Have you heard of MOTS-c? In this video, I’m going to discuss this relatively new and much hyped peptide, what it is, and its potential role in helping people lose weight and body fat as well as improve athletic performance, speed and endurance.
Please understand, in this video, I am not giving you medical advice. This is meant for general information and educational purposes only.
What is MOTS-c?
This is a mitochondrial peptide. The mitochondria are responsible for cellular energy production, as well as communication within the cell and with other cells.
Our bodies, and our mitochondria, make peptides. We have talked about peptides before. Peptides are short chains of amino acids naturally made in our bodies. About 7,000 peptides have been identified. Well, there are mitochondrial-derived peptides, including MOTS-c.
MOTS-c and weight loss
Where MOTS-c has generated the most attention is in the area of weight loss. As far back as 2015, research showed that MOTS-c treatment in mice prevented age-dependent and high-fat-diet-induced insulin resistance and obesity.
MOTS-c and athletic performance
What interests many experts more than weight loss, although this is a great potential use for this peptide, is in its theoretical role of improve fitness and athletic performance.
Let’s discuss a study from 2021 looking at MOTS-c for improving physical performance, not just with aging, but at any age.
Researchers at the University of Southern California, along with Australian researchers, looked at MOTS-c function young (2 mo.), middle-aged (12 mo.), and old (22 mo.) mice.
Here’s what they found
In young mice:
A treadmill running test confirmed that MOTS-c treatment can enhance physical performance. Mice on the higher dose of MOTS-c showed significantly superior running capacity and power output. Both endurance and speed dramatically improved. MOTS-c also significantly lessened fat gain, and the high dose significantly increased lean muscle mass in young mice.
Next, MOTS-c for older mice:
We know that aging is accompanied by a progressive decline in mitochondrial function and loss of metabolic homeostasis, in which MOTS-c may play a role. Aging is associated with reduced MOTS-c levels in certain tissues, including the skeletal muscle, and in the circulation.
Middle-aged and old mice were treated daily with MOTS-c for 2 weeks, then subjected to a treadmill running test. Both middle-aged and old mice ran significantly longer with increased power output following MOTS-c treatment. Old mice ran longer and farther when treated with MOTS-c. Further, MOTS-c enabled almost 20 percent of the old mice to enter the final running stage (highest speed), whereas none in the untreated group were successful.
Significantly, MOTS-c treatment enabled old mice to outperform untreated middle-aged mice.
The data in the scientific literature is largely based on animal studies. We need human studies on MOTS-c to see if these benefits in terms of athletic performance apply to athletes and active people.
Also note that MOTS-c, like many peptides, is not FDA approved. Talk to your doctor to see if it’s a good option for you.
Finally, most experts advise that you shouldn’t buy MOTS-c and other peptides online. You don’t know the quality of the products or of the lab, if the vials actually contain any peptide, and whether it has endotoxins and other contaminants. Talk to your doctor.
Links to studies in the comments
If you would like to read the studies I mentioned in the video, here are links to them:
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I’m Dr. David Geier. Thank you for watching, and I look forward to helping you feel and perform Better Than Ever.