- What Is Selank And What Are The Potential Benefits Of Taking It?
- What Is Selank?
- What Are the Potential Benefits of Selank?
- 1. May Improve Anxiety
- 2. May Improve Learning Ability
- 3. May Enhance Memory
- 4. May Help with Brain Damage Recovery
- 5. May Increase Liver Antioxidant Activity
- 6. May Help Strengthen Immune Function
- 7. May Help with Alcohol Withdrawal
- 8. May Help with Blood Pressure Management and Increase Brain Blood Flow
- 9. May Help with Weight Loss and Reducing Cholesterol
- 10. May Improve Ulcers
- 11. Helps Reduce Stress
- 12. May Help with Parkinson’s Disease
- How Do You Use Selank?
- What Are the Kinds of Selank Available?
- How Is It Different from Semax?
- What Other Things Should I Consider Before Taking It?
- Where Can You Buy Selank?
- Selank (TP-7) for Anxiety + Insufficiently Investigated Uses, Dosage, & Limitations
- What is Selank (TP-7)?
- Selank (TP-7) Mechanism of Action
- Animal and Cell Research (Lack of Evidence)
- Brain Damage
- Antioxidant Activity in the Liver
- Blood Flow
- Alcohol Withdrawal
- Preventing Weight Gain and Reducing Cholesterol
- Inflammation in the Spleen
- Immune Function
- Selank, NA-Selank, and NA-Selank Amidate
- Selank vs. Semax
- Dosage of Selank
- Limitations and Caveats
- User Reviews
- Want More Targeted Ways to Enhance Brain Function?
What Is Selank And What Are The Potential Benefits Of Taking It?
Selank is one of the rising nootropics today. What is it exactly, and what are its potential benefits? Let’s find out.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to present medical studies and information in an accessible manner. This post may contain opinions about this particular drug but it does not mean that it is recommended for all readers. Always consult a medical professional to see if these solutions may be right for you.
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In this article:
What Is Selank?
Selank, also known as TP-7, is a synthetic peptide derived by combining the sequence of tuftsin with another sequence to improve its stability. Tuftsin makes up one part of the IgG antibody and is naturally occurring.
Tuftsin Definition: A peptide closely related to the immune function primarily supported by the spleen
On top of its anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and antiasthenic properties, it can also enhance memory and cognitive function. This peptide can potentially replace stimulants, tranquilizers, and antidepressants.
Antiasthenic Definition: A drug that counters asthenia, a disorder characterized by an abnormal physical weakness or lack of energy
While research isn’t yet conclusive, there are studies that observed the ability of Selank to stabilize blood enkephalins—natural peptides in the body that can reduce stress. Another research also reported it to have been able to change levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters involved in motivation, focus, and pleasure.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Selank?
Given the current data on Selank, here are the potential benefits you can get from taking it.
1. May Improve Anxiety
Selank can help in taming down anxious feelings.
Selank is an anxiolytic peptide, which helps combat stress and anxiety. Here’s what the literature says about this:
- A study with a randomized controlled trial of 62 patients found out that those who took Selank had fewer symptoms of anxiety. One promising caveat observed in the same study is the greater decrease in those participants with pre-existing anxiety disorders.
- This similar effect was observed in another randomized controlled trial with 60 anxiety and phobia patients.
- A study of 70 anxiety patients reported that Selank increased the effects of phenazepam, a banned anti-anxiety drug in the U.S. while reducing its side effects.
- Studies in mice also showed Selank’s anxiolytic effects. The more anxious a subject is in the beginning, the more significant the result is.
- Another animal study confirmed the long-term anxiolytic effect of Selank without causing any changes in body mass.
While these findings show promising Selank benefits, it is important to remember to seek your doctor’s approval before using Selank in treating anxiety disorders. As a general rule, you should never take any peptide or medication other than what your physician prescribed.
2. May Improve Learning Ability
A study in mice showed Selank’s capability to improve learning ability within three days. The subjects treated with the peptide learned quicker on an electrical test.
Other effects observed were reduced anxiety, helping them move faster.
3. May Enhance Memory
In a 30-day trial in rats, Selank showed to have stabilized memory traces in rats. It is unclear, however, how the measurements were done since memory traces aren’t detectable as locations in the brain.
