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The Potential Benefits of Melanotan 2 (MT 2)
What Is MT 2?
MT 2 is an upgraded synthetic variant of the human alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone. It is a melatonin modification initially developed at the University of Arizona in the 1980s. Melanotan acts as an artificial tanning agent for the skin and helps reduce the frequency of skin cancer due to UV exposure while avoiding the side effects of existing UV blocking creams. Interestingly, the development of Melanotan has initiated studies of the entire branch of human receptor science, which deals with a new understanding of diverse physiological phenomena like hunger, sexual arousal, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Animal studies have highlighted the following functions of Melanotan 2. These include:
1. Sexual stimulation
2. Enhancement of skin pigmentation, enhances cardiac function in specific settings
3. Control of compulsive and addictive behavior
4. Regulation of hunger as a result of leptin signaling
5. Reduction in glucagon production
6. Amelioration of features of autism
7. Improvement of cardiac function in specific settings
MT 2 and Melanocortin Signaling
Melanocortins are powerful neuropeptides obtained from proopiomelanocortin (POMC). It is effective against the central and peripheral nervous systems. The discovery of the first melanocortin receptor in the early 1900s gave insight into the peripheral influence of melanocortins. To date, five melanocortin receptors (MC1 to MC5) have been identified, which have been observed to possess the following properties.
1. MC1R – Regulates pigmentation, pain perception, development, and infection response.
2. MC2R – It exclusively binds to ACTH and is involved in lipolysis, anti-inflammatory effects, and diverse autoimmune disorders.
3. MC3R – Regulates energy homeostasis and obesity.
4. MC4R – Also involved in obesity, energy homeostasis (along with MCR2), insulin resistance, sexual arousal, and neurogenesis.
5. MC5R – Regulates sebum production, fatty acid oxidation, lipolysis, erythrocyte (red blood cell) differentiation, inflammatory responses, thermal homeostasis, and pheromone production. MC5R levels in the brain can be linked to physical activity.
The binding of melanocortin peptides to MCRs is a gradual phenomenon. MC1R exclusively regulates the effect at low doses of the peptides. The binding of peptides to other receptors usually happens at higher concentrations. However, there is no fixed sequence of peptide-receptor interaction to mediate the desired biological effect.
Melanocortin 2 Dosage and Format
Melanocortin 2 is essentially parenterally injected as the oral introduction compromises its stability in the gastrointestinal tract. In animal models, optimal doses range from 240 ng to 1 microgram per day. It has been proven to be highly potent, even at low doses. Hence extensive studies involving titration of the optimal dose for the desired outcome are crucial to avoiding adverse effects of high doses.
Melanotan 2 Benefits: Does MT 2 Really Work?
MT 2 is a complex peptide with diverse roles. It promotes melanocyte activation in the skin to protect against any possible UV exposure. The operation of the melanocortin system is complicated; it requires crucial determination of the peptide dose to prevent any unwanted side effects. The peptide was found to be effective in the regulation of metabolism, sexual behavior, and cardiac function in animal models. It controls compulsive behavior and is beneficial in settings of drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism. MT 2 ameliorates symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), promotes social interaction, and reduces repetitive motor ticks. It further helps to improve sexual behavior in both genders. Men with erectile dysfunction benefit from MT 2, especially if they don’t respond to Viagra.
The peptide triggers sexual arousal in women as well. In totality, MT 2 is both a potential medication candidate and a research tool to explore functions of the melanocortin system, leptin signaling to the amygdala region in the brain, among other physiological functions.
Melanotan 2 Safety
MT 2 displays diverse dose-dependent physiological effects through its extent of interaction with MC receptors. Researchers should use a minimal amount to avoid firing additional receptors and diverse secondary physiological pathways and thereby mask their desired effects.
MT 2 is a versatile synthetic peptide with a dose-dependent physiological response. Titration of dosage is essential to determine the optimal usage to mediate the desired influence and avoid unwanted secondary responses in the body. In this regard, the quality of the product plays a crucial role. Hence, researchers should decide to procure the peptide from a reliable source to aid good-quality studies. An authentic seller will provide all the necessary information such as quality assurance data of the peptide batch, purity results (including HPLC), and scientific information. They should also abide by the government bodies’ strict regulatory norms for selling such potent molecules. In this regard, consistent positive customer feedbacks are crucial for assessing the performance of the sellers.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not for human or animal consumption. All the information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.
Dr. Usman (BSc, MBBS, MaRCP) completed his studies in medicine at the Royal College of Physicians, London. He is an avid researcher with more than 30 publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Usman has worked as a researcher and a medical consultant for reputable pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.