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Oxytocin and You

September 5, 2012 Oxytocin and Depression, Oxytocin and Sex, Uncategorized No Comments

Oxytocin is a peptide created in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, and acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, rendering itself highly important for many physical processes in the body, alongside social and emotional processes and development in the body and in the brain.

Oxytocin and its role in the body

Oxytocin was first discovered for important roles in reproduction, including uterine contraction and regulation during childbirth, and the letdown reflex for breastfeeding. It has since been discovered to be just as important for human social function and anxiety reduction, and to form relationships and trust between members of social groups and for intimate relationships. In this way, oxytocin holds a great deal of control over our emotional responses to social situations, helping us to stay calm and content and get on with things. This makes it a very important hormone in the grand scheme of things, which is why it has been the subject of intense research since its discovery.

How oxytocin works

The whole system in which oxytocin works involves many parts of the brain and body including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the brainstem and the heart. This makes it difficult to pinpoint its precise role and function, but what is known is that the hormone initiates a system similar yet opposite to the role adrenaline plays in stressful situations. While adrenaline gets us ready for the ‘fight or flight’, oxytocin calms us down and makes us more comfortable. Simple things like eating chocolate or sharing a hug release oxytocin in a normal healthy human.

Relationships

There is little to dispute the positive effect of oxytocin in relationships. A paper published in 2008 in Biological Psychiatry showed that it can reduce levels of cortisol when couples argue, helping to significantly reduce levels of stress. This article mirrors a wealth of other reports which show how there is a definite positive correlation between oxytocin levels and amiability and content within a given relationship.

Sexual Implications

There is not a huge body of evidence to show any direct links between the hormone and sexual performance, and as of present the direct link between oxytocin and sexual response is not clear. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest however that oxytocin has its role to play with sexual stimulation, response and function, and because oxytocin and sex are both linked so closely to emotional behavior, it comes as no surprise that they are both linked at least as an indirect positive correlation.

The things which can affect a healthy sex life are often the same – things like anxiety, communication, connection, trust and security. When there are problems with these types of things within a relationship, a couple’s sex life is often the first thing to be affected. Problems like this often produce a negative feedback effect, which further deteriorates the quality of the relationship and the happiness of both partners. The good news is that the links between all of these emotional and social ailments and oxytocin are proven, and so there are very effective ways to help improve your sex life if you think these things might be affecting you.

What can be done?

We live in a world where stress is more common than ever before. Fast paced lifestyles, employment stress and a ‘quick fix’ mentality are all acting to increase levels of anxiety and stress in people all around the world. The American National Center for Health Statistics released an MMWR report on depression among US adults, which has found that just under 10% of US adults qualify as under depression, and around 4% with major depression. This accords with antidepressants being one of the most prescribed drugs in the US.

How does this link in with Oxytocin? The more depression you experience, the more difficult it is for your body to produce oxytocin, and to experience all the benefits that this hormone creates. You are less likely to produce natural oxytocin when you are under high levels of stress, which means that oxytocin supplements can often be required.

Oxytocin Factor is a supplement of choice among many physicians and professional practitioners, with proven results in reducing stress and anxiety, and the many problems associated with them, such as sexual arousal and maintaining a healthy sex life. So taking oxytocin could be just the supplement you are looking for, with many people finding stress affecting their sex lives stating really positive changes when they take it.

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

 

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