Frequently Asked Questions About Peptides

Peptides have been heavily researched for a while now, and they’ve gained serious popularity within the scientific community. However, like any new scientific field, concerns and questions arise. That’s why we’ve provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding research peptides.


What Are Peptides?

Peptides are naturally occurring short chains of amino acids, which are building blocks of proteins. Proteins are different from peptides in that they consist of long chain amino acids. They are smaller than proteins. The FDA considers any alpha amino acid polymer composed of 40 or fewer amino acids to be a peptide, not a protein.


What Are Peptides Used For?

Like amino acids and proteins, peptides have been used in research to produce muscle growth, fat loss, medical treatments, etc., in test subjects. Better yet, according to research, they have offered a variety of uses, such as muscle and joint repair, bodybuilding, skin care, inflammation reduction, blood clot prevention, and more. Besides their uses, research with peptides appear to produce results in less time; they’re more readily absorbed by the body because of their size and composition.


What Are Peptide Blends or Stacks?

Peptide blend (or stack) is a combination of two or more small chain amino acids i.e., peptides, which when mixed in the human body, forms different forms of beneficial proteins, resulting in therapeutic effects.
Typically, when administered individually, these peptides produce therapeutic effects in the body. When two peptides with similar producing effects (e.g. BPC 157 and TB 500) or two peptides belonging to the similar category (e.g. Ipamorelin and Sermorelin) are taken together, they enhance the individual effects and produce twice the benefits. Hence, these peptides are taken together as a ‘blend’ or ‘stack’.
TB 500 and BPC 157 both induce wound healing, tissue repair and angiogenesis. When taken together, both compounds exhibit similar effects and elevate the levels of actin proteins in the body, thereby producing maximum therapeutic effects. On other hand, both Sermorelin and Ipamorelin belong to category growth hormone secretagogues. While their mechanisms of action are different, they both compliment each other when administered simultaneously, and thus produce faster and efficient results. 

Is It Safe to Use Multiple Peptides (Blends or Stacks) at the Same Time?

When peptides are ‘stacked’ together and are administered in the body in a targeted approach, they result in cumulative therapeutic effects offering significant health improvement within a short period of time. Together these peptides amplify the effects as they compliment each other’s mechanisms and maximize the benefits.
Several common benefits of peptide stack include improved muscle growth, increased lean body mass, enhanced physical performance (and libido), improved sleep and better looking skin. 

What Is the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Peptides?

By definition: Natural peptides are endogenously occurring peptides that are formed by the nutrients and food one consumes. Synthetic peptides are ‘man-made’ peptides that are designed gearing towards certain specific reactions as they bind to specific receptors in the body upon administration.
Stability: Natural peptides are inherently more stable, produce consistent results and cause minimal to no side effects. With regards to synthetic peptides, their stability has only recently taken huge advances in the biotechnology field, helping researchers develop highly consistent peptides that are biostable and safe for humans.
Peptide safety: Natural peptides are considered more safe as they are produced by the body itself. Synthetic peptides are derived from isolated biochemicals, which may either be derived from humans or animal organs, and other methods based off of biotechnology. Hence, rigorous research is still continuing till date to establish the safe dose and peptide profile for humans before using them as therapeutic agents.
Maintaining optimal levels in the body: There are a variety of factors that may affect the levels of naturally occurring peptides in the body such as increasing age, food intake, pre-existing and underlying health conditions and body metabolism. Due to these conditions, the concentration of the peptides keeps declining and the desirable effects are not seen. This can be prevented by administering synthetic peptides and maintaining the required optimal peptide levels in the body.
However, similar to medicines, there are some peptides that are recommended and safe to be taken together (such as Ipamorelin and Sermorelin, CJC 1295 and Ipamorelin), while some contradict with one another and should be avoided. Besides the recommended, common peptide stacks, chances are one is taking different peptides to treat different underlying conditions. 

Which Peptide Administration Is Better – Injectable, Oral, or Transdermal?

