Social behavior and wound healing: Oxytocin is also thought to modulate inflammation by decreasing certain cytokines. Thus, the increased release in oxytocin following positive social interactions has the potential to improve wound healing. A study by Marazziti and colleagues used heterosexual couples to investigate this possibility. They found increases in plasma oxytocin following a social interaction were correlated with faster wound healing. They hypothesized this was due to oxytocin reducing inflammation, thus allowing the wound to heal more quickly. This study provides preliminary evidence that positive social interactions may directly influence aspects of health. According to a study published in 2014, silencing of oxytocin receptor interneurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of female mice resulted in loss of social interest in male mice during the sexually receptive phase of the estrous cycle. Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security when in the company of the mate. This suggests oxytocin may be important for the inhibition of the brain regions associated with behavioral control, fear, and anxiety, thus allowing orgasm to occur. Research has also demonstrated that oxytocin can decrease anxiety and protect against stress, particularly in combination with social support. It is found, that endocannabinoid signaling mediates oxytocin-driven social reward.
Obviously nobody is suggesting coming off your medication, and for many cases of depression and anxiety, a course of SSRIs and/or CBT can be life-saving. For me, during a period of bad anxiety, when I was torn between the idea of going back on antidepressants or not, I began searching for some sort of alternative aid online and soon came across a video of Jim Carrey. Carrey has struggled with depression for the majority of his adult life; he's a classic case of the sad clown. "I take... supplements," he tells Larry King in the clip I found. "Vitamins?" asks King. Not quite, but not far off either. A natural substance called 5-HTP. "It's a wonderful thing," Carrey smiles. "It's amazing." His description of how 5-HTP worked made it sound like a super-drug, a cure-all. All it would take for me would be an anonymous trip to Holland and Barrett and 15 quid. Like every other young person, I knew it as a quick fix for MDMA comedowns, but never considered buying it as a medication replacement. Obviously for severe depression and anxiety, a serious course of SSRIs or cognitive behavioural therapy would be more appropriate. But at this point, I was ready for something to ease the transition.
5-HTP is very reliable in increasing serotonin levels. 5-HTP is actually used as a clinical test to judge the potency of drugs that affect serotonin levels (by pairing an experimental drug with 5-HTP to induce 'serotonin syndrome', or serotonin toxicity, one can see how much that drug exacerbates serotonin biosynthesis or bioavailability by seeing how much of a 5-HTP dose is required to induce the syndrome; the lower dose indicative of higher drug potency). This test is known as the 5-HTP induced syndrome test.
Oxytocin and vasopressin are the only known hormones released by the human posterior pituitary gland to act at a distance. However, oxytocin neurons make other peptides, including corticotropin-releasing hormone and dynorphin, for example, that act locally. The magnocellular neurosecretory cells that make oxytocin are adjacent to magnocellular neurosecretory cells that make vasopressin. These are large neuroendocrine neurons which are excitable and can generate action potentials.
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."
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.
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. 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 but appears to suggest that it benefits both genders.
But this isn’t the only study to show the subtle side of oxytocin. Just three months ago, I wrote about research from Heejung Kim at the University of California, which showed how oxytocin’s effects vary across different cultures. To fulfil its many roles, oxytocin has to dock at a protein called the ‘oxytocin receptor’, encoded by a gene called OXTR.
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.
Tβ4 is not a thymus-specific peptide but also present in most tissue and all cells except red blood cells . High amounts of Tβ4 were detected in human white blood cells, especially in neutrophils and in macrophages , expressed in developing mandible (embryonic day 12)  and hair follicles (HF) of mice . In addition, the peptide is also detected outside cells, in blood plasma and in wound and blister fluids . Although the mechanism(s) of action of exogenous Tβ4 on anti-inflammatory effects remains unclear, the high levels of Tβ4 present in human wound fluid (13 μg/mL) suggest its importance in wound healing or anti-inflammation . However, the level of Tβ4 is variable (unchanged, decreased, and increased) in GCF or biopsied gingival tissue of periodontal patients [20, 21]. Based on the observations that Tβ4 has anti-inflammatory effects [11–14], the hypothesis is that Tβ4 regulates inflammatory mediators and osteoclastogenesis in osteolytic bone disease, such as periodontitis.
Disclaimer: Thymosin Beta 4 is a peptide that should only be purchased for use in experimentation and research. It should not be purchased for human use or any other purpose than for research. It is advised that once purchased, the peptide is used within experimental circumstances that are under strict lab regulations. It is recommended that researchers use protective gear in order to prevent contact with the substance. However, if exposure is made with the peptide, it is very important to cleanse the area immediately to prevent harm.
The biologically active form of oxytocin, commonly measured by RIA and/or HPLC techniques, is also known as the octapeptide "oxytocin disulfide" (oxidized form), but oxytocin also exists as a reduced straight-chain (non-cyclic) dithiol nonapeptide called oxytoceine. It has been theorized that oxytoceine may act as a free radical scavenger, as donating an electron to a free radical allows oxytoceine to be re-oxidized to oxytocin via the dehydroascorbate / ascorbate redox couple.