There’s also a study that concluded it might preserve memories in monkeys.
4. May Help with Brain Damage Recovery
Selank also improves brain activity.
Researchers found Selank to restore the brain activity of mice with toxin-induced brain damage to normal levels.
5. May Increase Liver Antioxidant Activity
A study in mice showed that injecting the stressed subjects with Selank increase the levels of antioxidants in their livers.
6. May Help Strengthen Immune Function
In one study, Selank increased blood IL-6, an inflammatory protein that can help fight infection, levels of depression patients.
A different cell-based study found that Selank induced the release of the anti-viral molecules interferons. In this study, Selank did not show any treatment effect in virus-infected mice.
7. May Help with Alcohol Withdrawal
Having a hard time quitting alcohol? Try taking Selank.
In one study, rats were given a 10% ethanol solution as their only drinking source in the span of 24 weeks to recreate alcohol intake. It found out that Selank decreased alcohol-withdrawal-related anxiety of the rats after a 48-hour period.
8. May Help with Blood Pressure Management and Increase Brain Blood Flow
Selank decreased the blood pressure of sedated cat subjects by about 30% for 3 minutes in this study. It also increased the cats’ brain blood flow by about 24% for up to 10 minutes.
9. May Help with Weight Loss and Reducing Cholesterol
Researchers found that when treated with Selank, high-fat-fed mice gained 35% less weight. On top of that, the total cholesterol of the subject dropped by over 58%, while their blood sugar level decreased by 23.5%.
10. May Improve Ulcers
Selank may help with stomach ulcer problems.
Selank decreased the area of stomach ulcers in animal research subjects. This is attributed to the peptide’s ability to increase lymph flow to the stomach.
11. Helps Reduce Stress
Stress can be caused by a lot of different things, and the body reacts to it in various ways, as well. For instance, some bodies respond to stress by increasing the production of liver enzymes.
One study conducted on rats showed that Selank reduced liver enzyme production.
Additionally, a separate experiment found that Selank may influence the effect of benzodiazepine drugs. The study concluded that when combined with diazepam, it can provide a favorable effect in reducing anxiety in chronic mild stress conditions.
Benzodiazepine Definition: A type of tranquilizer
12. May Help with Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by muscular rigidity, slow and imprecise movement, and tremors. Clinical trials found significant results, such as:
- Improved mood
- Decreased tremors
- Better sleep quality
- Decreased tearfulness
- Lively reflexes
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How Do You Use Selank?
Selank is a peptide taken nasally. This is because the stomach digests it if taken orally.
Inhaling it is a better way to deliver it to the brain. The recommended dosage is 2-3 tiny drops in each nostril for 2-3 times a day.
To lengthen the lifespan of this peptide to 24 months, its shelf temperature should be at 35.6 – 46.4°F. Take note that when Selank is stored at room temperature, it only lasts over 90 days.
While injections are a good alternative to nasal dosage, make sure to get them from a doctor. It is also important to note that it is considered less effective than nasal sprays or drops.
Dosages vary depending on your health condition. To get the right Selank dosage, a medical examination must be done.
Generally, the dosage for Selank injection must range between 250 mcg – 3 mg per day.
Its administration can be done intramuscularly (into the muscle) or subcutaneously (under the skin). Usually, Selank is injected into the stomach fat area, shoulder, buttocks, and thigh.
What Are the Kinds of Selank Available?
You can buy Selank in three forms:
- Selank – This form is commonly researched on.
- NA-Selank – AKA N-acetyl Selank, this is closely similar to Selank minus the acetyl group in its bond. No human studies have been done on this form.
- NA-Selank Amidate – There are no existing studies that mix Selank with Amidate, a prescription anesthetic.
How Is It Different from Semax?
Both are synthetic peptides that have potential nootropic benefits. Semax, however, comes from a brain hormone and has different uses—preventing liver damage and improving blood circulation.
What Other Things Should I Consider Before Taking It?
Although the data available for now, both from animal and human studies, are promising, there is no guarantee of this peptide’s therapeutic effects.
- Although it contains a stabilizing protein sequence, Selank’s half-life is only two minutes—after 10 minutes, it becomes completely untraceable in the bloodstream. This opens the question of whether the peptide can really have long-lasting effects.
