Here’s research men can get behind. Scientists have discovered that just one dose of oxytocin via a nasal spray can kickstart men on the path to weight loss. If you’re thinking you’ve heard of oxytocin before, it’s because it’s known as the ‘love hormone.’
The hormone plays a pivotal role in human intimacy and sexual reproduction. Which has men in relationships asking why the hell do I have to take this via a nasal spray? Then again, telling your significant other the morning sex was for your diet is a first class ticket to the couch.
A bit of caution with the results. It’s a pilot study following 25 men, with the average age of 27. All 25 were deemed healthy, with 12 overweight and 13 at a healthy weight. The results were significant. Regardless of weight, men who used the oxytocin spray tended to eat less.
Participants were either given a placebo spray or the oxytocin right before a breakfast of their choice. Something tells me they weren’t wrecking a Shoney’s breakfast bar. Compared to the placebo, the study participants at an average of 122 fewer calories and 9 grams less fat. How long until we see people hitting the nasal spray before meals?
Reducing caloric intake wasn’t the only positive. Oxytocin spray helped with insulin sensitivity, which helps the body maintain sugar levels in the blood.
“Our results are really exciting,” said lead investigator Elizabeth Lawson, MD, MMSc, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston. “Further study is needed, but I think oxytocin is a promising treatment for obesity and its metabolic complications.”
Something tells me Dr. Lawson will not have a shortage of volunteers. Wait, we get to snort the ‘love hormone’ and get paid during the study? Where is this fabled sign up sheet?
The study results are being presented on Sunday at the Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting.
Benefits of Oxytocin
Besides the fact it could help you step back from the breakfast buffet, oxytocin does have other benefits.
1 – It’s easy as hell to get. Stop googling. I’m not talking about your friendly Canadian pharmacy. Giving someone a hug or shaking hands will cause your brain to release low levels of the hormone. Said a non-diplomatic way, don’t be a grumpy ass when you wake up in the morning. You might just have one bagel instead of two.
2 – Pain relief. A rise in the level of oxytocin has been shown to relieve pain from body aches to your everyday headache.
3 – Stress relief. I think we could all use a bit of stress relief in our life. Oxytocin has been shown to reduce social anxiety and build trust. So, it wasn’t a stretch when it was found to have a slight effect as a stress reliever.
If further studies show the hormone works as a treatment to fight obesity, it will turn out that all we needed was love.