Dr. Weeks’ Comment: We have offered this to our patients for the past 7 years…. And they love it!
The Belgian hormone expert Thierry Hertoghe’s forthcoming book about Oxytocin is set to make this hormone the hot topic of 2010. We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve and are already stocking this incredibly exciting product.
Given its ability to generate deep and profound emotional connections, and its ability to fuel feelings of sexual intimacy and desire culminating in powerful orgasms, Oxytocin really is the nearest thing to a love drug.
Here is the SCIENCE
1: Nature. 2009 Jan 8;457(7226):148.
Being human: love: neuroscience reveals all.
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
2: Prague Med Rep. 2007;108(4):297-305.
Endocrine factors of pair bonding.
Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic. email@example.com
Throughout literature–fiction and poetry, fine arts and music–falling in love and enjoying romantic love plays a central role. While several psychosocial conceptions of pair attachment consider the participation of hormones, human endocrinology has dealt with this theme only marginally. According to some authors in addictology, falling in love shows some signs of hormonal response to stressors with changes in dopamine and serotonin signalling and neurotrophin (transforming growth factor b) concentration. Endorphins, oxytocin and vasopressin may play a role during the later phases of love. However, proof of hormonal events associated with love in humans has, until recently, been lacking.
3: FEBS Lett. 2007 Jun 12;581(14):2575-9. Epub 2007 May 8.
The neurobiology of love.
University College, Department of Anatomy, London, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences. Both are linked to the perpetuation of the species and therefore have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance. The newly developed ability to study the neural correlates of subjective mental states with brain imaging techniques has allowed neurobiologists to learn something about the neural bases of both romantic and maternal love. Both types of attachment activate regions specific to each, as well as overlapping regions in the brain’s reward system that coincide with areas rich in oxytocin and vasopressin receptors. Both deactivate a common set of regions associated with negative emotions, social judgment and ‘mentalizing’ that is, the assessment of other people’s intentions and emotions. Human attachment seems therefore to employ a push-pull mechanism that overcomes social distance by deactivating networks used for critical social assessment and negative emotions, while it bonds individuals through the involvement of the reward circuitry, explaining the power of love to motivate and exhilarate. Yet the biological study of love, and especially romantic love, must go beyond and look for biological insights that can be derived from studying the world literature of love, and thus bring the output of the humanities into its orbit.
4: FEBS Lett. 2007 Jun 12;581(14):2580-6. Epub 2007 May 8.
From affiliative behaviors to romantic feelings: a role of nanopeptides.
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA. email@example.com
Love is one of the most desired experiences. The quest for understanding human bonds, especially love, was traditionally a domain of the humanities. Recent developments in biological sciences yield new insights into the mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of human relationships. Animal models of reproductive behaviors, mother-infant attachment and pair bonding complemented by human studies reveal neuroendocrine foundations of prosocial behaviors and emotions. Amongst various identified neurotransmitters and modulators, which control affiliative behaviors, the particular role of nanopeptides has been indicated. New studies suggest that these chemicals are not only involved in regulating bonding processes in animals but also contribute to generating positive social attitudes and feelings in humans.
5: Emotion. 2006 May;6(2):163-79.
- Romantic love and sexual desire in close relationships.Gonzaga GC, Turner RA, Keltner D, Campos B, Altemus M.Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. firstname.lastname@example.orgDrawing on recent claims in the study of relationships, attachment, and emotion, the authors hypothesized that romantic love serves a commitment-related function and sexual desire a reproduction-related function. Consistent with these claims, in Study 1, brief experiences of romantic love and sexual desire observed in a 3-min interaction between romantic partners were related to distinct feeling states, distinct nonverbal displays, and commitment- and reproductive-related relationship outcomes, respectively. In Study 2, the nonverbal display of romantic love was related to the release of oxytocin. Discussion focuses on the place of romantic love and sexual desire in the literature on emotion. 2006 APA, all rights reserved
6: Harv Womens Health Watch. 2005 Sep;13(1):7.
7: Bioessays. 2005 Sep;27(9):869-73.
Peptides of love and fear: vasopressin and oxytocin modulate the integration of information in the amygdala.
W.M. Keck Foundation Laboratory of Neurobiology, Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA. email@example.com
Neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin regulate a variety of behaviors ranging from maternal and pair bonding to aggression and fear. Their role in modulating fear responses has been widely recognized, but not yet well understood. Animal and human studies indicate the major role of the amygdala in controlling fear and anxiety. The amygdala is involved in detecting threat stimuli and linking them to defensive behaviors. This is accomplished by projections connecting the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) to the brain stem and to hypothalamic structures, which organize fear responses. A recent study by Huber et al demonstrates that vasopressin and oxytocin modulate the excitatory inputs into the CeA in opposite manners. Therefore this finding elucidates the mechanisms through which these neuropeptides may control the expression of fear.
8: Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2005 Jun;26(3):175-92.
The Neurobiology of Love.
CharitÃ©-University Medicine Berlin, Institute for General Practice and Family Medicine, Schumannstrasse 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
Love is a complex neurobiological phenomenon, relying on trust, belief, pleasure and reward activities within the brain, i.e., limbic processes. These processes critically involve oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and serotonergic signaling. Moreover, endorphin and endogenous morphinergic mechanisms, coupled to nitric oxide autoregulatory pathways, play a role. Naturally rewarding or pleasurable activities are necessary for survival and appetitive motivation, usually governing beneficial biological behaviors like eating, sex, and reproduction. Yet, a broad basis of common signaling and beneficial neurobiological features exists with connection to the love concept, thereby combining physiological aspects related to maternal, romantic or sexual love and attachment with other healthy activities or neurobiological states. Medical practice can make use of this concept, i.e., mind/body or integrative medicine. Thus, love, pleasure, and lust have a stress-reducing and health-promoting potential, since they carry the ability to heal or facilitate beneficial motivation and behavior. In addition, love and pleasure ensure the survival of individuals and their species. After all, love is a joyful and useful activity that encompasses wellness and feelings of well-being.
9: Nature. 2005 Jun 2;435(7042):673-6.
Oxytocin increases trust in humans.
University of Zurich, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, Blumlisalpstrasse 10, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland.
Trust pervades human societies. Trust is indispensable in friendship, love, families and organizations, and plays a key role in economic exchange and politics. In the absence of trust among trading partners, market transactions break down. In the absence of trust in a country’s institutions and leaders, political legitimacy breaks down. Much recent evidence indicates that trust contributes to economic, political and social success. Little is known, however, about the biological basis of trust among humans. Here we show that intranasal administration of oxytocin, a neuropeptide that plays a key role in social attachment and affiliation in non-human mammals, causes a substantial increase in trust among humans, thereby greatly increasing the benefits from social interactions. We also show that the effect of oxytocin on trust is not due to a general increase in the readiness to bear risks. On the contrary, oxytocin specifically affects an individual’s willingness to accept social risks arising through interpersonal interactions. These results concur with animal research suggesting an essential role for oxytocin as a biological basis of prosocial approach behaviour.
10: Lab Anim (NY). 2004 Mar;33(3):10-1.