MOTS-c may protect against age-related and diet-dependent metabolic changes. Learn more about how this peptide works and what benefits it has.
RELATED: Why Mitochondria Are So Important For Our Health
What is MOTS-c?
MOTS-c is a relatively new peptide of 16 amino acids that promote metabolic balance. It regulates metabolic functions throughout the body. For instance, it turns glucose into usable energy.
The DNA in the cell nucleus encodes most peptides. But, the mitochondria’s DNA encodes MOTS-c making it unique among peptides.
Research by the University of Southern California found this peptide may help fight weight gain and normalize metabolism – similar to effects mostly linked with exercise.
In mouse studies, the peptide aided glucose metabolism, even when the mice ate a high-fat diet.
These initial studies could indicate improved blood sugar control for those with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Humans evolved to have flexible metabolism. Meaning we can adapt according to energy supply and demand.
Our bodies store the optimal amounts of amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose to use during food shortages or times with higher energy demand. But, eating excess calories and processed food regularly and inactivity causes metabolic inflexibility and dysfunction.
Dysfunctional metabolism may cause weight gain in various ways because they:
- Stops muscles from using fats instead of carbohydrates for energy demands.
- Impairs the body’s ability to manage food intake and energy use.
- Distorts the body’s ability to recognize nutrients and respond suitably, as is the case with insulin resistance.
Besides optimal mitochondria function, our bodies need proper energy intake and use, as well as glucose and insulin control, to stay healthy.
And, because mitochondria control metabolism on a cellular level, fixing the mitochondria may improve the metabolism.
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How MOTS-c May Help
MOTS-c has a long list of possible benefits. Most notably, it may improve physical function, insulin sensitivity, age-related metabolic diseases, and obesity.
Improves Physical Function
One of the signs of aging is the gradual loss of cell function. In turn, this inhibits the working tissue of organs and leads to less physical ability. As a result, aging is the leading risk for chronic disease.
We link aging with reduced MOTS-c levels in many tissues, including skeletal muscle and circulation.
According to study results, MOTS-c treatment helped middle-aged and old mice run significantly longer and further than untreated mice. What’s more, old mice outperformed untreated middle-aged mice. The results suggest physical re-programming rather than just rejuvenation.
In other words, MOTS-c seems to increase exercise ability on a cellular level.
Controls Insulin Sensitivity
MOTS-c may also improve whole-body insulin sensitivity.
When there’s more glucose available, insulin helps distribute it. It also inhibits hepatic glucose production (HGP) to help the body maintain balance.
As the body becomes less sensitive to insulin, it doesn’t use it as well, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers noted the peptide helped the body distribute insulin faster, showing better skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity.
Because MOTS-c boosts insulin sensitivity, it may help the body use insulin better and lower the risk of insulin resistance.
Metabolic Diseases of Aging
We associate aging with a decline of mitochondrial function and developing age-related diseases, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. And since MOTS-c levels fall with age, declining mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDP) may relate to metabolic decline.
Thus, regular MDP treatments may improve the abnormal metabolism linked with aging in humans.
Helps With Diet-induced Obesity
The peptide may affect obesity, as well.
The peptide helps activate AMPK in mice on a high-fat diet. For this reason, it may prevent diet-induced obesity.
What is AMPK? The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) acts as a cellular energy sensor. Cells activate AMPK when they are running low on energy. It’s also activated throughout the body after exercise or during calorie restriction. Studies show that compounds that activate AMPK may promote health. For instance, it may reverse diabetes, enhance heart health, treat mitochondrial diseases, and even increase life span.
The mice also used oxygen and glucose more efficiently and generated more heat. As a result, they burned more energy.
The study suggests that MOTS-c may prevent diet-induced obesity because it increases energy use and heat production and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose use.
While the peptide didn’t seem to affect body weight with regular diets, it can support weight loss in some cases.
In addition to the benefits mentioned, it may also:
- Promote fatty acid metabolism in the liver
- Help control mitochondrial energy
- Promote metabolic flexibility and balance
- Improve resistance to metabolic stress
- Help prevent osteoporosis
Pro Tip: The benefits of peptides are well known. And, while MOTS-c might not be right for you, we offer a wide variety of cutting edge peptide therapy at YM. Peptide therapy may help conditions ranging from muscle loss to fatigue and everything in between. Our dedicated team can help you find the right treatment for your unique needs.
Researchers only recently started studying MOTS-c. But, so far, the peptide’s potential uses and benefits have exceeded expectations. While studies are ongoing, it seems to be a promising treatment for diabetes, obesity, and age-related metabolic diseases.
Contact us today to see how peptide therapy can help you! We have offices in Ocala, Florida, as well as Fruitland Park and Daytona.