Love Potion Number 9?

Imagine a drug that would make men nicer, reduces stress, improves orgasms and turns you into a better parent.  Sounds too good to be true or maybe more like internet spam?

Not so, dear reader.  It turns out that this omnipotent agent has been around for about 500 million years and the manufacturer is none other than Mother Nature herself.

So what is the name of this wonder drug?  Alpha-hypophamine – a hormone that acts primarily as a neurotransmitter in the brain.  Better known as oxytocin, this is the same hormone that it is released in large amounts during labor, and breastfeeding.

Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin‘s role in various behaviors, including social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, autism and maternal behavior.  The latest of these studies tested the effects of oxytocin in men. Healthy males were given either oxytocin nasal spray or placebo, then shown photos of a girl hugging her cat, and a grieving man. The men were then asked for emotional reactions.

Significantly higher emotional empathy levels were recorded for the oxytocin group than for the placebo group, leading researchers to conclude that oxytocin is responsible for regulating emotional empathy.

Finally – a female hormone we can all love.