A new study has revealed that Novartis' oxytocin nasal spray, a synthetic nasal formulation of the love hormone, can help men eat fewer calories.
Researchers found that oxytocin nasal spray reportedly lowered the number of calories men consumed at a subsequent breakfast whether they were normal weight or overweight. The study data showed that on average, the men ate 122 fewer calories and 9 grams less fat at the meal after they received oxytocin nasal spray compared with placebo. It was also found that oxytocin improved metabolic measures, such as insulin sensitivity, which was the body's ability to successfully clear glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream. Oxytocin also increased the use of body fat as a fuel for energy.
Elizabeth Lawson, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, said, "There were no serious side effects and no difference in side effects between oxytocin and placebo. Oxytocin had no effect on self-reported appetite or on appetite-regulating hormones measured in their blood. Therefore, how oxytocin affected caloric intake is unclear."
The researchers stressed that as oxytocin has sex-specific effects, it needs to be studied in women, as well as in both sexes for extended treatment duration.