molecules enables well-being.

4. Cardiovascular peptides

Cardiovascular peptides are molecules that maintain cardiovascular health and function. They participate in controlling blood pressure and preventing heart failure and artery diseases.

Some of these types of peptides are hormones or signaling molecules. They regulate our heart rate, blood pressure, and fluid balance. Others dilate the veins for improved blood flow or repair damaged cardiac tissue.

These peptides emerge in our blood vessels, hearts, brains, and other tissues. They’re being studied as treatments for cardiovascular disease. Healthy individuals rarely need to supplement them to keep their hearts ticking.

5. Endocrine peptides

Endocrine peptides are a subset of hormones whose structure consists of peptides. Our endocrine glands produce them to regulate physiological processes. Their roles include growth, metabolism, stress responses, and reproductive functions.

Here are some types of peptides from this category:

  • Leptin is a signaling molecule that regulates appetite and body weight. It may assist in weight loss.
  • Orexin is a peptide that affects appetite, arousal, and wakefulness. It may increase energy levels and improve sleep.
  • Growth hormone is involved in cell reproduction and regeneration. It may increase muscle mass in healthy individuals.
  • Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone.” It aids social bonding, childbirth, and disrupted sexual function.

Endocrine peptides are valuable as hormone therapy against various medical conditions. They’re more targeted and have specific effects compared to traditional hormone treatments. They may return the body to a state of homeostasis (balance).

6. Anticancer peptides

Anticancer peptides (ACPs) are peptides that are toxic to cancer cells. Humans don’t produce them through the usual immune response. Luckily, they’re present in some plants, animals, and microorganisms.

ACPs form pores in cancerous cells, thus inhibiting them. We divide them into three classes according to their function:

  • Molecularly targeted peptides directly act on cancer cells. They include Mastoparan I, found in wasp venom, and tubulysins, derived from myxobacteria.
  • “Guiding missile” peptides bind with drugs and deliver them to cancer cells. They include the TAT-conjugated peptide from tree pigments and synthetic CP-EPS8-NLS.
  • Cell-stimulating peptides indirectly inhibit cancer by stimulating other cells. Professionals administer them via vaccines, like the E75 peptide for breast cancer.

These types of peptides are one of the top choices for anticancer treatment. They’re selective to cancer cells and have high penetration rates. They’re among humanity’s best chances for curing tumors for good.

7. Plant peptides

While technically a distinction based on origins, plant peptides have functions worth mentioning. They originate in plants and have health benefits for humans.

These types of peptides may lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They fight inflammation, oxidation, microbes, and pathogens.

Based on their functional response, we divide plant peptides into three groups:

  • Plant-derived cardiovascular peptides are often found in yams, lentils, cereal, and seaweed. An excellent example is the ACE-I-inhibitor that fights hypertension.
  • Plant-derived antioxidant peptides emerge in most plants. In fact, most antioxidants are rich in linked amino acids. They may reduce oxidative stress and detox the system.
  • Plant-derived peptides for type II diabetes inhibit enzymes present in diabetes patients. They occur in some herb, tree, and cactus species.

Different types of peptides from plants are a big deal in the medical industry. Their effective functions and natural origins enable new types of medications.

What are peptides used for?

The human body produces over 7,000 known types of peptides to support its systems. Many regulate essential physiological functions. Some instruct our cells to perform specific tasks.

While each peptide has a unique role, many overlap in function. They cooperate to carry out beneficial physical processes. Their main activities include anti-inflammation, muscle growth, and tissue repair.

How do these molecules work as healing agents for humans? Bioactive peptides (those that interact with the human body) may:

  • Improve immune function
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories
  • Promote gut health
  • Balance hormonal levels
  • Improve sleep duration and quality

What happens when there’s a shortage of these molecules? Your body exits the balanced state. You may experience rapid aging, brain fog, and health issues. That’s why extra peptides are the go-to for maintaining optimal health.

Let’s discuss the most common applications of peptides as therapy.

Peptides for weight loss

Folks looking to shed pounds can benefit from semaglutide injections. This endocrine peptide mimics a natural gut hormone called incretin. It normalizes insulin and blood sugar levels, contributing to a feeling of fullness.

A study tested the effectiveness of this peptide for fat loss. It administered weekly semaglutide shots to obese subjects and introduced lifestyle changes. It found the treatment group lost more weight than the placebo group.

The idea is to make you feel fuller for longer, reducing your caloric intake. The treatment might help process fat, increase energy levels, and boost immunity. It works best paired with diet and an exercise regimen.

