If you are intimidated by relating to other people, you lack confidence in yourself and you even lose the ability to speak in the presence of strangers, this news interests you: a study has shown that oxytocin, a hormone that reaches high levels during pregnancy , childbirth and breastfeeding, and which is popularly known as hormone of love, has the ability to increase self-confidence and return to more sociable and altruistic people, facilitating their interaction with others.

The study, conducted by a group of researchers from the Concordia University of Montreal (Canada), led by Dr. Mark Ellenbogen, consisted in the administration of oxytocin, in the form of nasal spray, or placebo, to 100 people aged between 18 and 35 years old. The participants were men and women who did not suffer from any physical or mental pathologies, did not take medication, had not been drug or tobacco users and, in the case of women, had not been pregnant.

Participants who had received the hormone had higher levels of sociability and predisposition to experience new situations than those in the placebo group

The scientists asked the participants questionnaires that assessed their personality and disposition towards new experiences, their ability to relate to others, their level of extroversion and their kindness, among other characteristics, before giving them oxytocin or placebo, and repeated them later after its administration, at 50, 65, 80 and 90 minutes.

The results of the study showed that those participants who had received the hormone had higher levels of sociability and predisposition to experience new situations, than those of the placebo group. No adverse side effects were observed after administration of the drug, except for a slight irritation of the nose, although it has not been possible to verify if its continued use could cause some damage.

At present, it is unknown how oxytocin works to favor the social behavior of individuals, but the scientists who have carried out the study consider that it contributes relevant data and that it is necessary to continue investigating the medical applications of the hormone, that even It could be used as an adjuvant to other therapies, medicines and psychotherapy, to treat certain psychiatric disorders such as social phobia or depression.

"Love hormone" oxytocin spray may improve social skills of children with autism: Study (November 2019).