There may be additional reason to love the ‘love hormone’ – it may play a significant role not only in our sex life, but also in our diet. A new study suggests that oxytocin can help reduce impulse behavior that is common in obesity, says a new study
During research for a study recently published by The Endocrine Society, a synthetic version of oxytocin, the hormone associated with the bond related to birth and sex, was made into a nasal spray. Ten overweight men were asked to respond to various images on a computer by pressing a button. After they were given the nasal spray, they were asked to instead listen for beeps rather than respond in the way they had before. This new ask was a way of measuring the men’s impulse control. Men who received the oxytocin nasal spray were better able to control these impulses than those who received a placebo.
Researchers theorize that oxytocin’s ability to help someone control impulses could transcend in their ability to control what they are eating. And will power is a huge part of the diet and weight loss game. However, controlling impulses are not the cause of obesity.
“Knowing the mechanisms of action of intranasal oxytocin is important to investigating oxytocin as a novel treatment strategy for obesity,” study co-author Franziska Plessow said in a press release. “This information may allow us to move forward to large clinical trials, identify who can benefit from the drug, and help optimize the treatment.”