Sexual activity: The relationship between oxytocin and human sexual response is unclear. At least two uncontrolled studies have found increases in plasma oxytocin at orgasm – in both men and women. Plasma oxytocin levels are notably increased around the time of self-stimulated orgasm and are still higher than baseline when measured five minutes after self arousal. The authors of one of these studies speculated that oxytocin's effects on muscle contractibility may facilitate sperm and egg transport.
The structure of oxytocin is very similar to that of vasopressin. Both are nonapeptides with a single disulfide bridge, differing only by two substitutions in the amino acid sequence (differences from oxytocin bolded for clarity): Cys – Tyr – Phe – Gln – Asn – Cys – Pro – Arg – Gly – NH2. A table showing the sequences of members of the vasopressin/oxytocin superfamily and the species expressing them is present in the vasopressin article. Oxytocin and vasopressin were isolated and their total synthesis reported in 1954, work for which Vincent du Vigneaud was awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with the citation: "for his work on biochemically important sulphur compounds, especially for the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone."
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. 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.
Its unique potential as a healing substance lies in that it interacts with cellular actin and regulates its activity. Tb4 prevents actin from assembling (polymerizing) to form filaments but supplies a pool of actin monomers (unpolymerized actin) when a cell needs filaments for its activity. A cell cannot divide if actin is polymerized. Tb4 therefore serves in vivo to maintain a reservoir of unpolymerized actin that will be put to use when cells divide, move and differentiate.
Though it may be unlikely to form part of any official psychiatric programme in the UK, Phil Cowen, Professor of Psychopharmacology at Oxford University, admitted that there are various groups for whom it could be helpful. "About half of people with severe depression never see a doctor anyway, so it's reasonable to think it's fine for them to treat themselves with something like a supplement. Perhaps if you had mild symptoms, a smaller dose would be helpful. I'd also prefer to prescribe things like exercise or computer-based CBT if it's that stage, though. But depression and anxiety is very different between people, that's important to keep in mind. No treatment is the same for anyone."
In reality, SSRIs and 5-HTP aren't so different. Both affect serotonin. SSRIs work by blocking serotonin from being reabsorbed by nerve cells so more serotonin is available to help brain cells work efficiently. As a doctor would later tell me, 5-HTP, on the other hand, "provides your body with the tools to make more serotonin, as opposed to antidepressants, which are just working with the serotonin that you have already."
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.
Ive been struggling with my left brachialis and so after listening to a podcast in which you mentioned BPC-157 I tried it out. I was hoping for a miracle cure, which I did not get. However, I believe it certainly helped a lot. I am considering a second round. But the peptide rabbit hole is certainly interesting and I am most keen to try some others. But I would like to see if you have some advise for me on another topic. After having listened to your podcast with Dr Gains I thought that either you or Dr Gains may be able to at least point me in the right direction. My wife suffers from a condition called Pelvic Vein Congestion which causes her a lot of pain. From what I understand, she has a seemingly unnatural mass of veins around her uterus which may also suffer from a “valve” type problem in which blood can potentially run in the opposite direction and pool in locations which causes pain. She has been to doctors which offer invasive solutions with unattractive success rates. I have been searching for other cures, but the only thing that I found (supplement with Diosmin and Hisperidan) had some psychological effects. Any thoughts?
If cupid had studied neuroscience, he’d know to aim his arrows at the brain rather than the heart. Recent research suggests that for love to last, it’s best he dip those arrows in oxytocin. Although scientists have long known that this hormone is essential for monogamous rodents to stay true to their mates, and that it makes humans more trusting toward one another, they are now finding that it is also crucial to how we form and maintain romantic relationships.
A 2002 review concluded that although the data evaluated suggests that 5-HTP is more effective than placebo in the treatment of depression, the evidence was insufficient to be conclusive due to a lack of clinical data meeting the rigorous standards of today. More and larger studies using current methodologies are needed to determine if 5-HTP is truly effective in treating depression. In small controlled trials 5-HTP has also been reported to augment the antidepressant efficacy of the antidepressant clomipramine.