  • Oral route: Oral route is most preferable because of the high levels of patient acceptance and long term compliance rate, which further leads to increased therapeutic value of the compound. However, the main challenge via oral route is that most of the peptides, when passing through the gastrointestinal tract, undergo immediate enzymatic degradation because of its unfavorable physicochemical properties. If the oral bioavailability of these peptides can be increased to even 50%, oral route will be the most preferable mode of administration.
  • Parenteral (Injectables): Currently, the majority of peptides are being administered as injectables i.e., either via the subcutaneous (directly into the subcutaneous tissue under the skin) or intravenous (directly into the vein) route. Such parenteral routes are currently more feasible as researchers look for other alternatives (i.e., oral route). However, given that peptides have relatively shorter half-lives, it leads to repeated administration, which leads to poor patient compliance rate.
  • Transdermal route: This is another promising alternative where the patients are required to apply the peptide patches onto their skin for the required time frame. Peptides are then released from these patches and enter the biological system via skin. There is a high patient compliance rate, however, the peptide secretion and release into the body may be comparatively slower via this route, as they are impacted by other external factors (such as sweat, skin hair follicles), and hence the effects are not seen until a long timeframe.

Considering all of the above, while oral route is highly preferable, current situations have led us to rely mainly on parenteral routes, and if not, then transdermal route can be considered, if possible.


What Are the Best Peptides for Fat Loss, Muscle Growth, and Bodybuilding?

There are many peptides that have had some effect on fat loss, but research has pointed out one such peptide that has had a greater impact in that domain than others have – Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptide 6 (GHRP-6). This has been shown to produce anorexigenic effects in mice. This means that it suppressed the subjects’ appetite, thus aiding in weight loss, particularly in the mice that were fed high-fat diets. Other major peptides, such as CJC 1295, ipamorelin, and natriuretic peptide, also accelerate weight loss by helping boost the breakdown and release of fatty acids.

For muscle growth and bodybuilding, however, the GHRP-6 and natriuretic peptides mentioned above weren’t so effective. Instead, research has repeatedly found that collagen peptides and Growth Hormone Secretagogues (GHS) worked best to produce fat-free mass and cause significant increases in strength in subjects. GHS – such as CJC-1295, ipamorelin, or even a combination or blend of the two, have been shown to promote muscle growth by triggering the release of human growth hormone (HGH). Although it isn’t required, research does suggest that peptide supplementation produces the finest results when coupled with moderate resistance training and exercise.

Here’s a list of peptides that have been shown in studies to be effective for fat loss, muscle growth:


What Are the Best Peptides for Skin Care?

Skin has two primary properties that keep our skin strong and elastic – collagen and elastin. Collagen contributes primarily to skin strength, but may also play a role in preventing the skin from drying out. Elastin is what allows the skin to resume its original form after being manipulated.

Research has found that copper peptides, more than others, boost the formation of these two components, thus leaving the skin smooth yet firm. However, copper peptides alone aren’t enough to produce an anti-aging effect. Don’t worry, though, because scientists have answered that question for you as well.


What Are the Best Peptides for Anti-Aging?

Anything used to produce anti-aging effects needs to impact each of the factors that contribute to aging to begin with. These factors include joint health, cardiovascular health, and skin health. Here are some peptides that target each of those domains:

  • For skin health, the most useful peptides – according to research – are copper peptides. This is because they help boost collagen and elastin, the two primary components responsible for wrinkle prevention and skin strength.
  • For joint and cartilage health, research on isolated stem cells suggests a number of affinity peptides, such as the TGF-β affinity. According to the results, affinity peptides are able to reconnect particular cells and cell structures, all of which are partly responsible for cartilage formation.
  • When it comes to cardiovascular health, studies are pointing to natriuretic peptides (NPs), particularly the atrial NP and brain NP. These peptides are said to play a role in balancing heart function. That’s not all, however; due to their biological makeup, research supports their potential use as a healing agent.
  • Brain function declines over time – it’s inevitable, and it’s a major part of what makes the aging process apparent. In recent years, multiple studies (PDF) have found a peptide that aided in the treatment of cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s Disease in rats; it is known as the Dihexa. As more research is being done on this peptide, they’ve shown that it offers significant improvements in the rats’ cognitive functioning.

