A new research study has shown that oxytocin, the so called love hormone, may mitigate alcohol effects. The study used mice and rats, and so far the results have not been studied in humans, but the research offers promise for those who have problems with alcohol abuse or addiction. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the body which has a vital role in long term bonding, social relationships, and sexual behavior. The study was performed by researchers t two well known universities, the University of Regensburg and the University of Sydney. What the researchers discovered was that oxytocin had a mitigating effect on the intoxication that alcohol can cause in rodents. When rats had oxytocin infused into their brains and then they were given alcohol the rats did not display the usual lack of coordination that consuming alcohol causes.
The latest research study on oxytocin and alcohol may help with future treatments that are more effective when it comes to alcohol abuse. University fo Sydney researcher Dr. Michael T. Bowen explained “In the rat equivalent of a sobriety test, the rats given alcohol and oxytocin passed with flying colors, while those given alcohol without oxytocin were seriously impaired. “Alcohol impairs your coordination by inhibiting the activity of brain regions that provide fine motor control. Oxytocin prevents this effect to the point where we can’t tell from their behavior that the rats are actually drunk. It’s a truly remarkable effect. The first step will be to ensure we have a method of drug delivery for humans that allows sufficient amounts of oxytocin to reach the brain. If we can do that, we suspect that oxytocin could also leave speech and cognition much less impaired after relatively high levels of alcohol consumption.”