The need to balance hunting pride and social obligations, and the necessity to reconnect with a family that depends on their provisioning were likely experienced by men throughout much of human evolutionary history. Oxytocin is found in all mammals and originated in the mother-infant bond, where it helps with childbirth, nursing and bonding. In some species, this existing hormonal mechanism could then be harnessed for novel contexts – for instance, men investing in pair-bonding and family provisioning, which is rare among mammals.
In 1989, a nationwide outbreak sickened over 1500 people and caused at least 30 deaths in the US. The outbreak was characterized by severe muscle pain and high white blood cell count. The culprit was later determined to be tryptophan supplements made by a specific manufacturer that were thought to be contaminated. Shortly thereafter, the FDA recalled and banned all forms of tryptophan supplements. In the meantime, an alternative supplement called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which is a chemical byproduct of tryptophan, was introduced as an alternative and has since become popular.
A Risk Quiz; Let’s say you are one of the volunteers to whom researchers gave $100, and this option: you can either keep the money, or give it to an anonymous trustee who will either invest it and double it to $200 and return half of the extra hundred bucks to you–$50–or keep all the money for herself. So you can either increase your money by 50%, or lose it all. What would you do? Would you trust that anonymous trustee? (Remember Loss Aversion from Chapter Two, where in a similar experiment most people decided to avoid the gamble and take the sure cash.)
There is one glaring problem, however: the supplements come with a disclaimer that recommends not taking them for more than three months. Most of the information out there on 5-HTP is anecdotal, and most of them are stories of it helping people, rather than hard facts about its scientific properties. I approached neurologists, psychologists and experimental doctors about 5-HTP, and many responses were strange. Not many people were willing to speak about it, saying they weren't qualified or hadn't read the relevant material, but there isn't much material to speak of. The main source of legitimate scientific evidence came from the University of Maryland Medical Center website, who stated that 5-HTP may work as well as certain antidepressant drugs to treat people with mild-to-moderate depression. But all the studies that support that statement were done in the 1980s and 1990s. I wanted to know if 5-HTP was a realistic alternative to SSRIs. Could I stay on 5-HTP forever, basking in its natural glory?

These studies demonstrate that in the animal model of TBI, early (6 hours post injury) treatment with Tβ4 i.p. at doses of 6 and 30 mg/kg reduces cortical lesion volume and hippocampal cell loss and improves functional recovery, suggesting its potential as a neuroprotective therapy for TBI. More importantly, delayed (24 hours post injury) treatment with Tβ4 administered i.p. at a dose of 6 mg/kg does not reduce lesion volume but significantly improves functional outcome in rats.34 Tβ4-induced angiogenesis, neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis may contribute to functional recovery.34 Therefore, our data suggest that promoting endogenous neurorestorative processes using Tβ4 provides a novel therapeutic option for TBI. It should be noted that systemic administration of Tβ4 is safe and well-tolerated by animals and humans.26 Further investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying Tβ4-mediated neuroprotection and neurorestoration is warranted.


When practicing deep breathing, focus on a calmer state of mind as you distract yourself from overwhelming thoughts and sensations. Sit in a quiet area and practice the following: Take a slow, deep breath through your nose, allowing both your stomach and chest to rise. Once your stomach is fully expanded, breathe out through your mouth, just as slowly as when you were breathing in.
The first study to show that Tβ4-promoted tissue repair was a dermal study performed in rats (Malinda et al., 1999). It had previously been found to promote angiogenesis and was reported to be high in platelets (Grant et al., 1995; Hannappel & van Kampen, 1987; Malinda, Goldstein, & Kleinman, 1997; Philp, Huff, Gho, Hannappel, & Kleinman, 2003). Since platelets are the first cells to enter a wound, it was clear that Tβ4 should be tested in dermal wounds in an animal model (Malinda et al., 1997, 1999; Philp, Badamchian, et al., 2003). In the first dermal study using 8 mm full-thickness punch wounds in rats, Tβ4 at 5 μg/50 μL of phosphate-buffered saline was found to accelerate wound closure, increase angiogenesis, and accelerate collagen deposition (Malinda et al., 1999). Tβ4 was only applied at the time of injury and at 48 h since after that the crust had formed. Visible macroscopic improvement was seen in the treated group by day 4. The study also found that Tβ4 promoted keratinocyte migration in vitro with activity in the picogram range. The findings were confirmed in various additional animal models (Table 1) and led to the clinical trials for hard to heal wound in patients as detailed in Table 2.
