Wednesday, April 1, 2015
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Researchers have found oxytocin, also known as love hormone or the cuddle chemical, released during breastfeeding, childbirth or during sex, could provide new treatment for anorexia.
It is reported the hormone can alter the tendencies of anorexics to fixate on high images of high calorie foods and also larger body shapes as well.
The study is published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal and it says the love hormone changed anorexic responses in patients to images of disgusted and angry faces.
The researchers say those anorexics who were shown fat body parts and food images reduced focus on such images after they were given oxytocin through a nasal spray.
In the study 31 people participated and all were found to focus less likely on disgust faces and avoided looking at angry faces after getting the hormone.
Lead author of the study, Professor Youl-Ri Kim, said their finding shows oxytocin decreases the unconscious tendencies of patients to focus on body shape, food and also on negative emotions like disgust.
Kim is from University of Seoul, South Korea.
Professor Janet Treasure from King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry said presently there is no such effective pharmacological treatment for anorexia and the new study shows some path to lead to the treatments of mental illnesses.
Treasure is the senior author of the study and says larger trials are still required in the treatment.
Anorexia is one of the leading mental-health related death causes and patients often see distorted images of themselves like feeling fat when they are not.