Peptides for increasing libido

PT-141 is the go-to peptide treatment for improved sexual functioning. It affects the brain, boosting desire, arousal, and satisfaction in men and women. It may address female sexual interest and arousal disorder (FSIAD) and erectile dysfunction.

Most people administer these shots about an hour before sexual intercourse. It can also be an everyday treatment for better overall functioning. In the latter case, it works synergistically with other types of peptides. Anti-anxiety and energizing molecules pair well with it.

What happens upon administration? PT-141 may aid sexual desire and performance across the board. Its secondary benefits relate to the perks of a healthy sex life. Think improved sleep, higher self-esteem, and a healthier mind.

Peptides against inflammation

Chronic inflammation causes various allergies, disorders, and diseases. Fortunately, peptides are effective at combating this harmful physical state. BPC-157 shows particular promise in this field.

BPC-157 is a type of peptide derived from our gastrointestinal proteins. It might ease the body’s healing process and offer pain relief post-surgery or injury. Its other functions include gut-healing and collagen-producing properties.

An animal study showed that BPC-157 is valuable for physical and neurological health. Whether these benefits translate to human use is still scientifically inconclusive. Still, its capability to fight inflammation is well-corroborated by anecdotes.

Peptides for increased muscle mass

Folks looking to increase muscle mass enjoy CJC-1295 and ipamorelin. These different types of peptides work in conjunction to get you stronger and leaner.

CJC-1295 is a synthetic analog to the human growth hormone. It’s effective for muscle building, fat loss, and energy levels.

Ipamorelin is another synthetic peptide that affects the growth hormone. It improves overall physical functioning, including metabolism, sleep, and energy levels. It may strengthen bones, burn fat, and act as an anti-aging agent.

In combination, these peptides could help you gain lean muscle mass faster. Their secondary effects include faster healing, reduced appetite, improved cognition, and a libido boost.

Peptides against aging symptoms

Anti-aging therapy and peptides often go hand in hand. Collagen and epithalon are superstars in the field. They may reduce or reverse the signs of the passage of time.

Collagen is a structural protein found in our connective tissues. Its peptides are hydrolyzed forms easy for the body to absorb and use.

Notable types of collagen peptides include:

  • Type I collagen peptides are native to human bodies. They exist in our skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons. People supplement them for skin, bone, and joint health.
  • Type II collagen peptides are found in cartilage, supporting mobility and flexibility.
  • Type III collagen peptides appear alongside type I in the skin and blood vessels. They promote skin elasticity as we age.

Our bodies produce less collagen as we age. As a result, supplementation lets us stay youthful and vital-looking for longer.

Epithalon is a synthetic version of the epithalamin peptide, the go-to anti-aging molecule. It may restore old cells and produce new ones, delaying aging. Optimistically speaking, it may even extend life expectancy.

The benefits of this peptide are far-reaching. It has antioxidant, regulatory, and anti-inflammatory properties. For you, this means lower stress, fewer diseases, increased energy, improved sleep, and healthier-looking skin.

Peptides for a stronger immunity

Thymalin, thymosin alpha, and thymosin beta are fantastic immunity boosters. They work well in isolation or combination.

Beyond a stronger immune system, these types of peptides have secondary wellness-boosting effects. They decrease inflammation and facilitate muscle healing. Some patients also enjoy improved strength and endurance levels.

Peptides for better neurological function

Neurological function helps you memorize, learn, and focus on things. Pinealon is the ideal peptide for re-balancing or enhancing this field.

Pinealon is a synthetic peptide that may protect cells from hypoxia (a lack of oxygen). It’s been shown to improve memory, enhance learning, and alter the circadian rhythm. It might also offset aging.

Medical professionals may use pinealon to address brain disorders. Individuals may administer it to boost concentration and cognition, alleviate mental health condition symptoms, and reduce inflammation.

As compounds, peptides are indispensable to the human body. Scientists are studying their value for health, wellness, beauty, and optimal functioning. Official reports and anecdotes agree on their effectiveness.

Understanding different types of peptides helps you harness their power. You don’t have to be a medical professional to do so, either. We at Livv Natural assess your symptoms and suggest the blend to address them.

Now that you know what peptides can do for you, why not experience their magic first-hand? Book a consultation and start your path toward a healthier, happier you.

Author: Dr. Jason Phan NMD – Founder of LIVV Natural – Anti-aging – regenerative medicine – peptide therapy