Grey market epitalon products are genuine
Supplements containing epitalon are available in online stores, and research chemicals suppliers offer epitalon as an injectable. In 2015 the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health published analyses of two of those epitalon preparations. They were genuine.
Epitalon is a tetrapeptide. It's a small chain of the amino acids Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly. In the 1990s Russian researchers at the University of St Petersburg identified that chain as an active ingredient in a preparation called Epithalimin, an extract from the pineal gland which had been shown to have an anti-aging effect in animal and in-vitro studies.
Since then the Russians have reported interesting effects of epitalon in scores of studies. Laboratory animals lived 10 percent longer after being given epitalon, and its administration improved older animals' nutrient uptake, as well as extending endurance capacity and boosting insulin sensitivity. In test-tube trials epitalon has given old skin cells properties of young cells.
Nowadays anti-agers in particular are experimenting with supplements or research chemicals containing epitalon. Users post on forums that they feel better and more energetic, sleep better and that wrinkles and lines on their faces are less pronounced. Athletes sometimes report an increase in muscle power and the old injuries seem to clear up after taking epitalon.
The doses mentioned on the websites of supplements manufacturers and research chemicals suppliers are usually identical to the doses used by the Russians in their animal studies. To be honest, we wonder whether these doses aren't horribly high. We've always been told that you can't convert doses for pharmacologically active ingredients per kg bodyweight into figures for humans.
The preparations that the Belgians analysed had been impounded by national health authorities. These are shown below.
The BioLuma Research glass vial contained a white powder. According to the label it contained 50 mg epitalon, but it also contained mannitol. The instructions were to mix the powder with water and to use the enclosed inhaler.
The SmartCity plastic pot with the Epitalon food supplement label contained tablets. According to the label, each tablet contained 3 mg epitalon.
So the Belgians did find real epitalon in both preparations.
Drug Test Anal. 2015 Mar;7(3):259-64.
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