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  • 7 months ago
Hormones: Oxytocin

Hormones: Oxytocin

The "love hormone" is usually associated with cuddles, babies and affection, but in the Indian dairy industry it has a dark side, as Justin Rowlatt discovers.

Endocrinologist Maralyn Druce of Barts Hospital shows Justin some of the more ludicrous attempts to commercialise this alluring chemical, while neuro-economist Paul Zak - also known as "Dr Love" - puts forwards his theories for how the human body's own oxytocin system can be exploited to improve workplace relations.

The main pharmaceutical use of oxytocin is as a means of inducing childbirth in pregnant women. But Justin discovers how in India medical supplies of the drug are diverted into the dairy industry, where farmers injected it into their cows... and into themselves.

(Picture: One cow licking another; Credit: GuyBerresfordPhotography/Getty Images)