Outside the brain, oxytocin-containing cells have been identified in several diverse tissues, including in females in the corpus luteum[34][35] and the placenta;[36] in males in the testicles' interstitial cells of Leydig;[37] and in both sexes in the retina,[38] the adrenal medulla,[39] the thymus[40] and the pancreas.[41] The finding of significant amounts of this classically "neurohypophysial" hormone outside the central nervous system raises many questions regarding its possible importance in these different tissues.
According to recent research, this hormone “is now believed to be involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterine contraction, milk ejection, maternal behavior, social bonding, stress and probably many more, which makes oxytocin and its receptor potential candidates as targets for drug therapy. From an innocuous agent as an aid in labor and delivery, oxytocin has come a long way in being touted as the latest party drug.”4
The combination of supplemental 5-HTP and a dopamine decarboxylase inhibitor is also thought to reduce the risk for cardiovascular complications, as excess serum (but not neural) serotonin is associated with heart valve disease in rats.[56] Due to the accumulation of 5-HTP in neural tissue following the combination[54] it is plausible to assume a reduction in systemic serotonin; this has not been demonstrated yet, however.
“The study is kind of a high-water mark for the field, putting different levels all together: a robust behaviour, a brain region, and a cellular basis for it,” says Richard Tsien, a neuroscientist also at Langone. Tsien has been studying the action of oxytocin on neuronal circuits in detail, by examining slices of the hippocampus, a region involved in learning and memory. In a 2013 study6 of rats, Tsien's team found that oxytocin selectively acts on a type of cell called an inhibitory interneuron in a way that quiets background chatter within the neuronal circuit. “Oxytocin improved signal transmission, almost doubling the ability of information to flow through the system,” Tsien says. In effect, it is producing more signal and less noise.
For depression: Most commonly, 150-800 mg daily is taken for 2-6 weeks. These doses are sometimes divided up and administered as 50 mg to 100 mg three times a day. Sometimes the dose starts out low and steadily increases every 1-2 weeks until a target dose is reached. Less commonly, higher doses are used. In one study, the dose is steadily increased up to 3 grams per day.
Ingroup bonding: Oxytocin can increase positive attitudes, such as bonding, toward individuals with similar characteristics, who then become classified as "in-group" members, whereas individuals who are dissimilar become classified as "out-group" members. Race can be used as an example of in-group and out-group tendencies because society often categorizes individuals into groups based on race (Caucasian, African American, Latino, etc.). One study that examined race and empathy found that participants receiving nasally administered oxytocin had stronger reactions to pictures of in-group members making pained faces than to pictures of out-group members with the same expression.[62] This shows that oxytocin may be implicated in our ability to empathize with individuals of different races and could potentially translate into willingness to help individuals in pain or stressful situations. Moreover, individuals of one race may be more inclined to help individuals of the same race than individuals of another race when they are experiencing pain. Oxytocin has also been implicated in lying when lying would prove beneficial to other in-group members. In a study where such a relationship was examined, it was found that when individuals were administered oxytocin, rates of dishonesty in the participants' responses increased for their in-group members when a beneficial outcome for their group was expected.[63] Both of these examples show the tendency of individuals to act in ways that benefit those considered to be members of their social group, or in-group.
The diverse activities related to tissue repair may depend on interactions with receptors quite distinct from actin and possessing extracellular ligand-binding domains. Such multi-tasking by, or "partner promiscuity" of, proteins has been referred to as protein moonlighting.[14] Proteins such as thymosins which lack stable folded structure in aqueous solution, are known as intrinsically unstructured proteins (IUPs). Because IUPs acquire specific folded structures only on binding to their partner proteins, they offer special possibilities for interaction with multiple partners.[15] A candidate extracellular receptor of high affinity for thymosin β4 is the β subunit of cell surface-located ATP synthase, which would allow extracellular thymosin to signal via a purinergic receptor.[16]
It bears understanding that this type of peptide is not a treatment or cure for anything, nor should it be considered a preventative measure to skin cancer. While this tanning peptide is known to protect the skin through the natural tanning process, it is not in and of itself a foolproof UV shield, however it is an excellent way for those who don't tan otherwise to get rich golden tans without as much exposure to the sun.

Jump up ^ Wei D, Lee D, Cox CD, Karsten CA, Peñagarikano O, Geschwind DH, Gall CM, Piomelli D (November 2015). "Endocannabinoid signaling mediates oxytocin-driven social reward". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112 (45): 14084–9. Bibcode:2015PNAS..11214084W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1509795112. PMC 4653148. PMID 26504214.


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People are using 5-HTP for absolutely everything from sleep disorders to OCD symptoms. After asking people in mental health Facebook groups whether they used it and why, I was inundated with responses. Sach Tennant, from London, takes it for her PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). "I only take it when I feel low and it only takes one hour to feel calm," she told me. "This month I only needed one to feel better. I don't get the zombie antidepressant feeling – you still have your emotions. Sleep is good on it. I used to have an inner voice that was male and used to bully me during PMT time. Noises seemed too loud, even like somebody eating a bag of crisps. Topping up with 5-HTP has stopped all this."