Treatment of patients with hyperbaric oxygen has been shown to improve the healing of chronic lower extremity wounds of diabetic patients (Londahl et al., 2010). In a pilot study, this treatment has been shown to more than double the number of circulating vascular stem/progenitor cells in these patients by a mechanism that elevates platelet NOS activity and to stimulate recruitment of vascular progenitor cells to wounds made in their abdominal skin (Thom et al., 2011). This treatment might be combined with topical agents for even greater efficacy in healing chronic wounds.
The relationship between oxytocin and human sexual response is unclear. At least two non-controlled studies have found increases in plasma oxytocin at orgasm in both men and women.[5][6] The authors of one of these studies speculated that oxytocin's effects on muscle contractibility may facilitate sperm and egg transport.[5] Murphy et al. (1987), studying men, found that oxytocin levels were raised throughout sexual arousal and there was no acute increase at orgasm. [7] A more recent study of men found an increase in plasma oxytocin immediantly after orgasm, but only in a portion of their sample that did not reach statistical significance. The authors noted that these changes "may simply reflect contractile properties on reproductive tissue."[8]
In mammals, many mysteries remain. Oxytocin is difficult to measure reliably in the brain, making it hard to know exactly where, when and how much is normally released; nor do scientists understand precisely how it works to alter behaviour. “What we need to start thinking about is the more fundamental role that oxytocin plays in the brain,” Young says. The determination to find out has been strengthened by a growing move in neuroscience to characterize circuits that are important in brain operations. “That's the level that's critical for understanding how the brain is regulating behaviour,” says Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, who has studied oxytocin in voles.
Ok Ben. Thanks. Started the TB 500 for my elbows. Got the 5mg of TB 500 and reconstituted it with 3 cc/ml. of water (3 syringes full) Just about filled the file. Now based on injecting just under .1 cc/ml or just under 10 (8) units for a dose of around 250. How long did that vial last you? Seems like there is a lot left and the amount injected is small. Is my dose and math right?
Hi Ben. Have a groin problem which I have had for years and it just won’t go away it’s not a hernia or osteitis pubis I had an MRI and the specialist said they wouldn’t operate. I can still play sport but I’m just less agile and slower than normal and it takes a few days for the groin pain to go away after sport. Would tb500 help to heal it or would bpc157 or something else be better? Thanks :)
5-HTP is converted by the body to serotonin, a chemical in the brain that plays an important role in mood, sleep, and appetite. Many prescription medications used for the treatment of depression increase serotonin concentrations in the brain. Because of 5-HTP's pathway to serotonin, it has appealed to researchers as well as the public as a "natural" alternative to antidepressants and treatment of depression, insomnia, migraines, obesity, and fibromyalgia.
But what about the three-month warning? Dr Rush, while an advocate for the supplement, sees it as a short-term solution, and not something to rely on long-term, for good reason. "Technically taking 5-HTP alone can deplete important brain chemicals such as dopamine and adrenaline. While 5-HTP is aimed at increasing the amount of serotonin in the body, dopamine and adrenaline are also important for positive mental health states. In order to prevent the depletion of important brain chemicals, taking 5-HTP would need to be balanced with amino acids that support the production of dopamine and adrenaline." That's L-Tyrosine, which you eat in soy, chicken and beef, and can also be found in health food shops as a supplement.
Supplementation of 5-HTP has been shown to be more effective than tryptophan supplementation alone. This additional benefit of 5-HTP supplementation arises because 5-HTP bypasses the cell's L-tryptophan's own self-regulation on the IDO enzyme, in which it upregulates the activity of IDO (discussed in next section) to maintain body homeostasis of tryptophan[6] and it bypasses the tryptophan hydroxylase enzyme, which is the rate limiting step in serotonin biosynthesis.[7]
“This is a very ancient molecule,” says Sue Carter, a neuroscientist at Indiana University in Bloomington, whose lab pioneered many of the early studies of oxytocin in voles. “It has been used and reused for many purposes across the evolution of modern animals, and almost everybody who's tried to look at an effect of oxytocin on anything like social behaviour has found something.”
