Can a supplement proven to fight blue moods also help stimulate weight loss? “Yes it can!” say experts who are now prescribing a natural compound called 5-HTP. According to top integrative health expert Tasneem Bhatia, MD, author of What Doctors Eat ($15.99, Amazon), “5-HTP is converted directly to serotonin, and serotonin makes you feel good, feel happy, feel full — and when you feel that way, you’re going to eat less.” In fact, Dr. Bhatia adds that while most appetite suppressants only target physical hunger, this one also “works to reduce ‘emotional hunger’ and stress-related urges to eat.” Dr. Oz said he left impressed after consulting with a panel of 5-HTP experts, including American Board of Obesity Medicine alum Denise E. Bruner, MD. He said the supplements may even be “a secret weapon for hunger!”
Oxytocin production does not exist separately from the evolved neurophysiological mechanisms that regulate gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) pulsatility. There are mammalian pheromones that are known to directly influence the GnRH pulse, for example androstenol. Oxytocin is not considered to be a pheromone by anyone I know who is involved in olfactory research. Sniffing it is simply a delivery method that we now can see might have negative consequences.
At least one study has actively differentiated between 'an increase in satiety' (sensation of fullness from food) and a 'decrease in appetite' (less desire to eat) and noted that 5-HTP causes an increase in satiety without a concomitant decrease in appetite.[9] Additionally, most studies are in exclusively females which may have more significance with interventions pertaining to serotonin metabolism; only one study mentioned above was conducted in men as well[10] but appears to suggest that it benefits both genders.
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.
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]

Some differences in cardiac anatomy exist between mammals and teleosts. The zebrafish ventricle has a thin wall of compact muscle surrounding a much larger compartment of myofibers organized into elaborate trabeculae. It is intriguing that this structure is very similar to that of the embryonic mammalian ventricle prior to its septation and fusion of trabeculer myofibers into a thick, vascularized wall (Sedmera et al., 2000). That the mammalian heart has a more differentiated, contractile anatomy is apparent not only in gross cardiac structure, but also in cellular features. Teleost cardiomyocytes are 2–10 times smaller, mononucleated, have a greatly-reduced sarcoplasmic reticulum and lack the T-tubule system found in skeletal muscle and mammalian cardiac muscle (Farrell, 1992). One might speculate that the teleost heart is better designed for growth and regeneration, while the mammalian heart is better designed for sheer contractile force. Nevertheless, none of the mentioned differences between lower and higher vertebrate hearts preclude the idea that the mammalian heart could be stimulated to regenerate, especially if that regeneration is due to mobilization of a progenitor cell population.

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.


Milk ejection reflex/Letdown reflex: in lactating (breastfeeding) mothers, oxytocin acts at the mammary glands, causing milk to be 'let down' into subareolar sinuses, from where it can be excreted via the nipple.[47] Suckling by the infant at the nipple is relayed by spinal nerves to the hypothalamus. The stimulation causes neurons that make oxytocin to fire action potentials in intermittent bursts; these bursts result in the secretion of pulses of oxytocin from the neurosecretory nerve terminals of the pituitary gland.
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]
To determine the effects of Tβ4 peptide and H2O2 on cytotoxicity, its cell viability was evaluated. A 48-h exposure to 0.1–5 μg/mL Tβ4 peptide did not affect H2O2-mediated cell viabilities (Fig 2A). In order to examine whether Tβ4 peptide suppressed ROS-induced inflammatory mediators, the ability of Tβ4 peptide on production of NO and PGE2, and expressions of COX-2 and iNOS were measured by RT-PCR, Western blot, and ELISA. Pretreatment with Tβ4 peptide dose-dependently inhibited H2O2-induced mRNA and protein expressions of COX-2 and iNOS, and NO and PGE2 production (Fig 2B–2E).
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.[1] 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.[2][3]
The scientists discovered that oxytocin strengthens negative social memory and future anxiety by triggering an important signaling molecule -- ERK (extracellular signal regulated kinases) -- that becomes activated for six hours after a negative social experience. ERK causes enhanced fear, Radulovic believes, by stimulating the brain's fear pathways, many of which pass through the lateral septum. The region is involved in emotional and stress responses.
Bonding. In the Prairie Vole, oxytocin released into the brain of the female during sexual activity is important for forming a monogamous pair bond with her sexual partner. Vasopressin appears to have a similar effect in males. In people, plasma concentrations of oxytocin have been reported to be higher amongst people who claim to be falling in love. Oxytocin has a role in social behaviors in many species, and so it seems likely that it has similar roles in humans.6
In 20 persons undergoing alcohol withdrawal taking 5-HTP (5mg) alongside Glutamine (150mg) and D-Phenylalanine (300mg) and some minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium, it was noted that after 40 days of nutritional therapy (in a hospital setting) that all withdrawal symptoms assessed via SCL-90-R except for anxiety noted a greater reduction with nutritional support relative to placebo.[1]

