Neuropeptide - Amino Polypeptide Skin Care Comparison
By: J Bowler
Neuropeptide - Amino Polypetide Comparison
To determine why neuropeptide products are different from other effective antiaging skin care treatments
on the market, we first have to determine the difference between neuropeptide and amino polypetide ingredients.
Neuro- and pentapaptides are both
peptides but “neuro” refers to the very specific functions of this peptide group, while “penta” merely refers to the size of certain peptide molecules.
“Peptide” seems to be the “IT” word in antiaging skin creams today. We have copper peptides, amino-polypeptides,
hexapeptides, pentapeptides and now neuropeptides. And then there are all the variants like acetyl hexapeptide-3 and palmitoyl pentapeptide (a.k.a palmitoyl oligopeptide).
The list is virtually endless and very confusing to the non-biochemist. Let me try to help you wade through some of the jargon.
A peptide is simply a small protein which is made up of amino acids. Peptides are active at very small doses, are highly specific and have a very good safety profile when used
physiologically – that is, to assist or change an organism’s physical processes. If we take apart some of the peptide labels above, we can begin to discriminate among them.
The use of “amino” in amino- polypeptide is a bit redundant
because all peptides are made of amino acids. The “poly” just means this is a peptide of several amino acids.
A “hexapeptide” is a chain of exactly six (hexa) amino acids; a pentatpeptide
is a chain of five (penta). One chemist working with a
palmitoylated five-amino-acid-chain peptide named it “palmitoyl
pentapeptide”, while another chemist studying the same molecule
called it “palmitoyl oligopeptide”. This is a legitimate, though
less specific, label since “oligo” means “few”. And so the confusion grows.
The term “neuropeptide” is a bit more helpful in that it actually describes the function of the peptide.
Neuropeptides act as neuromodulators, neurotransmitters, neurohormones, and
hormones. Research into neuropeptides has exploded in recent years to the extent that there is a scientific journal named Neuropeptides whose aim is the rapid publication of original research and review articles, dealing with the structure, distribution, actions and functions of peptides in
the central and peripheral nervous systems.
What is exciting about neuropeptides is their power and reach.
Other neurotransmitters transmit central nervous system signals in one direction and along a path from A to B.
Neuropeptides transmit omnidirectionally outward and can even
direct transmissions in reverse. As neuromodulators, they can activate and deactivate other neurotransmitters. The scientific mind boggles at the potential.
The names of some of the neuropeptides may be familiar and help you to understand the potential of unlocking the secrets of these peptide molecules. Neuropeptides are grouped into families based on similarities in their amino acid sequences.
There are the Tachykinins; the Insulins; the Somatostatins;
the Gastrins such as cholecystokinin used to diagnose gallbladder and pancreatic problems; and the Opioids such as the enkephalins – the body’s own opiates or painkillers.
As to how neuropeptides might affect the skin, an abstract in the July/August 2003 Brazilian Annals of
Dermatology states: “There is increasing evidence that cutaneous nerve fibers play a modulatory role in a variety of acute and chronic skin processes.
Local interactions between skin
cells, skin immune components and neuronal tissues occur specially through neuropeptides … Neuropeptide-related functions on skin and immune cells, as well ...nerve fibers
in cutaneous inflammatory responses, hypersensitivity reactions and dermatoses, namely psoriasis, atopic
dermatitis, leprosy and alopecia."
Now that you know that a neuropeptide has a function in the central nervous system and that a pentapeptide might also be a neuropeptide (having five amino acids in its chain) but not
all neuropeptides are pentapeptides, how can you decide whether to pay the extra money for the exciting new
You want some evidence that they are
sufficiently more effective to justify the higher price, right?
In sorting through all the peptides currently touted for antiaging skin care, I decided they can be placed into one of three groups depending on the amount and quality on the
published research and development behind their use in skin care.
Some peptides have a lot of published scientific research behind them. They were developed for medical use and because of their success, found their way into antiaging cosmeceuticals.
Copper peptide falls into this group since it has been studied and
employed in wound healing since the 1970s. Palmitoyl pentapeptide also falls into this group. Doctors were already prescribing Strivectin-SD for stretch mark and scar removal when
clinical studies of its superior wrinkle-reducing properties
were presented at the 20th World Congress of Dermatology in 2002.
Other peptides have been developed within the cosmetic industry
and quickly brought to market. The companies are careful to
make no medical claims in order to avoid the lengthy FDA review
process for a drug. Argiriline, a.k.a. acetyl hexapeptide-3, falls into this group. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that, similar to Botox, it reduces a muscle’s ability to tense and form deep lines of expression. Customer reviews are quite positive
and more companies are incorporating the ingredient into their treatment lines.
In the third group are peptides that are very new or are proprietary and not widely available. Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s neuropeptide creams fall into this category. His neuropeptide
variants all contain the prefix “CL”. No research labs I could locate are studying or making the CL variants. Of course, as we saw above in the case of palmitoyl pentatpeptide, he may have
just given an already known nuropeptide a different name.
The consumer has little to go on except Dr. Perricone’s word.
That is, unless you consider his track record and broad following. He hasn’t yet failed to deliver. His previous
antiaging developments have met with broad acclaim and his three books have been on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Dr. Perricone explains his work with neuropeptides in his third book "The Perricone Promise" thus. “In 'The Wrinkle Cure' and 'The Perricone Prescription', I introduced a
major theme of my research: the Inflammation-Disease-Aging
Because inflammation is a great contributor to accelerated aging, it has been an important focus of my ongoing scientific research. And we now know that neuropeptides and
peptides play an important role in mediating inflammation.”
About the Author
Jean Bowler has been a fitness freak all her life. She has danced and taught ballet and been a personal trainer. Additionally she has sold skin care and nutrition products. Her articles on antiaging skin care products and cosmetic procedures, diet and nutriion, hair loss and more are available at http://www.ageless-beauty.com
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
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