Who is 5-HTP best for? Emotional eaters stand to benefit greatly, of course. So do carb addicts. Carbs help the body make 5-HTP — so when 5-HTP or serotonin are low, carb cravings kick in. Boosting 5-HTP with a supplement has been shown to slash carb cravings by more than 50 percent. And if a “fat gene” runs in your family, early evidence hints that this genetic tendency toward obesity is linked to “decreased activity of an enzyme that helps turn tryptophan into 5-HTP,” explains Michael T. Murray, ND, author of 5-HTP: The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity and Insomnia ($14.77, Amazon). Though more human research is needed, Dr. Murray believes 5-HTP supplements are a quick fix for the genetic glitch.
The group had first identified the thymosin sulfoxide as an active factor in culture fluid of cells responding to treatment with a steroid hormone, suggesting that its formation might form part of the mechanism by which steroids exert anti-inflammatory effects. Extracellular thymosin β4 would be readily oxidised to the sulfoxide in vivo at sites of inflammation, by the respiratory burst.[21]
Affecting generosity by increasing empathy during perspective taking: In a neuroeconomics experiment, intranasal oxytocin increased generosity in the Ultimatum Game by 80%, but had no effect in the Dictator Game that measures altruism. Perspective-taking is not required in the Dictator Game, but the researchers in this experiment explicitly induced perspective-taking in the Ultimatum Game by not identifying to participants into which role they would be placed.[89] Serious methodological questions have arisen, however, with regard to the role of oxytocin in trust and generosity.[90] Empathy in healthy males has been shown to be increased after intranasal oxytocin[88][91] This is most likely due to the effect of oxytocin in enhancing eye gaze.[92] There is some discussion about which aspect of empathy oxytocin might alter – for example, cognitive vs. emotional empathy.[93] While studying wild chimpanzees, it was noted that after a chimpanzee shared food with a non-kin related chimpanzee, the subjects' levels of oxytocin increased, as measured through their urine. In comparison to other cooperative activities between chimpanzees that were monitored including grooming, food sharing generated higher levels of oxytocin. This comparatively higher level of oxytocin after food sharing parallels the increased level of oxytocin in nursing mothers, sharing nutrients with their kin.[94]
Tβ4 is the major monomeric actin-sequestering peptide in human tissues, and can bind globular actin (G-actin) in a 1:1 ratio and consequently involved in cytoskeletal regulation by inhibiting the polymerization of G-actin into fibrous actin (F-actin) [7]. In addition, Tβ4 is an ubiquitous naturally occurring molecule and is found at concentrations of 1 × 10−5 to 5.6 × 10−1 M in a variety of tissues and cell types, yet, no receptors for the protein have been identified [33]. A recent study suggests that internalization of exogenous Tβ4 is essential for its subsequent cellular functions [34]. Moreover, Tβ4 has been shown to be associated with, wound healing, hair growth, immunomodulation, and angiogenesis [7–9].
Thymosin beta 4 accelerated skin wound healing in a rat model of a full thickness wound where the epithelial layer was destroyed. When Tb4 was applied topically to the wound or injected into the animal, epithelial layer restoration in the wound was increased 42% by day four and 61% by day seven, after treatment, compared to untreated. Furthermore, Tb4 stimulated collagen deposition in the wound and angiogenesis. Tb4 accelerated keratinocyte migration, resulting in the wound contracting by more than 11%, compared to untreated wounds, to close the skin gap in the wound. An analysis of skin sections (histological observations) showed that the Tb4 treated wounds healed faster than the untreated. Proof of accelerated cell migration was also seen in vitro, where Tb4 increased keratinocyte migration two to three fold, within four to five hours after treatment, compared to untreated keratinocytes.
Autism. A 1998 study found significantly lower levels of oxytocin in blood plasma of autistic children.[14] A 2003 study found a decrease in autism spectrum repetitive behaviors when oxytocin was administered intravenously.[15] A 2007 study reported that oxytocin helped autistic adults retain the ability to evaluate the emotional significance of speech intonation.[16]
RegeneRX Biopharmaceuticals is focusing on the commercialization of Tb4 “For the treatment of injured tissue and non-healing wounds, to enable more rapid repair and/or tissue regeneration.” Especially needy are diabetics who suffer from poor blood circulation and loss of sensation of pain that keeps their wounds unnoticed and unattended for days, leading to ulcers that may not heal. Other hard healing wounds are pressure ulcers in patients who are bed ridden and often receive skin grafts as treatment, or reconstructive surgery.
