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OXYTOCIN,
THE CUDDLE/LOVE/BONDING AND MORAL HORMONE (PART 2)
 
The last newsletter "Oxtocin- The Cuddle, Love & Bonding Hormone Part 1" provided detailed information about the extraordinary and interesting functions of the hormone, Oxytocin (OT) which plays a key role in social and reproductive behavior.   If you missed that newsletter, click the above link before proceeding with part 2.
 
 
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL THERAPEUTIC USES OF OXYTOCIN?
 
Possible therapeutic uses of OT can be inferred by the previously described actions of oxytocin in the part 1 newsletter. Some options are using it to treat osteoporosis, eating disorders, stress-related disorders, and various psychiatric disorders.  Prior to this time Oxytocin has primarily been used in medicine to either stimulate delivery in those mothers who are having difficulty, to help stop bleeding after the birth of a baby, or to promote nursing.  Until now there were few other therapeutic implications for this hormone.
 
Many "use patents" have been applied for re the therapeutic applications of oxytocin.  There are patents re using OT for menopause, the autism spectrum disorders, headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, the curative or prophylactic treatment of wounds, such as chronic wounds to name a few.
 
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has applied for an Intellectual Property patent re the use of oxytocin for substance dependence, psychiatric and other disorders.
 
Their patent application states, The invention provides a method of treating a psychiatric or medical disorder……… the method comprising administering to the subject an effective amount of an oxytocin receptor agonist (e.g., oxytocin). {An agonist is a drug that has an affinity for and stimulates physiologic activity at cell receptors which would normally be stimulated by substances occurring naturally in the body}  Optionally, the oxytocin receptor agonist is delivered by intranasal administration. Further provided is a method of increasing social cognition, increasing social functioning, increasing empathy, increasing trust of others, reducing paranoia and/or reducing hostility in a subject with a psychotic disorder, a mood disorder characterized by psychotic  features, a personality disorder or a pervasive developmental disorder, ……... The invention also contemplates a method of preventing opioid dependence, opioid tolerance and/or opioid withdrawal symptoms in a subject receiving opioid treatment for pain relief, the method comprising administering to the subject an effective amount of an oxytocin receptor agonist". 
 
Researchers warn that oxytocin is no panacea.   Nevertheless, there is a tendency to view it as such when it suggests the possibility of better relationships with less anxiety.  If you “Google” the search term buy oxytocin you will see the various claims  that you will feel more trust, more extroverted and confident, less stress, sleep better , be calmer and be more enthusiastic about your life.  I doubt that OT is needed as a general social enhancer for all.  However it could be useful for those with social inadequacies possibly connected to OT imbalances.
 
Oxytocin malfunction is likely implicated in what are called attachment disorders with social functioning deficits.  These attachment/social avoidant disorders  can range  from something as simple as severe shyness to  social phobias, social anxiety disorder, reactive attachment disorders, antisocial personality disorder , juvenile conduct disorder, psychopathy, schizoid personality disorder, autism, schizophrenia, and paranoia, to mention a few.
 
SOME STUDIES:
 
You can see there is significant interest in Oxytocin because The National Library of Medicine has 20,819 articles displayed with just the search term oxytocin.  Broken down further, according to areas of therapeutic interest, here are the number of research articles per search term social-808, social behavior-674, sexual-656, pain-495, sexual behavior-409,  depression-382, memory-285, anxiety-269, drug abuse-186, autism-148, anxiety disorder-131, obesity-105, schizophrenia-57, social isolation-48, personality disorder-36,  social anxiety disorder-29, eating disorder-26, alcoholism-19, post-traumatic stress disorder-17, borderline personality disorder-17, osteoporosis-12,  obsessive compulsive disorder-12, violence-12, Parkinson’s Diseae-10,  Multiple Sclerosis-10, psychopathy-5, anti-social personality-4, Cushing’s Disease-4.   Of course there are other less academic publications on the subject, but this gives us an idea of research interest and direction.
 
