AHK (Tripeptide-3) 200mg
AHK, also called tripeptide, is a three-amino-acid-long peptide primarily found in the blood of mammals. It is usually attached to copper and has effects on a wide range of cells including fibroblasts and endothelial cells. It is a well-known anti-oxidant in research circles and is currently being investigated in animal models for its ability to combat hair loss.
Sequence (Three-Letter Code): Ala-His-Lys
Molecular formula: C15H26N6O4
Molecular weight: 354.41 g/mol
AHK has been extensively investigated in animal models for its effect on hair growth, wound healing, and tissue regeneration. It has been studied heavily by the cosmetics industry, in animal and in vitro models, for its ability to tighten skin, improve skin elasticity, reduce photodamage (a.k.a. melisma), lessen fine lines and wrinkles, and boost cell shedding in the stratum corneum (the top layer of skin) .
What Is AHK Tripeptide?
AHK tripeptide is a small peptide made of just three amino acids – Alanine, Histidine, and Lysine. It is sometimes referred to just as “tripeptide,” though that particular term can be applied to any three-amino-acid-long peptide. The cosmeceutical industry refers to AHK as DNA repair factor in some cases. AHK is often, but not always, complexed with copper, making it AHK-Cu.
What Does AHK Do?
AHK has been found, in animal and in vitro research, to activate fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are responsible for much of the extracellular matrix (proteins outside of cells) production that occurs in skin and other connective tissues (e.g. bones, muscle, etc.). Fibroblasts are primarily responsible for the production of collagen and elastin. Collage gives skin strength and also acts to attract water, making skin smoother and suppler. Elastin gives skin an ability to stretch and helps to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Together, collagen and elastin are heavily involved in preventing skin aging, with both quantity and quality of these proteins falling off as we age. Studies of the effects of AHK on collagen and elastin indicate that it increases collagen type I production by more than 300% .
Another effect of AHK is on the production of vascular endothelial growth factor and transforming growth factor beta-1 [2,3]. Endothelial cells line the inside of blood vessels and are responsible for much of the first stages of blood vessel growth. Transforming growth factor beta-1 regulates cell growth, differentiation, and death. By increasing the secretion of endothelial growth factor and decreasing the secretion of transforming growth factor beta-1, AHK can stimulate blood vessel growth, particularly in the skin.
AHK Research Against Hair Loss
One of the reasons that hair loss occurs is that the follicles from which hairs grow die. This can happen for a number of reasons, but the primary reason is a loss of blood supply to the follicle. Research in animal models shows that AHK can stimulate blood vessel growth and help to maintain the health of existing blood vessels through the mechanisms described above. Research on human dermal cells grown in the laboratory shows that AHK stimulates the growth of blood vessels in and around hair follicles. This results in the elongation of hair follicles and the proliferation of a type of cell called a dermal papilla cell (DPC). DPCs act as shepherds of hair follicles, helping them access nutrients and ensuring that they remain healthy. Animal research indicates that by encouraging blood vessel growth and promoting the survival of DPCs, AHK can protect existing hair follicles and even help to regrow hair .
1. neova-dna-nourishing-study.pdf. Available at: http://www.dermacaredirect.co.uk/skin/frontend/default/dermacare/pdf/neova-dna-nourishing-study.pdf. (Accessed: 25th July 2016)
2. Pyo, H. K. et al. The effect of tripeptide-copper complex on human hair growth in vitro. Arch. Pharm. Res. 30, 834–839 (2007).
3. Pollard, J. D., Quan, S., Kang, T. & Koch, R. J. Effects of copper tripeptide on the growth and expression of growth factors by normal and irradiated fibroblasts. Arch. Facial Plast. Surg. 7, 27–31 (2005).