oxytocin exposure leads to increased natural production

Oxytocin Exposure Leads to Increased Natural Production

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Stop and think about the last time you felt when you held someone. That relaxing rush that you get from being close to a significant other is the result of a hormone called Oxytocin. As you can easily understand, Oxytocin is also known as the Love Hormone. The feeling that Oxytocin encourages isn't necessarily sexual, but it promotes social bonding.

Because Oxytocin is a hormone that encourages sociality, it's not surprising that exposure to Oxytocin encourages an individual to produce more of the Love Hormone themselves. The body reacts to exposure to other hormones differently. Exogenous Testosterone or HGH exposure, unlike Oxytocin, suppresses the body's natural hormone production.

A study conducted at the Belgian Catholic University of Leuven sought to investigate the effects of sustained exposure to Oxytocin via nasal spray. Specifically, researchers wanted to know how Oxytocin exposure affected individuals with Autism. This researched was printed in a recent edition of European Neuropsychopharmacology. Even one month after the initial exposure to Oxytocin, participants still displayed higher levels of the Hormone via saliva sample.

Exploring the Effects of Oxytocin on the Autistic

Previous research conducted by the same team had shown that Oxytocin exposure influenced the way that individuals with Autism responded to the world. By measuring the sustained increase in Oxytocin Levels over time, the researchers pinpointed that higher Oxytocin Levels in the person's blood stream encouraged differing behavior.

This new study was conducted with the help of forty participants—all adult males on the Autism Spectrum. Each person provided a Saliva Sample to establish baseline Oxytocin Levels. After the baseline was taken, experimental patients were treated with daily doses of Oxytocin via nasal spray. Control patients received a dose of placebo. After a month of treatment, participants gave two more saliva samples after 24 hours and four weeks.

Benefits of Oxytocin for Autistic Patients

Oxytocin is a powerful social motivator. Exposure to Oxytocin causes us to produce more ourselves. Sustained Oxytocin exposure creates a beneficial spiral that has a positive impact on psychology and mood. Among the patients in this study, Oxytocin Levels remained elevated even a month after their last nasal dose. Lead researcher Professor Kaat Alaerts explains that this increase in Oxytocin Levels was naturally produced and not due to previous inoculations.

The professor further elucidates that the medical administration of Oxytocin helped Autistic individuals engage in more social behaviors. This increase in social interaction naturally boosts Oxytocin, allowing for an overall increase in positive attitude and social expression.

While Oxytocin is not currently used as a medical treatment for attachment issues and social problems, studies like this are the first step in weaponizing Oxytocin for such patients. This study is preliminary and justifies further, larger studies regarding the beneficial effects of Oxytocin, not only for patients on the Autism spectrum but across the board.

Follow-Up Oxytocin/Autism Research Currently Under Way

The goal of Professor Alaerts' next study (which has already begun) is to investigate how Oxytocin treatments impact the lives of Autistic children aged 8-12. The researchers are confident that Oxytocin has strong potential as a medical remedy that can improve the lives of patients with Autism and their families.

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