- At the moment, we have limited information about its activity on human patients.
- There are currently no reported side effects. Extensive research is still needed to prove if this peptide is safe.
Where Can You Buy Selank?
This drug is available only in Russia. It isn’t readily available in the U.S. because the FDA regulates synthetic peptides in the U.S.
Selank poses a great potential as a nootropic and an anxiolytic drug. With the lack of definitive scientific verdict on its effectiveness and safety, it is the best course of action to consult your doctor first before trying it.
Also, keep in mind that there are natural ways to promote health and wellness. You should remember to eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
It’s also helpful to keep a regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, running, or swimming. Make sure you get enough hours of sleep as well as it helps a lot in keeping your body energized and in top shape.
Also, stay away from stress because it plays a part in several health problems ranging from simple headaches to depression and anxiety. You can manage your stress by trying relaxation techniques yoga and meditation.
For other supplements supporting protein sequences in the body, check out Dr. Seeds’ shop.
Do you have any other questions about Selank? Let us know in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 19, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Selank is an anxiolytic heptapeptide drug produced by the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian academy of sciences (IMG RAS). It is considered to be an anxiolytic or a substance with anti-anxiety effect.
Selank is a synthetic analog of the endogenously produced peptide Tuftsin and is known to be capable of improving and positively altering the immune system, which classifies selank as immunomodulatory.
Semax, another heptapeptide nootropic that was also developed by researchers at the IMG RAS, is a drug closely related to Selank that has been approved for human use in both Ukraine and Russia.
There have been many reports from researchers and users that indicate that Selank is a more effective alternative than Semax.
Selank however, has recently completed stage III clinical trials in Russia and is awaiting to get the green light for release to human use.
Selank’s Method of Action
From a purely pharmacological standpoint, selank mimics a lot of the effects of tuftsin which is the endogenous peptide it is based upon. These effects include the balance of T helper cells and the modulation of the expression of Interleukin-6. (4)
Additionally, there is evidence that suggests selank may modulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (3).
Serotonin, Noradrenaline and Dopamine Modulation
Selank’s mechanism of action is suspected to be related to the increase of serotonin. Serotonin influence’s appetite, supports a positive mood, and regulates the sleep and wake cycle. It is also well established that a serotonin deficient state can lead to depression, difficulty sleeping, and lack of an appetite.
A study on mice to unveil the effects of selank on neurotransmitter monoamines and their metabolites showed significant differences in the content of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and in the levels of their hypothalamus, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, Further research supports selank’s serotonin raising ability (2) (6).
Selank and tuftsin were also shown to support serotonin levels despite rats being pre-treated with the serotonin synthesis inhibitor p-chlorophenylalanine. Serotonin metabolism was enhanced within 30 minutes of selank administration, however tuftsin was unable to raise 5-HT levels.
Rodents exposed to 6-hydroxydopamine, a neurotoxin which damages the catecholaminergic system, had cognitive processes restored with selank.
Antidepressive Effects (Animal Study)
A study of mice genetically bred to suffer with depression demonstrated selank’s ability to fight anhedonia and restore pleasure seeking behaviors. Administration of selank increased sucrose self administration and reduced immobility during a forced swim test (9).
Anxiolytic / Anxiety Reducing
One study involving 62 patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) sought to compare selank to a benzodiazepine treatment.
30 patients were treated with selank, while 32 with benzodiazepines, Remarkably, efficacy for both drugs was similar, however researchers noted selank carried anti-fatigue effects. (5).
Full details on this study are difficult to obtain, as it was conducted in Russia and only the abstract has been indexed in pubmed.
Another study tested the immunomodulatory effects of selank, given that it’s endogenous “cousin” peptide, tuftsin, is primarily related to immune function.
Selank was administered to patients with generalised anxiety disorder for 14 days, after which, it was noted that selank suppressed IL-6 levels of patients with depression, while leaving healthy control subjects unaffected.
T-helper cell (Th1/Th2) cytokines were also modulated in patients with GAD
Selank (TP-7) for Anxiety + Insufficiently Investigated Uses, Dosage, & Limitations
Selank is a small protein produced in Russia to treat anxiety and improve learning. According to some users, it has no side effects. Keep reading to learn more about the possible benefits of Selank.
