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Peptides – What Are They, and Should I Take Supplements

Peptides are a compound comprising two or more amino acids.

They’re small protein structures, whose various combinations serve particular functions in the body. Being small, they’re digested and metabolized by the body more readily than large protein molecules.

Peptides are found throughout the body, and have many roles. Some act as neurotransmitters, the chemicals which shimmy across the synapses between nerve cells and deliver the necessary brain-body messages for crucial functions such as circulation, digestion and reflex.

Others act like hormones. Setting off from the glands and travelling through the bloodstream, hormones communicate to the organs and tissues and thus maintain the body in equilibrium. They regulate fluctuating processes such as blood sugar levels, the sex drive and reproduction, body temperature and appetite.

Aside from these examples, peptides are found throughout the body, in every cell, and affect all systems and processes.

We need to be both consuming and producing all the amino acids, but various factors – age, stress, diet and physical changes, for example – may significantly reduce our intake and lead us far from optimal health.

Peptide supplements may be of benefit for people who are training hard physically, for those whose health is compromised such as through autoimmune disease, and for those who are run down through stress or an inadequate diet.