General Anxiety, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Social Phobias:   There have been numerous animal and some human studies providing behavioral and chemical change evidence of the anxiety regulating and reducing effects of oxytocin.   Oxytocin modulates anxious states, and decreases anxiety without producing sedation.  Oxytocin also displays potent physiological antianxiety effects by decreasing cortisol levels, inhibiting the cardiovascular response to stress, and attenuating the amygdala response to emotional stimuli, such as fear.  In the clinical trials for anxiety, dosages were generally in the range of 20-40 IU intra-nasally twice daily.
 
Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder:  Researchers concluded “Oxytocin may have antianxiety properties that are particularly germane to the hyper vigilance and exaggerated startle response typically seen in PTSD patients because OT has a unique anxiolytic effect on the easy startle and background anxiety states which exist with PTSD.  The positive effects of OT are most apparent under stressful conditions such as the prolonged stress state of PTSD. “Oxytocin tends to reduce the physical stress response in PTSD more than it does the psychological response.
 
In other studies OT reduced the severity of PTSD symptoms, improved mood, and reduced thoughts about the traumatic event.
 
Borderline personality disorder:  Oxytocin may help with this disorder which is comprised of severe relationship problems and difficulty coping with social stress and which is associated with early neglect and childhood trauma.  These patients were significantly less reactive to stimulated stress after being dosed with oxytocin.
 
Psychopathy:  This disorder has previously been deemed untreatable because the individual has such a pervasive social disorder.  In fact studies have shown a variation of the OT receptor gene is associated with psychopathic traits in adolescents and young adults.  Paul Zak, who has studied oxytocin, says “It is the glue of society”.  He states 95% of people will release OT with the appropriate stimuli, but 5% will not.  He claims those 5% who either do not release or respond to OT upon receiving a positive social signal have many of the traits of psychopaths, sociopaths, extreme narcissists, and those who are extremely manipulative.   Rodents that genetically lack receptors for oxytocin do whatever they want without regard for others safety or survival.  They are loners in permanent survival mode.  OT and its’ receptors have been and are being studied in relation to the psychopathic personality.
 
We might assume those who do not get pleasurable feelings from positive social contact may have some OT deficits.  Some therapists are using OT to help people who may be withdrawn and self -centered to become more concerned with others.
 
Many psychiatric disorders involve problems with sociability or empathy.  Social memory and social attachment dysfunction is highly relevant in autism and schizophrenia.  Those who are OT deficient can suffer from what is called “social amnesia.”
 
Autism:  Some investigators have found significantly lower levels of OT in those with autism.   Autistics also fail to show normal developmental increases in oxytocin.  Some with autism have genetic problems with the OT receptors demonstrating genomic deletion of the gene containing the OT receptor gene.
 
Studies in those with autism have shown oxytocin may alleviate some of the symptoms by:
 
  • Decreasing repetitive behaviors and improving affiliative behaviors
  • Promoting social approach and comprehension
  • Helping with speech in adults with autism
  • Improving recognition and  interpretation of emotions such as happiness or anger in the voice of another
  • Improving the recognition of emotions in facial expressions
  • Decreasing irritability
  • Improving  sociability. 
Adults with Asperger’s were more inclined to play with the most socially responsive partner after they inhaled OT and  were more likely to focus on the play partners  eyes.  They also responded more strongly to others and engaged in more socially appropriate behavior.
 
In the various studies some autistics have responded strongly to OT, others more weakly, and some not at all.  So this is definitely not a singular answer for this disorder, only part of a complex puzzle.  In those who did respond to OT a single IV infusion could produce results lasting 2 weeks. 
 
Prader Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder involving autism combined with constant hunger.  Studies have shown OT helped the symptoms of this disorder, especially the ravenous eating.
 