Oxytocin is not only correlated with the preferences of individuals to associate with members of their own group, but it is also evident during conflicts between members of different groups. During conflict, individuals receiving nasally administered oxytocin demonstrate more frequent defense-motivated responses toward in-group members than out-group members. Further, oxytocin was correlated with participant desire to protect vulnerable in-group members, despite that individual's attachment to the conflict. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that when oxytocin is administered, individuals alter their subjective preferences in order to align with in-group ideals over out-group ideals. These studies demonstrate that oxytocin is associated with intergroup dynamics. Further, oxytocin influences the responses of individuals in a particular group to those of another group. The in-group bias is evident in smaller groups; however, it can also be extended to groups as large as one's entire country leading toward a tendency of strong national zeal. A study done in the Netherlands showed that oxytocin increased the in-group favoritism of their nation while decreasing acceptance of members of other ethnicities and foreigners. People also show more affection for their country's flag while remaining indifferent to other cultural objects when exposed to oxytocin. It has thus been hypothesized that this hormone may be a factor in xenophobic tendencies secondary to this effect. Thus, oxytocin appears to affect individuals at an international level where the in-group becomes a specific "home" country and the out-group grows to include all other countries.
The hormone does not act alone. In 2013, neuroscientist Robert Malenka at Stanford University in California and his colleagues showed that oxytocin works together with the neurotransmitter serotonin to reduce the excitability of neurons in the nucleus accumbens9, a brain region involved in reward. This process seems to support the preference of mice to return to environments where they had rewarding social interactions with other animals. “Oxytocin is part of a system,” Carter says, “and it's not the only molecule that matters, but it's one that in some way is regulatory over a large number of other systems.”
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.
Some work has pointed to a potential dark side to oxytocin. Carter's group found that a single low dose of the hormone given to baby prairie voles improved their pair bonding as adults, but that higher doses interfered with that behaviour — possibly because oxytocin started to activate other receptors16. And human studies have suggested that in certain contexts, a puff of oxytocin can cause people to be more aggressive in defending themselves against outsiders or competitors17. In patients with a psychiatric condition known as borderline personality disorder, a single dose of oxytocin has been found to hinder trust and cooperation18.
Due to its molecular structure and low molecular weight, TB-500 is very versatile, mobile and possesses the ability to travel long distances through tissues. This means that when targeting injured areas (chronic or acute), TB-500 has the ability to circulate through the body and “find” those areas of injury in order to enhance the healing or growth process. Many users have also noted the added benefits of improved flexibility, reduced inflammation in tendons, re-growth of lost hair, and darkening of grayed hair.
5-HTP has been investigated for its role in hot flashes as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have been noted to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes and menopausal symptoms. In a study in menopausal females given 150mg 5-HTP daily (50mg taken thrice a day) for a period of one week failed to quantitivatively reduce the occurrance of hot flashes as assessed by a Flashmark Pro recording device.
Osteoclast differentiation was assessed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining and activity. After 5 days of culture, cells were stained for TRAP kit using a leukocyte acid phosphatase kit (Sigma Aldrich, St Louis, MO, USA). Cells with three or more nuclei were counted as multinucleated mature osteoclasts. To measure TRAP activity, cells were fixed with 10% formalin for 10 min and 95% ethanol for 1 min, and then 100 μl of citrate buffer (50 mM, pH 4.6) containing 10 mM sodium tartrate and 5 mM p-nitrophenylphosphate (Sigma-Aldrich) was added to the wells containing fixed cells in the 48-well plates. After incubation for 1 h, enzyme reaction mixtures in the wells were transferred to new plates containing an equal volume of 0.1 N NaOH. Absorbance was measured at 410 nm using a microplate reader.
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.
Recent preclinical studies by us and others have revealed that endogenous neurorestoration is present after TBI, including neurogenesis, axonal sprouting, synaptogenesis, and angiogenesis, which may contribute to the spontaneous functional recovery.13-18 In addition, treatments that promote these neurorestorative processes have been demonstrated to improve functional recovery after brain injury.19,20 However, clinical trials in TBI have primarily targeted neuroprotection, and trials directed specifically at neurorestoration have not been conducted. The essential difference between neuroprotective and neurorestorative treatments is that the former target the lesion that is still not irreversibly injured and the latter treat the intact tissue.19 Thus, neurorestorative treatments can be made available for a larger number of TBI patients.
TB-500 is a synthetic fraction of the protein thymosin beta-4, which is present in virtually all human and animal cells. The main purpose of this peptide is to promote healing. It also promotes creation of new blood and muscle cells. The healing effects of TB-500 have been observed in tendons, ligaments, muscle, skin, heart, and the eyes. Thymosin beta-4 is naturally produced in higher concentration where tissue has been damaged. This peptide is also a very potent anti-inflamatory agent.
