04 Feb Oxytocin – The Love Hormone
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many couples are frantically searching for that perfect gift. Whether your partner’s love language is receiving gifts, physical touch, acts of service, or quality time – there is a common thread that runs through human attraction and love. Oxytocin is referred to as our “love hormone” or the “cuddle drug.” It is a neuropeptide hormone that is secreted by the brain, and scientists have determined that it is vitally important in childbirth, social interaction/development, and sexual intimacy. Oxytocin is partly responsible for that warm, fuzzy feeling that we experience when we are close to one that we love.
There has been a flurry of recent studies that explore whether or not oxytocin can help with anxiety, depressive disorders, and body dysmorphia issues (bulimia nervosa and anorexia). It is being examined for its role in metabolism, obesity, weight loss, and food intake. Oxytocin has been postulated to be involved in human monogamy, and there is even literature that shows benefit in male anorgasmia – or the inability to have an orgasm during sex. In our practice, we have anecdotally observed success with intranasal oxytocin used for male sexual dysfunction. Our compounding pharmacy also has the ability to compound oxytocin in a troche or lozenge form, for administration through the sublingual route.
Most of the current literature on intranasal oxytocin use is comprised of studies that are very small and further studies are warranted, but one thing is clear: oxytocin plays a vital role in human bonding, attraction, and sense of wellbeing.