Schizophrenia:   Oxytocin’s ability to modulate anxiety, mood, and aggression make it an important potential therapeutic agent in psychosis of varying causes. There is considerable evidence OT exerts antipsychotic properties with potential to be an antipsychotic agent with novel effects on schizophrenia symptoms.   Since schizophrenics have unique difficulties relating with others and tend to be emotionally detached, there is a distinct possibility that some aberration in the oxytocin system may be contributing to these kinds of symptoms. Interestingly, animal studies have shown antipsychotic medications increase OT secretion.  Also, Oxytocin receptors are in the areas of the brain heavily implicated in schizophrenia.  It is not yet clear whether the problem is with the production of OT or failure of adequate response with the receptor sites.   Intra-nasal doses of 20-40 IU twice daily were used with schizophrenics in studies. 
 
Here are some sample study results:
 
Study 1-Nineteen schizophrenic patients on a stable dose of at least 1 antipsychotic medication were studied in a randomized double-blind crossover study.  They were given intranasal OT 40 IU twice daily.  Oxytocin treatment significantly reduced their scores on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale compared to placebo after 3 weeks of treatment.  There were no adverse effects.
 
Study 2- There were positive effects in another randomized placebo controlled trial with schizophrenic s showing reduced classic psychotic symptoms and diminished certain social cognition deficits which are not helped by current antipsychotics.
 
Paranoia:  This  has previously been one of the most difficult syndromes to treat because a therapeutic trusting relationship is difficult to establish.  Since OT can suppress fear, avoidance behavior, and mistrust perhaps there is hope for use with this hard to reach group.
 
Chronic Pain:  Some studies have shown OT to be of benefit in pain. It is especially useful for stress exacerbated chronic pain disorders such as interstitial cystitis.
 
Substance abuse and addictions:  Oxytocin has the potential to reverse drug abuse.  In some animal studies OT inhibits the development of tolerance to addictive drugs (alcohol, cocaine, opiates) and reduces withdrawal symptoms.  When rats were given OT, they markedly decreased their IV self-administration of heroin and their sniffing of cocaine.   This area has exciting potentials.
 
Opioids decrease oxytocin as well as testosterone and estradiol.  Those who are addicted to these substances could develop OT deficiencies in addition to all the other negative effects. The OT depletion from substance abuse only serves to feed into the vicious cycle of dependency.
 
The doses in most of the oxytocin research are in the range of 20-24 IU twice daily.
 
CAN YOU GET TOO MUCH OXYTOCIN?
 
Since OT can stimulate uterine contractions in higher doses no woman who could be pregnant should use it, in my opinion.  Excess oxytocin increases the excretion of sodium in the urine which has the potential to decrease sodium in the blood causing the consequences of too little sodium.  Under some circumstances, OT can also inhibit ACTH, a pituitary hormone which stimulates the adrenals, and thus inhibit the formation of cortisol.  This inhibition is desirable in those conditions where there is too much stress related cortisol, but is not desirable in those with low adrenal functioning, or adrenal exhaustion.  In those cases extra OT could perpetuate fatigue.
 
HOW CAN I KNOW HOW MUCH OXYTOCIN I HAVE?
 
Blood tests for Oxytocin are not yet readily available at the consumer level and this frustrates me.  Some people need this test and hopefully the laboratories will start making it available as are the other hormone assays  I could only find one lab which claimed to test for oxytocin, but when I phoned them to order this test for some of my patients, they said the test was discontinued in 2005 because of insufficient demand.   They would reinstitute the test if I ordered it in batches of 30, not exactly practical in the clinical setting…maybe only the research setting.  So we will have to await the availability of this test for the general consumer.  
 
We know changing neurochemical scripts in the brain can change brain cell functioning.  The possibilities of actually rewiring some of the deep encoding of the brain is exciting and we shall see where this all leads.
 
For now, we can only assume who has oxytocin related problems by the kinds of symptoms present and by the developmental history.  I do not suggest recreational use of this substance, though animal studies have shown the animals given unlimited access to OT do not develop a preference for or an addiction to oxytocin.
 
Animal studies suggest no potential for abuse of oxytocin.  In fact, many people cannot tell if they are given OT or a placebo.  Some may report feeling more confidence, more relaxed, and “in the moment”.  None report any rush, high, or euphoria.
 
