‘Love hormone’ oxytocin could help reverse damage from heart attacks via cell regeneration

A chemical released during sex could become a new treatment for heart attack patients, new research reveals. Oxytocin, called the “love hormone,” helps heal the organ by boosting production of stem cells, researchers at Michigan State University say.

The findings are based on human tissue grown in the lab and experiments on zebrafish, which have a remarkable ability to repair themselves.

“Here we show that oxytocin, a neuropeptide also known as the love hormone, is capable of activating heart repair mechanisms in injured hearts in zebrafish and human cell cultures, opening the door to potential new therapies for heart regeneration in humans,” says senior author Dr. Aitor Aguirre, an assistant professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of Michigan State University, in a media release.

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