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Copper Peptide (AHK-Cu) and it’s Potential in Aging and Hair Loss
What is AHK-Cu?
AHK-Cu is a short peptide with three amino acids attached to a copper molecule (Ala-His-Lys-Cu). Scientists extensively study AHK-Cu peptides in animal models. It has shown immense potential to treat hair loss and skin aging.
AHK-Cu peptide, also known as copper peptide, exists typically in most mammals’ blood, including humans. This peptide is responsible for the growth and development of cells in the blood vessels. It also helps in the generation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). These effects of the AHK-Cu peptide are due to its ability to stimulate the production of another peptide called the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Producing new blood cells helps supply blood to body structures such as skin and hair follicles and stimulates their development.
Another way AHK-Cu may help the growth and development of skin and hair is through its effects on Growth Factor Beta-1. Through its impact on Growth Factor Beta-1 and VEGF, AHK-Cu peptide activates the replication and development of body cells called fibroblasts.
Fibroblasts are cells abundantly found in body structures, including skin, hair follicles, and blood vessels. Fibroblasts activate the production of body proteins such as elastin and collagen. These proteins are an essential constituent of skin layers and blood vessels.
What are the Potential Benefits of AHK-Cu?
AHK-Cu May Prevents Hair Loss
AHK-Cu peptide has immense hair growth potential. It improves hair density by preventing hair loss and by stimulating hair growth.
The scalp is a highly vascular structure. In other words, it has an extensive network of blood vessels that supply scalp structures like hair follicles. The supply of blood is crucial because hair follicles undergo a rapid cell turnover and depend on the supply of blood and nutrients to accomplish that.
With aging or conditions such as alopecia, the blood supply to the scalp gets compromised. It can lead to excessive hair loss and reduced hair growth. AHK-Cu peptide promotes new blood vessel development by triggering the release of VEGF. Research from animals suggests that AHK-Cu peptide improves the blood flow to the existing hair follicles and stimulates the growth of new hair follicles.
Another important phenomenon that leads to hair loss is the excessive conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is the critical pathology in male-pattern baldness. AHK-Cu peptide can help prevent male-pattern baldness in two ways. First, it prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Second, it down-regulates the effects of DHT on hair follicle receptors.
The hair follicles undergo three main phases of growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen phase. The anagen phase is the growth phase of hair follicles, where the hair follicles actively grow. Research suggests that AHK-Cu peptide can help the hair follicles remain in the growth (anagen) phase of the growth cycle and allow the strands to stay in that phase for 3-5 years.
AHK-Cu peptide and Anti-aging Benefit
The skin has several cell types, and fibroblasts are cells found in the skin. Fibroblasts are responsible for the secretion of skin proteins such as collagen and elastin. These proteins give the skin a supple and firm texture.
Skin aging results in a rapid decline in the number of fibroblasts. As a result, the amount of collagen and elastin in the skin reduces, making the skin prone to signs of aging. The skin becomes saggy and develops wrinkles, crow’s feet, and uneven tone and texture.
AHK-Cu peptide may help reverse the signs of aging by triggering the growth and development of new fibroblasts. Once there are enough fibroblasts in the skin, the skin elastin, and collagen increase. Research suggests that AHK-Cu stimulates the production of Type 1 collagen by 300%.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not intended for human or animal consumption. Research chemicals are intended solely for laboratory experimentation and/or in-vitro testing. Bodily introduction of any sort is strictly prohibited by law. All purchases are limited to licensed researchers and/or qualified professionals. All information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.
Dr. Usman (BSc, MBBS, MaRCP) completed his studies in medicine at the Royal College of Physicians, London. He is an avid researcher with more than 30 publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Usman has worked as a researcher and a medical consultant for reputable pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.