Introduction: Peptides are fragments of proteins with significant biological
activities. These peptides are encoded in the protein sequence. Initially, such peptides
are inactive in their parental form, unless proteolytic enzymes are released.
These peptides exhibit various functions and play a therapeutic role in the body.
Objective: Besides the therapeutic and physiological activities of peptides, the main
purpose of this study was to highlight the safety aspects of peptides.
Method: We performed an organized toxicity and search of available literature using
PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline, EMBASE, Reaxys and Scopus databases. All the
relevant citations including research and review articles about the toxicity of biologically
active peptides were evaluated and gathered in this study.
Result: Biological peptides are widely used in the daily routine ranging from food production
to the cosmetics industry and also they have a beneficial role in the treatment
and prevention of different diseases. These peptides are manufactured by both chemical
and biotechnological techniques, which show negligible toxicity, however, some
naturally occurring peptides and enzymes may induce high toxicity. Depending upon
the demand and expected use in the food or pharmaceutical industry, we need different
approaches to acertain the safety of these peptides preferentially through in silico
Conclusion: Intestinal wall disruption, erythrocytes and lymphocytes toxicity, free
radical production, enzymopathic and immunopathic tissue damage and cytotoxicity
due to the consumption of peptides are the main problems in the biological system
that lead to various complicated disorders. Therefore, before considering biologically
active peptides for food production and for therapeutic purpose, it is first necessary
to evaluate the immunogenicity and toxicities of peptides.