What are Peptides?

  • Peptides are chains of up to 50 amino acids, otherwise known as “small proteins”.

What is a Peptide?

Peptide science all starts at the molecular level.  Peptides and proteins, are constructed with amino acids, held together with peptide bonds. Though similar in construction, peptides and proteins differ based on the number of amino acids. Peptides have 50 or less amino acids within each compound. Proteins are much larger and consist of compounds constructed with more than 50 amino acids.

oxytocin peptide hormone - the love hormone

What are Peptide Hormones?

  • Peptide hormones are proteins that have endocrine (hormonal) functions.
  • Some peptide hormones create metabolic performance enhancements by communicating with the body to trigger the release of Growth Hormone (GH) into the blood.
  • GH in the body is used to build lean muscle and release stored fat.

What is a Protein?

  • A protein is created out of a string of over 50 amino acids.
  • There are 20 different amino acids that can be combined to create a protein.
  • The sequence of amino acids determines the unique 3-dimensional structure of each protein alongside its specific function.
  • The role of protein is very important. It is responsible for building body tissue as well as in the manufacturing of hormones.  Proteins are a part of every cell, every tissue, and every organ in our bodies.
  • The proteins in our bodies are continually being broken down and replaced. The body stores carbohydrates and fats, but it does not store amino acids.
  • There needs to be a daily consumption to help the body make new proteins. The protein that we ingest gets digested into amino acids. These can be used to replace the proteins broken down into our bodies.

The Digestion and Absorption of Protein

You wake up this morning and eat an egg for breakfast. Let us follow the journey of this protein through the body.

The egg gets swallowed. Enzymes come in and break the protein into amino acids. The free amino acids recombine various ways forming what is known as “specialised proteins”. Specialised proteins can turn into some things i.e.) enzymes, antibodies, hormones. They also might end up as a structural protein., such as collagen which can occur in connective tissue.

The Breakdown of Large Protein Molecules

  • Protein digestion starts in the stomach. An enzyme called pepsin is the known protein-digesting enzyme of the stomach.
  • When pepsin acts on a protein molecule, it eliminates the bonds holding the protein molecule together.
  • These peptide bonds, once broken result in chains of amino acids that are linked together called “polypeptides”. As polypeptides, they move into the small intestine for the completion of the digestion process.
  • In the small intestine, pancreatic enzymes by the name of trypsin, chymotrypsin, and carboxypeptidase finalise this breakdown. These proteins are introduced via the duodenum via the pancreatic duct.
  • The pancreatic enzymes are helped by additional enzymes that are located within the microvilli of the small intestine.
  • The peptide bonds continue to be broken down giving rise to “peptides” in the body. Peptides are two or more amino acids linked together.
  • The enzymes will continue to break down those peptides into amino acids.
    The amino acids are tiny and have the ability to absorb through the small intestine lining and enter back into the bloodstream.
  • Digested nutrients leaving the digestive tract will route over to the liver before it enters the bloodstream. The liver gets first dibs at the nutrients coming through the digestive tract.
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