5-HTP can affect a brain chemical called serotonin. Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) can also affect serotonin. Taking 5-HTP along with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and can result in serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take 5-HTP if you are taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others).
There is also a positive feedback involved in the milk-ejection reflex. When a baby sucks at the breast of its mother, the stimulation leads to oxytocin secretion into the blood, which then causes milk to be let down into the breast. Oxytocin is also released into the brain to help stimulate further oxytocin secretion. These processes are self-limiting; production of the hormone is stopped after the baby is delivered or when the baby stops feeding.

Oxytocin's story starts back in the early 1900s, when biochemists discovered that a substance from the posterior pituitary gland could promote labour contractions and lactation. When scientists later discovered the hormone responsible, they named it oxytocin after the Greek phrase meaning 'rapid birth'. Oxytocin is produced mainly by the brain's hypothalamus; in the 1970s, studies revealed that oxytocin-producing neurons send signals throughout the brain, suggesting that the hormone had a role in regulating behaviour.


Bone loss associated with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis, and elevated osteoclast activity leads to bone destruction [1]. The most common osteolytic disease, periodontitis, is a multi-factorial irreversible and cumulative condition, initiated and propagated by bacteria and host factors [2]. Destruction of peridontal tissue is mediated via the expression of various tissue-destructive enzymes or inflammatory mediators such as interleukins-1 (IL-1), IL-6 and IL-8, tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF- α), nitric oxide (NO), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) [2]. Receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) are critical for homeostatic control of osteoclast activity, suggesting that they have vital roles in the progression of bone loss in periodontitis [3, 4]. Therefore, resolution of inflammation and blocking osteoclast differentiation might be a potential therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of osteolytic inflammatory disease, such as periodontitis [5].
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]
It has been noted[25] that isolated supplementation of 5-HTP may deplete or reduce the bioactivity of catecholamines such as dopamine[44][45][46] (which extends to L-Tryptphan[45]) and that this relationship also acts in reverse, with supplemental L-Tyrosine possibly able to deplete 5-HTP[47][48] and Serotonin itself,[48] which extends to supplemental L-DOPA which may reduce all intermediate of serotonin synthesis[49][50][51] although L-DOPA may also deplete L-Tyrosine (as it is merely later in the same metabolic chain).[50] Due to excessive levels of either one depleting the other, some authors have suggested that combination therapy of 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine (the furthest back in the metabolic chain while still passing rate limiting enzymes) is a potentially useful avenue for anti-depressive effects.[52]
In all groups, [intravenous tryptophan] impaired memory and psychomotor performance significantly. In conclusion, cognitive deficits in [bipolar patients] following [intravenous tryptophan] may reflect a central 5-HT vulnerability in frontal brain areas. Independent of [intravenous tryptophan], cognitive deficits in [bipolar patients] provide evidence for a trait marker for [bipolar disorders].
Letdown reflex. In lactating (breastfeeding) mothers, oxytocin acts at the mammary glands, causing milk to be ‘let down’ into a collecting chamber, from where it can be extracted by compressing the areola and sucking at the nipple. Sucking by the infant at the nipple is relayed by spinal nerves to the hypothalamus. The stimulation causes neurons that make oxytocin to fire action potentials in intermittent bursts; these bursts result in the secretion of pulses of oxytocin from the neurosecretory nerve terminals of the pituitary gland.
An estimated 1.4 million people sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the United States, and more than 5 million people are coping with disabilities from TBI at an annual cost of more than $56 billion.1 There are no commercially-available pharmacological treatment options available for TBI because all clinical trial strategies have failed.2,3 The disappointing clinical trial results may be due to variability in treatment approaches and heterogeneity of the population of TBI patients.4-9 Another important aspect is that most clinical trial strategies have used drugs that target a single pathophysiological mechanism, although many mechanisms are involved in secondary injury after TBI.4 Neuroprotection approaches have historically been dominated by targeting neuron-based injury mechanisms as the primary or even exclusive focus of the neuroprotective strategy.3 In the vast majority of preclinical studies, the treatment compounds are administered early and, frequently, even before TBI.10,11 Clinically, the administration of a compound early may be problematic because of the difficulty in obtaining informed consent.12
Oxytocin production is controlled by a positive feedback mechanism. This mechanism allows the release of the oxytocin hormone when a trigger occurs. The hormone then causes an action in the body, such as the letdown of milk or the start of labor contractions, which signals more production of oxytocin. The feedback cycle continues until the action, such as childbirth or feeding the baby, is complete.
Few forms of trust are more basic than that between a newborn and its mother. Scientists have discovered that this relationship is strengthened by the hormone oxytocin, released when the baby stares up at mom while breast feeding. Staring lovingly at your boyfriend or girlfriend can trigger their release of oxytocin too, as can warm physical contact like touching and hugging. (Levels increase during sex and peak at orgasm, which may help explain the age-old question “But will you love me in the morning, when your oxytocin levels have dropped?”) Oxytocin reduces stress in arguing couples, helps us recognize faces, even helps us look at a face (in fact, just a pair of eyes) and identify the mood that person is in. The stuff is magic.
During the 2000s, the Melanotan II peptide and the metabolite derived from it, the erectile dysfunction-focused Bremelanotide (also known as PT-141), were patented and then licensed to biotechnology companies hoping to develop them into profitable prescription drugs. However, these companies also offer the peptides for direct sale to researchers. These transactions occupy a legal gray area, since the peptides are banned for human use outside clinical trials. While they can be purchased from various websites specializing in research chemicals, the purchaser usually has to affirm prior to final sale that the peptide "will not be used for human consumption" and is being acquired for "research purposes only."