Disclaimer: By writing this post, we are not recommending this drug. Some of our readers who were already taking the drug requested that we commission a post on it, and we are simply providing information that is available in the clinical and scientific literature.
What is Selank (TP-7)?
The recent boom in biotechnology has opened the door for studying new biologically active compounds, including cognitive enhancers or nootropics. One of these is Selank (previously known as TP-7), which belongs to a class of molecules called synthetic peptides, or small artificially-made proteins .
It is an anti-anxiety compound claimed to improve learning and increase energy without side effects or the risk of addiction.
Selank is small and only a fraction of the size of most naturally occurring proteins. It was developed at the Institute of Molecular Genetics (Russian Academy of Sciences) in cooperation with the V.V. Zakusov Research Institute of Pharmacology (Russian Academy of Medical Sciences) along with its cousin Semax.
Selank was derived by combining the sequence of a peptide called tuftsin with another sequence that improves its stability. Tuftsin is naturally occurring and makes up one part of IgG (an antibody) .
Both tuftsin and Selank reduced anxiety and increased serotonin levels in rats, being Selank more effective .
Selank is approved in Russia for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and for its use as a nootropic. The FDA doesn’t approve its use for many conditions, but Selank is available in several countries as a supplement.
Selank (TP-7) Mechanism of Action
Selank may stabilize enkephalins in the blood. Enkephalins are natural peptides in the body that reduce stress [4, 5].
However, some mice did not demonstrate the enkephalin stabilization following dosing with Selank and did not benefit from its anti-anxiety effect .
In cells, Selank binds to GABA receptors. Most compounds that bind to GABA receptors cause a sedative effect. In mice treated with Selank, researchers discovered more activity in inhibitory neurons, which rely on GABA. This resulted in less brain activity [7, 8, 9].
In addition, researchers discovered an increase in BDNF, which has been implicated in learning and memory and may explain how Selank can improve learning [10, 11].
Selank also changed the levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in mice. They are involved in motivation, focus, and pleasure .
In some mice, Selank increased norepinephrine, but decreased dopamine and serotonin. In others, Selank increased norepinephrine and dopamine and did not change serotonin . Therefore, its exact effect/mechanism is not clear.
In a clinical trial on 62 people, those given Selank had fewer anxiety symptoms, with a greater decrease being observed in those suffering from pre-existing anxiety disorders .
In another trial, similar benefits were observed in 60 patients suffering from anxiety and phobias up to a week after the final dose .
Additionally, in 70 anxiety patients, Selank increased phenazepam’s effects (an anti-anxiety drug banned in some U.S. states for its recreational use) while reducing its side effects (drowsiness and memory loss) [15, 16].
In mice, Selank reduced their anxiety. The more anxious the mice were, to begin with, the more significant the result [17, 18].
Additionally, it showed anti-anxiety effects in rats over 4 weeks of daily treatment .
Although limited, the evidence suggests that Selank helps curb anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, you may discuss with your doctor how taking Selank might help you. Remember that you should never take this supplement in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes.
Animal and Cell Research (Lack of Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of Selank for any of the conditions listed in this section (which includes its common use as a nootropic). Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
In rats, within three days, Selank supplementation improved learning ability .
The Selank-treated rats were able to learn more quickly during an electrical test. It also reduced their anxiety, which helped them move faster [21, 22].
Selank stabilized memory traces (storage) in rats during a 30-day trial. However, it is unclear how these measurements were performed, as memory traces are not detectable as discrete locations in the brain [23, 24].
It may also preserve memory in monkeys .
In one study, researchers gave Selank supplements to rats with toxin-induced brain damage. This drug restored their brain activity to normal levels .
Selank decreased depression symptoms (immobility during a forced swimming test) in mice, being more effective at low than at high doses .
Antioxidant Activity in the Liver
Injection of Selank increased the levels of antioxidants in the livers of stressed mice .
In sedated cats, Selank decreased blood pressure by about 30% for 3 minutes .
It also increased blood flow to the cats’ brain by about 24% for up to 10 minutes .