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light prompts an increased release of Alpha-MSH, which in turn stimulates the production of melanin in the skin. The more melanin produced the greater pigmentation level becomes, making the skin progressively darker and tan lasts significantly longer. This makes Melanotan peptide unique, people do not require as much exposure to UV light to produce more melanin, very attractive for people wishing to develop greater tanning of the skin in fastest way possible.
Oxytocin is known to be metabolized by the oxytocinase, leucyl/cystinyl aminopeptidase.[25][26] Other oxytocinases are also known to exist.[25][27] Amastatin, bestatin (ubenimex), leupeptin, and puromycin have been found to inhibit the enzymatic degradation of oxytocin, though they also inhibit the degradation of various other peptides, such as vasopressin, met-enkephalin, and dynorphin A.[27][28][29][30]
In persons with Panic Disorders (versus persons without as control) ingesting 200mg of 5-HTP, both groups experienced an increase in salivary cortisol within 3 hours but the persons with Panic Attacks continued to have greater increases after the 3 hour mark; this increased cortisol was independent of any percieved side-effects such as headache, fatigue, perspiration, nausea, etc.[43]

Trust is increased by oxytocin.[95][96][97] Disclosure of emotional events is a sign of trust in humans. When recounting a negative event, humans who receive intranasal oxytocin share more emotional details and stories with more emotional significance.[96] Humans also find faces more trustworthy after receiving intranasal oxytocin. In a study, participants who received intranasal oxytocin viewed photographs of human faces with neutral expressions and found them to be more trustworthy than those who did not receive oxytocin.[95] This may be because oxytocin reduces the fear of social betrayal in humans.[98] Even after experiencing social alienation by being excluded from a conversation, humans who received oxytocin scored higher in trust on the Revised NEO Personality Inventory.[97] Moreover, in a risky investment game, experimental subjects given nasally administered oxytocin displayed "the highest level of trust" twice as often as the control group. Subjects who were told they were interacting with a computer showed no such reaction, leading to the conclusion that oxytocin was not merely affecting risk aversion.[99] When there is a reason to be distrustful, such as experiencing betrayal, differing reactions are associated with oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) differences. Those with the CT haplotype experience a stronger reaction, in the form of anger, to betrayal.[100]

A study published last year in Biological Psychiatry was the first to assess whether people with variations in their oxytocin-receptor gene have a harder time maintaining romantic relationships than those who don’t. Hasse Walum, a graduate student at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and his colleagues took advantage of Swedish twin studies that included thousands of participants, their genetic information and their answers to questions about how affectionate they were with their romantic partners. They found that women with a specific variation weren’t as close to their partners as women without it: they kissed their partners less and didn’t desire physical proximity as often. These women were also more likely to report having had a marital crisis. Although researchers don’t know exactly how this variation affects the oxytocin system, it may result in a lower number of oxytocin receptors in the brain. People with fewer receptors would be less sensitive to the hormone’s effects.

Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH). α-MSH is a melanocortin I receptor agonist which has a role in human pigmentation by stimulating production of eumelanin. Melanotan II was originally developed as a treatment for sexual dysfunction. However, the proposal was abandoned when development of the metabolite bremelanotide was established.


Humans are social animals. Our individual prospects depend to a significant degree on the prospects of the group(s) to which we belong, and how well we get along with the group(s). Survival means being acutely sensitive to who is on our side and who is not. So it isn’t surprising that trust matters so much to how we go about protecting ourselves. And it isn’t surprising to find the instinct for trust rooted deep in the brain.
In the male mammal, the small peptide hormone oxytocin is produced in similar quantities within the hypothalamo-pituitary magnocellular system as in the female, yet for the male little is known about the physiology associated with this hormone. The present review summarizes what is known about the function of oxytocin in the male mammal and tries to take account of both central and systemic effects, and those linked with a local production of oxytocin within the male reproductive organs. In several species a pulse of systemic oxytocin, presumably of hypothalamic origin, appears to be associated with ejaculation. The systemic hormone could act peripherally stimulating smooth muscle cells of the male reproductive tract, but could also reflect central effects in the brain modulating sexual behaviour. In addition to systemic oxytocin, the peptide is also made locally within the testis, and possibly also the epididymis and prostate. In the former tissue it appears to have an autocrine/paracrine role modulating steroid metabolism, but may in addition be involved in contractility of the seminiferous tubules. However, the latter function may involve the mediacy of Sertoli cells which under some circumstances can also exhibit the components of a local oxytocin system. In the prostate of the rat and the dog oxytocin is linked again to steroid metabolism and may also act as a growth regulator. Finally, oxytocin in seminal fluid is discussed and its possible role in respect to the fate of the semen following ejaculation.
My mother was a mother of 6 born between 1948 and 1961. She was a great advocate for lots of cuddles and physical contact with all of her children (as was my dad). This included baby massage directly on the skin as she emphasised touch as being very important. She passed this knowledge onto me when I became an aunt and then a mother. I am very grateful to have had such a hands on, affectionate and intuitive mother as a role model.

In September 2007, the FDA issued a public notice advising consumers to stop using melanotan II as it was an unapproved drug with no safety or efficacy data for the advertised indications. Furthermore, the FDA issues a warning notice to a company owner that was illegally selling and marketing the product via a website. This led to subsequent indictment.


The short half-life (<2h)[16] of 5-HTP may inherently limit the therapeutic potential of 5-HTP,[17] as the systemic 5-HTP exposure levels will fluctuate substantially, even with relatively frequent dosing. Such exposure fluctuations are usually associated with increased adverse event burden, resulting from Cmax drug spikes, and decreased clinical efficacy resulting from sub-therapeutic exposure for large parts of the day. It has been proposed that 5-HTP dosage forms achieving prolonged delivery would be more effective,[17] as is generally the situation with short-acting active pharmaceutical ingredients.[18]
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