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Love hormone for shyness

Scientists are developing a wonder drug from “love hormone” oxytocin, which can help banish excessive shyness.

sex and relationships Updated: Jun 24, 2008 11:41 IST

Feeling shy to go to a party full of strangers? Fret not, for scientists are developing a wonder drug from “love hormone” oxytocin, which they claim could help banish excessive shyness. Previous researches have revealed that oxytocin, also called the “cuddle hormone” which assists childbirth and helps mothers bond with newborn babies, could reduce anxiety as well as ease phobias.

Now, the international scientists in the US, Europe and Australia are racing to develop commercial forms of the hormone in the hope that it will remove the incentive to drink or take harmful drugs to relieve the problem. “Tests have shown oxytocin reduces anxiety levels in users. It is a hormone that facilitates social contact between people. What’s more, it is a very safe product that does not have any side effects and is not addictive,” Professor Paul Zak was quoted by The Sunday Times as saying. Professor Zak and his colleagues at Claremont Graduate University have tested the hormone on hundreds of patients.

According to them, oxytocin’s main effect is to curb the instincts of wariness and suspicion that cause anxiety. It is produced naturally in the brain. The hormone heightens the feelings of intimacy after sexual intercourse, too. “We’ve seen that it makes you care about the other person. It also increases your generosity towards that person. That’s why (the hormone) facilitates social interaction,” Prof Zak was quoted as saying.