The History And Research Behind Melanotan

by | Apr 9, 2014 | Health

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Scientific research has opened new doors and provides new insight into how the human body may be capable of developing its own defenses and protection against a variety of different diseases. In some research studies specific new analogs of existing peptides can be created that boost the function of the naturally occurring peptide to create a newer, better option to consider. Melanotan is one example of a genetically engineered peptide that may hold the key to preventing skin cancer.


Melanotan was created at the University of Arizona as part of a research project that was designed to boost specific skin pigment production at a cellular level. Researchers believed that melanin, or the pigment in the skin, was a natural way to prevent UV damage from the sun that was linked to skin cancer development both in vitro and in vivo tests.

The researchers used skin cells that were exposed to high concentration of naturally occurring alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone. These cells developed an increase in the amount of eumelanin, which produces black and brown pigmentation that is linked to a decrease in the risk of skin cells developing. However, the naturally occurring alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone had a very short half-life and was not as effective in stimulating the development of eumelanin as would be required for cellular protection.

The Creation of Melanotan

The analog of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone, named Melanotan or Melanotan l, showed marked improvements in multiple lab studies using rats. Melanotan l was then further refined by the same group to produce Melanotan ll. It is a cyclic analog and has been shown to be as much as 1000 times more powerful in stimulating pigment formation than naturally occurring alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone.

Melanotan ll, as a molecule, survives much longer in cells and therefore is able to stimulate an increased production of melanocytes and an increase in the protective pigment in the skin. It targets specific receptions that are linked to the production of the dark eumelanin rather than the yellow/red pigment that is not as protective to skin cells.

Melanotan research has shown how analogs of naturally occurring hormones in the body can actually be more efficient and effective than thought possible. This same research is being used on many different hormones in the body, producing peptides that are longer lasting and more effective.

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