The Love Peptide
Oxytocin can reduce fear and anxiety
Promotes calmness, improved social interactions, and incresed trust
Can reduce blood pressure overtime
Can be beneficial against sexual dysfunction
Can promote improved psychological effects, including emotional and behavioral.
Can increase feelings of satisfaction and confidence.
Can produce anti-depressent like effects, deficiet of oxytocin in humans has been linked to depressive states
Low natural oxytocin has been correlated with autsim, therefore may reduce the behavioral symptoms of autism.
Oxytocin plays a role in the sexual function of women and mediates the bond between men and women. In women, there are measurable decreases in blood oxytocin associated with sexual dysfunction.
Oxytocin neurons in the para-ventricular hypothalamus in the brain may play a key role in suppressing appetite under normal conditions and that other hypothalamic neurons may trigger eating via inhibition of these oxytocin neurons
oxytocin inhibits the development of tolerance to various addictive drugs (opiates, cocaine, alcohol), and reduces withdrawal symptoms.
Research use for psychological effects (achieving a sense of satisfaction): A scientific study conducted to examine the psychological reactions (mood and emotional changes) in men depending on the dose of oxytocin found that at a dose of 67 mcg of oxytocin, signs of good mood and satisfaction were identified from the volunteers’ faces, however a lower dose of 50 mcg oxytocin had no effect in this respect.
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In the 1920s, oxytocin and vasopressin were isolated from pituitary tissue and given their current names. The amino acid sequence of Oxytocin was isolated in the early 1950s by American biochemist Vincent du Vigneaud who determined OXytocin to be made up of nine amino acids, and he identified its amino acid sequence. In 1953, du Vigneaud carried out the first synthesis of oxytocin.
Mechanism of Action
Oxytocin is naturally produced in the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland, it is called a neuropeptide. Its secretion depends on electrical activity of neurons in the hypothalamus. It is naturally released by behaviors including social interaction, hugging and other calming behaviors.
High levels of oxytocin have been linked to benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition which affects the prostate
Close look at studies
Macdonald and Macdonald, 2010, overviewed the social effects of intranasal oxytocin in humans. They found the effects to include alterations in social decision making, processing of social stimuli, certain uniquely social behaviors (e.g., eye contact), and social memory. They found that the oxytocin system is promising for therapeutic interventions in conditions characterized by anxiety and aberrations in social function.
Macdonald K, Macdonald TM. The peptide that binds: a systematic review of oxytocin and its prosocial effects in humans. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2010 Jan-Feb;18(1):1-21. doi: 10.3109/10673220903523615. PMID: 20047458.
Oxytocin and Autism/Schizophrenia
To date there has been limited treatment available for those diagnosed with social disorders involving social dysfunction. Studies have determined decreased oxytocin concentrations correlate with autistic and schizophrenia diagnoses. Oxytocin research has investigated the potential to be used as a therapeutic to treat social problems. Following intravenous doses of oxytocin autism patients showed a reduction of repetitive behaviors and improved learning of affective speech when compared to the placebo group. Single doses of nasal administration were repeatedly shown to improve mechanisms of social cognition and behavior including increased time spent looking at eyes of faces, improved social-decision making within a group and social ball-tossing computer game. Evidence in younger autism populations has also shown that oxytocin enhanced emotion recognition compared to placebo treatment. Similarly, for schizophrenia patients, a single dose of intranasal oxytocin can improve social-cognitive performance.
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