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Peptides are small molecules that are composed of two or more amino acids. Peptides have a variety of functions in the body, including serving as enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Peptides also have antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or delay damage to cells caused by oxidation. Oxidation is a process in which electrons are transferred from one molecule to another. When this happens, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. ROS can damage cell membranes, DNA, and proteins. Antioxidants work by scavenging ROS and preventing them from causing damage.
There are many different kinds of peptides, each with its own unique structure and function. Some peptides have been shown to be more effective than others at scavenging ROS and protecting cells from damage. For example, glutathione is a peptide that is highly effective at scavenging ROS. Glutathione is found naturally in the body, but levels decline with age. Supplementing with glutathione has been shown to increase levels and provide protection against oxidative stress.