Entries in Oxytocin (3)


Scientists Discover Power of Oxytocin 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BONN, Germany) -- Many women have dreamed of a magic love potion to keep control of the straying and the wandering eye. Now scientists say they may have just found one.

A study conducted at the University of Bonn in Germany had men use nasal spray containing the hormone Oxytocin. Results showed that when men in monogamous relationships were given the spray, they kept their distance from good-looking women who they did not know -- about four to six inches farther away, to be exact. The spray had no effect on single men and the amount of distance they chose to keep between themselves and attractive women.

The study involved 57 heterosexual males, and about half of them were involved in monogamous relationships.

Researchers say that the hormone could be used to promote fidelity. Still, there is no word yet on when Oxytocin would become a commercial product, or even available in the United States.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Stressed? Call Mom, Researchers Conclude

Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wis.) -- Moms feed us, read to us, clap the loudest, cry the hardest, sit front row at recitals, write notes in our lunchboxes and promise that the hole in our hearts after a breakup won’t stay there forever.

So maybe it just makes sense that the sound of our moms’ voices triggers a physical hormonal response that comforts and de-stresses.

As Wired first reported, new research, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, found that conversations with Mom, over the phone or in person, were associated with a drop in cortisol, a steroid hormone that is released in response to stress. The mama chats also helped raise levels of oxytocin, a hormone linked to desire and gratification. But mom talks had no effect if they happened over text or instant messenger.

Researchers asked a group of 64 girls ages 7 through 12 to answer difficult math problems in front of three adults they didn’t know. The scientists were sure to exclude any girl who had extreme family strains or hardships.

After answering the questions, researchers split the girls into four groups. One group did not speak to their mothers at all, the next spoke on the phone, the third spoke in person and the last wrote to their moms on the computer through instant message. The girls who heard their moms’ voices, either in person or through the phone, experienced comforting hormone responses, but the girls who communicated with their moms through the computer showed no such changes.

Authors suggested that the voice’s familiar tone, cadence and intonation, rather than the specific words spoken, have calming effects on the body.

“In an age when emailing and texting and IMing is so popular, this shows that we’re missing the important component of the human voice that is able to convey comfort,” Leslie Seltzer, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin and lead author of the study, told ABC News. “The computer or text is just not the same as talking to someone.”

Take away, message: Call Mom. It’s good for your health.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio 


Study: Post-Partum Depression May Be Linked to Oxytocin Levels

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BASEL, Switzerland) -- Oxytocin has been known to serve several functions in women, including roles in pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding.  Now, a new study released Wednesday finds that the hormone may also be associated with emotional processing.

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland found that women with lower levels of oxytocin in their blood during the last three months of pregnancy were more likely to experience symptoms of post-partum depression two weeks after giving birth than women with higher blood levels of the hormone.

Despite their finding, the researchers point out that their study, which was published in Neuropsychopharmacology, can’t determine whether lower oxytocin levels actually directly contribute to post-partum depression.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio