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What are Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones (MSH)?

Our bodies produce various hormones every day, and each one has its own important purpose and job to do. Melanocyte stimulating hormones are produced by the pituitary gland and your hypothalamus in your brain and even your skin cells.

These hormones are essential for a variety of reasons. They are there to ensure that your skin is protected from the UV rays produced by the sun and how the pigmentation develops in your skin. It even is responsible for controlling your appetite.

Why does your body release MSH? 

Our bodies will produce more MSH when we are exposed to UV light. This means that the more sun you are exposed to, the more your body will release MSH. A direct feedback mechanism produces other hormones. However, this is not the case for MSH.

What will happen if my body produces too much MSH?

When you have high levels of MSH in your body, you will have increased melanin production. You will find that this happens because your skin is exposed to the sun and starting the tanning process.

You may think that people who have high levels of MSH will find it much easier to tan or have even skin pigmentation, but this is not the case. That said, fair-skinned people tend to produce less melanin because their MSH receptors produce the hormone at various levels, which means that they do not respond to MSH levels in their blood.

What about if I have a deficiency? 

If you have a lack of MSH in your blood, you will find that your skin will lack pigmentation. Not only this, but you will also find that your skin will not have as strong a level of natural protection when exposed to UV rays produced by spending time in the sun.

Not only does this mean that you are going to be much more likely to sustain damage if you spend time in the sun. But, other things can happen if your body is deficient in this particular hormone.

You may find that you have greater levels of inflammatory pain, as well as issues sleeping too. Along with this, there can be a reduction in the anti-diuretic hormone, which means that you may find that you are thirstier and have to urinate more frequently.

You can also find that if you have an MSH deficiency, then you will need to eat more, and this can then, in turn, lead to obesity.

As you can see, MSH is an important part of the makeup of your body, and you need to make sure that you are aware of what it does and the signs to look out for if you are producing too much or too little in your body.

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