"Love hormone" sobers up drunken rats

Oxytocin, often called the "love hormone," has been shown to decrease the effects of intoxication in rats.

And while the recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was carried out on lab animals, the researchers said oxytocin shows promise for one day treating human alcohol-related disorders.

To conduct their study, the scientists gave one group of rats an intoxicating dose of alcohol, and another group the same intoxicating dose of alcohol along with a dose of oxytocin. When the researchers administered sobriety tests on the rats – including coordination and reflex tests – they noticed that the rats given the oxytocin didn’t show the lack of coordination typical with alcohol consumption. The oxytocin, according to the researchers, prevented alcohol from reaching specific areas that affect fine motor control, therefore decreasing the effects of intoxication.

But since the oxytocin works does not affect the amount of alcohol that flows through the bloodstream, it wouldn't protect a person from avoiding a DUI reading.

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