WHAT FORMS OF OXYTOCIN ARE AVAILABLE?
 
Oxytocin is destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract, so oral forms are not recommended.  It is generally used as a nasal spray and there are some sublingual forms available.  The nasal sprays are available by prescription from some compounding pharmacies.  Belmar Compounding Pharmacy in Lakewood, Co  has several different delivery systems available, including transdermal and a special oral form designed to not be destroyed in the GI tract.
 
There is also a standard prescription nasal spray and injectable called Syntocin.  This is mostly used in the ob-gyn setting.  Another synthetic product is called Pitocin.  Traditionally the injectable form is used to induce labor, but I do not recommend this under any other circumstances as there are numerous potential adverse reactions from this form. 
 
There is a sublingual over the counter supplement called Oxytocin Factor which the company suggests is useful for stress related symptoms.  Other products are available in the over the counter market as well.  The product labels may not clarify whether they contain the actual hormone verses a homeopathic form.  If using for a significant problem, and to be certain of potency, it is best to obtain OT by prescription from a compounding pharmacy.
 
As mentioned, numerous clinical trials are underway regarding various therapeutic uses for oxytocin.  These trials cost money. There would be more research if there was enough financial benefit for the pharmaceutical industry.   A drawback is that drug companies cannot patent natural hormones.   Thus there is less interest when there is less money to be earned.  Drug researchers try to get around the money issue by exploring such possibilities as a synthetic OT receptor agonist in order to mimic OT responses.  Or they may develop OT receptor antagonists to treat something like premature ejaculation, and so on.  The same thing happened with thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, etc.  Instead of using the natural hormone which could not be patented, the drug companies produced and promoted synthetic hormones which they hype to be superior, but many differ with that conclusion, including myself.
 
If your interest in oxytocin is piqued and you want to know more here are some additional resources.
 
Books about oxytocin:
 
Consumer oriented web sites:
 
Books about Oxytocin:
 
 
 
 
From Fear To Love by B. Bryan Post
 
Until next newsletter, wishing you peace, health, and all of your heart’s desires.
 
Priscilla Slagle M.D.
 
 
Visit our online store for over 250 Health Supplements personally selected by Dr. Slagle.
_________________________________________________________
ALTERNATIVE HEALTH PRODUCTS &  ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
PRISCILLA SLAGLE, M.D. or Cathy Jones, Assisitant
Email: thewayup@dc.rr.com                          
Phone: 760-322-7797 or 800-289-8487
Fax: 760-322-7608
In this Issue:

NEW PRODUCTS
We are pleased to introduce the newest additions to our already extensive product line personally selected by Dr Slagle.
 
 
BioCell Collagen contains Hydrolyzed Collagen type II, Hyaluronic Acid, and Chondroitin Sulfate.  These are  all essential for supporting healthy connective tissue, healthy joints, and healthy younger looking skin.
 
In a subjective relief study (where the feeling of the individual taking part in the analysis process determines the outcome) almost 90% of the people surveyed reported benefiting by the use of BioCell Collagen ® in a short period of time. In fact, BioCell Collagen ® is so profoundly effective that it was granted 5 U.S. Patents and several international patents.
 
BioCell Collagen is helpful for those needing special joint support such as:
  • Adults 30 & over
  • Athletes
  • Cyclists
  • Runners
  • Triathletes
  • Bodybuilders
  • And for people who want healthy & younger looking skin
 
 
There have been numerous research studies, clinical trials and real-life case studies showing that to restore optimum digestive health you most take care of the lining in the GI tract. The GI lining is a natural barrier that only allows properly digested fats, proteins, and starches to enter the blood stream.
 
When the lining of the intestines is damaged, it causes "leaky gut" which can lead to numerous other symptoms.
 
Advanced GI Tract Solution contains 9 specifically selected digestive nutrients to support optimum digestive health.  These are: L-Glutamine, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, (DGL), N-Acertyl-Glucosamine (NAG), Marshmallow Root, Berberine, Cabbage Powder, Slippery Elm, Phosphatidylcholine (PC), and Gamma Orzanol.


