A new scientific study published in The Journal of Physiology shows that oxytocin, known as the love hormone, plays an important role in stress-related digestive symptoms such as nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.
Stress disrupts gastrointestinal functions and causes a delay in gastric emptying, affecting how long food leaves the stomach. This delay in gastric emptying causes bloating, discomfort and nausea, and accelerates colon passage, which can eventually cause diarrhea.
Oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone, is released from the hypothalamus, which counteracts the effects of stress in the brain. For a long time it was believed that the effects of oxytocin are due to its release into the blood, and only minor effects on nerves in the brain that regulate gastrointestinal functions have been encountered.
The new research has used new ways to manipulate neurons and nerves (neuro circuits) affected by oxytocin released from the hypothalamus, and measured the effects of gastric emptying on the response to stress. Contrary to previous assumptions, it was in this way revealed that oxytocin circuits play an important role in the stomach’s response to stress.
While activation of oxytocin circuits increases the muscle contractions (motility) of the stomach, reversing the delay in gastric emptying that normally occurs in response to stress, while the adaptation of these neurocircuits can prevent adaptation to stress. In the study conducted at Penn State University School of Medicine and sponsored by a grant from the US National Institute of Health, data on oxytocin hormone secreted in the brain and stomach movements that develop in response to stress were simultaneously examined. Research data show that oxytocin directly affects the nerve pathways involved in the stress response and plays an important role in the stomach response to stressors.
The ability to respond appropriately to stress is important to normal physiology functions. Inappropriate responses to stress or an inability to adapt to stress trigger and worsen the symptoms of many gastrointestinal disorders, including delayed gastric emptying and accelerated colon passage.
Previous scientific studies have shown that the stomach muscle responds to stress by altering the activities and responses of the nerves and neuro circuits that regulate and discharge their function.
In order to establish targets for more effective treatments of impaired stomach responses to stress, it was always important to first understand how stress normally affects stomach functions. This study provided new insights into how oxytocin controls these nerves and circuits during stress, and progress has been made to develop new drugs.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Alberto Travagli said: “Women are more vulnerable to stress and stress-related pathologies such as anxiety and depression and report a higher prevalence in gastrointestinal disorders. Our previous studies have shown that vagal nerve circuits are organized differently in men. “We are concluding a series of studies exploring the mechanisms and mechanisms. This will help develop targeted therapies to provide relief to women with gastrointestinal disorders.”
Referanslar: Jiang, Y. ve Travagli, ”Hypothalamic-vagal oxytocinergic neurocircuitry modulates gastric emptying and motility following stress” The Journal of Physiology (30 Ağustos 2020) Şuradan alındı: https://doi.org/10.1113/JP280023
” The Love Hormone Links Stress to Digestive Symptoms ” (September 2, 2020) Retrieved from: https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/the-love-hormone-links-stress-to-digestive-symptoms- 339306? Fbclid = IwAR3aacMCaX2WLjPu2hqrQHFq1XiH0bNWfL8jk41YOIvFgSrDcbtMSOzi4L8