Research findings about oxytocin:
Oxytocin improves social behaviors in autism. (Sirigu, 2010)
Oxytocin reduces food cravings. (Kovacs, 1998)
Oxytocin reduces sugar cravings. (Billings, 2006)
Oxytocin calms. (Agren, 2002)
Oxytocin increases sexual receptivity and counteracts impotence. (Pedersen, C.A., 2002)
Oxytocin counteracts stress. (Legros, 2003)
Oxytocin makes anti-depressants effective. (Uvnas-Moberg, 1999)
What about a prescription?
Even though it is rumored that oxytocin cannot be dispensed without a prescription, this may not be entirely true. According to personal conversations with the FDA, naturally occurring drugs like progesterone and oxytocin fall within a “gray” area. Meaning, because they are naturally occurring to the body they cannot, essentially, be considered illegal when obtained. As long you are not claiming to cure, diagnose, or medicate a specific medical condition, then the FDA claims to hold minimal jurisdiction.
What Are the Side Effects?
Several studies conducted to test the efficacy of oxytocin administered sublingually give us some excellent guidance. The reason is that they have used extremely high dosages of sublingual oxytocin with no reported side effects. Many of these studies used oral/sublingual dosages as high as 400 IU! To give you some perspective, 10IU delivered directly into the bloodstream is what’s commonly used to induce labor. However, because of delayed absorption and utilization through the mucus membrane, even dosages as high as 400 IU did not overwhelm the brain, and in fact one article stated that a lower dosage was actually more effective than the high dosage referenced in the study. You can find some referenced studies in the FAQ section of www.oxytocinfactor.com
It must be noted that every person responds differently to any form of supplement, hormone, or drug. Some side effects that I know to have been reported with oxytocin use in a very small percentage are small rash outbreak, tightening of the chest, and one report of an increase in menstruation. Compare that to any number of psychiatric medications where side effects always include nausea, dizziness, headache, upset stomach and leading up to kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, and even death. Honestly, I wouldn’t touch an anti-depressant with a ten foot pole, whereas I am a firm believer in the safety and efficacy of oxytocin.
There are a few products on the market supposedly containing oxytocin that are available to the public, both prescription and non-prescription. I’ll share them with you here:
First, let me say this is not an endorsement for any one product. You need to inform yourself about anything that you take personally and always consult with a physician. However, I will tell you that I have personally tried the oxytocin products noted here:
Belmar Pharmacy www.belmarpharmacy.com is a compounding pharmacy in Colorado that offers oxytocin tablets that can actually be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. They are able to do this through a patented absorption system. These tablets are pure oxytocin. After a single 10 unit dosage, I felt a sense of calm and relaxation for nearly six hours. These tablets require a physician’s prescription. If you can get your doctor to write a script (print off some of the articles and resources on wwww.oxytocincentral.com for their information), you can order them from Belmar and they’ll ship them directly to you. They can’t ship outside the country so if you live in Canada or New Zealand, you must have them shipped to a friend in the US and then have the friend ship them to you. These tablets are very effective. Taken appropriately, they offer a multitude of benefits. I currently have about 15 clients taking them on an experimental basis. So far, the results are very positive. This is not an inexpensive drug. A one month supply of the 10 IU tablets will cost approximately $70 per month and is not covered by insurance.
Again I reiterate that none of these statements have been approved by the FDA. I am only sharing information with you based on my own personal use of oxytocin and observations made of those taking it.
Research into the sublingual usage of oxytocin indicates that unlike other drugs, oxytocin is not more effective the higher the dosage in fact it’s just the opposite. Sublingual dosages as high as *400 IU have not proven to be any more effective than a 20 IU dosage. To date I have found that a 10 IU sublingual dosage twice per day is more than adequate for a sustained increase in well being and reduced stress throughout the day with no noted side effects. This has been effective for both adults and children who have diagnosable levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and other similar conditions.
I’m sure as with most things individual responses vary based on gender, age, weight, and psychological profile. Please consult your physician.
*The reference to this study can be found at www.oxytocinfactor.com in the FAQ section on safety.