ENCOURAGE KIDS TO BE HEALTHFULLY ACTIVE
Everyone wants their children to grow up to be healthy and happy. As parents, it falls to you to encourage your children to develop healthy habits early in life that they can continue as adults. In doing so, the focus can be how much fun healthy activities are, and how much better it feels to be active and to eat properly. Overly focusing on dieting, weight and appearance can lead children to develop unhealthy attitudes about their bodies and contribute to body image issues which could cause lasting psychological and wellness issues.
 
Encourage your children to start participating in activities at a young age.  Look for classes that match their interests – if your child continually hangs upside down off the swing set, for example, a gymnastics class might be a good idea. On the other hand, if they spend all their time running around the backyard and kicking pine cones, soccer might be a better bet.
 
Allow your children to  pursue a variety of activities.  Having different kinds of physical activity will be helpful, and will create a more balanced body and mind. Don't push them further than they want to go with a sport, and if you sense that they are developing unhealthy attitudes, guide them to try something else. Mix activity classes with at home activity – riding bikes through the neighborhood, playing baseball in the back yard, doing a morning yoga routine, etc. This will help them learn that they can have an active life outside of scheduled classes.


More About Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is rising worldwide and for the majority of patients, this condition remains undiagnosed and untreated.
 
Overwhelming new evidence shows that supplemental doses of vitamin D greater than 800 IU/day has beneficial effects on the musculoskeletal system, improving skeletal homeostasis, thus leading to fewer falls and fractures.
 
Still more evidence is being accumulated on the beneficial effects of vitamin D on extraskeletal systems, such as improving immune health, autoimmune disorders, cancer, neuromodulation, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
 
Most people need vitamin D supplementation ranging from 600 to 2000 IU/day, consumption up to of 5000 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D is reported as safe.
 
This information comes from a paper by Dr. Sanil Wimalawansa, Professor of Endocrinology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.
 
Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council talks more about this paper & vitamin D deficiency on a video blog available online here.


Specials of the month
 
BUY 2 BOTTLE OF THE SAME PRODUCT & GET THE SECOND BOTTLE FOR HALF PRICE ON THE FOLLOWING THREE PRODUCTS  ONLY. THOUGHOUT THE MONTH OF APRIL!
 
 
 
Maca Root is a well known nutritionally dense super-food which contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and essential amino acids.
 
Maca root is rich in B-vitamins and is an excellent vegatarian source of B-12. It also contains high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium.
 
  
 
Prostata" -Prostate Health Support contains a synergistic blend of substances proven to benefit prostate disorders. It is widely recommended by many highly respected physicians.
 
Fifty to sixty percent of all U.S. males over 40 years of age have enlarged prostates, known as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.) In plain language, this is an enlargement of the prostate gland. The prostate cells can be stimulated into unregulated growth by Dihydrotesterone (DHT) which is a breakdown product of testosterone, & by prolactin, a hormone which increases the production of DHT.
 
  
The nutrients in Ultimate Lectin Defense™ surround the lectins and help flush them out of the body before they can damage the intestinal lining or digestive system.
 
 
 
TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS DISCOUNT, JUST MENTION THIS NEWSLETTER IN THE SPECIAL INSTRUCTION BOX AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ORDER FORM.  YOU WILL NOT SEE THE DISCOUNT ON THE ORDER AS IT WILL CORRECTED MANUALLY BEFORE THE ORDER IS FINALIZE.


About Dr. Slagle
Priscilla Slagle, M.D. is in the private practice of Nutritional and Functional Medicine & Psychiatry in Palm Springs, California.
 
Dr. Slagle has incorporated vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, natural hormones & other natural substances into her practice since 1975, being one of the pioneers in the Alternative Medicine Field. She also incorporates hypnosis, EFT, and other reprogramming techniques.
 
Her book "The Way Up From Down" presents her natural "precursor" methods for lifting low moods & relieving the negative effects of stress.