5-HTP supplements are made using an extract from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia,a tree native to Africa (2). 5-HTP very rarely occurs naturally in what we eat, but tryptophan, from which 5-HTP is made in the body, is found in a variety of foods. The richest natural food sources include cheese, poultry, eggs, fish, nuts, soy, and various greens.
For those deficient in tryptophan, supplemental tryptophan and 5-HTP could be somewhat effective, although a meta-analysis found barely statistically significant results (Odds Ratio of 1.3-13.2) from a statistically subpar collection of studies, and based on the inclusion criteria it set it had to expand its analysis to both 5-HTP and Tryptophan to get two studies to assess.
For this study, one of us, Ben Trumble, followed Tsimane men as they went hunting for food. Typically, Tsimane men set out alone or with a partner in the early morning and search in the forest for prey such as wild pigs, deer, monkeys, or the rare tapir. Following long looping trails they might be gone for eight or nine hours, traveling about six miles (ten kilometers). Ben collected saliva samples throughout the hunt in order to measure changes in men’s hormone levels.
TB-500 and Thymosin Beta-4 are not exactly the same, although you’ll often see the two names used interchangeably in the peptide world (AKA broscience bodybuilding forums). It’s much harder to get your hands on true Thymosin Beta-4, whether for research use, equine enhancement, athletic performance enhancement or bodybuilding. But TB-500’s peptide sequence shares most of the properties of Thymosin Beta-4, and it’s more economical to produce, thus easier to find.
Maintenance doses are taken once the desired pigmentation has been reached and requires much less frequent dosing. Unfortunately, this is where too many variables come into play to give exact instructions. Skin type, bodyweight, metabolism regulating speed of skin fading, uv ray exposure, preferred tan level – all that makes impossible to give correct advice on maintenance dose. Everyone will find their own perfect dose and dosing frequency through some trial and error. To not leave you completely disinformed on this subject here is example of loading and maintenance which can be used as starting point where to adjust from:
It was under development as drug candidate for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction but clinical development ceased by 2003, and as of 2018, no product containing melanotan II was marketed and all commercial development had ceased. Unlicensed, untested, or fraudulent products sold as "melanotan II" are found on the Internet, and purported to be effective as "tanning drugs", though side effects such as uneven pigmentation, new nevi (moles), and darkening or enlargement of existing moles are common and have led to medical authorities discouraging use.
Therefore, this study was designed to investigate whether Tβ4 was up-regulated in patients with periodontitis, and this study was also designed to investigate whether Tβ4 inhibition or activation suppressed the osteoclastic differentiation in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) and inflammatory response in periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) as well as on their signaling pathways.
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.
“I didn’t think it would be that bad honestly, but since I weight lift multiple times a weak, this supplement is doing me more harm than good. On a typical weight lifting day my workout is split into 5 sections. After taking 5-htp the night before I barely have enough energy to get through 1 section, and that is a serious problem, because of this I am quitting 5-htp all together.”
But we have to be just as good at recognizing who we can trust, so the system needs fine-tuned control. That’s apparently where oxytocin comes in. The amygdala, that critical organ for our biological risk response, has a high concentration of receptors for oxytocin. In the second set of those gambling experiments with the volunteers and the trustees, researchers used fMRI to watch the brains of the volunteers as they made their choices. As the levels of oxytocin in the brain went up compared with the placebo group, activity in the amygdala went down! Oxytocin diminishes the amygdala’s ability to send out the message “Warning! Warning! I don’t trust this guy.”
5-HTP has been shown in scientific studies to promote relaxation and alleviate stress and anxiety. The relaxation and anti-anxiety properties of 5-HTP appear to come from its ability to elevate levels of serotonin. Research has demonstrated that 5-HTP may reduce the risks of panic attacks and symptoms of panic, as well as anxiety and emotional stress. Research also indicates 5-HTP may be effective in helping to alleviate depression.
Both the production of oxytocin and response to oxytocin are modulated by circulating levels of sex steroids. The burst of oxytocin released at birth seems to be triggered in part by cervical and vaginal stimulation by the fetus, but also because of abruptly declining concentrations of progesterone. Another well-studied effect of steroid hormones is the marked increase in synthesis of uterine (myometrial) oxytocin receptors late in gestation, resulting from increasing concentrations of circulating estrogen.
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While the structure of oxytocin is highly conserved in placental mammals, a novel structure of oxytocin was recently reported in marmosets, tamarins, and other new world primates. Genomic sequencing of the gene for oxytocin revealed a single in-frame mutation (thymine for cytosine) which results in a single amino acid substitution at the 8-position (proline for leucine). Since this original Lee et al. paper, two other laboratories have confirmed Pro8-OT and documented additional oxytocin structural variants in this primate taxon. Vargas-Pinilla et al. sequenced the coding regions of the OXT gene in other genera in new world primates and identified the following variants in addition to Leu8- and Pro8-OT: Ala8-OT, Thr8-OT, and Val3/Pro8-OT. Ren et al. identified a variant further, Phe2-OT in howler monkeys.
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.
Fortunately for the players, despite the appending doom touted by the media, the current research suggests Tβ4 is safe. 23 non-clinical toxicology studies have been performed “that demonstrate the safety of Tβ4 for its current and planned uses in man”. Significantly, a human clinical trial in healthy volunteers found “intravenous administration of Tβ4 appears to be safe and well-tolerated by all subjects with no dose limiting toxicity or serious adverse events reported”. Admittedly, this trial is limited in that it only followed subjects for a period of 28 days, and thus there is a need for further research if Tβ4 is ever to be developed as a medication.
5-HTP is sometimes taken by people coming down from MDMA to relieve post-MDMA dysphoria. As 5-HTP is a necessary precursor for the brain to produce more serotonin, and MDMA use depletes a person's natural serotonin levels, it is believed that taking 5-HTP after consuming MDMA will speed up serotonin production. DanceSafe claims that the anecdotal evidence is widespread and that the theory is physiologically reasonable. Backing up this approach is research conducted by Wang, et al. in 2007, which observed that MDMA-induced depletions of 5-HT (serotonin) were restored in rats after administration 5-HTP, and suggested that this approach might be clinically useful in abstinent MDMA users.