Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life Enhancing Oxytocin - the trust and bonding hormone

"Experiments have shown that a nasal squirt of oxytocin enhances trust and tunes people into others’ emotions..."
Dr. Larry Young

Hey, here's some info on a life enhancing substance that you may not have heard about...


What is Oxytocin?

It's been labeled the 'love hormone', the 'bonding hormone' and 'trust in a bottle'.

According to a recent article in Nature, Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that plays a key role in social attachment and affiliation in both humans and non-human mammals. Oxytocin has both peripheral hormonal effects and actions in the brain. It has been shown to mediate trust, love and bonding.

Interestingly, it is used in childbirth to initiate and control uterine contractions, triggers the lactation 'let down' reflex for breastfeeding and is released by nipple sucking, stroking and cuddling. It also appears to be involved in sexual arousal.

According to wikipedia, Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around a mate. It increases feelings of generosity, reduces fear and increases levels of trust. Oxytocin has also been used in experiments on negotation where it was found that the experimental subjects given nasally administered oxytocin displayed 'the highest level of trust' twice as often as the control group.

I find it fascinating that the hormone that is used to naturally trigger birth contractions, is also responsible for bonding of mother and baby, is stimulated by nipple sucking and breast play and at the same time is also connected with increasing sexual arousal and empathy, rapport and bonding. The whole reproductive life cycle -- from partner bonding, to sexual arousal, through birth and on to breast feeding -- all controlled and stimulated by one amazing neuropeptide. Incredible.

You can now buy it in a bottle

Life enhancingly, you can now buy Oxytocin as a spray and use it to increase feelings of rapport, trust, bonding, sexual attraction and love. Sounds promising, doesn't it? In the interests of life enhancing science :-) I decided to put it to the test...

Liquid Trust

I bought some 'Liquid Trust' and along with a bunch of friends, gave it a try. Not counting for the obvious and possible placebo effect (and really who cares, as long as you experience the desired results), the verdict was that it works! It delivers a positive buzzy feeling of closeness and heightened connection. We all agreed to varying degrees that we liked it. Well worth the spend. Some of my friends also used it in negotiations at work and reported positive and successful effects.

Now isn't that life enhancing! Imagine the uses for some liquid trust in a bottle. Wouldn't you like to use it with someone you love to enhance your loving and bonding? Or use it to recapture some of that early infatuation that comes at the beginning of a relationship, when Oxytocin is flowing at its strongest as you form the initial bond and do so much cuddling, kissing and stroking. I definitely think it's worth a try!

And for those who are interested, here's some more info on research on the life enhancing effects of Oxytocin:

Oxytocin helps couples communicate

A new study, recently published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, suggests that Oxytocin may help make it easier for couples to overcome conflict and discuss difficult issues. The couples who took part in the double-blind placebo-controlled study were given oxytocin nasal spray or a placebo spray before having a ‘conflict discussion’ in the laboratory. Those couples that received Oxytocin were found to communicate significantly more positively and had lower stress levels.

Oxytocin increases sexual attractiveness

Another new Oxytocin study highlighted the effects of the ‘Love Hormone’ on human behaviour.  A team of British researchers found that a person who has inhaled a whiff of Oxytocin will find people more sexually attractive. According to Dr. Angeliki Theodoridou, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, after inhaling oxytocin:
we are more likely to see people we don’t know in a more positive light”.
Theodoridou’s team tested 96 men and women in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. After participants got either a spritz of Oxytocin or a placebo, they were asked to rate pictures of 48 men and women for attractiveness and 30 for trustworthiness. No matter their gender or mood, volunteers who received Oxytocin rated male and female strangers as both more attractive and trusting.

Oxytocin helps social interpretation

A very recent study has found that participants with Asperger’s Syndrome (high functioning autism) who had inhaled Oxytocin showed more attentiveness to visual cues when viewing human faces and were more likely to process social cues. In another similar study, participants given Oxytocin were better able to interpret facial expressions and had more memories of people’s emotional states than those taking a placebo.

Oxytocin and heart health

According to researchers, spending just 20 seconds a day hugging your partner will be enough to increase the level of Oxytocin in your body and help improve the health of your heart!  The psychologist Dr. Karen Grewen claims that... “greater partner support is linked to higher Oxytocin levels for both men and women. However, the importance of oxytocin and its potentially cardio- protective effects may be greater for women”.

Liquid Trust

Each 1oz bottle of Liquid Trust contains Purified water, SD Alcohol and Oxytocin. According to the manufacturer 'Liquid Trust' lasts approximately 2-4 hours after spraying and everyone you encounter will unconsciously detect the pure human Oxytocin that you are wearing and without realizing why, will have increased feelings of trust.

Why not buy Liquid Trust and try it here:

Finally, let me point out that life enhancing substances like Oxytocin and Liquid Trust, are no substitute for high quality relating. I believe that for them to be truly life enhancing, they should be used as an adjunct to great relating to take it to an even deeper level of rapport and trust, rather than as a quick fix or a replacement for great loving and friending.

So, whether you use some bonding in a bottle, or whether you just do more touching and cuddling with those you love, you now know more about the hormone of trust and love and can make it work for you.

wishing you life enhancing trust and loving

Books on Oxytocin you may find fascinating:

The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy, and Love

The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing

Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin


  1. Thanks for this Grant - great blog! I've been telling the oxytocin story for some time now - goodness knows we all need more of it and as an antidote to the adrenalin/cortisol flight/fight pathway - into which most of Western society is eternally plugged - oxytocin can't be beaten. As you've described, orgasm, labour contractions, let down reflex - all ensure that a baby from conception through its earliest days and months of life is bathed in oxytocin. I ask couples to consider the other scenario - conceived by IVF, delivered by C-Sec and fed with formula - what are the implications for a child who hasn't been exposed to one molecule of oxytocin in the way that Nature intended. I hate to say that what comes in a bottle might take the place of Nature's Own, but in this instance, potentially very life-enhancing!

  2. Hi Jan, thanks for your great comment. I totally agree with you.

    Oxytocin helps shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic fight/flight dominance to parasympathetic dominance. It's a great way to counteract the adrenalin/cortisol response and bring more balance to the heart-brain. It's so healthy for your heart and mind.

    Our society and every individual needs more oxytocin! It's so very life enhancing.

    best wishes, Grant

  3. Hi Grant, A terriffic blog, it would be fascinating to experiment with the effects of a hug versus a spray. Imagine going into a meeting where everyone had to give each other a hug before negotiations started. I wonder, in the guise of improving trust does it also work as a truth serum? Definately looks worth trying and sharing with aspergers families.

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