New research indicates that oxytocin, the hormone associated with love and puppies and in-group bonding, helps old muscles heal 80% as fast as young muscles.
Oxytocin -- a hormone associated with maternal nurturing, social attachments, childbirth and sex -- plays a critical role in healthy muscle maintenance and repair, researchers report. It is the latest target for development as a potential treatment for age-related muscle wasting. A few other biochemical factors in blood have been connected to aging and disease in recent years, but oxytocin is the first anti-aging molecule identified that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical use in humans.
"This is the hormone that makes your heart melt when you see kittens, puppies and human babies,"...
... extra oxytocin boosts aged tissue stem cells without making muscle stem cells divide uncontrollably ...
Cousin noted that oxytocin could become a viable ... way to combat the symptoms of both female and male aging, and for long-term health.
In addition to healthy muscle, oxytocin is predicted to improve bone health, and it might be important in combating obesity.
The researchers pointed out that ... it is not yet known when levels of the hormone start to decline in humans, and what levels are necessary for maintaining healthy tissues.
... oxytocin is the first anti-aging molecule identified that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical use in humans, the researchers said. Pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, is already used to help with labor and to control bleeding after childbirth. Clinical trials of an oxytocin nasal spray are also underway to alleviate symptoms associated with mental disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and dementia.
Does that mean the elderly should look at cute kitties after the gym?