Peptides are naturally occurring short chains of amino acids that bind together to make proteins. Certain copper-derived peptides may form collagen, various fibers, and particular proteins. These proteins may keep skin from wrinkling, nails cracking, and hair drying out. Researchers are delving into the potential of peptides in their mechanisms of action and their efficacy and safety profiles.
Elastin fiber is just one of the many types of fiber that may be formed within peptides, contributing to the skin’s tightness and flexibility. Naturally occurring peptides, namely short amino-acid chains, are key in determining skin’s overall appearance and development as the body’s own organic messenger. They comprise components key to maintaining dermatological health and regeneration. Scientists suggest humans may lose ~1% of our collagen every year after age 30. Peptide release is induced to signal the body needs healing, causing an increase in collagen production wherever necessary.
Research in Copper Peptides
Copper proteins and naturally occurring peptides assemble the building blocks necessary for skin health, making copper peptides a potential component in skin care research. With a long history of research in skin care, and initial research studies supporting a strong safety profile, small copper peptides are studied for their potential to induce tissue repair and remodeling, act as an anti-inflammatory, and anti-antioxidant, and may exhibit DNA repair properties. These copper peptides attract attention for their suggested ability to adjust genes and researchers have suggested these peptides may be easily incorporated via various mediums and applied as skin creams, copper peptide serums, and more. GHK-Cu is one such copper peptide and its mechanism of action has been widely investigated in the scientific community.
GHK-Cu is a copper peptide (tripeptide Glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine), a naturally occurring, small, copper-binding peptide complex that can be found in human plasma, urine, and saliva. According to a study in 2018, GHK-Cu was originally discovered and studied in 1973, and it’s been suggested to exhibit an abundance of positive properties in test subjects, some of which include improved wound healing, and elevated generation of growth factors and antioxidant enzyme activity.
This copper peptide has also been suggested to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, stimulate hair growth, reduce scarring, and improve the reconstruction of stomach and skin linings. To further emphasize the significance of GHK-Cu peptide, research has also inidcated that this particular peptide may possibly host anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Another study released in 2018 reports that GHK may protect the skin from UV radiation. However GHK-Cu declines with age, peaking at the age of 20 and declining by age 60.
Buffet, and GHK-Cu Peptides
A “Buffet” is a serum concocted with multiple peptides, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid. This mixture combines a wide variety of researched ingredients to target various forms of aging, simultaneously. Scientists combined Buffet with 1% copper peptides and reported results that suggested the addition of the peptide may induce an increase in anti-aging effects and hydration retention. There are many studies suggesting that copper peptides may exhibit positive effects in a research setting. With that said, importantly, the GHK Cu peptide is still being researched and is not available for human use. Initial research findings are not sufficient to determine the overall impact and efficacy of the peptide, or validate its safety profile.
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Dr. Marinov (MD, Ph.D.) is a researcher and chief assistant professor in Preventative Medicine & Public Health. Prior to his professorship, Dr. Marinov practiced preventative, evidence-based medicine with an emphasis on Nutrition and Dietetics. He is widely published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and specializes in peptide therapy research.