Mouse bone marrow macrophage (BMMs) of 5-week-old female ICR mice (Charles River Laboratories, Seoul, South Korea) were used as previously described . Animals were maintained in accordance with the National Institute of Toxicological Research of the Korea Food and Drug Administration guideline for the humane care and use of laboratory animals Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval was obtained from Kyung Hee University (Seoul, Korea). Briefly, bone marrow of tibiae and femurs of mice were flushed with α-MEM. After removing erythrocytes with hypotonic buffer, cells were cultured in α-MEM containing 10% FBS for 24 h and adherent cells were discarded. Non-adherent bone marrow cells were transferred onto 100-mm non-coated petri dishes at 5×106 cells per dish and cultured in the presence of M-CSF (30 ng/ml) for 3 days. Condition medium (CM) was obtained from HPDLCs treated with 200 μM H2O2 or Tβ4 (0.5, 1 and 5 μg/mL) for 2 days. To evaluate the osteoclastogenic activity of CM from HPDLCs, we added the CM mixture (60% CM plus 40% fresh α-MEM without M-CSF or RANKL) or rh-Tβ4 to pre-osteoclast-stage cells and further cultured the cells for up to 5 days to achieve mature osteoclast differentiation BMMs (1.5 × 105 cells/well) and PDLCs (1.5 × 104 cells/well) were co-cultured for 7 days in the presence of M-CSF (30 ng/ml), RANKL (100 ng/mL), H2O2 (200 μM) or Tβ4 (0.5, 1 and 5 μg/mL) in α-MEM, supplemented with10% in 48-well plates under 5% CO2 atmosphere.
A: 5-HTP is classified as a dietary supplement. Because dietary supplements have not been thoroughly studied in the clinical setting, possible side effects and interactions with other drugs are not well-known. Also, because herbs and supplements are not strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these products are not required to be tested for effectiveness, purity, or safety. In general, dietary supplements should only be taken under the supervision of your health care provider. For more specific information, consult with your pharmacist about the potential for drug interactions based on your specific condition and current medications, particularly before taking any action. When your doctor prescribes a new medication, be sure to discuss all your prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals, and herbals, as well as the foods you eat. Always keep a current list of the drugs and supplements you take and review it with your health care providers and your pharmacist. If possible, use one pharmacy for all your prescription medications and over-the-counter products. This allows your pharmacist to keep a complete record of all your prescription drugs and to advise you about drug interactions and side effects. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Jen Marsico, RPh
The expression of Tβ4 mRNA is cell cycle dependent and is highest at the G0/G1 transition and during S-phase (), and changes in the expression of Tβ4 appear to be related to cell differentiation. It has been reported that hepatocyte growth factor, nerve growth factor or fibroblast growth factor (FGF) can increase the level of Tβ4 mRNA () and, in addition, interferon treatment augments the transcription of the Tβ4 gene (). It has also been shown that increased Tβ4 expression in cancer cells promotes metastasis, possibly by increasing cell mobility.
The vascular system in the normal adult brain is stable, but is activated in response to certain pathological conditions including injuries.68 Von Willebrand factor (vWF) staining has been used to identify vascular structure in the brain after TBI.69 TBI alone significantly increased vascular density in the injured cortex, CA3, and DG of the ipsilateral hemisphere when examined at day 35 after TBI compared to sham controls.18,34,64,65 Tβ4 treatment significantly increased the vascular density in these regions compared to saline treatment.34 This is in agreement with in vitro and in vivo pro-angiogenic effect of Tβ4.70,71
I am not a doctor and nothing I say should be taken as medical advice. If you have a read through the article, I would suggest following the recommendations there. If you want to go into detail book a consult at www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled for a Skype consult.
First, dietary supplements are not regulated as drugs in the US, and the careful testing and quality control that are required of prescription drugs do not apply to supplements like 5-HTP. This is why serious adverse effects and major outbreaks, like the one associated with tryptophan, can occur. You can minimize this risk by using only USP-Verified supplements.
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.
Oxytocin is typically remembered for the effect it has on prosocial behaviors, such as its role in facilitating trust and attachment between individuals. Consequently, oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone".[qualify evidence] However, oxytocin has a more complex role than solely enhancing prosocial behaviors. There is consensus that oxytocin modulates fear and anxiety; that is, it does not directly elicit fear or anxiety. Two dominant theories explain the role of oxytocin in fear and anxiety. One theory states that oxytocin increases approach/avoidance to certain social stimuli and the second theory states that oxytocin increases the salience of certain social stimuli, causing the animal or human to pay closer attention to socially relevant stimuli.
5-HTP is sold over the counter in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid. It is also marketed in many European countries for the indication of major depression under the trade names Cincofarm, Levothym, Levotonine, Oxyfan, Telesol, Tript-OH, and Triptum.