Supplements That Can Help Increase Oxytocin
Are you looking to naturally increase your oxytocin levels? Oxytocin is a hormone that’s produced in the hypothalamus.
The pituitary gland then secretes oxytocin into the bloodstream so it can act on the rest of the body. Oxytocin is one of the most crucial hormones in the body, and low levels of oxytocin are even linked to lower levels of empathy.
Luckily, there are supplements you can take to increase oxytocin. Keep reading this guide to learn about the best supplements for increasing oxytocin.
Related: Is it Possible to Have Too Much Dopamine?
What is Oxytocin?
Before we talk about the best supplements for increasing oxytocin, let’s discuss a little further what oxytocin is.
As mentioned, oxytocin is a hormone that plays a significant role in many bodily functions. One of the main functions of oxytocin is to contract the uterine line during lactation and childbirth. Oxytocin helps to stimulate the uterus’s muscles to allow them to contract better.
The hormone also increases prostaglandin production to stimulate contractions further. In some cases, doctors give out manufactured oxytocin to induce labor if it hasn’t started naturally or the contractions haven’t strengthened.
Doctors also sometimes administer oxytocin to reduce heavy bleeding and speed up the delivery of the placenta. During breastfeeding, the hormone promotes milk movement through the breast ducts. This makes it easier for milk to excrete from the nipple.
Men also produce oxytocin, and it helps them transport sperm and produce testosterone. Oxytocin also acts as a chemical messenger in the brain, and it plays an important role in human behaviors.
What Happens If I Have Too Much or Too Little Oxytocin?
Scientists aren’t exactly sure how too much oxytocin affects the body. However, high levels of oxytocin have been linked to benign prostatic hyperplasia. This condition affects the prostate in over half of men over the age of 60.
While it may be possible to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia by manipulating oxytocin levels, more research is still needed. As mentioned earlier, too little oxytocin can lead to a lack of empathy.
Oxytocin deficiency can also lead to:
- Anxiety and fear
- Issues with sex
- Irritability and an inability to feel affectionate
- A bigger appetite
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Muscle aches
Oxytocin also contributes to the parent-child connection. Studies find that mothers with high levels of oxytocin are more likely to be affectionate toward their children.
Supplements That Can Help Increase Oxytocin
If you have a feeling your body produces low levels of oxytocin, there are a number of things you can do. Here are some of the top supplements to consider:
Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for the body. It can protect your body against cardiovascular disease, immune deficiencies, eye disease, prenatal health problems, and even skin wrinkling.
Vitamin C also helps produce oxytocin. You can find vitamin C in a variety of foods, including citrus fruits, leafy greens, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Related: How Vitamins and Stress Are Related
Vitamin D is another very important nutrient for oxytocin production. Vitamin D comes from the sun, and high levels of vitamin D are linked to increased feelings of happiness and lower levels of depression.
In addition to getting your daily dose of sunshine to increase your vitamin D levels, you can also consume vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms, eggs, fatty fish, and fortified foods.
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that plays a role in hundreds of enzyme reactions in the body. Magnesium supports nerve and muscle function and many other bodily processes.
In addition to increasing levels of oxytocin, magnesium also supports bone health, fights off diabetes, improves cardiovascular health, reduces migraines, and reduces anxiety. You can find magnesium in many foods, including legumes, spinach, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
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Other Ways to Increase Oxytocin
In addition to the above supplements, there are many other ways to increase oxytocin levels. Here’s what you can do:
Yoga is an ancient practice that can help reduce anxiety and stress levels, relieve depression, improve sleep levels, and improve your quality of life.
A 2013 study also found that yoga may help increase oxytocin levels. The study found that schizophrenia patients who practiced yoga for one month experienced increased oxytocin levels.
Listen or Perform Music
You don’t need to be a professional musician to increase your oxytocin levels. In a 2015 study, scientists asked four jazz singers to produce two different songs: one composed and one improvised. They found that those who improvised the music had higher levels of oxytocin.
Another 2009 study had 20 open-heart surgery patients listen to music while on bed rest. The study found that patients who listened to music felt more relaxed and had higher levels of oxytocin than patients who did not listen to any music post-surgery.
Related: Music, the Brain, and Why You Should Listen to Music
Get a Massage
If you’re looking for an excuse to get a massage, here it is. Not only do massages help relieve pain and stress, but they also help increase oxytocin levels. The same is true if you give a massage.
You can choose any type of massage to increase oxytocin levels, from Swedish to deep tissue to Thai.
Supplements That Increase Oxytocin: Conclusion
Living with low oxytocin levels can be difficult. Luckily, the above supplements can help you turn things around. You can get these supplements from everyday foods, and you can also try healthy supplemental shots.
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