Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Would Boosting The Oxytocin System Lead To Longer Breast-feeding?

August 18, 2005
American Physiological Society
The benefits of breastfeeding infants over giving them formula are well-known. But a baby's slow weight gain and growth rate is a major reason many women stop. University of Utah researchers found that blocking central OT receptors in the pregnant females' brain reduced their offspring's growth from the third day after birth through their two-week experiment. They're now seeking ways to boost efficiency of the oxytocin system.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado (July 19, 2005) -- There's littlecontroversy about the benefits of breastfeeding infants over givingthem formula. Mother's milk is the perfect food, providing exactly thecorrect nourishment for newborns, while protecting them from manyillnesses.

Related Articles

There also are good economic and maternal health reasons that wouldseem to make a compelling case for breastfeeding for the six-to-12months recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"However one major reason why women stop breastfeeding is lowweight gain and growth rate of their baby," Steven L. Bealer of theUniversity of Utah points out. His team of researchers decided to findout what factors might cause low weight gain.

They studied how blocking the oxytocin (OT) hormonal system,which serves several functions in the birth process and milk deliveryduring nursing (lactation), would affect offspring during and afterbirth. They found that if the central OT receptors in the pregnantfemales' brain are blocked during pregnancy, then their offspring'sgrowth was reduced from the third day after birth through the two-weekexperiment.

Interestingly, the actual delivery itself wasn't affected norwas the number of "pups" in each litter. Even the delivery weights ofthe test females' offspring was the same as "control dams" pups'delivery weights.

A blocked OT system reduces post-natal weight gains

However what they did find was that in the mothers with blockedOT systems, the initial release of OT following the onset of pupssuckling was significantly delayed compared to untreated females."Finally, litter weight gain during a three-hour suckling period wassignificantly smaller in pups nursing dams that were treated with OTreceptor blocker during gestation," Bealer reports.

"What we learned is that OT receptor stimulation duringgestation is necessary for normal OT responsiveness and consequentlyfor normal pup development during lactation," Bealer notes. "Moreefficient and longer lasting breastfeeding results in better humanhealth throughout life," he adds, "so if the efficiency of the oxytocinsystem can be improved, perhaps it will encourage mothers to lengthenhow long they breast feed their children."

Bealer is presenting at the American Physiological Society's2005 Conference, "Neurohypophyseal Hormones: From Genomics andPhysiology to Disease," and the latest developments toward clinicalapplications, July 16-20 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

He also is participating in the symposium, "Central controllactation," chaired by Bill Armstrong of the University of TennesseeSchool of Medicine, and Glenn Hatton, University of California,Riverside.


"Central oxytocin receptor blockade during gestation alters oxytocinrelease and pup development during lactation." Steven L. Bealer,William R. Crowley, David L. Lipschitz, University of Utah. Funded byU.S. Public Health Service grants.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society. "Would Boosting The Oxytocin System Lead To Longer Breast-feeding?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814175436.htm>.
American Physiological Society. (2005, August 18). Would Boosting The Oxytocin System Lead To Longer Breast-feeding?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814175436.htm
American Physiological Society. "Would Boosting The Oxytocin System Lead To Longer Breast-feeding?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814175436.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins