Peptides for Weight Loss: Modern Miracle or Dangerous?

Peptides for Weight Loss: Modern Miracle or Dangerous?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to weight loss.

Every year more consumers are looking for supplements to aid in their weight loss goals. Many supplement brands have popped up in recent years suggesting that peptides can promote weight loss.

But are there any clinical studies showing that peptides cause weight loss? And if so, which peptides are proven to work? Is it dangerous to use peptides for weight loss? And do collagen peptides cause weight loss?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we review clinical studies on oral supplementation with peptides for weight loss, to give our take on whether or not this strategy is likely to be effective.

We'll also discuss the potential for side effects, explain if collagen peptides (one of the most popular peptide supplements) can cause weight loss, and feature a video with a famous neuroscientist discussing a peptide used for weight loss.

Do Peptides Cause Weight Loss?

Peptides are chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Generally proteins contain 50 or more amino acids, while peptides can contain as few as two.

Some peptides have been studied in clinical trials for their effects on weight.

A medical review published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal found that peptides from milk have an appetite-suppressing effect, and therefore may support weight loss.

MOTS-C is a peptide that was shown in a 2019 clinical trial to decrease fat accumulation. It’s theorized to work by downregulating certain metabolic pathways that become dysfunctional in obese animals and people.

Ipamorelin is another peptide which has been used for weight loss because it’s been shown in research studies to cause human growth hormone (HGH) release.

HGH supplementation is clinically shown to cause body fat loss, so users of ipamorelin figure that by taking the peptide, they may reap the same benefits.

We can't find any clinical trials linking ipramorelin to weight loss.

Overall, we find it unlikely that peptide supplementation will cause weight loss, because we can't locate any clinical studies directly proving such.

While there are some theoretical benefits and indirect relationships between peptide supplementation and weight, we'll wait for more research to emerge before considering a recommendation of this weight loss approach.

Can Peptides be Dangerous?

Most peptides are only cleared for medical research, and don’t have nearly the same safety and toxicology studies that pharmaceutical drugs and many herbal supplements have.

The unknown nature of the long-term risks associated with use of novel peptides for weight loss is concerning in our opinion.

It’s surprising to us that so many health sites online tout the health benefits of peptides for all types of purposes including weight loss, without linking to one single safety study in many cases.

We find it to be illogical and potentially dangerous to use peptides for weight loss given the lack of safety data in human trials.

There are many weight loss supplements as well as lifestyle modifications that are shown to be effective in clinical studies, which we would consider to be much safer options than peptides.

Neuroscientist on Weight Loss Peptide

A video from the "Huberman Lab Clips" page features neuroscientist Andrew Huberman discussing a peptide used for weight loss.

We do not necessarily agree with any claims made by Huberman, but this is a popular video  (over 250,000 views) on the general topic that may be interesting to readers:

Do Collagen Peptides Cause Weight Loss?

Collagen peptides are one of the most popular dietary supplements, and for good reason.

They're proven in medical studies to have significant benefits for skin, and are one of the most promising dietary supplements for anti-aging in our opinion, especially given their lack of side effects.

Collagen is a type of protein, so it's more of a food product than a dietary supplement.

While we do recommend collagen for skincare and joint health, we don't recommend collagen peptide supplementation for weight loss.

We cannot identify any medical research suggesting that collagen peptides are effective for weight loss.

The vast majority of clinical trials on collagen relate to skin, joints or pain relief, and collagen is caloric, which makes it an illogical peptide supplement for weight loss.

Our Clean Weight Loss Picks

There are food-based nutrients which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.

Dietary fiber was shown in a medical review published in The Journal of Nutrition to cause 16 pounds of weight loss in 6 months when combined with moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline).

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.

MCT oil was shown in a meta-study to cause more than one pound of weight loss over 10 weeks. This equates to potential annualized weight loss of 6 pounds per year with less than one tablespoon's worth of MCT oil per day.

Bulletproof MCT Oil is our top MCT oil product, because the only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts. and it currently costs only $15.50 for over a month's worth of product.

Ginger intake "significantly decreased body weight" according to a 2019 meta-study on ginger and weight loss that analyzed data from 14 clinical trials.

Pique La Ginger is our top ginger product, because it's an organic tea in convenient crystallized form, and all that's needed is to pour the powder into a glass and add hot water.

All three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Certain peptides may be effective for weight loss, but the risk is not worth the potential reward in our opinion.

We cannot identify any clinical trials with human participants proving the effectiveness and safety of any single weight loss peptide.

We strongly advise against taking compounds without significant safety and toxicology research, unless otherwise instructed by a doctor.

Collagen peptides are safe and effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality, but appear to have no research backing for weight loss.

We recommend that consumers be extremely wary of supplement companies selling weight loss peptides.