"I was doing some medical research, and I learned that people of faith may produce higher amounts of a hormone, oxytocin, that protects one against numerous ailments. I had noticed that people of faith do live longer and healthier lives."
A nasal spray which increases our trust for strangers is showing promise as a treatment for social phobia, say scientists from Zurich University. They found that people who inhaled the "love hormone" oxytocin continued to trust strangers with their money - even after they were betrayed. Brain scans showed the hormone lowered activity in the amygdala - a region which is overactive in social phobics. Drug trials are under way and early signs are promising say the scientists.
Nicknamed the "cuddle chemical", oxytocin is a naturally produced hormone, which has been shown to play a role in social relations, maternal bonding, and also in sex. Lead researcher Dr Thomas Baumgartner said: "We now know for the first time what exactly is going on in the brain when oxytocin increases trust. "We found that oxytocin has a very specific effect in social situations. It seems to diminish our fears.
Powerful effect Previous studies have shown that participants in "trust games" took greater risks with their money after inhaling the hormone via a nasal spray. In this latest experiment, published in the journal Neuron, the researchers asked volunteer subjects to take part in a similar game.
They were each asked to contribute money to a human trustee, with the understanding that the trustee would invest the money and decide whether to return the profits, or betray the subject's trust by keeping the profit. The subjects also received doses of oxytocin or a placebo via a nasal spray.
After investing, the participants were given feedback on the trustees. When their trust was abused, the placebo group became less willing to invest. But the players who had been given oxytocin continued to trust their money with a broker. "We can see that oxytocin has a very powerful effect," said Dr Baumgartner.
"The subjects who received oxytocin demonstrated no change in their trust behaviour, even though they were informed that their trust was not honoured in roughly 50% of cases."
Fred, on this cheesy looking website, http://www.verolabs.com/, you can buy oxytocin without a prescription. I bought a bottle not expecting much but it worked. If I were in sales, I would load up on the stuff.
In addition, being around people with similar values, bright lights, and music all stimulate endorphins, the cause of "natrual" highs. After my first church service in a lot of years, I told my wife that people were so high the preacher could have said anything.
Endorphins are natural pain killers, soothing to the nervous system, and boost immunity. They also boost oxytocin.
What bugs me is when church folks use this high to push a hateful, selfish, or political agenda.
Endorphins are also stimulated by chocolate (the dark casein free type is best) and spicy foods. Anyone who has a runny nose and sucks down some picante sauce can see the healing benefits of endorphins.
"people were so high the preacher could have said anything."
And often they DO!
When I saw that article stating that Oxytocin suppresses the critical faculties, it made me think that municipalities should put an oxytocin inhibitor in the drinking water. I sure don't want my children under the influence of anything that will make them as gullible as I have been.
"I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education." -- Wilson Mizner (1876 - 1933)
Doc, A wonderful and prosperous new year to you... even if you are NOT long PBR. :)