Research in the early 1960s showed that in rats, administration of α-MSH caused sexual arousal, and work on this continued in many labs up through the 1980s, when scientists at University of Arizona began attempting to develop α-MSH and analogs as potential sunless tanning agents, and synthesized and tested several analogs, including melanotan-I and melanotan II.[6][9]
Melanotan 2 works by stimulating the release of the pigment melanin from the skin. Less UV exposure is necessary with Melanotan 2 compared to “normal tanning”, and the tan that occurs with tanning injections is deeper and longer lasting than an individual’s “normal tan”. Melanotan works best (has the most noticeable effects) on people with fair skin tones.
Six hours later, the mice were returned to cages with the aggressive mice. The mice that were missing their oxytocin receptors didn't appear to remember the aggressive mice and show any fear. Conversely, when mice with increased numbers of oxytocin receptors were reintroduced to the aggressive mice, they showed an intense fear reaction and avoided the aggressive mice.

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There are several layers in the skin; the outer epidermis and beneath it the dermis and the subcutaneous layer. Cells in the epidermis include keratinocytes, its major cell type, that move continuously from the lower basal layer where they are formed by cell division. Other cells in the epidermis are the melanocytes that synthesize pigment and transfer it to the keratinocytes, giving our skin its color, and a wide variety of immune cells that maintain immune surveillance and secrete substances called cytokines, like interleukin 1 and 2, which are active in inflammation. The dermis contains connective tissue, mainly collagen, blood vessels, various types of immune white cells and fibroblasts.
Oxytocin (Oxt; /ˌɒksɪˈtoʊsɪn/) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide. Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary.[3] It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction, and during and after childbirth.[4] Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream as a hormone in response to stretching of the cervix and uterus during labor and with stimulation of the nipples from breastfeeding.[5] This helps with birth, bonding with the baby, and milk production.[5][6] Oxytocin was discovered by Henry Dale in 1906.[7] Its molecular structure was determined in 1952.[8] Oxytocin is also used as a medication to facilitate childbirth.[9][10][11]
Second, 5-HTP can cause serious drug interactions with many medications, especially those used to treat depression. Because antidepressants generally work by increasing serotonin in the brain, 5-HTP could combine with these medications to cause high concentrations of serotonin. Having too much serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome, a serious condition characterized by dangerously high heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. 5-HTP can interact with other classes of drugs, like migraine and pain medications, that also affect serotonin concentrations.

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.

Thymosin is a hormone secreted from the thymus. Its primary function is to stimulate the production of T cells, which are an important part of the immune system. Thymosin also assists in the development of B cells to plasma cells to produce antibodies. The predominant form of thymosin, thymosin b4, is a member of a highly conserved family of actin monomer-sequestering proteins. b-thymosins are the primary regulators of unpolymerized actin, and are essential for maintaining the small cytoplasmic pool of free G-actin monomers required for rapid filament elongation and allowing for the flux of monomers between the thymosin-bound pool and F-actin.
The structure of oxytocin is very similar to that of vasopressin (cysteine - tyrosine - phenylalanine - glutamine - asparagine - cysteine - proline - arginine - glycine), also a nonapeptide with a sulfur bridge, whose sequence differs from oxytocin by 2 amino acids. 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 synthesized by Vincent du Vigneaud in 1953, work for which he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1955.

Oxytocin affects social distance between adult males and females, and may be responsible at least in part for romantic attraction and subsequent monogamous pair bonding. An oxytocin nasal spray caused men in a monogamous relationship, but not single men, to increase the distance between themselves and an attractive woman during a first encounter by 10 to 15 centimeters. The researchers suggested that oxytocin may help promote fidelity within monogamous relationships.[109] For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "bonding hormone". There is some evidence that oxytocin promotes ethnocentric behavior, incorporating the trust and empathy of in-groups with their suspicion and rejection of outsiders.[66] Furthermore, genetic differences in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) have been associated with maladaptive social traits such as aggressive behavior.[110]
Established immortalized human PDLCs [22] that maintain the characteristics of primary PDLCs by transfecting human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) were used. These cell line were kindly provided by Professor Takashi Takata (Hiroshima University, Japan). Cells were cultured in α-MEM supplemented with 10% FBS, 100 U/mL penicillin, and 100 μg/mL streptomycin in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2 at 37°C. For the experiments, the cells were seeded into culture dishes and then cultured in α-MEM containing 10% FBS for 2 days until 70% confluent, and, then, the media was replaced by serum-free medium in order to minimize any serum-induced effects on PDLCs. Subsequently, the cells were exposed to H2O2 and human Tβ4 peptide (RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Rockville, MD). All treatments were performed in triplicate and approved by the local ethics committee.
Delayed Tβ4 treatment increases vascular density in the injured cortex, ipsilateral dentate gyrus, and CA3 region 35 days after TBI. Arrows show vWF-stained vascular structure. TBI alone (B) significantly increases the vascular density in the injured cortex compared to sham controls (A, P < 0.05). Tβ4 treatment (C) further enhances angiogenesis after TBI compared to the saline-treated groups (P < 0.05). The density of vWF-stained vasculature in different regions is shown in (D). Scale bar = 25 μm (C). Data represent mean + SD. *P < 0.05 vs Sham group. #P < 0.05 vs Saline group. N (rats/group) = 6 (Sham); 9 (Saline); and 10 (Tβ4).
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.
One study investigating romantic stress that looked at nondepressed youth who went through a recent breakup and were given 60mg of Griffonica Simplicifonia (12.8mg 5-HTP) twice a day for 6 weeks in an open-label study noted reductions in percieved romantic stress when measured at the 3 week mark with no further improvement at 6 weeks; there was no control nor placebo group in this study.[29]
Melanotans include melanotan I (afamelanotide) and melanotan II. Both melanotan I and II are widely abused to obtain a cosmetic tan. The melanotans are potent, non-selective melanocortin receptor agonists affecting MC1, MC3, MC4 and MC5 receptors. These receptors are responsible for many physiological systems including: pigmentation, energy, sexual function, immune system, inflammation and the cardiovascular system.
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]
Melanotan II is a synthetic hormone that speeds up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. It was originally developed as a potential treatment for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, but this research ceased in 2003. In technical terms, Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Today, there are numbers of sellers on the internet of unlicensed and untested powders sold as Melanotan II.
The first bit of evidence that points to oxytocin as nature’s love glue comes from researchers who measured the hormone in couples. Psychology professor Ruth Feldman at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, spent years studying oxytocin’s role in the mother–child bond and recently decided to dive into the uncharted waters of romantic bonds by comparing oxytocin levels in new lovers and singles. “The increase in oxytocin during the period of falling in love was the highest that we ever found,” she says of a study she and her colleagues published in Psychoneuroendocrinology. New lovers had double the amount Feldman usually sees in pregnant women.
First developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally used for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin appearance and sensitivity (especially to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help ease the symptoms of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more normal life.
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.

