The number of people living with dementia is increasing around the world – and despite what you hear from the media, it’s not because the population is aging.
By 2030, 78 million people will be diagnosed with dementia. By 2050, that number is predicted to soar to almost 140 million.1
As usual, Big Pharma has no good solution to this crisis.
But fortunately, there are researchers out there still searching for answers.
And some of the most promising research is coming out of Japan. There, mounting evidence is finding encouraging results using oxytocin in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
As you know, oxytocin is commonly referred to as the “love drug” thanks to its association with romantic attachment. And indeed, the hormone can significantly enhance feelings of trust, empathy, and commitment.
But it’s the research into Alzheimer’s that is so exciting…
Recently, researchers in Japan published an astonishing study showing how cognitive decline can be treated and reversed.2
In the study, scientists found that administering oxytocin in animal models resulted in enhanced brain activity and reversed cognitive impairment.
The scientists used intranasal administration to deliver doses of a powerful oxytocin derivative to mice. Their memory performance was measured using water maze tests.
After the mice receiving the treatment showed improved performance, researchers concluded that oxytocin could reduce the cognitive decline seen in dementia disorders like Alzheimer’s.
This study backs up earlier research also out of Japan. That study found that oxytocin reversed the effect of toxic beta-amyloid and restored brain cell plasticity, which is vital for memory and learning.3
This was the first study to show that oxytocin could reverse beta-amyloid-induced impairments in the hippocampus.
All You Need Is Love?
Your body produces oxytocin in the hypothalamus and stores it in your pituitary gland – the part of the brain that regulates your hormones along with various other critical body functions.
Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Sadly, your supply starts to decline after you turn 40.
But you can teach your body to produce more oxytocin naturally. Of course, touch is the easiest way. Touch prompts your body to release oxytocin, so the more, the better. Studies show that just a 15-minute massage can boost your oxytocin levels by 17%.4 Kisses, hugs, and sex all work, too.
Along with touch, here are three things I recommend to maximize your oxytocin levels.
- Breathe it in. You can’t take an oxytocin pill. It breaks down too quickly in your stomach to work. Even an injection won’t last too long in your body. The only proven way to take oxytocin is by nasal inhaler. Nasal oxytocin is completely safe. And it significantly increases oxytocin in the blood.5 You can purchase nasal inhalers online without a prescription. I recommend between 18 to 40 IU drops per day.
- Sit in meditation. Research shows that even brief meditation sessions can make big changes in the areas of your brain that produce oxytocin. Here’s a simple routine you can try for yourself:
➤ Sit someplace comfortable and quiet, with your back straight but relaxed.
➤ Close your eyes and let your thoughts flow freely. You don’t have to empty your mind.
➤ Follow your breathing and try to sense any tension in your face. A furrowed eyebrow or a change in breathing cadence means you are getting stuck on a thought.
➤ The trick is to let go of your thoughts and allow them to be there simultaneously.
➤ Continue for 5 to 20 minutes.
- Exert yourself. In a European study, researchers found that the more intensely you exercise, the more oxytocin you release.6 But an hour-long run on a treadmill does nothing for oxytocin. That makes my PACE program perfect for boosting oxytocin. At the Sears Institute For Anti-Aging Medicine, patients have used PACE for years to reduce stress, increase oxytocin, and restore their youthful brain power. With PACE, you incrementally and progressively increase the intensity of your workouts. And all it takes is about 12 minutes per day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. “Dementia.” Www.who.int, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia#:~:text=Rates%20of%20dementia&text=As%20the%20proportion%20of%20older
2. Takahashi J, et al. “Intracerebroventricular administration of oxytocin and intranasal administration of the oxytocin derivative improve β-amyloid peptide (25–35)-induced memory impairment in mice.” Neuropsychopharmacol Rep. 2022 Sep 19.
3. Takahashi J, et al. “Oxytocin reverses Aβ-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in mice.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Jul 12;528(1):174-178.
4. Morhenn V, Beavin LE, Zak PJ. “Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans.” Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;18(6):11-8.
5. MacDonald E, et al. “A review of safety, side-effects and subjective reactions to intranasal oxytocin in human research.” Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011;36(8):1114-26.
6. Hew-Butler T, et al. “Acute changes … unexpected increases in oxytocin and brain natriuretic peptide during exercise.” Eur J Endocrinol. 2008;159(6):729-37.