There is a lot of talk on the internet about newly synthesized substances that promise buyers they will get the natural skin tan of their dreams. And this will happen without the hassle of sunbathing or applying fake tan creams. This is a dream come true for models, bodybuilder and generally people who want to look more toned. We have 2 products on the market melanotan 1 and melanotan 2, but what is the difference between the two?
Definition and molecular structure
Both melanotan 1 and melanotan 2 are synthetic hormones meant to serve as analogs to the human hormone produced in the pituitary gland responsible for skin and hair pigmentation. Melanotan has a linear amino acid structure rendering it similar to our alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (or α-MSH) responsible with the release of melanin. Melanotan 2 has a circular structure, helping it bind more tightly to the human melanocortin receptors (proteins associated with pigmentation genetics).
Originally these drugs were created to help people reduce the effects of sunburn and diminish the frequency of skin cancer cases. Some might think that this is the cure for albinism, but those suffering from this condition lack the genetic information about pigmentation altogether, thus increasing the levels of melanin releasing hormones is pointless.
Results and side effects
Though both peptides were created for the same propose, Melanotan 2 is a shorter and circular derivate of melanotan and its side effects are more numerous compared first version of the drug. Melanotan or afamelanotide may produce the following side effects: skin pigmentation, nausea, loss of appetite, facial redness, headaches, fatigue, pruritus, vertigo, multiplication and/or darkening of moles, hyperpigmentation or white spots. The list of melanotan 2 side effects includes the above mentioned and more: increased sexual drive, physical sexual arousal and in some cases anaphylactic shock.
The list mentioned above seems rather dense, yet the symptoms are included in the category of mild side effects. More severe side effects are usually experienced when overdosing. It is worth mentioning that since melanotan is so similar to human α-MSH, side effects are less severe compared to those experienced when administering melanotan 2. Though melanotan might seem a safer option, most bodybuilders prefer melanotan 2, as they consider they can reach their goal faster and with less substance.
Considering the side effects, melanotan may appear as the best option that will provide the desired result with minimum damage. Still, sometimes that is not enough. When people try out new things, they think about costs before thinking about their safety. Since bodybuilders reported that melanotan 2 is cheaper and more effective than melanotan, melanotan 2 seems to be in the top of buyer preference.
Both drugs have not yet received approval by any government, since there isn’t much clinical research that would confirm whether they represent a thread to our health. There are some studies revolving melanotan 1 and researchers are putting in a lot of effort to make melanotan 1 available in pharmacies in order to help those who get sunburn easily and minimize the risk of skin cancer.