Peptides and Proteins: What Is the Difference?

Knowing the difference between peptides and proteins can prove useful, allowing you to better understand numerous important biological functions throughout the body. In a previous article, we highlighted the difference between peptides and steroids. However, in today’s blog post, we are discussing the difference between peptides and proteins instead.

To start with, we will provide basic definitions of the two terms: peptides and proteins. 

What are peptides?

Peptides are made up of amino acids, with there being approximately two to fifty amino acids per peptide. Peptides are not only found naturally in the skin and in various skincare and cosmetic products, but they are also common in foods. For example, you will find peptides in foods such as milk, meat, eggs, fish, flaxseed, oats, and many others!

So, what do they actually do? What is the role of peptides in the body? Peptides are responsible for various biological processes, such as improving immune system function, maintaining constant blood pressure, and also acting as a natural antioxidant. 

What are proteins?

Okay, now that we have discussed peptides, let’s talk about proteins. Usually, proteins are the biomolecule that more people are familiar with. Nonetheless, we will still discuss this in just as much detail!

Proteins exist in foods such as meats, milk, eggs, chicken, beef, and others. In fact, it’s virtually found in all foods, however, in larger quantities for some. 

Once these proteins have been digested, they can then play their role in the body. Proteins are responsible for numerous tasks, including producing antibodies to help fight off disease and infection, cell structure and function, e.g. skin and muscle cells, and messenger signals to transmit signals around the body.

How do peptides and proteins work together?

So, what is the difference between peptides and proteins and how do they work together? To begin with, proteins provide the structure of the cell, also responsible for transmitting signals between cells and beyond. Instead, peptides play lots of little different roles.

Many scientists and others often refer to proteins as large peptides. This is because proteins are quite literally bigger peptides, made of more amino acids to carry out more biological functions around the body. 

Peptides and proteins are very similar, with some roles overlapping one another. However, both are important and responsible for our overall health – without them, there wouldn’t be a lot left to look after.