Peptides are some of the shortest chains of amino acids. These are substances that make up proteins.

In a way, you can call them protein hormones.

Proteins are essential for many processes:

  • They help transport oxygen.
  • Proteins help in metabolism and growth.
  • The body needs them to spur healing and recovery.
  • Proteins help create enzymes.
  • They catalyze many functions vital for survival.

Hormones, meanwhile, act as chemical messengers in the body. The glands of the endocrine system produce them.

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How Do Peptide Hormones Work?

When you consume protein, the body breaks it down into its amino acid components. Using the instructions already in the genes, they then produce different peptide hormones. These hormones can have a few amino acids, or many (polypeptide hormones). Either way, cells may release these chemicals in two ways:
  • Constitutive secretion
  • Regulated secretion
In constitutive secretion, the cells create hormones through signals received by the DNA. In regulated secretion, the body may produce many of these. Biological containers called vesicles then store the excess hormones. They then become ready for release anytime the body needs them. How do these hormones interact with the cell? In reality, they don’t. Being water-soluble, they can move through the bloodstream but they cannot penetrate the plasma membrane or cover of the target cell.