'Love Hormone' Could Block Pain

Nov 28, 2017

Medical researchers Peoria have documented how a hormone found in mammals works to suppress inflammatory pain.


U of I College of Medicine researcher Dr Elanora Zakharian.
Credit University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria

The study, led by the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria found the hormone oxytocin directly targets and blocks specific pain-sensing receptors. The so-called “love hormone,” is secreted naturally and is known for its bonding effect on couples.


UICOMP researcher and study supervisor Doctor Eleonora Zakharian says when the body experiences pain or inflammation, oxytocin binds to the brain’s pain receptors and desensitizes them.


The findings could open the door to new drug therapies targeting pain using the natural hormone. Studies have shown oxytocin’s ability to suppress pain, including in migraines, but the reason behind this was previously unclear.