ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oxytocin and Long Standing Relationships

Updated on August 6, 2013
The sequence of 9 amino acids in the love hormone
The sequence of 9 amino acids in the love hormone | Source

Oxytocin – The Love Hormone

The next time you experience the feeling of love, be sure that cupid’s arrow glued with oxytocin has hit your brain. Isn’t it strange to know that instead of sex hormones (androgens), oxytocin controls sexual arousal, orgasm, interaction with the partner, etc, in human beings?

Oxytocin is a nonapeptide hormone which is mainly produced by the hypothalamus and released into the blood stream through the pituitary. This hormone plays multiple roles in the human body. It is released in large amounts in females during their labor pains as it facilitates the child birth, and during breast feeding. Oxytocin secreted by the posterior pituitary is responsible for the local (autocrine) control of the milk synthesis. It reduces blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels and exhibits anti-anxiety effects. Apart form all these positive effects, current research shows that this hormone can influence our behavior such as trust, empathy and generosity and helps to maintain a romantic relationship. This hormone contributes to the social bonding that occurs between lovers, friends, and colleagues.

Why do we need to boost our oxytocin levels?

The modern world is moving at a very fast pace and we hardly have time for our near and dear ones. This leads to the death of many relationships. There has been a large scale increase in the divorce rate. These unhealthy relationships are one of the primary causes of stress in the modern man and lead to psychological distress. What can stop this and increase the bonding between people? Oxytocin might be the answer. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone which can be used to boost up positive attributes and increase the emotional bond between couples. This article aims to inform the readers about the outcomes of the current research on oxytocin. It also explains the ways through which oxytocin levels can be boosted naturally.

What does the current research about oxytocin say?

The interest in this hormone soared up since 1900s, when it was realized that breastfeeding women are calmer and remain unaffected by psychosocial stress in comparison to bottle-feeding mothers. Research on monogamous rodents, particularly prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), showed that the unique pair-bonding between the partners is promoted by the secretion of the oxytocin. Amongst the voles found in central North America, the male maintains a life-long relationship with a single female exhibiting a monogamous nature. Further, biparental behavior was also noticed in humans and other mammalian species exhibiting monogamous pair-bonds.

Several studies have been conducted on human beings also. The levels of this hormone were found to be highest in couples during the period of falling in love. Also, the levels were found to be higher in couples who maintained a longstanding relationship. A research conducted by Scheele, et al. shows that the release of oxytocin is promoted during a monogamous relationship and this hormone also helps men to maintain such relationship. Such men try to avoid signaling romantic interest form other women during social gatherings (Scheele, et al. 2012). Hence, oxytocin leads to a trust worthy relationship between couples. Isn’t that great!

A recent study conducted at NYU Langone Medical Cente shows that this neuro-hormone has the potency to increases the strength of desired signals (Owen, et al. 2013). It suppresses the background activity by suppressing the brain region known as the amygdale which processes fear. It controls the fear and anxiety responses.

According to Simone Shamay-Tsoory, this hormone acts as an overall trigger for social sentiments and has two faces. Pro-social behaviors are boosted up if the person interacting is in positive association. Whereas, negative sentiments soar up when the person is negatively associated to us (Love and Envy Linked by Same Hormone, Oxytocin). This shows that oxytocin is an intelligent hormone which stimulates different behaviors depending on the persons with whom we are interacting.

A video describing multiple advantages of oxytocin and suggesting methods of increasing oxytocin secretion

How to increase the oxytocin secretion?

Oxytocin is a great stuff which offers several nice perks and reduces the negatives of our life. Nasal sprays and inhalers containing oxytocin are available in the market. These sprays are specifically used by nursing mothers to increase the flow of breast milk. However, this hormone is not sold in a widespread manner in the form of pills or creams as ethical issues may crop up.

There are certain natural ways of increasing the oxytocin secretion. They are:

  • Ingestion of food – An empty stomach does not allow recognition of the feeling of love. Ingestion of food activates vagal afferent nerves and stimulates oxytocin secretion.
  • Massage – Human beings are social creatures and sensations like touch and warmth build a sustained social bond. Massage involves a prolonged interaction through touch and raises the levels of oxytocin in blood. Even actions like hugging or holding hands boost up the oxytocin levels.
  • Dreaming about your partner – Thinking about the partner during his/ her absence also boosts up the levels of oxytocin.
  • Sensory stimulus – Activities which activate ones sensory stimulus like music, pictures or smells should be enjoyed.
  • Physical activity – Exercises like swimming, walking also boost up the secretion of this hormone.

Conclusion

Further research in this line can not only protect the dying relationships but also help us to build a society with strong interpersonal relationships.

References

Scheele, D., Striepens, N., et al. (2012). Oxytocin modulates social distance between males and females. J Neurosci, 32(46), 16074-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2755-12.2012

Owen, S, F., Tuncdemir, S, N., et al. (2013). Oxytocin enhances hippocampal spike transmission by modulating fast-spiking interneurons. Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature12330.

Love and Envy Linked by Same Hormone, Oxytocin (2009). Retrieved on Aug6th from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091112095038.htm

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • purnasrinivas profile imageAUTHOR

      purnasrinivas 

      5 years ago from Bangalore

      Thank you DDE for your nice comments and thank you for going through my hubs.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Oxytocin and Long Standing Relationships is an interesting, useful and helpful hub. A well researched and approached hub.

    • purnasrinivas profile imageAUTHOR

      purnasrinivas 

      5 years ago from Bangalore

      Thank you lovedoctor926 for appreciating my hub.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 

      5 years ago

      Good information and interesting too. voted up!

    • purnasrinivas profile imageAUTHOR

      purnasrinivas 

      5 years ago from Bangalore

      Thank you Dr Pran for reading my hub.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      5 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Really a good hub. Thanks

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)