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MEG 21®

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Related terms
Background
Theory/evidence
Safety
Author information
Bibliography
Technique

Related Terms
  • 3-deoxyglucosone, 3DG, arginine, Dynamis Therapeutics, free radicals, glycation, Lilium candidum, meglumine, marapuama, N-Methyl-D-Glucamine, Philadelphia MEG 21®, SupplamineT, white lily.

Background
  • Overview: MEG 21® products are marketed as skin renewal treatments that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and moisturize the skin.
  • According to the manufacturer, Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc., all MEG 21® products contain SupplamineT, which is a combination of an amino sugar (N-Methyl-D-Glucamine, also called megulamine) and an amino acid arginine (a naturally occurring amino acid and a building block of skin proteins).
  • It has been suggested that MEG 21® may stabilize the production of collagen, a protein that connects and supports tissues in the body. It has also been proposed that MEG21® may reduce oxidative stress, which in turn, may reduce colored spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. According to the manufacturer, such positive results may be seen within one month. It is not known how long these purported results may last.
  • However, the only available evidence to support these claims comes from studies done by the scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Because Dynamis Therapeutics is based from this center, the results are subject to bias. Third-party scientific data supporting these claims are lacking.
  • MEG 21® Face Treatment: According to the manufacturer, MEG 21® Face Treatment is specifically designed to allow other skin products to be applied on top of it. The product isinstilled with soy-based liposomes, which are tiny spheres that encase small particles in the body to allow movement between cells. These liposomes are similar to those found in skin tissue. They enclose meglumine and arginine molecules, which purportedly allow better skin penetration. Therefore, the manufacturer claims that treatment with MEG 21® products may improve the softness and elasticity of the skin.
  • MEG 21® Advanced Formula: MEG 21® Advanced Formula is formulated for hard-to-treat areas due to thicker layers of skin on the neck, chest, and upper arms. It contains more SupplamineT, but some of the compound is not encased in liposomes. This helps prevent some active ingredients from deep penetration into the skin and also allows the drug to work on different layers of the skin. The advanced formula is also enriched with shea butter for moisturizing and green tea extract, which may help prevent oxidative stress. The manufacturer suggests that it may take as few as four weeks for the skin to appear younger and smoother, but moisturizing effects may be seen instantaneously.
  • MEG 21® Hand Treatment: MEG 21® Hand Treatment uses a different, unspecified type of liposome to supposedly provide more rapid penetration of the compound into the skin on the upper hands. This may lead to greater moisturizing effects and may also improve skin tone and decrease fine lines. According to the manufacturer, MEG 21® Hand Treatment may be used on other areas of the body, including near the elbows, where skin is often rough and dry.
  • MEG 21® Eye Treatment: MEG 21® Eye Treatment is a combination of SupplamineT plus three botanical extracts: pfaffia (Pfaffia sp.), marapuama (Ptychopetalum olacoides), and white lily (Lilium candidum). The product is designed to help minimize puffiness and dark circles around eyes, and may also improve the smoothness of the skin. The manufacturer suggests that the extracts may improve blood flow to the area under the eyes and may possibly improve the regulation of the breakdown of fats. Allegedly, the extracts may also reduce the appearance of dark circles and increase brightness around the eyes; however, the potential mechanism of action is unclear.
  • New research: 3-deoxyglucosone (3DG) is a naturally occurring, highly reactive toxic compound in the human body. It is now being recognized as one of the factors that affects aging. Dynamis Therapeutics' researchers found that the presence of 3DG in the skin may accelerate skin aging and damage. Theoretically, limiting the presence of 3DG in skin may slow down these processes.

