UK peptides are used by many people for a range of purposes, from anti-ageing to reducing inflammation. The key to getting the best results is to use them as part of a full skincare routine. This includes using them with a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and eye cream. Adding an eye cream with peptides can help decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as lightening dark circles around the eyes.
There is a very strong peptide science community in the UK, which is demonstrated by a busy annual conference schedule and the activities of both the Peptide and Protein Science Group and the Chemical Biology and Bio-organic Chemistry Group (CBBG) of the Royal Society. These groups, together with the British Peptide Society, are a vital source of information and support for anyone involved in peptide research in the UK.
Peptides derived from food proteins have the potential to elicit a range of physiological effects, including immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, anti-hypertensive and antioxidant activities amongst others. However, in order for a food-derived peptide to have a health effect it must be able to be absorbed from the digestive tract and reach receptors on cells or tissues in sufficiently high concentrations to cause a change in physiological function.
This is a significant challenge which must be overcome in order to demonstrate that foods containing bioactive peptides provide health benefits to consumers, and will be particularly important for foods that are targeted towards the elderly population, given the high prevalence of chronic diseases in this age group. For example, despite a considerable amount of evidence supporting the anti-hypertensive activity of peptides derived from milk proteins(References Korhonen1 and 2) it has not been possible to translate this finding into a clinically relevant lowering of blood pressure in humans using functional foods containing these peptides.
The same is true for the immunomodulatory effects of food-derived peptides, although it may be easier to demonstrate these in cell and animal studies than the physiological lowering of blood pressure or reduction of cholesterol levels. There is also a significant amount of information available demonstrating the effects of certain individual food-derived bioactive peptides such as the glucagon-like peptide Semaglutide(References Drescher, Roos and Pfeuffer7).
The most promising area of peptides derived from food is that of the opioids, which are able to be released from parent proteins after digestion, and pass into the gut where they can bind to the m-receptor and d-receptor, inhibiting motility, suppressing pain sensation and influencing behaviour(References Morley, Levine and Yamada51). The most common method for generating these peptides is by digesting the parent protein with enzymes such as pepsin and trypsin or chymotrypsin, though acid hydrolysis also yields some opioid peptides.