Thymosin beta-4 is a very large molecule. In fact, it is so large that it cannot fit entirely into the receptor. Different sections of the molecule have different activities. TB-500 is the part of thymosin beta-4 hormone which promotes the most useful effects (overall healing, repair, new blood and muscle cells). For medical applications it is more practical to use the TB-500 instead of the entire Thymosin Beta-4 protein.
Young says that the oxytocin field would benefit from closer collaboration between basic and clinical researchers. If basic scientists can work out how oxytocin helps the brain to process social stimuli, then that might help in the design of stimuli — in the form of behavioural therapies — that could be given alongside the hormone to change behaviour, just as oxytocin and pup calls together affect virgin mice. “I think in the future these two branches need to have more communication,” Young says.

The idea that oxytocin is central to social cognition made it an attractive candidate for treating psychiatric disorders, especially autism spectrum disorder. People with this condition, who often have problems with social interaction and communication, may not process social stimuli appropriately — and scientists theorized that oxytocin might reverse some of the symptoms. Beginning in 2010, results emerged that seemed to support this theory: researchers found that single puffs of oxytocin could temporarily improve measures of empathy and social cooperation in people with autism spectrum disorder.
With the TB-500 it seems that pain was reduced even more in my shoulder and it appears that I recovered much faster from my workouts. I took the TB-500 on rest days. I have two more 1mg doses of TB-500 and I am going to site inject intramuscularly to the shoulder to see what happens. Then I will stop taking both for a month to see how things work out. Hopefully I won’t need them again.
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
To investigate the effect of Tβ4 peptide on H2O2-induced signaling cascades, the activation states of three mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs; p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase [JNK] and extracellular signal-related kinase [ERK]) as well as NF-κB p65 were examined in PDLCs. H2O2 treatment induced the phosphorylation of p38, ERK, and JNK MAPK(s) and the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 (Fig 5A). Treatment of cells with Tβ4 peptide blocked H2O2-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and phosphorylation of ERK and JNK (Fig 5B).
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a viable solution to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with current western beauty ideals. But it also creates new forms of risk concerning needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships via unregulated use, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have worked for decades to promote.
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]

