If you aren’t familiar with medical practice and research, the word ‘peptide’ won’t mean much to you. However, peptides are increasingly being referred to as the future of medicine.
What are they, then? More importantly, how are they helping medical research?
To put it simply, peptides are sequences of amino acids joined together by a bond. They help increase the production of the growth hormone in the body. Currently, it is illegal to use peptides for anything other than scientific research.
Where does the ‘future’ bit come in? Well, that’s where research peptides become relevant.
Before diving in, however, there is an exhaustive list of things that need understanding when it comes to all the intricacies behind peptides. That goes way beyond the range of this article. Still, there is enough room to touch on a few things.
What is a not-so-simple definition of peptides, and why are they relevant?
Found within every cell in the human body, peptides are sequences of amino acids. Biochemically, they can range from being complex variations to simple molecules. Essentially, they help the human body recover from injuries and infections.
The exact scientific definition of peptides is not something that a general audience needs to concern themselves with. What’s more important to understand is how they are helping in drug development.
Take it this way. The human body produces peptides in a natural sequence. However, peptides can have incredible uses in treating diseases and ailments when specifically arranged and ordered.
Some of these uses are related to accelerating the healing process of injuries and increasing muscle growth. That’s not where it ends. There are still an infinite number of potential uses.
If researchers can harness it the right way, peptides can be the answer to curing what’s incurable today.
Is there a difference between natural peptides and research peptides?
For most people out there, it can all get very confusing. When phrased in such a way, research peptides imply that a peptide is being used for scientific research.
Due to their potential, pharmaceutical companies have been trying to push the boundaries of what peptides can do. This means that new variations in how they are sequenced are being tested every day.
There are 60 medicinal drugs on the market based on peptides. All of them have the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Leuprorelin, a drug used to treat advanced prostate and breast cancer, is one such example.
How are peptides going to help in medicine?
Now, ‘medicine’ works as a general cure to diseases. Understandably, that sounds a little vague and bland. Consider this example.
When you have a fever, you could take an Advil to help bring it down. Advil targets the general causes of that fever and helps get rid of it. Peptides, however, work differently.
A specifically sequenced peptide can target precise conditions in your body. Now you see where the potential lies.
Of course, not all sequences have an effect. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies have been attempting to experiment with every possible variation. A simple accidental sequential arrangement on their part could potentially result in a new wonder drug.
It’s all very hypothetical at the moment. That’s not to say that there isn’t any significance to the current findings. It just means that there is a world of possibility that has yet to be explored.
After all the medical innovations over hundreds of years, it’s a little ironic that the human body could hold the secret to unlocking the future.