Sarcotropin Home  
Sarcotropin Home Is Sarcotropin right for Me? What is Medical Food? frequently asked questions Health Care
Is Sarcotropin right for me Banner

What is Sarcotropin

Sarcotropin is a medical food containing ingredients that oppose sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle or lean body mass (LBM) that occurs during aging. There is scientific evidence that sarcopenia can be at least partially reversed with resistance exercise. Nonetheless, while it is most common in physically inactive individuals, sarcopenia also occurs in people who remain physically active throughout their lives. This suggests that physical inactivity is not the only contributing factor to sarcopenia and that improper nutrition, a decline in hormones, insufficient micronutrients and other negative factors are also contributing causes. In such instances sarcopenia may also be effectively managed with protein-energetic substances that are anabolic to the muscles of aging adults.

To determine which substances are best suited for opposing sarcopenia, it is first necessary to know that the regulation of body composition is dynamic over time. Minute-to-minute composition is regulated by an individual's metabolic state, whereas day-to-day regulation depends upon the interactions of insulin and glucagon. However, long term or month-to-month regulation of body composition is affected by the endocrine and nervous systems. Thus, several contributing factors for development of sarcopenia during aging have been identified. These include progressive age-related attrition of alpha-motor neuron activity, growth hormone production, sex steroid levels, and specific amino acids and vitamins resulting from inadequate intake of dietary energy and protein. In addition, fat gain and increased production of catabolic cytokines, are potentially important factors contributing to development of sarcopenia. Using this scientifically-based information, Sarcotropin has been specifically formulated to oppose the causal molecular deficiencies by combining essential ingredients in a medical food product intended to complement the normal diet.

Recognizing the anabolic value of growth hormone, significant attention has been directed to selection of ingredients for the Sarcotropin formula that increase availability of that specific hormone. In this regard, secretagogues that directly stimulate cells in the pituitary gland called somatotrophs to produce and secrete growth hormone (GH) are particularly effective. One such is a naturally occurring peptide called ghrelin that is produced in certain fruits such as plum and mulberry. The molecule has been shown to have strong GH releasing activity that results from its ability to activate a specific receptor located on the somatotroph called GH secretagogue (GHS) receptor type 1a (GHS-R 1a) (1, see 2). GHS-Rs had been shown to specifically bind a family of synthetic peptide analogs of ghrelin prior to its discovery (3- 6). GHRP-2 is such an analog having the sequence D-Ala-D-beta-Nal-Ala-Trp-D-Phe-Lys-NH2 with a molecular weight of 817.97 daltons. It was originally derived structurally from metenkephalin (see 7). Small quantities of GHRP-2 are included in Sarcotropin to better ensure that the desired clinical effects of ghrelin are realized because of some possible degradation during processing of the fruit juices in which it naturally occurs.

GHS-Rs are concentrated in the hypothalamus-pituitary unit and also widely distributed in central and peripheral tissues thus accounting for the diverse actions of ghrelin upon the body (8-11). These include hypothalamic functions resulting in restored neuroendocrine activity, direct effects on the pituitary gonadal axis at central and peripheral levels, stimulation of appetite and positive energy balance, influence on sleep and behavior, control of gastric motility and acid secretion, and modulation of pancreatic endocrine and exocrine function s affecting glucose homeostasis. Positive cardiovascular actions and modulation of immune function are also reported actions of ghrelin and its analogs such as GHRP-2 (12-16). This wide spectrum of biological activity makes ghrelin a potential candidate having clinical impact and therapeutic potential on various fields of internal medicine such as endocrinology, gastroenterology, immunology and cardiology.

In humans and other mammals, ghrelin is predominantly produced by the stomach. However, it is also detected in the bowel, pancreas, kidneys, immune system, placenta, testes, pituitary, lung and hypothalamus (see 1). It is also found in fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and surprisingly in some plants. Some of these include Prunus x domestica L., Marus alba and Syzygium aromaticum (17, 18). RIA analysis confirmed that these plants contain significant amounts of this substance and that reverse-phase HPLC analyses of their extracts showed an elution characteristic of the peptide identical to that of human ghrelin. Because of this fact, the fruit juices are dominant constituents of the Sarcotropin formulation serving as natural sources of its active ingredient.

In addition to the naturally occurring active ingredient ghrelin and its analog GHRP-2, additional active ingredients in the Sarcotropin formula include leucine, ?-hydroxy ?-methyl-butyrate (HMB), Vitamin D, glutamine, and an extract of Mucuna pruriens.

Leucine is an insulin secretagogue and also the only dietary amino acid having the capacity to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (19). In older humans, the addition of leucine to a mixed nutrient meal resulted in a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis (0.053 ± 0.009%/h vs. 0.083 ±0.008 %/h, P < 0.05) (20). Conversely, leucine deficits can contribute to reduced muscle protein anabolism and a loss of muscle mass, as seen in acute studies of animals (21) and humans (20). Furthermore, a chemical byproduct of leucine metabolism known as ?-hydroxy-?-methyl butyrate (HMB) inhibits proteolysis or the enzymatic breakdown of protein to thereby oppose loss of muscle mass. These findings are promising for the potential use of leucine and HMB in Sarcotropin to enhance muscle protein synthesis and prevent its breakdown in the elderly.

Vitamin D plays an essential role in muscle growth and development (22) and in regulating muscle contractility. On the other hand, Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a loss of muscle strength (23) and function (22) and an increase in the risk of falling (24). However, there is evidence that these deficits can be improved by vitamin D supplementation supporting a putative role for vitamin D in preventing sarcopenia (25).

