Melanotan is a peptide that is used to stimulate the production of melanin in our body. Melanin, as you might already know, is what determines your skin color. Melanin – which literally means black or dark in Greek – is a natural pigment that causes your skin to become darker when exposed to the UV radiation. Click here to learn more about this complex polymer.
Here, let us delve deeper into the science behind the Melanotan peptide that has wide research implications. We have taken insights from scientificamerican.com to get a clearer picture about this synthetic hormone.
First, let’s check what are peptides?
Peptides are nothing but chains of amino acids, usually 2 or more, that form the building blocks of protein. Long chains of amino acids result in the formation of proteins. Peptides are, in other words, formed by the digestion of these proteins in our body. Body readily absorbs these different peptides into its bloodstream – making it an active ingredient in several skin care products. With different peptide profiles functioning differently, it gives ample opportunities to the researchers to learn more about the potential of each of these.
This is a pigment which is basically responsible for determining the color of our skin and hair. It is present in varying degrees in all animals and people. Melanin also protects our skin from adverse environmental conditions like UV rays that can cause skin cancer by forming a dense and complex molecular network on the epidermal layer of our skin that traps these harmful radiations.
Alpha-melanocyte- stimulating hormone (MSH) or Melanotan peptide
This is a natural hormone which is considered as the foremost MSH as far as stimulating melanogenesis is concerned. Melanogenesis is the process that results in the pigmentation of skin and hair. This pigmentation is essential for the even generation of skin cells in our body. The Melanotan peptide is important because the uncontrolled generation of cells on your skin can cause problems like melanoma. In other words, this is a peptide that stimulates the proper production of melanin in our skin. When our skin is exposed to UV radiation, this peptide causes it to become darker.
The continuous signaling that results from the proper stimulation of MSH creates a peptide movement that causes the working of the melanogenesis process. Apart from skin pigmentation, reduced appetite is also another characteristic associated with Melanotan peptide.
Melanotan 1 and 2
These peptides are synthetically produced and comes in two types – Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2 (also known as MT-II or MT-2). They exist as a modification of a naturally produced hormone named alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) which is important in regulating melanogenesis – the process that helps in the production of melanin pigment in hair and skin. Both these synthetic variants promote the production of melanin in our skin by simulating melanogenesis.
These synthetic peptides have been subjected to a lot of research because of their photoreceptive effects against the harmful UV rays from the sun. Research in this field is ongoing and is likely to produce several advantageous results.