For years Oxytocin, a hormone, has been linked to social and sexual behavior. Now there may be another interesting finding. Researchers at the University of Sydney and University of Regensburg have found that it may lessen the effects of alcohol. That right! Normally when we imbibe a little too much, our coordination is greatly affected. This happens because alcohol impedes signals to the motor neurons.

Not so with rats that were given oxytocin. Their coordination was not affected because oxytocin intercepted the alcohol and did not allow it to reach particular receptors in the brain called GABA-A. The researchers call it a “sobering up” effect, and think it may also help to lessen alcohol’s impact on speech and cognition.

The real plus to this research is that oxytocin also decreased cravings for alcohol in rats and in humans, so researchers are hopeful that this could develop into a treatment for alcohol abuse and related disorders.

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