In light of this year’s chocolate, roses and wine extravaganza, otherwise known as “Valentine’s Day,” we take a look at one single propellant that strums the heart strings.
Oxytocin is one of many hormones in the human body that affect how we act, think, and feel. It evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security.
Oxytocin is a peptide of nine amino acids (a nonapeptide). Its systematic name is systeine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine, and it is produced in the posterior pituitary gland.
The word oxytocin was derived from Greek ὀξύς, oxys, and τόκος, tokos, meaning “quick birth”, after its uterine-contracting properties were discovered by British pharmacologist Sir Henry Hallett Dale in 1906.
The nine amino acid sequence of oxytocin was first made clear in 1953 and was synthesized biochemically soon after.
20 of the Most Fascinating Facts about the Molecule of Love
1.It is hypothesized that men are more likely to remain faithful when engaged in intimate, oxyotcin-releasing behaviors with their mates.
2. Oxytocin may reduce substance abuse cravings, and can also curb the occasional sweet-tooth.
3. Oxytocin was long present in animals before humans came into existence, and this hormone is responsible for all mammals’ innate defense of their young.
4. Oxytocin plays an essential role in the biological reproductive system.
5. Studies show that men’s libidos improve after sniffing a nasal spray that contains oxytocin properties.
6. After birth, oxytocin levels can be higher than during actual labor. This increase amplifies the bond between mother and baby, especially during the breastfeeding stage.
7. Oxytocin is released of oxytocin increases gastrointestinal tract activity. This allows the mother to use her calories more efficiently.
8. Research has shown that oxytocin may be heart-healthy by reducing cell declination in an injured heart.
9. Oxytocin is released in both men AND women during sex and orgasm.
10. With oxytocin in the system, curiosity is piqued, social interaction is amplified and pain thresholds are increased!
11. It has been shown to have general healing properties, as well, reducing the inflammation and the time it takes a wound to heal.
12. Healthy eating of nutrient rich foods has been shown to improve Oxytocin production.
13. Researchers have found that moderate amounts of alcohol contribute to raised oxytocin levels, producing the “I love you, man” effect.
14. The release of oxytocin can generate sentiments of comfort and security, which enables ‘trust’ amongst social scenarios.
leads to people to being very trusting of one another
15. Five minutes of rhythmic stroking releases oxytocin, and can lead to a three-hour reduction of blood pressure.
16. The release of oxytocin can block cortisol production. Individuals benefit from this process as stresses and anxiety are temporarily alleviated.
17. Breastfeeding is one of the most intimate exchanges between mother and baby. This interaction plays a vital role in stimulating the release of oxytocin.
18. The greatest surges of happiness can often be attributed to the release of oxytocin.
19. Oxytocin can also be triggered when eating meals with loved ones as we enjoy their company. Studies show that social interaction raises oxytocin levels and contributes to feelings of friendship and community.
20. Like hugging? Oxytocin is produced when the act of hugging stimulates cells in the body. This the biological excuse to hug away!
Oxytocin is a biological precursor to love: a timeless sentiment that has been referenced since cultivation of the written word. From religious texts to romanticized poetry, “love” is one emotion that has burgeoned, broken and embittered the hearts of many great men and women. For more information on this heart-filled hormone, peruse our siteand find yourself love drunk on Oxytocin facts, news and articles, along with the featured Oxytocin infographic below. A daily dose of happy starts right here!