The PDLCs were pre-treated with Wnt5a siRNA (30 nM) or Wnt5 peptide (500 ng/mL) for 2 hours, post-incubated with Tβ4 peptide (1 μg/mL) and 200 μM H2O2 for 48 hours (A-E), and then conditioned medium (CM) was collected. The bar graph shows the fold increase in protein or mRNA expression compared with control. * Statistically significant differences compared with the control, p<0.05. # Statistically significant difference compared with the H2O2-treated group. The data presented were representative of three independent experiments.

Jump up ^ Gauquelin G, Geelen G, Louis F, Allevard AM, Meunier C, Cuisinaud G, Benjanet S, Seidah NG, Chretien M, Legros JJ (1983). "Presence of vasopressin, oxytocin and neurophysin in the retina of mammals, effect of light and darkness, comparison with the neuropeptide content of the neurohypophysis and the pineal gland". Peptides. 4 (4): 509–15. doi:10.1016/0196-9781(83)90056-6. PMID 6647119.


The activity of the PAM enzyme system is dependent upon vitamin C (ascorbate), which is a necessary vitamin cofactor. By chance, sodium ascorbate by itself was found to stimulate the production of oxytocin from ovarian tissue over a range of concentrations in a dose-dependent manner.[23] Many of the same tissues (e.g. ovaries, testes, eyes, adrenals, placenta, thymus, pancreas) where PAM (and oxytocin by default) is found are also known to store higher concentrations of vitamin C.[24]
One way to clarify that question is to give individuals oxytocin rather than just measure naturally occurring levels. In experiments by couple therapist and researcher Beate Ditzen at the University of Zurich, couples each sprayed a liquid containing oxytocin up their noses (which ensures that the hormone reaches the brain). Ditzen then got them to talk with each other about an issue that both partners said often lead to disagreement or fighting, such as who did the housework or how they spent their free time. She observed how they communicated with each other during the discussion compared with couples who didn’t get the hormone.

It was also shown recently that delivery of Fgfs by release from peptide nanofibers, a gradual local delivery system, can increase neovascularization and reduce in-farct size in the ischemic rodent heart (Engel et al., 2006). Related to this, zebrafish have a natural ability to synthesize Fgfs after myocardial injury, a signal that appears to recruit Fgf receptor-expressing epicardial-derived cells toward regenerating muscle (Lepilina et al., 2006). Thus, what has been and what will be discovered about zebrafish heart regeneration is quite likely to illuminate possible strategies for enhancing regeneration in the mammalian heart (see Chapter 14.4).


It has been shown that oxytocin differentially affects males and females. Females who are administered oxytocin are overall faster in responding to socially relevant stimuli than males who received oxytocin.[75][86] Additionally, after the administration of oxytocin, females show increased amygdala activity in response to threatening scenes; however, males do not show increased amygdala activation. This phenomenon can be explained by looking at the role of gonadal hormones, specifically estrogen, which modulate the enhanced threat processing seen in females. Estrogen has been shown to stimulate the release of oxytocin from the hypothalamus and promote receptor binding in the amygdala.[86]
It has been shown that oxytocin differentially affects males and females. Females who are administered oxytocin are overall faster in responding to socially relevant stimuli than males who received oxytocin.[75][86] Additionally, after the administration of oxytocin, females show increased amygdala activity in response to threatening scenes; however, males do not show increased amygdala activation. This phenomenon can be explained by looking at the role of gonadal hormones, specifically estrogen, which modulate the enhanced threat processing seen in females. Estrogen has been shown to stimulate the release of oxytocin from the hypothalamus and promote receptor binding in the amygdala.[86]
Obesity. Early research suggests that taking 5-HTP might help reduce appetite, caloric intake, and weight in obese people. Other research suggests that using a specific mouth spray containing 5-HTP and other extracts (5-HTP-Nat Exts, Medestea Biotech S.p.a., Torino, Italy) for 4 weeks increases weight loss by about 41% in overweight postmenopausal women.
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