First of all, let’s talk about parents:
Anybody who has ever raised a child understands the inherently stressful nature of the experience. The challenge of parenting lies not so much in the actual experience, but rather in the stress-based parental reactions that are triggered during the process. Parenting causes many adults to experience chronic stress, anxiety, resentment, depression and anger, seemingly with no bona fide roots for the intense emotional experience. Yet, research from the field of trauma implies just the opposite. That in fact, parenting creates an unconscious playground from which the parent’s deepest, most sensitive experiences are brought back to life with oftentimes unexpected force and consequences (Post 2010).
Research has repeatedly implicated the neuropeptide oxytocin as one of the key hormones involved in parent-infant bonding in mammals, as well as in a range of social and affiliative behaviors (Gordon et al. 2010). As such, there is also a noted disruption of the oxytocin response in parents where depression and other psychological disorders may be present. Parents who have been taking oxytocin have reported a prolonged and definite experience of calm in the presence of their child, an absence of anxiety when witnessing negative behaviors and an increase in ability to respond logically and from an authentic emotional space.
The information being shared concerns off-label use of oxytocin. The use of oxytocin with children is not approved by the FDA nor has it been approved by the FDA and neither has what I am about to say.
In 1906, the English researcher Sir Henry Dale discovered a substance in the pituitary gland that could speed up the birthing process. He named it oxytocin from the Greek words for “quick” and “child labor”. Later, he found that it also promoted the expulsion of breast milk. Now it appears that oxytocin plays a much larger physiological role than previously recognized, since under many circumstances, it has the ability to produce the effects that we associate with the state of calm and connection (Moberg 2003).
What is it Useful For?
In the article Central nervous system actions of oxytocin and modulation of behavior in humans, published in Molecular Medicine Today, June 1997, researcher Margaret McCarthy pointed out, “A continuous stress response can ultimately be deleterious and reducing the reaction under appropriate circumstances has substantial advantages.”
Love is the feeling and experience that ties us together. When we experience too much stress and anxiety in our lives, it breaks down vital relationships and leaves us feeling lonely and isolated. Adults who are under constant stress and anxiety experience more bouts of depression, dissatisfaction in life and increased health challenges.
What is Oxytocin?
Oxytocin, a peptide that functions as both a hormone and neurotransmitter, has broad influences on social and emotional processing throughout the brain and body. Oxytocin is a peptide of nine amino acids that is produced in the hypothalamus and released into both the brain and bloodstream. Functioning as both a neurotransmitter and hormone, oxytocin’s role throughout the body is widespread. Included is the hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, brainstem, heart, uterus and regions of the spinal cord which regulates the autonomic nervous system, especially the parasympathetic branch (Neumann 2008). Oxytocin’s role in reproductive functions is well known. Its contribution to pair-bond formation has been systematically studied (Gimpl and Fahrenholz 2001).
How Does it Work?
In our stressful and stressed-out society, it’s not surprising that science has focused most of its research on the stress response. But there’s another response that’s just as important. Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg, the Swedish researcher who first identified it, calls it the “calm and connection system.” In her 2003 book, The Oxytocin Factor, she describes how oxytocin calms the body while it helps us connect with other people.
This site is written to explain the what, why and where of oxytocin in a no-nonsense fashion. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition mentioned or not mentioned here. You are encouraged to print of this information and take it to your physician as a useful educational tool for working with oxytocin from a medical perspective.
Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone in the brain. It is released through very simple acts such as receiving a hug, being listened to, laughter, touch, orgasm, chocolate, good food, and good music to name a few. However, for adults and children who have experienced trauma at early ages, or who’ve been exposed to prolonged states of stress, the brain’s natural oxytocin response can be remarkably diminished, leading to severe behavior challenges, attachment issues, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and more.
Much of the literature and findings regarding oxytocin has been written by scientists for scientist. Many are sponsored by universities and pharmaceutical companies. They may be difficult to understand and decipher or even worse, leave average readers feeling more confused than before they started reading. It is important that a hormone with the potential of oxytocin be communicated and understood in a manner that makes sense and has real-life application.