L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle cells that provides significant protection against the catabolic effects of stress hormones such as cortisol. It also acts in the nervous system to stimulate the release of growth hormone (26) and thus complements the effects of the primary GHS.

Mucuna pruriens, also called velvet bean or cowitch, is a legume the extracts of which are used for a variety of purposes including treatment of diseases, development of muscle mass and enhancement of growth hormone and testosterone secretion. Its endocrine effects result from the action of L-DOPA, an amino acid that increases brain dopamine which in turn enhances pituitary growth hormone production and release.

Based upon these complementary anabolic effects on muscle, the ingredients found in Sarcotropin are effective and safe for opposing sarcopenia, perhaps the most significant threat to health and vitality that occurs during aging.

Literature Cited
  1. Van der Lely, AJ. et al. Biological, physiological, pathophysiological and pharmacological aspects of ghrellin. Endocrine Reviews 25(3)426-457, 2004
  2. Howard AD. et al., A receptor in pituitary and hypothalamus that functions in growth hormone release. Science 273:974-977, 1996.
  3. Kojima, M. et al., Ghrelin is a growth-hormone releasing acylated peptide from the stomach. Nature 402:656-660, 1999
  4. Smith, R. et al. Peptidomimetic regulation of growth hormone secretion. Endocrine Reviews 18:621-645, 1997.
  5. Arvat, E. et al. Preliminary evidence that ghrelin, the natual GH secretagogue (GHS)-receptor ligand, strongly stimulates GH secretion in humans. J Endocrinol Invest 23:493-495, 2000.
  6. Ghigo, E. et al. Biologic activities of growth hormone secretagogues in humans. Endocrine 14:87-93, 2001.
  7. Muller EE. et al. Neuroendocrine control of growth hormone secretion. Physiological Reviews 79(2):512-575, 1999.
  8. Gnanapavan S et al. The tissue distribution of the mRNA of ghrelin and sub-types of its receptor, GHS-R in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87:2988-2997, 2002.
  9. Muccioli G et al. Growth hormone releasing peptides and the cardiovascular system. Ann Endocrinol (Paris)61:27-31, 2000.
  10. Papotti M et al. Growth hormone secretagogue binding sites in peripheral human tissues. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 85:3803-3807, 2000.
  11. Cassoni P et al., Identification, characterization and biological activity of specific receptors for natural ghrelin and synthetic growth hormone secretaogues and analogs in human breast carcinomas and cell lines. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86:1738-1745, 2001.
  12. Date Y et al. Ghrelin acts in the central nervous system to stimulate gastric acid secretion. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 280:904-907, 2001.
  13. Nagaya N et al., Hemodynamic and hormonal effects of human ghrelin in healthy volunteers. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 280:R1483-R1487, 2001.
  14. Nakazato M et al., A role for ghrelin in the central regulatin of feeding. Nature 409:194-198, 2001.
  15. Casanueva FF, Dieguez C. Growth hormone secretaoggues: physiological role and clinical utility. Trends Endocrinol Metab 10:30-38, 1999.
  16. Horvath TL et al. Minireview: ghrellin and the regulation of energy balance - a hypothalamic perspective. Endocrinology 142:4163-4169, 2001.
  17. Aydin S et al. Immunohistochemical and quantitative analysis of ghrelin in Syzygium aromaticum. Cell Biol Int. 35(5):437-441, 2011.
  18. Aydin S et al. Ghrelin in plants: What is the function of an appetite hormone in plants? Peptides 27(7):1597-1602, 2006.
  19. Koopman R, Verdijk L, Manders RJ, Gijsen AP, Gorselink M, Pijpers E, Wagenmakers AJ, vanLoon LJ. Co-ingestion of protein and leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates to the same extent in young and elderly lean men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 84:623-632. [PubMed: 16960178]
  20. Rieu I, Balage M, Sornet C, Giraudet C, Pujos E, Grizard J, Mosoni L, Dardevet D. Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia. J Physiol. 2006; 575:305-315. [PubMed: 16777941]
  21. Rieu I, Sornet C, Bayle G, Prugnaud J, Pouyet C, Balage M, Papet I, Grizard J, Dardevet D. Leucine-supplemented meal feeding for ten days beneficially affects postprandial muscle protein synthesis in old rats. J Nutr. 2003; 133:1198-1205. [PubMed: 12672943]
  22. Visser M, Deeg DJ, Lips P. Low vitamin D and high parathyroid hormone levels as determinants of loss of muscle strength and muscle mass (sarcopenia): the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 88:5766-5772, 2003
  23. Mowe M, Haug E, Bohmer T. Low serum calcidol concentration in older adults with reduced muscular function. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999;47:220-226. [PubMed]
  24. Dirks-Naylor AJ, Lennon-Edwards S . The effects of vitamin D on skeletal muscle function and cellular signaling. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 125:159-168, 2011
  25. Glerup H, Mikkelsen K, Poulsen L, et al. Hypovitaminosis D myopathy without biochemical signs of osteomalacic bone involvement. Calcif Tissue Int 2000;66:419-424. [PubMed: 10821877]
  26. Welbourne TC. Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load. Am J Clin Nutr, 61(5):1058-1061, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
 
Sarcotropin Home | Is Sarcotropin for Me? | What is a Medical Food? | FAQ | Health Care Professional | Privacy Policy | Prosoma LLC © Sarcotropin 2013 All rights reserved.