There are several peptide compounds beneficial for anti-aging and skin care including:

  • CJC 1295 with Ipamorelin: Ipamorelin stimulates release of growth hormones in the body, specifically raising their levels in blood plasma and improving sleep quality. This peptide combination also boosts collagen production in the body, making the skin look youthful. Using this CJC / Ipamorelin blend not only promotes anti-aging effects, but also increases growth hormone production, and raises energy levels in the body.
  • GHK-Cu: This copper peptide is extremely effective in increasing collagen production, while attracting immune cells to promote anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Hence, this peptide is beneficial to fight aging along with impaired immunity.
  • Sermorelin: Sermorelin is one of the most commonly used anti-aging peptides which is mainly used to combat increased body mass along with increased wrinkles and aging.
  • Pinealon: Pinealon is known to induce anti-aging effects due to its anabolic effects which not only slows down the aging process but also enhances the functioning of the central nervous system.
  • FOXO4-DRI: This unique peptide functions by destroying the senescent (aged) cells and leading to cell ‘rejuvenation’, in other terms, boosting the lifecycle of healthy cells and improving skin health.


Which Peptides Help Boost Body Immunity?

There are several peptides that help boost immunity including:

  • Thymosin Alpha-1: This peptide targets the cytotoxic T cells in the body, inducing their differentiation and elevating their production. As a result, the immunity of the body is boosted as more T-cells become active against any foreign antigen in the body.
  • Thymalin: Similar to thymosin, they also exhibit their effects mainly by acting on T-cell differentiation, along with lymphocyte secretion, thereby boosting immunity.
  • Thymulin: Not to be confused with Thymalin, this peptide is highly dependent on the presence of zinc metal in the molecule and can exhibit its function only when the metal is present. Thymulin exhibits its effects by enhancing the thymic functions of the body to fight any T-cell suppression.
  • GHK-Cu: GHK-Cu not only promotes wound healing but also acts on the gene expression and resets the human genome to healthy status, restoring the diseased and carcinogenic cells to healthy status.
  • Selank: By acting on the GABAergic system and affecting the genome expression in the body, this compound boosts the human immune system. Besides immunity, Selank also enhances memory power and reduces cholesterol in humans, making it an overall booster peptide.
  • Humanin: Humanin is a naturally occuring, short peptide with proven therapeutic effects on cell metabolism, inflammation and survival responses. It has a wide range of effects including enhancing mitochondrial functions, neuroprotective and cytoprotective effects.


What Are the Best Peptides for Enhancing Male Fertility? Best Peptides for Female Fertility?

Synthetic peptides have a wide spectrum of biological effects, including boosting fertility and combating any fertility associated problems in both men and women.

  • Kisspeptin: Kisspeptin, encoded by the KISS1 gene in our body, enhances fertility rate in both men and women. Abnormalities in the KISS1 gene lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in females and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) in both males and females. Also, the KISS1 gene is vital for the onset of puberty in children. Deficiencies in the KISS1 gene can be overcome with help of Kisspeptin, thereby increasing the fertility rate in humans.
  • Melanotan II: This peptide induces sexual arousal in men. Studies have shown that this peptide can induce penile rigidity for atleast 6 hours, with increased sexual desire, making it a potent agent to treat erectile dysfunction in males.
  • Oxytocin: This peptide does not boost fertility rate, however, these are very potent facilitator peptides used for the female reproductive system. The primary function of this peptide is to facilitate uterine contractions during labor and boost breastfeeding, post delivery.


Which Growth Hormone (GH) Peptide Is Best for Which Case?

There are several peptides that promote release of growth hormones, including:

  • For long term therapy: GHRP-2 peptide is highly potent, however, when given at higher doses, the peptides become desensitized. Whereas GHRP-6 and Ipamorelin do not get desensitized as long as there’s an interval of couple hours in between doses.
  • For appetite enhancement: GHRP-6 leads to increased food intake and enhanced gastric motility. Hence, GHRP-6 is suitable in cases where along with GH deficiency, there is also poor appetite and poor gastric performance.
  • For muscle gain: GHRP-2 leads to increased muscle gain and decreased fat, along with combating GH deficiency.
  • For overall body development: Hexarelin is one of the strongest GH releasing peptides, which has prominent effects on cortisol and prolactin hormones, improving overall health, strength and fat reduction.
  • Strictly for growth hormone deficiency: Ipamorelin is not as potent as other peptides when it comes to releasing growth hormones, however, it does not have any effect on either hunger, gastric motility, cortisol or prolactin hormones – which allows it to focus solely on GH increase.

