Brunei Darussalam
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Understanding the ‘cuddle hormone’

ANN/THE STAR – Oxytocin, often referred to as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone”, plays a crucial role in the human body.

It influences various aspects of our lives, including social bonding, trust, stress relief and more.

In this column, we’ll explore the production of oxytocin, its significance in maintaining hormonal balance, and why understanding this hormone becomes increasingly important as we age.


Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus in the brain and released into the bloodstream.

It facilitates contractions during childbirth, reduces stress levels and blood pressure, promotes relaxation, regulates appetite and digestion, boosts libido, fosters social bonding, and generates pleasurable sensations when released in the body.

Oxytocin plays a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance by acting as a neurotransmitter and regulator of various hormones in the body.

Here’s how oxytocin helps with hormonal balance:


Cortisol: Oxytocin interacts with cortisol, the stress hormone. It helps regulate cortisol levels, preventing them from becoming excessively high, which can have detrimental effects on the body.

By modulating cortisol production, oxytocin helps maintain a healthy stress response and prevents the negative consequences of chronic stress.

Oestrogen and testosterone: Oxytocin influences the regulation of two important sex hormones: oestrogen and testosterone.

Oestrogen is responsible for sexual development and plays a role in various physiological processes in women. Testosterone, on the other hand, is responsible for sexual desire and plays a role in men’s health.

Oxytocin helps keep these hormones in balance, ensuring their optimal functioning.

Dopamine and serotonin: Oxytocin interacts with neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in mood regulation.

By modulating the release and activity of these neurotransmitters, oxytocin helps regulate mood and emotional well-being.

Endorphin regulation: Endorphins are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Oxytocin contributes to the release of endorphins, promoting feelings of well-being, pleasure and pain relief.

Melatonin: Oxytocin also interacts with melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle.

By modulating melatonin production and release, oxytocin helps promote healthy sleep patterns and regulates the body’s internal clock.


Aside from its role in hormone regulation, recent research is beginning to indicate that oxytocin may offer other benefits for physical and mental health:

In skeletal muscle ageing: Studies suggest that oxytocin is vital for maintaining and regenerating skeletal muscles, which are crucial for healthy ageing. Low levels of oxytocin may lead to weakened muscles and reduced mobility.

Therefore, it becomes essential to balance oxytocin levels to support physical fitness throughout our senior years.

As a potential treatment for mental disorders: Oxytocin shows promise as a therapeutic target for mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

While further research is necessary to understand its exact role, studies suggest that oxytocin may modulate stress response, reduce fearfulness and improve social cognition.

This potential breakthrough offers hope for individuals affected by debilitating mental disorders.

In addiction treatment: Researchers are investigating oxytocin’s potential therapeutic applications in addiction treatment.

Preliminary findings indicate that oxytocin may help reduce addictive behaviours by restoring abnormal drug-induced changes in the brain’s functioning.

However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of oxytocin as an addiction treatment option.

Age-related changes: The relationship between oxytocin levels and ageing is not entirely straightforward. While some studies have shown that oxytocin levels increase in many older adults, other factors can contribute to a decrease in oxytocin as we age.

On one hand, as some people age, they engage more in activities that promote social interaction, volunteering, and spending time with loved ones.

These activities can contribute to increased oxytocin levels and a sense of well-being.

Additionally, some older adults may prioritise relationships and social connections, which can help maintain balanced oxytocin levels.

On the other hand, certain factors associated with ageing can lead to decreased oxytocin levels.

Stress, anxiety, depression and social isolation are more prevalent among older populations and can contribute to lower oxytocin production. Lack of social interaction and physical touch, which can be more common in older age groups, may also impact oxytocin levels negatively.

Overall, the impact of ageing on oxytocin levels can vary from person to person.

Lifestyle factors, stress levels and social interactions play a significant role in determining oxytocin levels as we age.

It is important to be mindful of these factors and seek ways to promote social connections, manage stress, and maintain a healthy lifestyle to support optimal oxytocin production as we grow older.

There are a few approaches that might be able to help increase oxytocin levels naturally:

Foods, nutrients and supplements: Consuming foods rich in complex carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and zinc stimulates oxytocin release.

Vitamins such as D and C, as well as magnesium, are particularly beneficial for oxytocin production. Natural sources and supplements can provide these nutrients.

Lifestyle habits and therapies: Engaging in physical touch, intimacy, regular exercise, spending time with loved ones, and mind-body practices like yoga, meditation and mindfulness, contribute to elevated oxytocin levels. These activities promote relaxation, reduce stress, and foster a sense of connection and well-being.

Hormone replacement therapy: For individuals with hormonal imbalances affecting oxytocin levels, HRT can be an effective treatment option. By restoring hormone levels through synthetic or bioidentical hormone replacement, HRT helps alleviate symptoms associated with menopause, hypogonadism and other conditions.

Oxytocin plays a vital role in hormone balance and overall well-being. By understanding the production, functions and benefits of oxytocin, individuals can take proactive steps to increase its levels naturally through lifestyle choices, nutrient-rich diets and engaging in therapies like HRT when necessary.

Striving for balanced oxytocin levels contributes to improved physical and mental health, enhanced relationships, and a higher quality of life at any age.