Individuals with low levels of the ‘love hormone’ – oxytocin – have been found to have less empathy than those with higher levels. Researchers found that oxytocin replacement therapy could improve well-being of people who are low in the hormone.
The study included 20 people with medical conditions that lead to low levels of oxytocin and a control group of 20 healthy people. Those with low levels of oxytocin performed worse when measuring empathy, which is the awareness of other people’s feelings.
Lead researcher Katie Daughters explained, “This is the first study which looks at low oxytocin as a result of medical, as opposed to psychological, disorders. If replicated, the results from our patient groups suggest it is also important to consider medical conditions carrying a risk of low oxytocin levels.”
The study is only preliminary and additional research involving larger study groups is required to confirm findings.