Theory / Evidence
  • General: MEG 21® products are marketed as skin renewal treatments that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and moisturize the skin.
  • According to the manufacturer, Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc., all MEG 21® products contain SupplamineT, which is a combination of an amino sugar (N-Methyl-D-Glucamine, also called megulamine) and an amino acid arginine (a naturally occurring amino acid and a building block of skin proteins).
  • However, the only available evidence to support the effectiveness of MEG 21® products comes from studies done by the scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Because Dynamis Therapeutics Inc., (the manufacturer of MEG 21®) is based from this center, the results are subject to bias. Third-party scientific data supporting the manufacturer's claims are lacking.
  • Glycation: According to the manufacturer, MEG 21® products may inhibit or slow down production of glycation reactions. Glycation occurs when sugars in the body react with and bind to proteins, resulting in damaged or dysfunctional proteins. Large molecules generated from the glycation process are called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs).
  • As they multiply, these molecules may damage adjacent proteins, including collagen and elastin. These proteins help keep the skin firm and elastic, so when they are damaged, it loose or winkled skin may result.
  • It has been suggested that common complications of diabetes, such as eye and kidney damage, may be connected to glycation and oxidative stress.
  • 3-deoxyglucosone (3DG): 3DG is an intermediate product in the glycation reaction. Excessive levels of 3DG in the cells may decrease collagen synthesis, contribute to glycation, and result in AGEs and free radicals. Free radicals are reactive molecules that are very unstable and seek to bond to other particles to increase stability. When they bind to other particles, they may damage cells or DNA within body tissues.
  • Meglumine: Data demonstrating the relationship between meglumine (one of the constituents in SupplamineT) and 3DG levels in the body are lacking. Information is also lacking on the effect of meglumineon inflammation (a response of body tissues to injury or irritation that is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, and heat) or free radicals production.
  • The only known use of meglumine as an active ingredient is in MEG 21® treatment products.
  • Sometimes meglumine is combined with an active ingredient as an excipient (an inert or inactive drug additive) to make up a medication. Excipients are added to ensure that the shelf-life of the medication is prolonged. They are combined so that the active ingredients can be easily administered or absorbed in the body. Some examples of medications that use meglumine as an excipient include veterinary pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, as well as antiparasitic drugs used to treat leishmaniasis.
  • Meglumine is also used to prepare certain materials used in radiography (taking of X-ray images).
  • A study suggests that using meglumine in the pharmaceutical industry may reduce the formation of formaldehyde, which is a well-known air impurity. Exposure to formaldehyde solutions may cause irritation of the skin and allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Arginine: Early evidence suggests that arginine (another constituent of SupplamineT) may help with wound healing when applied to the skin. However, additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

Safety




Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Abujudeh HH, Kaewlai R, Kagan A, et al. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis after gadopentetate dimeglumine exposure: case series of 36 patients. Radiology. 2009 Oct;253(1):81-9.
  2. Baynes, JW, Thorpe S R. Role of oxidative stress in diabetic complications: a new perspective on an old paradigm. 1999 Jan;48(1):1-9.
  3. Bierhaus A, Hofmann MA, Ziegler R, et al. AGEs and their interaction with AGE-receptors in vascular disease and diabetes mellitus. I. The AGE concept. Cardiovasc Res. 1998 Mar;37(3):586-600.
  4. Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc.
  5. El Fékih N, Sliti N, Kharfi M, et al. Mucosal leishmaniasis by contiguity with a skin lesion: another case report from Tunisia. Med Trop (Mars). 2008 Dec;68(6):634-6.
  6. Fujita M, Ueda T, Handa T. Generation of formaldehyde by pharmaceutical excipients and its absorption by meglumine. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2009 Oct;57(10):1096-9.
  7. Masmoudi A, Maalej N, Mseddi M, et al. Glucantime injection: benefit versus toxicity. Med Mal Infect. 2005 Jan;35(1):42-5.
  8. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  9. Niwa T, Takeda N, Yoshizumi H, et al. Presence of 3-deoxyglucosone, a potent protein crosslinking intermediate of Maillard reaction, in diabetic serum. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1993 Oct 29;196(2):837-43.
  10. Thornalley PJ, Langborg A, Minhas, HS. Formation of glyoxal, methylglyoxal and 3-deoxyglucosone in the glycation of proteins by glucose. Biochem J. 1999 Nov 15;344 Pt 1:109-16.

Technique
  • MEG 21® is only available from physicians or licensed skincare professionals.
  • The manufacturer recommends MEG 21® products with SupplamineT for patients concerned about skin care and those who seek to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; increase moisture; and improve overall skin texture, firmness, smoothness, and brightness.
  • The manufacturer does not specify whether these products are creams, ointments, lotions, gels, or other topical dosage forms. All of them are referred to as "treatments."
  • According to the manufacturer, all MEG 21® products should be applied twice daily.
  • One pump of the Face Treatment and Advanced Formula jars produces about 0.4 grams (one dose) of the product. Dose amounts are not provided by the manufacturer for the eye and hand treatments, which come in tubes.
  • One MEG 21® treatment jar or tube may last for about two months, if used as suggested.
  • MEG 21® products with SupplamineT may be used in conjunction with other products such as toners, serums, and moisturizers.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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