What are Peptides?
What Are Peptides?
The term “peptides” to most of the general public, comes across as something that has only become available for use within the last few years. In Australia, synthetic peptides were put on the map by the many news reports of AFL and NRL clubs using them to maximise their peak performance at their sport. The news media has painted an ugly picture about peptides without knowing all the facts. The synthetic peptides that are presently at the centre of controversy here in Melbourne are sports performance medications, and these are only banned within the professional sporting community – not the general public.
Peptides have the ability to significantly increase strength, endurance, mental and general well-being and improve the quality of sleep. These health gains allow professional sports athletes to obtain an unfair advantage over other athletes and is the reason they are not permitted in sport. Peptides are, however, safe to be used by the average person under the guidance of your doctor, for the performance-enhancing and anti-ageing benefits already mentioned above.
As a result of the controversy, there are numerous questions that members of the public do not know the answer to, including:
What are peptides? How do synthetic peptides work? Are they similar to anabolic steroids? So it is time to answer them.
What are Peptides?
Peptides are defined as biologically occurring short chains of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. In simpler terms they are just “small proteins”. Anything made up of fewer than 50 amino acids is usually considered a peptide. There are a number of different types of peptides such as:
Dipeptides – Two amino acids joined by one peptide
Tripeptides – Three amino acids joined by two peptides
Polypeptides – A long chain of un-branched amino acids joined by peptides that is not long or complex enough to be referred to as a protein.
Simply remember that peptides are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein which comes from our diet. Peptide production is impacted by things such as stress, diet, health issues and also as we age.
Peptides have many functions within the body such as increasing the efficiency of command signals (neurotransmitters), increasing hormone levels such as human growth hormone and testosterone and increasing overall physical performance in sports or during sexual activity.
How do they work?
Peptides form the building blocks of many functions of the body. By taking these medications, they can make up for a decline in normal hormone or performance levels that have been caused by age, health issues or stress.
What benefits can peptides offer?
There are a number of different peptides on the market with each one offering different benefits. The common reasons people take peptides are to:
- Reduce body fat
- Increase strength and muscular size
- Recovery from injury/joint pains
- Increase energy, performance, vitality and general well being
- Provide anti-aging treatment giving a healthier and longer life
- Improve quality of sleep
- Increase sex drive/libido
- Improve memory and concentration
Many peptide users may use a combination of them to offer multiple benefits. As an example they may take one for fat loss and another to help with anti-aging in the skin.
Are Peptides like steroids?
No. There are several main differences between the two:
- Most peptides are processed in the stomach like proteins meaning that taking them orally will diminish any benefits. Therefore they are prescribed in the form of an injection or cream. Steroids can be taken orally or via injection into the muscle.
- Steroids are synthetic forms of testosterone (and other anabolic hormones) that your body naturally produces. Taking steroids means you are injecting more of these hormones into your body which spikes your hormones to very high and unnatural levels resulting in hormone production being shut down and many side effects. Peptides however work in a completely different way, as they provide the relevant building blocks for bodily functions. As an example, providing the tools to make your body naturally produce more testosterone rather than synthetically adding more testosterone into your system.
- Steroids are much stronger than peptides and have more side effects. All drugs are known to have possible side effects. Regardless whether we are discussing caffeine, Panadol, antibiotics or steroids, they can produce side effects. How common and how aggressive the side effects are depends on the drug and the person taking it. If they are noticed by users they are instructed to immediately contact their Doctor should the side effects be serious. The fact is that steroids are more effective and also carry more side effects. From our experience most peptide uses will not notice any side effects.
- The performance enhancing benefits of peptides cannot compare to those of steroids. If hypothetically the results that steroids produce represent a “10”, an appropriate number to compare peptides to would be a “4” or “5” in most cases.
How can I obtain peptides?
It is important to be assessed by a Doctor that is very knowledgeable in peptides who can make the appropriate recommendation based on your own personal goals. Your health is your number one priority which is why you need to be assessed by a Doctor. After being assessed they will then prescribe a particular peptide or combination of peptides to help you accomplish your goals. The medication will be made at a compounding pharmacy and then posted out to you. We advise against purchasing peptides online as you are not being properly assessed and you will never know whether what you receive is legitimate or safe. The unethical practice of selling peptides online is being investigated by the Australian Medical Board and will soon be restricted.
Ensure you consult with a qualified doctor. If you would like to know more about prescription synthetic peptides, Dr Rhett Bosnich offer consultations in Melbourne and Sydney. Simply call us on 03 9693 9200.