Jan 29, 2011

Oxytocin - love potion no. 9

When I was little, my dad used to have a cassette of all the golden oldies with 2 legs till level of midthigh on the cover of the cassette. I really, really like all the songs in the cassette - not because of the cover, of course.

There's this particular song named Love Potion No. 9. The lyrics went:

I took my troubles down to Madame Rue
You know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth
She's got a pad down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
Sellin' little bottles of Love Potion Number Nine

I told her that I was a flop with chics
I've been this way since 1956
She looked at my palm and she made a magic sign
She said "What you need is Love Potion Number Nine"

She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
She said "I'm gonna make it up right here in the sink"
It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

I didn't know if it was day or night
I started kissin' everything in sight
But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine

It was pretty obvious that when there is brewing troubles in the realm of love and relationship, a gypsy with a potion that made you go on a kissing spree ain't the best solution around.

Fast forward to today, in my line of work, day in and day out, I deal with oxytocin, without realizing it is also known as the hormone of love. It is being used to create a much affectionate family/relationship environment, meaning if your partner is strangely cold towards you, it's probably time to jab him/her. Probably.

Primarily, oxytocin or love potion is being used to increase uterine contraction to augment labor to prevent massive blood loss post delivery from a not-so-well contracted uterus.

Basically, the love potion helps to flex the uterine muscle - before birth, to push out the baby and after birth, to clamp down on all the massive bloody vessels of the uterus.

But, in real life, the love potion does more.
Oxytocin is best known for roles in female reproduction: 1) it is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, and 2) after stimulation of the nipples, facilitating birth and breastfeeding. Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors
Why number 9? Probably, just to rhyme with Thirty-Four and Vine.

If I'm not mistaken, oxytocin is a nonapeptide, peptide of nine amino acids. (That's the remnant of memory of reading too much of basic sciences earlier last year)

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