The mitochondria are considered the “powerhouses of cells”. They are organelles that work like the digestive system which ingests nutrients, breaks them down, and produces fuel or energy for the cells’ biological functions. The mitochondria also pass down information via several signaling molecules in order to enhance communication between each cell. Mitochondrial ORF of the twelve S c (MOTS-c) is one of the mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs) that plays an integral role in a wide array of metabolic functions such as glucose metabolism, muscle synthesis, and maintenance of metabolic homeostasis (balance).
MOTS-c holds much potential as a therapeutic option for a multitude of medical conditions because of its unique ability to positively affect various bodily functions. It improves muscle metabolism and function via AMPK activation. Following metabolic stress, MOTS-c regulates certain genes involved in blood sugar restriction and antioxidant responses. In addition, it also plays a role in the synthesis of type I collagen by osteoblasts (bone-forming cells).
Obesity is one of the world’s major health concerns. This debilitating medical condition can dramatically increase one’s risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, blood vessel problems, and other chronic medical conditions. Numerous studies found that MOTS-c administration can help treat obesity by improving different health parameters and body processes:
MOTS-c also exerts beneficial effects on blood sugar levels and diabetic symptoms. Studies show that this mitochondrial-derived peptide can help improve the body’s response to insulin hormone:
Evidence also suggests that MOTS-c can help preserve heart function by combating the detrimental effects of inflammation on the body and that its levels correlate with cardiovascular health:
The age-related decline in bone mineral density causes osteoporosis and fractures. Studies show that MOTS-c can help correct these problems by improving bone quality and preventing bone-damaging processes:
Aside from correcting obesity and reducing the risk of various chronic debilitating medical conditions, MOTS-c can also increase life expectancy according to studies:
MOTS-c can also benefit athletes and physically active individuals. Studies show that this mitochondrial-derived peptide can improve exercise tolerance through various important mechanisms:
Sepsis, a condition characterized by the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood and uncontrolled inflammatory responses, can be a life-threatening condition. Interestingly, a study found that MOTS-c can treat Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, which is one of the most hard-to-treat bacterial infections and the major cause of sepsis. 
In this study, researchers observed that MOTS-c treatment significantly improved the survival rate and decreased bacteria loads in MRSA-challenged mice. In addition, researchers observed that the treatment significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory substances, suggesting that MOTS-c can be an effective therapeutic option for MRSA infections and other antibiotic-resistant infections.
MOTS-c side effects are very uncommon. There have been some side effects associated with the use of this peptide wherein the patient had one of the issues listed below at some point while being on MOTS-c. However, these side effects weren’t confirmed to be associated with the treatment and could have been a coincidence and not related to the use of MOTS-c. Despite this, it was listed as a side effect associated with MOTS-c even though these associated side effects are very uncommon.
Side effects associated with MOTS-c may include the following:
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