Bio-Active Peptides [BAP's]

Their Role in Protein Synthesis and Human Performance Enhancement Related to Recovery and Lean Body Mass Gains

By Darryn S. Willoughby, Ph.D., FACSM, FISSN
Associate Professor, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation; Director, Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory; Baylor University, Waco, TX

There is an abundance of scientific and anecdotal evidence that suggests protein is useful for a wide array of beneficial performance enhancements, but a new emergence of designer supplementation, named "Bio-Active Peptides"—isolated sub-fractions of protein molecules containing high concentrations of growth factors—could become the new natural compound of choice for athletes in search of enhanced recovery, improved strength, and lean body mass development. To follow is a scientific summary of what bio-active peptides are, along with how they work, what they have to offer us, and how to use them for optimal performance enhancement.

Origins of Bio-Active Protein Peptides

In the late 1800's, the Polish researcher Stanislaus Bondzynski discovered natural "bio-active peptides" in the body but did not realize at that time the true power they possessed on function, disease prevention, and their possible roles in addressing cancer. Although published in scientific journals of the time, his findings were ignored by all but a few. Over the years, 1,200-plus unique bio-actives have been identified to be present within plant and animal proteins. Today, bio-active peptides are a big-ticket item for drug companies searching for new ways to improve health, recovery, stunted growth, and immune function. Those peptides, such as insulin and growth hormone, for example, have changed the face of medicine over the last several decades; however, their use in athletics is prohibited. For those in the dietary supplement world, on the other hand, bio-active peptides represent a new breed of supplements that may improve performance, reduce time to recovery due to inflammation (swelling and soreness) and immune-function, post-exercise recovery, and most excitingly,

There is little doubt bio-actives peptides are a major find and a potential breakthrough as a natural nontoxic treatment in an array of human ailments. Many companies have begun investigating additional benefits beyond treatment and prevention of disease, and some have produced products that may aid not only in recovery but also reduction of inflammation and pain management. Additional research and testing has now begun on the potential powerful benefits to those engaged in exercise and athletics. A handful of companies have produced commercially available products that contain lactoferrin, immunoglobins, and some other bio-actives, and they have even marketed them in the performance arena. However, only one nutritional company is producing a specific supplement engineered toward improving muscle protein synthesis and recovery, with additional bio-actives present, as it relates to resistance training, sports performance, and enhancement of lean body mass. It is patent-pending (USPTO No. 61/832,610) and found under the trade name Bio-Pro Bio-Active Peptides™.

What Are Bio-Active Peptides?

Bio-active peptides are specific protein fragments beneficial to various physiological systems within the body, such as cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and nervous systems, thereby positively influencing health. The beneficial health effects may be classified as anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, anti-thrombotic, anti-hypertensive, anti-microbial, and immune-modulatory [24]. Additionally, bio-active peptides play a role in protein metabolism and protein synthesis and thus have an effect on the musculoskeletal system.

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