When it comes to ‘love hormone’ the first thing coming to mind is women. But these hormones can do a lot for men than women.
A new study has found that oxytocin, as the love hormone is commonly known as, can help in lowering appetite in men, offering them a potent tool for weight loss.
The new study, which was conducted in a small number of men, examined oxytocin’s synthetic nasal formulation and discovered that the treatment by hormone lowered the number of calories among the men especially those calories earned from fatty foods.
Lead author Dr. Elizabeth Lawson, who is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said, “We are seeing early signs that oxytocin lowers the quantity of food intake at a meal and improves the way their body handles blood sugar.”
The oxytocin hormone is also associated with several activities related to emotional bonding between people, such as sex, kissing, hugging, holding hands, breast-feeding and giving birth.
According to the researchers, the hormone is also used in the medicines to induce labor and manage excessive bleeding in mothers after child birth and also coax out breast milk in the nursing mothers.
The team involved 25 men for the study, out of which 12 were obese or overweight, and have the average age of 27. The participants were asked to either consume synthetic oxytocin through nasal spray or an inactive placebo. The men were unaware of the kind of spray they were given.
Following administration of either love hormone or placebo, the participating men ordered breakfast from a given menu. All the participants received just double portions of the dishes or whatever they ordered. Following completion of the meal, the researchers measured how much food was consumed by the participants.
The men underwent the experiment again. However, this time they were given the placebo if they took oxytocin earlier, and vice versa.
The participants who consumed the oxytocin ate 122 lesser calories, on average, the researchers found. These men also took less fatty food, i.e. nearly nine fewer fat grams on an average. This means nearly 80 fewer calories from the fatty food.
Lawson also said that the researchers will be studying the oxytocin use before meals as a better treatment procedure for obesity. Moreover, the researchers also intend to test the health effects of the hormone in women.
The complete research work, which was funded by federal and hospital, will be presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society on March 8 in San Diego.