Jump up ^ Grottesi A, Sette M, Palamara T, Rotilio G, Garaci E, Paci M (1998). "The conformation of peptide thymosin alpha 1 in solution and in a membrane-like environment by circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopy. A possible model for its interaction with the lymphocyte membrane". Peptides. 19 (10): 1731–8. doi:10.1016/S0196-9781(98)00132-6. PMID 9880079.
It should be noted that supplemental 5-HTP can cause an increase in urinary 5-HIAA, which is the major metabolite of serotonin that is excreted in the urine. Increased urinary 5-HIAA is also sometimes a diagonistic marker for carcinoid tumors due to increased conversion of tryptophan to serotonin in these tumors,[62][63] and in this case serum chromogranin A should be measured (as supplemental 5-HTP does not appear to increase chromogranin A).[63]
Three groups of mice were individually placed in cages with aggressive mice and experienced social defeat, a stressful experience for them. One group was missing its oxytocin receptors, essentially the plug by which the hormone accesses brain cells. The lack of receptors means oxytocin couldn't enter the mice's brain cells. The second group had an increased number of receptors so their brain cells were flooded with the hormone. The third control group had a normal number of receptors.

These results were in agreement with previous studies that showed Wnt5a expression can be induced in activated macrophages, endothelial cells, and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) after inflammatory stimulation [58, 59]. In addition, we found that the effects of Tβ4 peptide on H2O2-mediated induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines (NO, PGE2, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-17), the expression of inflammatory mediators (iNOS and COX-2), osteoclastogenic cytokines (cathepsin-K, calcitonin receptor or Calcr, NFATc1, and RANK), and osteoclastic differentiation, were reversed by exogenous treatment with Wnt5a siRNA but enhanced by rh-Wnt5a, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoclastogenetic effects of Tβ4 activation were involved the Wnt5a-dependent signaling pathway. Similar to our results, Wnt5a knock-down markedly reduced cytokine/chemokine production induced by TNF in HDPCs [60].
Interestingly, there are numerous differences in the biology of teleosts and mammals, as well as specific differences in cardiomyocyte cellular structure and anatomy, all of which might contribute to regenerative variability. Unlike mammals, zebrafish can grow throughout most of adulthood, a phenomenon called “indeterminate growth” (Jordan, 1905). In fact, their growth can be affected markedly by changes in nutrition and population density (Goldsmith et al., 2006). It is thus possible that the capacity to replace cardiac tissue rapidly in teleosts has been retained in evolution as a function of the need for robust animal and cardiac growth. Indeed, a recent study has found that experimentally-induced adult cardiac growth in zebrafish is hyperplastic, and appears to rely on the same signals present or required during cardiac regeneration (Wills et al., 2008).
Again, the three groups of mice were exposed to the stressful experience of social defeat in the cages of other more aggressive mice. This time, six hours after the social stress, the mice were put in a box in which they received a brief electric shock, which startles them but is not painful. Then 24 hours later, the mice were returned to the same box but did not receive a shock.
But Carter and other scientists are concerned by reports from the physicians and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder who say that they are already using oxytocin off-label — before it has been thoroughly tested. “We do not understand how the hormone works yet, or have enough information about what happens when it's given repeatedly,” Carter says. “This is not a molecule that people should be self-administering or playing with.”
Such tissue-regenerating properties of thymosin β4 may ultimately contribute to repair of human heart muscle damaged by heart disease and heart attack. In mice, administration of thymosin β4 has been shown to stimulate formation of new heart muscle cells from otherwise inactive precursor cells present in the outer lining of adult hearts,[18] to induce migration of these cells into heart muscle[19] and recruit new blood vessels within the muscle.[20]
Dietary supplements containing 5-HTP are claimed to help promote feelings of happiness and general well-being as well as a wide range of other positives such as appetite control, reduced anxiety, and improved mood, sleep and feelings of relaxation. However, there is no conclusive evidence showing that it is effective, and there is no clear "therapeutic" dose of 5-HTP.
Oral 5-HTP results in an increase in urinary 5-HIAA, a serotonin metabolite, indicating that 5-HTP is peripherally metabolized to serotonin, which is then metabolized. This might cause a false positive test in tests looking for carcinoid syndrome.[28][29] Due to the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin by the liver, there could be a risk of heart valve disease from serotonin's effect on the heart, as based on preclinical findings.[30][31] However, 5-HTP has not been associated with cardiac toxicity in humans.[22][32][33][34]
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