Peptides and Their Potential Health Benefits: Semaglutide, Collagen Peptides, and More

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What are peptides?

As physicians and clinic owners, understanding how peptides function could be valuable. Not only can these revolutionary molecules provide a new direction for supplement use, but they could also offer exciting possibilities for injectable medical treatments. 

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of peptides, focusing on the most common – BPC-157, Semaglutide, Sermorelin, Hexarelin, and collagen peptides – alongside their potential health benefits.

Peptides are small chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins [1]. They serve various important roles in the human body, acting as biochemical messengers and influencing numerous physiological processes. Whether in supplement form, as a skincare ingredient, or something else altogether, peptides have the potential to enhance health and well-being.

In this write-up, we will delve into each selected peptide and look deeper into its structure, function, and use in clinical settings.


BPC-157, also known as Body Protection Compound 157, stands out among other peptides for its potential healing capabilities. It’s a synthetic peptide derived from a protective protein found in the stomach [2].

While this peptide is in its early stages of experimentation, research shows that BPC-157 may foster a wide array of restorative effects throughout the body. These might include accelerating wound healing to mitigating symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Because of its gastric origins, BPC-157 shows promise when it comes to counteracting damage caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [3].

Another interesting aspect of BPC-157 is that it appears to encourage wound healing, with one study discovering its potential to heal tendon fibroblasts [4]. This makes it a strong potential treatment candidate for sports injuries. But while the therapeutic prospects of BPC-157 are quite promising, much of the research conducted so far has been limited to animal trials [5].


Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that has been used for over 15 years to manage Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and weight loss. It is primarily used to improve blood sugar control in adults by producing more insulin and is typically administered via subcutaneous injection [6].

This peptide works by mimicking the function of the natural hormone incretin, which increases insulin secretion and decreases glucagon secretion to lower blood sugar levels [7].

Semaglutide has also shown promising results as a weight loss treatment. A 2021 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) showed that obese or overweight participants who received a weekly 2.4mg dose of semaglutide lost a clinically relevant reduction in body weight (-15.3 kg) compared to the placebo group (-2.6 kg) [8]. 


Research shows that Sermorelin, a synthetic compound of the naturally occurring growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), is said to increase HGH levels in the bloodstream. It’s often prescribed to increase the production of the human growth hormone (HGH) in those with a deficiency [9]. It’s also claimed that sermorelin is an anti-aging therapy that can restore your body’s natural HGH production. However, these claims are not well-supported.

Sermorelin works by stimulating the pituitary gland to release growth hormone, which plays a large role in growth, body composition, metabolism, and cell repair. It also preserves more of the growth hormone neuroendocrine axis, which is the first to fail during aging [10].

Hexarelin (Examorelin)

Just like Sermorelin, Hexarelin is another synthetic peptide. As a synthetic analog of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone, Hexarelin acts on the ghrelin receptor to stimulate the production of growth hormone from the pituitary gland [11]. 

Hexarelin has shown potential for treating cardiovascular conditions, with evidence suggesting that it could regulate heart rate, reduce cardiac fibrosis and atherosclerosis, and mitigate heart damage [12]. As with many peptides, keep in mind that much of the existing research on Hexarelin has been conducted in animal models or in vitro.

Collagen peptides

Among all the peptides we’ve covered, collagen peptides (also called hydrolyzed collagen) are unique as they’re extensively used in both health supplements and skincare products. Collagen peptides are small pieces of protein from animal collagen [13]. Orally ingested collagen peptides have been shown to improve skin elasticity and hydration, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help with wound healing [14]. Hydrolyzed collagen also has the potential to contain biologically active peptides that can reach joint tissues and have a chondroprotective effect (delays the narrowing of joint space that is characteristic of arthritis) [15].

In addition to their skincare and joint health benefits, collagen peptides are also touted for their potential to boost muscle mass and enhance heart health by reducing artery stiffness [16],[17].


Peptides are vast and versatile, representing the potential for fascinating advancements in the field of health and wellness. As each has its own unique properties and range of potential applications, from managing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes to promoting wound healing and skincare, there are countless clinical contexts to which we can apply them.

As exciting as the prospect of these peptides is, always be sure to use peptide therapy only when backed by evidence-based science and in the appropriate context.


[1] Kubala, J. (2023, March 1). What Are Peptides and What Are They Used For?. Health.

[2] Pfiffner, M. (2023, July 22). BPC-157 health benefits, dosage, safety, side effects, and supporting evidence.: Supplements. Examine.

[3] Sikiric, P., Seiwerth, S., Rucman, R., Turkovic, B., Rokotov, D. S., Brcic, L., Sever, M., Klicek, R., Radic, B., Drmic, D., Ilic, S., Kolenc, D., Aralica, G., Safic, H., Suran, J., Rak, D., Dzidic, S., Vrcic, H., & Sebecic, B. (2013). Toxicity by NSAIDs. Counteraction by stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157. Current pharmaceutical design, 19(1), 76–83.

[4] Chang, C. H., Tsai, W. C., Lin, M. S., Hsu, Y. H., & Pang, J. H. (2011). The promoting effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on tendon healing involves tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 110(3), 774–780.

[5] Pfiffner, M. (2023, July 22). BPC-157 health benefits, dosage, safety, side effects, and supporting evidence.: Supplements. Examine.

[6] Semaglutide for weight loss – what you need to know. UCLA Health System. (2023, January 12).

[7] Mahapatra, M. K., Karuppasamy, M., & Sahoo, B. M. (2022). Semaglutide, a glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist with cardiovascular benefits for management of type 2 diabetes. Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders, 23(3), 521–539.

[8] Wilding, J. P. H., Batterham, R. L., Calanna, S., Davies, M., Van Gaal, L. F., & Lingvay, I., et al (2021). Commentary on once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Research, 3(3).

[9] Walker R. F. (2006). Sermorelin: a better approach to management of adult-onset growth hormone insufficiency?. Clinical interventions in aging, 1(4), 307–308.

[10] Walker R. F. (2006). Sermorelin: a better approach to management of adult-onset growth hormone insufficiency?. Clinical interventions in aging, 1(4), 307–308.

[11] Examorelin. bluerexall. (n.d.).

[12] Mao, Y., Tokudome, T., & Kishimoto, I. (2014). The cardiovascular action of hexarelin. Journal of geriatric cardiology : JGC, 11(3), 253–258.

[13] WebMD. (n.d.). Collagen Peptides – Uses, Side Effects, and More. WebMD.

[14] Choi, F. D., Sung, C. T., Juhasz, M. L., & Mesinkovsk, N. A. (2019). Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 18(1), 9–16.

[15] Martínez-Puig, D., Costa-Larrión, E., Rubio-Rodríguez, N., & Gálvez-Martín, P. (2023). Collagen Supplementation for Joint Health: The Link between Composition and Scientific Knowledge. Nutrients, 15(6), 1332.

[16] Zdzieblik, D., Oesser, S., Baumstark, M. W., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2015). Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. The British journal of nutrition, 114(8), 1237–1245.

[17] Tomosugi, N., Yamamoto, S., Takeuchi, M., Yonekura, H., Ishigaki, Y., Numata, N., Katsuda, S., & Sakai, Y. (2017). Effect of Collagen Tripeptide on Atherosclerosis in Healthy Humans. Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, 24(5), 530–538.