Intranasal Oxytocin Reduced Calorie Consumption in Men

Elizabeth A. Lawson, M.D., M.M.Sc. Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director, Interdisciplinary Oxytocin Research Program Neuroendocrine Unit Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elizabeth A. Lawson, M.D., M.M.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director, Interdisciplinary Oxytocin Research Program
Neuroendocrine Unit Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain that has been shown to reduce food intake in animal studies. The role of oxytocin on appetite and food consumption in humans is not well understood. We therefore performed a randomized, placebo controlled cross-over study of single dose administration of intranasal oxytocin (Syntocinon, Novartis) in healthy men. Subjects presented fasting in the early morning and were randomized to receive 24 IU intranasal oxytocin or placebo. They selected breakfast from a menu and were offered double portions. The caloric content of the food they ate was calculated. They returned for a second visit, which was the same except for this time, they received the other treatment (placebo or oxytocin). There was no difference in how much food the men reported eating in the three days leading up to each of the study visits. On average, the men ate 122 fewer calories and about 9 grams less fat after receiving oxytocin compared to placebo. There was also evidence that oxytocin resulted in greater use of fat as a fuel for the body, and improved insulin sensitivity.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: This study is exciting because it translates findings in animal research to humans. Whether oxytocin could be used to treat obesity and its metabolic complications is unknown at this point and needs to be studied.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: To better understand how oxytocin works, we are currently using functional MRI to investigate the effects of intranasal oxytocin on brain pathways involved in regulating food intake. Next we plan to study oxytocin effects in women, who may not respond in the same way as men. Studies examining the efficacy and safety of daily intransal oxytocin (for example, 24 IU before meals) in the treatment of obesity will be important.

Citation:

ENDO 2015 Abstract March 201

Synthetic nasal formulation of the hormone oxytocin reduced caloric intake in healthy men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Elizabeth A. Lawson, M.D., M.M.Sc. (2015). Intranasal Oxytocin Before Meal Reduced Calorie Consumption in MenĀ 

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