Addiction vulnerability: Concentrations of endogenous oxytocin can impact the effects of various drugs and one's susceptibility to substance use disorders. Additionally, bilateral interactions with numerous systems, including the dopamine system, Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and immune system, can impact development of dependence. The status of the endogenous oxytocin system might enhance or reduce susceptibility to addiction through its interaction with these systems. Individual differences in the endogenous oxytocin system based on genetic predisposition, gender and environmental influences, may therefore affect addiction vulnerability.[72] Oxytocin may be related to the place conditioning behaviors observed in habitual drug abusers.
The logic behind this trend is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun exposure could protect individuals from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma risk. More melanin means more protection from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and conveniently, deeper) complexion. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of truth to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
When looking at studies that investigate carbohydrates per se, one study in overweight women given 8mg/kg 5-HTP for 5 weeks noted that while placebo did not reduce carbohydrate ingested (calories were reduced in placebo, but carbohdyrate remained at 38% of voluntary calorie intake) that 5-HTP also retained 38% of intake as carbohydrates despite consuming less calories and carbohydrates in total.[9] A decrease in both carbohydrate and dietary fat has been noted with 750mg 5-HTP daily for 2 weeks in diabetics (with no dietary guidelines given), but appeared to be reduced to a similar degree as calories overall.[10] Only one study supports these anecdotes, where the reduction in calories seemed to be acounted mostly for by carbohydrates (75% of observed reduction) and then fats (25%).[10]
Naturalistic studies like ours can help unravel the evolutionary history and function of these hormones. Basically, the fact that hormone mechanisms have been tweaked during evolution suggests that the behaviors they promote have provided fitness benefits in the past. In this case, hunting and sharing meat must have increased men’s reproductive success.
Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements, but if you're considering the use of 5-HTP supplements, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.
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.
Before all of this, the men completed a series of widely used questionnaires to measure the state of their social ties. The questions assessed the nature of their bonds with their families and friends, how sensitive they are to rejection, how comfortable they are at being close to other people, how much they desire that closeness, and more. Shortly after using both sprays, the recruits also answered questions about their mother’s parenting style.
Our research mainly focusses on this early social experiences that people have that can be positive or negative, and that can really shape our developing brain. There have been some very interesting studies, for example, with children that grew up in Romanian orphanages. And we know that that early start, where it's really deprived from social contact and physical contact, had a massive impact. So we see that oxytocin levels, for example, are much lower than we would expect in other kids.
The reality is that people are always going to self-medicate. Boots, Amazon and H&B all sell 5-HTP, and in theory you could keep buying it and taking it for as long as you like. But it's important to know the facts. It shouldn't be used in conjunction with an SSRI, for example. In that situation, if the body is preventing serotonin breakdown while also getting extra serotonin, which leads to seriously unhealthy levels of serotonin activity.
5-HTP is an easy way to lose weight on just about any diet, so you can choose any plan that appeals to you — or even no plan at all! But if you’re looking for a quick approach proven to work, use guidelines created by the University of Rome researchers. They allotted folks 1,200 calories a day, about half from carbs and the rest a mix of lean protein and fat. That means at most sittings, you’ll want to start with 200 calories of carbs, including both starchy carbs and carbs from produce (such as a bowl of cereal with fruit, or pasta with veggies). Add about 120 calories of protein (such as some Greek yogurt, egg whites or a few ounces of lean meat). Finish with 80 calories of fat, such as 10 almonds or 2 tsp. olive oil. An easy formula for fast weight loss if we've ever heard one!

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.
It has been reported that deficiencies in the amino acid tryptophan (precursor to 5-HTP) are correlated with depression, as evidence by serum tryptophan in depressed persons.[16][17] Decreased levels of tryptophan in the body can come from various means but are most likely caused by a diet lacking in the amino acid as substrate, or by upregulation of enzymes (most notably indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase(IDO) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase(TDO)) that degrade tryptophan or direct it to paths that are not serotonin synthesis causing a relative deficiency.[18][19] These enzymes can be upregulated in states of chronic inflammation[18][20] and injection of some pro-inflammatory cytokines has been implicated in depression[21] and increasing the kyurenine:tryptophan ratio, which is indicative of IDO activity being increased.[22] The activity of tryptophan hydroxylase can also be further downregulated in cases of Magnesium or vitamin B6 deficiency, stress, or excessive tryptophan levels.[7]
5-HTP increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. Some medications used for depression also increase serotonin. Taking 5-HTP with these medications used for depression might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.