The pharmaceutical industry salivates at the prospect of selling drugs for weight loss. Given that overweight and obesity are everywhere, affecting all ages across all socioeconomic levels, they smell many billions of dollars in profit. And doctors, who either don’t understand how to apply nutrition to help their patients lose weight and thereby say silly things like “Move more and eat less,” are generally useless, but eager and willing to prescribe Big Pharma weight loss products. In the world of Big Pharma, the stakes are high as they seek to extract more and more money out of the public’s pocket, no longer content with a measly few billion dollars a year.
But there is a drug—but not really a drug, but a human hormone—that has been shown to facilitate weight loss while providing an impressive panel of other health benefits. Note that most weight loss drugs cannot make such claims, i.e, they may or may not achieve their intended purpose while yielding oodles of undesirable side-effects. Look at the track record of weight loss drugs such as Fen-Phen that yielded modest weight loss (that returned upon stopping the drug) while causing valvular heart disease or amphetamines such as Benzedrine that yielded modest weight loss but at the price of increased cardiovascular death.
Oxytocin, in contrast, a hypothalamic hormone that declines with age and weight gain, when boosted (intranasal, injection, our L. reuteri yogurt) is associated with:
- Increased skin thickness, increased dermal collagen, reduced skin wrinkles
- Accelerated skin healing (as a surrogate for youthfulness and overall capacity for healing)
- Preservation of bone density
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Marked reduction in appetite, the so-called anorexigenic effect
- Increased libido
- Increased empathy for other people, connectedness to your partner
- Reduced desire to smoke cigarettes
And it is appearing to be effective for weight loss. In one study, 24 units of intranasal oxytocin was administered four-times per day to overweight participants and compared to placebo; no change in diet or exercise was instituted. The group receiving oxytocin lost 19.8 pounds over 60 days while the placebo group lost none.
Despite the almost over-the-top spectacular health benefits of boosting oxytocin, there’s a big problem for Big Pharma: No patent protection is possible, as oxytocin is naturally-occurring and has been discussed widely in public forums. So they are intent on developing a derivative that may or may not be superior to the original form—but ensures patent protection. (This is why horse estrogens were marketed as Premarin for many years, for example, the most widely-prescribed drug in the world for almost a decade, even though human estrogens were available for much of the time.)
But, consistent with our Undoctored philosophy, we don’t need nor want the participation of predatory Big Pharma. We can do it all ourselves without the doctor, without the hospital, without paying somebody a ton of money for such spectacular health effects..
Here’s a graphic summarizing some of the means by which oxytocin facilitates weight loss:
From Maejima et al 2018.
Oxytocin is unique in that it can circumvent leptin resistance that can make weight loss difficult for some people, while also reducing desire for snacking or other “reward-driven” eating, reduces appetite, and improves insulin resistance.
Our L. reuteri yogurt boosts oxytocin levels that you know you are experiencing if you obtain the anorexigenic effect—a dramatic reduction in hunger. Food tastes every bit as good, but you feel indifferent and hunger is an uncommon feeling. The oxytocin levels achieved via the yogurt likely do not match the blood/tissue levels achieved in the weight loss study, as this was an uncommonly high dose, so I would not expect weight loss at the same rate. But, if weight loss is among your goals, or you wish to take advantage of the health benefits of brief intermittent fasting, boosting oxytocin via the L. reuteri yogurt can help facilitate this.
Intranasal oxytocin is an alternative means of obtaining these effects, though more expensive and without the probiotic benefits of L. reuteri. This involves some additional discussion that we explore in our Undoctored Inner Circle. And, because the pace of new information is so rapid that most doctors are unable to keep up, don’t expect your doctor to have any interest or knowledge in your oxytocin-boosting efforts. Just do it on your own.