To mimic high alcohol intake, rats were given a 10% ethanol (alcohol) solution as their sole drinking source for 24 weeks. Selank decreased the anxiety of rats following 48-hour alcohol withdrawal .
Preventing Weight Gain and Reducing Cholesterol
In one study, rats on a high-fat diet had 35% less weight gain when treated with Selank. Additionally, total cholesterol for these rats was reduced by over 58% and blood glucose level was reduced by 23.5% .
In one study, mice with breast cancer were treated with daily doses of Selank and had slower tumour growth. Also, these mice lived longer .
However, this preliminary finding doesn’t mean that Selank has any value in anticancer therapy. Do not under any circumstances attempt to replace conventional cancer therapies with Selank – or any other supplements.
Inflammation in the Spleen
After treatment with Selank, mice spleen had increased levels of several inflammatory response genes, which may protect from the harmful effects of inflammation .
Selank reduced the area of stomach ulcers in animal models [35, 36].
This may be because this drug increases lymph flow, an important component of the immune system, to the stomach .
Selank increased IL-6 in blood cells collected from patients suffering from depression. IL-6 is an inflammatory protein that helps fight infection [38, 39].
In cell-based studies, Selank caused the release of interferons, which are anti-viral molecules .
Selank protects cells from some viral infections. However, mice infected with a virus did not benefit from Selank .
Selank, NA-Selank, and NA-Selank Amidate
Selank is sold in three forms. The commonly researched form is Selank. NA-Selank (also called N-Acetyl Selank) is the same as Selank but with an “acetyl” group attached to one end.
Acetyl groups may assist in penetration into the brain .
Importantly, note that no human studies have been performed on NA-Selank.
Amidate (also known as Etomidate) is a sedative used for general anesthesia .
There are no available studies that combine Selank with Amidated.
Selank vs. Semax
Much Selank, Semax is also a synthetic peptide.
Semax comes from a different protein (a brain hormone) and also has different purported benefits, such as improving circulation and preventing liver damage.
Dosage of Selank
Because Selank is not approved by the FDA for any conditions, there is no official dose. Users and supplement manufacturers have established unofficial doses trial and error. Speak with your doctor before supplementing with Selank.
Importantly, as an insufficiently researched substance, its safety profile is practically unknown. You should consult your doctor about potential side effects your health condition and possible drug or supplement interactions.
Selank products are normally available as a 0.15% spray, with 75 μg of Selank per spray. The recommended dosage is 2 or 3 sprays per dose with 3 doses per day (a max total of 675 μg/day) .
For an adult weighing 67.5 kg (about 149 lbs.), this translates to about 0.01 mg Selank/kg body weight. Rat studies normally used 0.3 mg/kg body weight.
Limitations and Caveats
In sum, the above data seems encouraging, but there is room for skepticism about the future of Selank.
Firstly, despite the stabilizing protein sequence, the half-life of Selank is only two minutes. Selank is undetectable in the blood after 10 minutes [44, 45].
This puts into doubt whether it can really have the week-long effects as reported in the clinical trials.
There is limited information about Selank’s activity in patients because there are only 3 clinical studies listed in PubMed .
Another concern is the lack of reported side effects. Many of the studies conducted were very short-term (within 24 hours). More rigorous and longer testing must be performed to measure side effects.
One final concern is that Selank cannot be taken orally because the stomach will digest it. Thus, you must either inject it under the skin or inhale it through the nose, with inhaling being more effective in delivery to the brain .
This dosing requirement may be off-putting to some considering trying this drug.
While Selank is purchasable in Russia, it still has a long road ahead before it becomes readily available in the US. Synthetic peptides require FDA approval in the US.
The Russian Academy of Sciences reported all findings described above. As the Russian Academy of Sciences is the sole developer of Selank, there is a conflict of interest in these studies.
The opinions expressed in this section are solely those of Selank users who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Their reviews do not represent the opinions of SelfHacked. SelfHacked does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.
Do not consider user experiences as medical advice.
Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers because of something you have read on SelfHacked.
We understand that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.
Users reported that Selank has anti-anxiety effects at higher doses. However, they did not experience any nootropic (brain or memory-enhancing) effects.
Want More Targeted Ways to Enhance Brain Function?
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