Why Oxytocin Is a Helpful Hormone
By Devaki Lindsey Berkson for PCCA
Oxytocin has classically been regarded as a pregnancy and lactation hormone. It’s also infamous as the “cuddle chemical” since it is released during orgasm and tends to bind couples together emotionally—alas, more in ladies than gents.
But oxytocin, it turns out, is much more.
At the 2018 International Seminar, I taught a lucky audience of compounding pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and marketers, and physicians how this “neuropeptide of attachment” could be used clinically for a variety of conditions. They learned a wide array of oxytocin basics and clinical applications along with delivery modes and dos and don’ts. Here is a brief glimpse at some of the information I shared.
Many hormones send signals to receptors. Receptors are proteins in the shape of satellite dishes designed to receive hormone signals and deliver them to genes to turn “on” or “off” actions related to these hormonal messages.
Wherever the human body has receptors, hormones act. Tissues containing receptors are greatly influenced by the hormones that signal these receptors. These tissues are called target tissues.
Oxytocin has target tissues all over the human body, not just in the uterus and breast. Looking at where oxytocin receptors live within the human body—where target tissues lie in wait for signals—starts to give us an understanding of oxytocin’s widespread potential use clinically.
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