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Oxytocin Regulates Reward-Driven Food Intake

Function adds to known role in social bonding
FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to its role in social bonding, oxytocin regulates reward-driven food intake in people, according to a study published online July 8 in Diabetes.
Noting that animal studies have suggested oxytocin can suppress appetite, Volker Ott, M.D., from the University of Lübeck in Germany, and colleagues treated healthy men with placebo or oxytocin, then assessed food intake in the fasted state and olfaction and reward-driven snack intake in the absence of hunger.
The researchers found that, in the postprandial period, oxytocin significantly reduced total snack intake, significantly reducing chocolate cookie consumption by 25 percent. Oxytocin also reduced basal and postprandial levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol and blunted the meal-related peak plasma glucose response. However, oxytocin had no effect on energy expenditure, hunger-driven food intake, or olfactory function.
"Our results indicate that oxytocin, beyond its role in social bonding, regulates non-homeostatic, reward-related energy intake, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and the glucoregulatory response to food intake in humans," Ott and colleagues conclude.
Abstract (http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/01/db13-0663.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/01/db13-0663.full.pdf+html )
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