There is also another class of peptides that increase growth hormones in the body called growth hormones releasing hormones (GHRHs) including Sermorelin, GRF 1-29 and CJC-1295. GHRH when used with GHRP (such as Sermorelin and Ipamorelin) lead to better, efficient results. 

What Is the Difference Between GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 Peptides?

As the name suggests, both GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 are growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRPs). Structurally, both peptides differ where GHRP-2 is a synthetic peptide composed of 2 amino acid chains and GHRP-6 is composed of six.

Structure of GHRP-6 peptide
Structure of GHRP-2 peptide

Other major differences between the GHRP peptides are:

  • GHRP-2 is more potent than GHRP-6, as GHRP-2 stimulates higher and faster release of growth hormones from the pituitary gland
  • GHRP-6 has a longer half-life than GHRP-2, making the former peptide longer lasting than GHRP-2
  • GHRP-6 leads to higher food intake and increased sleep compared to GHRP-2.

Thus, both peptides are equally beneficial, however, if the primary goal is for longer lasting effects with increased weight gain and improved sleep, then GHRP-6 is preferred

What Is the Difference Between Melanotan I and Melanotan II?

Both Melanotan I and II peptides induce the production of melanin pigments in the body, thereby leading to darker looking skin. However, there are some differences between the two peptides including:

  • Melanotan I is a synthetic peptide composed of 13 amino acids while Melanotan II is a cyclic peptide composed of 7 amino acids, derived from the same endogenous hormone. Due to its cyclic structure, Melanotan II provides more density in its amino acid chain and is more potent than Melanotan I.
  • Melanotan II contains a metabolite called Bremelanotide which is extremely potent in enhancing libido and sexual performance in males, making it a potent agent to combat low sexual desire and erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Melanotan II leads to decreased appetite – making it a potent appetite suppressant.
  • Between the two peptides, Melanotan I is slower acting and hence the effects from these peptides are noticed after an extended period of time.
  • Compared to Melanotan I, Melanotan II has more severe side effects, including systemic toxicity, renal damage, and melanoma. There are no long term or chronic outcomes reported with Melanotan I, making it safer compared to the other peptide.


Do You Need a Prescription to Buy Research Peptides?

These peptides should only be handled by qualified laboratory researchers and licensed professionals who plan on using those chemicals for research purposes, and as such they may obtain research peptides without a prescription.


Are Peptides Safe?

Many of these peptides are solely for research purposes, and their short and long-term effects are still being investigated. So far, healthy test subjects, primarily rodentia (rodents) and lagomorpha (rabbits & hares), have not presented any adverse effects.

However, subjects that were sick or allergic, as well as those that were administered higher than normal doses, presented with negative side effects – some mild, some more severe. They can have side effects and risks associated with them.


What Are the Benefits?

The administration of peptides on test subjects in numerous studies have presented the following positive effects:

  • Skin health: repairs, hydrates, and strengthens the skin.
  • Muscle growth and bodybuilding: increases lean muscle mass, improves strength, speeds up recovery, helps burn fat.
  • Anti-aging: speeds up recovery from injuries; keeps skin strong, smooth, and firm; repairs and maintains joint and cartilage health; prevents or slows cognitive impairments and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Cognitive health: improves memory and focus, helps increase mental clarity and acuity.


What Are the Side Effects?

Since research peptides and the ones found in food are much alike, serious side effects have not been a common occurrence in the test subjects. However, depending on how they were used in the studies, the most common side effects included:

  • Fluid retention
  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Decreased insulin sensitivity
  • Increased appetite
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Hypertension
  • Reduced fertility
  • Kidney pain
  • Joint pain
  • Weight fluctuations


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NOTE: The information found in this article is intended for educational or informational purposes only. Some or all of the content in these articles are not substantiated by a medical professional and may be based on the opinions of the writer who may not be a medical or accredited professional. Not intended for personal or human use. Please review our Terms and Conditions before purchasing.