It almost sounds too good to be true.
A drug that could make painful situations comfortable for those who suffer from shyness might be right around the corner, London’s Evening Standard reported Sunday.
Scientists believe that oxytocin, a hormone that the body naturally produces during childbirth and lovemaking, might be chemically synthesized into a nasal mist, Keith Ablow, FOX News Channel’s psychiatry correspondent, said Tuesday.
Additional research has indicated that oxytocin also could help autistic children, Ablow said.
"Tests have shown that oxytocin reduces anxiety levels in users," Paul Zak, a professor of neuroscience at California’s Claremont Graduate University, said in the Standard. "It is a hormone that facilitates social contact between people. What’s more, it is a very safe product that does not have any side effects and is not addictive."
Zak said he has tested the hormone on hundreds of patients and seen results.
Oxytocin is released during an orgasm and it is an important birthing hormone that allows the cervix to open during childbirth. It promotes romance, social acceptance and bonding between mothers and babies.
A study completed at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that autistic patients who were given oxytocin were able to recognize emotions in other people’s tone of voices that they normally could not.